Weekly IP Buzz for week ending July 13, 2018

Weekly IP Buzz for week ending July 13, 2018

California's Stringent Data Privacy Law; Lessons Learned from Copyright Ruling; AncestryDNA's Privacy Policies Under Scrutiny

Here's a summary of interesting developments in intellectual property, technology, social media, and Internet law for the week ending July 13, 2018.

California Consumer Privacy Act: Most Stringent Data Privacy Law in U.S.

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California made history recently by passing the California Consumer Privacy Act after unanimous agreement between the California State Assembly and State Senate. While the new 2018 law will not take effect until 2020, both consumers and technology companies in California are deeply concerned about what the new law entails.

With the passage of the California Consumer Privacy Act, California now boasts the most stringent data privacy protection laws in the United States. As such, the state government chose to specifically postpone full enactment of the law until 2020 in order to give both consumers and companies significant time to understand the new rights, expectations, and responsibilities for both communities. Read more about Data Privacy Law.

Lessons from Urban Outfitters' Willful Copyright Infringement Case

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In April 2017, Urban Outfitters and Century 21 were found liable for willful copyright infringement of a fabric design owned by Unicolors, Inc. Unicolors has filed over 60 lawsuits to enforce its copyright registrations in its fabric designs. The trial court awarded $164,400 in damages and $366,910.17 in fees and costs. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit upheld the infringement ruling and agreed with the district court that the striking similarity between the registrations and the accused designs allowed the court to infer that Urban copied the design even thought there was no evidence of Urban having access to the design. Importantly, the Ninth Circuit rejected Urban Outfitters’ argument that knowledge is a requirement of willful infringement, holding that reckless was sufficient. Read more about Copyright Infringement.

AncestryDNA's Policies Under Scrutiny from Privacy Experts

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Privacy policies and Terms of Use/Service are common legal agreements used to protect a website owner, company, or service provider. Ancestry’s policies, however, have recently come under scrutiny due to the company’s broad assertion over use and ownership of consumers’ DNA and other genetic information.

Privacy experts warn that consumers should be primarily concerned with three of Ancestry’s provisions that specifically: 1) create a license for Ancestry to use consumer DNA; 2) a warning that Ancestry may use the DNA information against “you or a genetic relative”; and 3) waiver of legal rights. Read more about Internet Law.

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Darin M. Klemchuk is founder of Klemchuk LLP, a litigation, intellectual property, and transactional law firm located in Dallas, Texas. He also co-founded Project K, a charitable movement devoted to changing the world one random act of kindness at a time, and publishes Thriving Attorney, a blog dedicated to exploring the business of the practice of law, productivity and performance for attorneys, and other topics such as law firm leadership and management, law firm culture, and business development for attorneys.

Click to learn more about Darin M. Klemchuk's law practice as an intellectual property lawyer.


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