Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to register a trademark to have rights in the mark. Rights in a trademark arise in the United States from use of the mark. What is a trademark? A trademark is generally a word, phrase, symbol, or design, or a combination thereof, that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others. A service mark is the same as a trademark, except that it identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than goods. Marks typically protect brand names and logos used on goods and services.
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Employer Duties to Protect Employee Data
Do employers have a duty to protect their employee’s data? In Dittman v. UPMC, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court determined, among other things, that the defendant employer had a duty to use reasonable care in protecting employee data. See __ A.3d __, No. 43 WAP 2017 (Pa. 2018). Dittman concerned a data breach that allegedly compromised the personal information of employees and former employees of the defendant. The defendant required employees to provide this personal information as a condition of employment. The claims asserted, among other things, that the defendant was negligent by not taking appropriate steps towards safeguarding employees’ sensitive information.
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Employee or Independent Contractor: California's Take
Are you an employee or an independent contractor? If you're doing business in California, then pay attention to the new classification test for your workers.
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Written Information Security Plan (WISP): A Good Idea
Even a wisp of data collected by hackers, thieves, or other nefarious cyber-criminals as a result of a breach may leave you open to a lawsuit. To protect your company, it is important to have security measures in place to safeguard sensitive data. While not legally required in all 50 states, a written information security program (WISP) can help your company protect its data, and, if necessary, react to a breach. Essential elements of a WISP include laying out procedures for your company to store and transfer sensitive data and assigning an employee to maintain and implement these security procedures.
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