'There are words and images that we do not wish to be confronted with, not as art, nor in the marketplace,' Judge Kimberly Moore wrote for the panel. 'The First Amendment, however, protects private expression, even private expression which is offensive to a substantial composite of the general public. The government has offered no substantial government interest for policing offensive speech in the context of a registration program such as the one at issue in this case. '
Again we celebrate our focus on innovation by offering you a calendar with images from historic patents. Among the patented innovations illustrated in this year's calendar are the zipper, the windshield wiper, and even a bread-loaf slicer. To request a printed or electronic copy, please complete the form below.
We also offer information stemming from our involvement in internet law, with particular attention to cybersecurity. We recently gave talks on Cybersecurity Technical and Legal Challenges (You Can't Just Check the Box) and on Privacy and Security for the Internet of Things. You can download our slideshows for free here.
Avoid Painful Fines When Handling Health Data
This summer, the federal government stunned the healthcare industry by hitting a Catholic charity in Philadelphia with a $650,000 fine. The charity had sent workers to support local nursing homes. To streamline the work, the charity gave its workers cellphones into which data on the residents could be stored. Unfortunately, when a cellphone with medical data on 412 residents disappeared, the charity ran afoul of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Even though the charity wasn't itself a health care provider, it was considered a 'Business Associate' of the nursing homes and was required to show it had done a risk analysis for protected health information. After learning that the charity hadn't done so, the government levied this crushing fine for failing to meet the regulatory mandate. If you have access to anyone's health data, even if you never go near a patient, be sure to build your business around HIPAA compliance and data security.
Software Patents Get a Bandage
The Supreme Court over the past few years has laid a terrific beating on software patents, positing that you can't patent an Abstract Idea, even if it wasn't obvious from the prior art. This year, the Federal Circuit has started to bind the wound, ruling that certain improvements to computer animation, internet content filtering, and distributed data processing could pass through the Court's Abstract Idea filter. Though uncertainty still reigns, if your new software will improve the technology of data processing, consider making patents once more a part of your intellectual property strategy. Let's discuss.
Are Your 'Things' Cybersecure?
I am fascinated with the nexus of security, regulatory, and intellectual property law. A couple of weeks ago, I spoke to the TriState.IoT Meetup about that nexus in the Internet of Things. In the wake of the October attack that took down a slew of popular websites, talk of IoT security has morphed from 'interesting discussion' to 'pressing danger,' and I continue to stay at the forefront of these emerging issues.
Recently I was invited to speak at the Industrial Fabrics Association International’s 2017 Expo in New Orleans. That's because the same bedeviling knot of issues will soon tie up the emerging field of smart fabrics and wearables. As you design new internet-connected products and services, be sure to build-in security from the outset and consider the privacy implications of the data derived from them. Where security, regulation, and intellectual property meet, I'll be there to help.
Defend Your Trade Secrets
This year, Congress enhanced federal law on intellectual property by passing the Defend Trade Secrets Act. To take advantage of these protections, it's important to revise some language typical to confidentiality and employment agreements. Would you like me to help review yours?
Best wishes for health, happiness, and prosperity in 2017.
Elman Technology Law, P.C. is a boutique law firm located in Media, Pennsylvania. Our cybersecurity practice is an outgrowth of our extensive experience with intellectual property (patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, licensing, and various protective agreements), and helping clients navigate the ever-changing landscape of online business law.
Request a 2017 Patents Calendar / Contact Us
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