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News of Note

Each week, Sheppard Mullin brings you News of Note in IP: The latest news in the IP-related fields of technology, privacy, fashion, advertising, music, and social media, curated by our IP team. Here are some of the stories...more

Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Ruling: Did the Ninth Circuit Just Criminalize Password Sharing?

Not exactly. A divided Ninth Circuit panel recently affirmed the conviction of a former employee under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”), holding that “[u]nequivocal revocation of computer access closes both the front...more

Court Holds Personal Data Discoverable for a Work Related Claim (New York)

Sunderland v. Suffolk Cty., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77212 (E.D.N.Y. June 14, 2016) - In this civil rights case, the plaintiff motioned the court to compel the defendants “to search for and produce certain documents from...more

Computer Fraud and Abuse Act: Dissent claims that new Ninth Circuit case criminalizes password sharing

Danny Defendant, employed by Acme Widget Co., quits. Acme, of course, disables the password that Danny had used to access the Acme computer system. Danny then asks a friend, who still works at Acme, for her password. She...more

More Guidelines on Data Privacy Compliant Use and Monitoring of Internet and Emails in the Workplace in Germany

Recently, the Berlin-Brandenburg Regional Labor Court ruled on the rights of an employer to check browsing history without the employee’s consent. Orrick’s German employment team published a client newsletter about this...more

Benefits of using thin and zero client’s vs desktop PC’s

What are “thin clients” and their close cousins “zero client devices”? You probably have a desktop computer or laptop computer at work and all the software you use is installed on that computer. Although your data is...more

Employers in Germany May Now be Able to Check Browsing History of Work Computers

In certain circumstances an employer is entitled to analyse the browsing history of the work computer used by the employee without a need for the employee’s consent. This was made clear in a recent ruling of the Regional...more

OCR fines MN hospital system $1.55 million for not having BAA with billing vendor

On March 16, 2016, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued a press release announcing that it has settled its investigation of North Memorial Health Care System (NMHCS), located in Minnesota, for $1.55 million saying that...more

Missing laptop returned after Premier Healthcare reports data breach of 205,748 patients

Premier Healthcare, a multi-specialty group located in Bloomington, Illinois, announced in early March that an unencrypted laptop has been missing from its billing department since early January and started notifying affected...more

Protecting Trade Secrets From Theft By Ex-Employees

In late 2015, Atlantic Marine Construction Company, a Virginia Beach construction company, filed a lawsuit against a former Vice President of Construction and his new employer, alleging various causes of action arising out of...more

Recent Decision Highlights Important Pleading Requirements for Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Claims

Ever since Iqbal and Twombly, it has become imperative that a complaint filed in federal court contains “sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.’” Ashcroft v....more

Sanctions for Bringing a Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Claim?

Federal courts have continued to disagree on whether the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act ("CFAA") applies to employees who misuse confidential information or trade secrets obtained from an employer's computer system that the...more

Breaking News: Hacker’s Conviction Affirmed Despite Lower Court’s Error

This week, the United States Supreme Court upheld a conviction under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act despite the Court’s acknowledgement that the jury had been wrongfully instructed on the elements of the crime charged. ...more

Supreme Court Issues CFAA decision in Michael Musacchio v. United States

On Monday, January 25th, the Supreme Court issued the most recent Computer Fraud and Abuse Act decision in Michael Musacchio v. United States. After leaving his employer to start his own company, the defendant (a former...more

Rules on Monitoring an Employee’s Private Internet Use at Work: a new ECHR decision

In a decision rendered on January 12, 2016, the European Court of Human Rights (“ECHR”) held that the dismissal of an employee for having used his professional email account for personal purposes during working hours did not...more

Feds focus on damage to computers as basis for Computer Fraud and Abuse Act prosecution

Last week, a federal judge sentenced Yijia Zhang, a computer systems manager, to 31 months in federal prison for transferring thousands of his employer’s electronic files to European storage sites. The case highlights the...more

Employers’ Thanksgiving Plans Should Include Cyber Monday Prep: Are Your Computer Policies Up to Date?

No online shopping day is bigger than Cyber Monday. According to the National Retail Federation, an estimated 127 million people shopped on Cyber Monday last year—significantly more than the estimated 87 million in-store,...more

California Federal Courts Reiterate: Unless Computer Hacked, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Permits Misuse Of Electronic Information

In United States v. Nosal, 676 F.3d 854 (9th Cir. 2012) (en banc), the court held that the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1030, prohibits unlawful access to a computer but not unauthorized use of computerized...more

Seventh Circuit rules hospital system is not a Consumer Reporting Agency under FCRA

Is a hospital a “consumer reporting agency”? Can a health care provider be liable under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) in the event of a data breach? The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently considered these...more

Social Media Week Part IV – Telling a Story About Honey

I continue my exploration of the use of social media in doing compliance by taking a look at a very innovative social media solution to a difficult compliance issue around, of all things, honey. This example shows how...more

Texas Anti-SLAPP Law: The Expanding Scope of the Texas Citizen’s Participation Act – Part 3

The basics of the Texas Anti-SLAPP law In part three we are going to deep dive into a specific case that has garnered a lot of attention-Schlumberger v. Rutherford which is currently on appeal to the Houston Court of...more

Employee Surveillance and Monitoring

To state the obvious (and this shows my age), we are way past George Orwell’s 1984. Yes, I know 30 years past it. But we are way past the privacy concerns expressed in Orwell’s book; we are in a new era where technology and...more

Court Extends Proportionality Principle to Duty to Preserve

In Lord Abbett Mun. Income Fund., Inc v. Asami, No. C-12-03694 DMR (N.D. Cal. Oct. 29, 2014), United State Magistrate Judge Donna M. Ryu granted the plaintiff’s motion for permission to no longer preserve computer...more

BC Privacy Commissioner Releases Report on Use of Employee Monitoring Software

In January 2015, the mayor of Saanich publicly complained that the District of Saanich had installed “spyware” on his office computer. The BC Information and Privacy Commissioner initiated an investigation pursuant to the...more

Settlement Highlights Need for Compliance with U.S. Export Control Rules When Sponsoring Foreign Workers

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security recently reached a $115,000 civil settlement agreement with a California-based global technology company on the basis that it violated several export control...more

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