Intellectual Property and Information Technology

By: Kevin D. Pomfret, Anthony H. Anikeeff & Kelsey S. Farbotko

Many companies from around the globe are continuing their recovery efforts after a massive ransomware attack affected hundreds of thousands of computers across various industries and throughout several nations.  Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts files on infected networks, rendering them useless, and then issues a ransom demand, often in Bitcoin, for the decryption of the data.[i]  On Friday, a ransomware variant known as “WannaCry,” which was purportedly generated and disseminated using a stolen National Security Agency toolkit, spread rapidly throughout approximately 150 countries, affecting organizations such as the British National Health Service, Federal Express, and Nissan.[ii]  The National Health Service in Britain was particularly hard hit with at least 40 organizations affected, leaving critical data such as patient and scheduling data and email unavailable.[iii]

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Many key players in the global hospitality industry have fallen victim to cyber-attacks over recent years, including the Hilton, the Trump Hotels and the Mandarin Oriental.

Why are these businesses such tasty targets?

We’re talking about hotels, restaurants and other retail outlets which process (and store) customer data all day, every day.

Read more: Hospitality industry – Don’t be Hospitable to Cyber Attackers

Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.Clarkslegal LLP (Reading, England)

Nestlé’s 10-year efforts to achieve EU trade mark registration for the three-dimensional shape of its famous four-finger KitKat chocolate bar had a further setback in December last year with an adverse ruling from the EU General Court. In the UK, the current state of play is no better, with the High Court having ruled in January last year against UK trade mark protection for the shape. Nestlé’s nemesis through most of this has been Mondelez UK Holdings & Services Ltd., a company the name of which will mean nothing to many but whose former name was “Cadbury Holdings Limited”. Cadbury’s interest in the proceedings is not only that of a rival manufacturer which presumably does not want to be “shape-constrained” in its products, but was undoubtedly spurred by Nestlé’s ultimately successful opposition to Cadbury’s own attempts to trade mark the particular shade of purple used in its branding and packaging (another story!).

Read more: \"Have A Break\" Trademarking The Shape Of Goods in the EU and UK

Author: Katherine Hayes, Senior Associate and Greg Stirling, Associate 

The Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Bill 2017 amends the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and imposes an obligation on businesses to notify individuals and the Information Commissioner of data breaches. While the introduction of a mandatory data breach notification regime is significant, the threshold for notification is quite high.

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Written by Aaron Wais

Daily headlines of data breaches, resulting class actions, governmental investigations and enforcement actions, and the settlements of those actions serve as constant reminders of the need to implement and maintain reasonable cybersecurity measures. Yet another example can be found in the recent announcement by the Federal Trade Commission, which states that the operators of Ashley Madison have agreed to settle the charges brought against them by the FTC and over a dozen state attorneys generals arising out of the July 2015 data breach of Ashley Madison’s network. Analyzing the settlement also provides additional guidance on what regulators mean when they refer to reasonable safeguards.

Read more: Importance of Maintaining Cybersecurity Measures – Assessing the Ashley Madison Data Breach...