LEGAL THOUGHTS

This blog contains our personal opinions on topics that interest us.

Google can forget

Earlier this year, I blogged about the Google v. CNIL case concerning the reach of the EU "Right to be Forgotten" and how the Advocate General of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) had opined that the "Right to be Forgotten" should be limited to the EU. On September 24th, the CJEU ruled that the "Right to be Forgotten" is limited to the EU (see copy of decision). “There is no obligation under EU law, for a search engine operator who grants a request for de-referencing made by a data subject... to carry out such a de-referencing on all the versions of its search engine" (Decision, paragraph 65). "EU law [only] requires a search engine operator to carry out such a de-referenci

Updated Cookie Guidance

The UK ICO and the French CNIL both released updated guidance on cookies this summer (see ICO July 3 2019 guidance and CNIL July 23 2019 guidance). A few key takeaways are: 1. The "cookie" guidance covers more than just cookies. It covers any technology that stores or access information on the user's device. 2. "Strictly Necessary" cookies do not require consent. 3. Other than "Strictly Necessary" cookies, consent is required before any cookies are set on the user's device. 4. Cookie consent cannot be bundled into terms and conditions or a privacy notice. 5. You cannot pre-enable non-essential cookies. This means that when you present a user the option to manage their cookies, non-ess

Recent US penalties for privacy violations

On July 22, the FTC settled with Equifax for $575 million (and potentially up to $700 million) over the 2017 data breach that affected approximately 147 million people (see link). On July 24, the FTC fined Facebook $5 billion for violating the terms of an earlier 2012 FTC settlement and mishandling user's personal data (see link). On September 4, the FTC settled for $170 million with Google and its YouTube subsidiary over violations of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) (see link). Photo by Alexander Mils on Pexels. #privacy

Yosemite Trademark Fiasco Settled

In a January 2016 blog post, I wrote about how a concessionaire - Delaware North Companies, Inc. - who lost the contract to run the Yosemite National Park operations appeared to own the tangible and intangible property associated with Yosemite Park, such as the names of the attractions. That concessionaire then requested $50 million to turn over the trademark rights to the winner of the Yosemite contract. The parties have settled for $12 million (see link) and, as part of the settlement, the IP will revert to federal government ownership. Further, the government has clarified in its other agreements with park operators that the intangible IP associated with parks is owned by the government

Might be time for some upgrades

In the land of precision and clockwork, there was a slight mistake. The Swiss Air Force's aerobatics team, The Patrouille Suisse squadron, the equivalent of the US Navy's Blue Angels, accidentally performed its fly-by over a yodeling festival instead of the birthplace of Swiss aviation pioneer Oskar Bider (see link). Image by Andi Graf from Pixabay #technology

CBD in tobacco

I saw this sign advertising Cannabidiol (CBD) in Switzerland. #CBD #switzerland

Switzerland and Online Copyright Protection

In April, the U.S. Trade Representative released the 2019 Section 301 report (see link to press release). The report calls out "foreign countries and expose[s] the laws, policies, and practices that fail to provide adequate and effective IP protection and enforcement for U.S. inventors, creators, brands, manufacturers, and service providers" (see Report at page 5) Switzerland once again is on the Watch List because of a 2010 court case about downloading content from the internet for personal home use (see Report at page 75). The court found that under the current Swiss Copyright Act, such conduct was permissible. Because, the case makes online copyright protection and enforcement difficult,

Social Media Websites Could be Public Forums

It isn't new. It shouldn't be surprising. If you are a politician or a political body, you cannot use social media (e.g., Twitter or Facebook) for official purposes and block certain people from accessing the social media. The latest politician to fall afoul of this prohibition is President Donald Trump (Knight First Amendment Institute v. Trump, No. 18-1691-cv (2nd Cir. July 9, 2019). But, he certainly won't be the last. Image by GraphicMama-team from Pixabay. #FirstAmendment

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