Three legal developments that stood out for us this week - as covered by lawyers and law firms on JD Supra. Enjoy your weekend:
Barnes & Noble was only the beginning…
Lisa Sotto, privacy law expert thinks that more and more large companies will be hacked liked Barnes & Noble was, by sophisticated, creative, and highly motivated criminals. But whether or not she’s correct isn’t really the point, even if it’s hard to imagine that she could be wrong. Either way, she reminds businesses of all types and sizes of an important: don’t wait until after the breach has happened to focus on cybersecurity and customer privacy. (Bloomberg Law)
How do you say “lawsuit settled” in Czech?
After more than three years of duking it out in court, Google and Rosetta Stone have decided to play nice and “to meaningfully collaborate to combat online ads for counterfeit goods and prevent the misuse and abuse of trademarks on the Internet.” Rosetta Stone accused Google in 2009 of trademark infringement, claiming the internet search giant sold Rosetta Stone’s trademarks to third parties for use as search keywords. Unfortunately for the more than 30 companies, trade associations, sports leagues and nonprofits that filed briefs in support of Rosetta Stone – hoping to resolve the question of Google’s liability when competitors use their trademarks in AdWords –details of the settlement are not public. (Mintz Levin)
The FTC and Wyndham continue to duke it out over cybersecurity
You may recall the Federal Trade Commission’s lawsuit against Wyndham Hotel & Resorts, for failing to live up to its promise to protect the credit card data of its customers. The hotel was the victim of three data breaches which, according to the FTC, came about because the company did not have adequate data security. Wyndham went on the offensive, filing a motion to dismiss the lawsuit because the agency lacks the authority under the FTC Act to regulate data security standards. Oh yes we do, said the FTC in its response, filed earlier this month.
Why is all this so important? Because it’s more than just a battle over Wyndham’s responsibility and liability, write Cynthia Larose and Adam Veness of law firm Mintz Levin:
“Indeed, if the court finds for Wyndham and dismisses the FTC’s enforcement action, the FTC will likely have a tough road ahead when attempting to settle future claims with companies that have suffered from data breaches as a result of inadequate data security standards. Such a ruling for Wyndham could potentially provide enough ammunition to prompt Congress to step in and grant the FTC the authority that it requested over a decade ago in the Report. Wyndham’s Motion brings to light a possible gap in the FTC’s authority to regulate data security standards, despite all of the settlements that the FTC has made with companies on the basis of that authority.”
The presidential election sure is close. What if it ends in a tie?