Brian Sniffen

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Brian assists clients on a wide range of business and litigation matters. He focuses his practice on helping clients manage and enforce valuable intellectual property rights, advising clients on corporate formation, merger, acquisition, and governance matters, and assisting clients in lending transactions.

Latest Articles

Who: United States businesses that process (i.e., collect, store, or transmit) the personal information of EU residents in connection with offering goods or services in the EU (online or otherwise) are subject to the GDPR, regardless of whether the business has any physical presence in the EU or any payment is made by the EU resident. What: The GDPR is a comprehensive data-privacy regulation that gives people control over their data in ways that are…
On May 25, 2017, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed into law H.B. 2090. This new law will make materially inaccurate claims related to the collection, use, disclosure, maintenance, and disposal of consumer data an unlawful trade practice subject to enforcement by the Attorney General. The law applies not only to claims made on websites (privacy policies come to mind), but also in consumer agreements (ISP and cloud hosting agreements come to mind). Businesses typically…
Can a cheerleader uniform containing combinations of elements like chevrons, lines, stripes, and angles be protected by copyright? Well, the Supreme Court addressed this exact issue on March 22, 2017, in the case of Star Athletica, L.L.C. v. Varsity Brands, Inc. And, ta da, the answer is yes where a design feature of a useful article (1) can be perceived as a two- or three-dimensional work of art separate from the useful article and (2)…
Last year, many businesses suffered data breaches during tax season when their employees divulged other employees’ W-2 information (including Social Security numbers) to criminals. Sadly, we are starting to receive reports that the criminals are back at it this year. Take action now to avoid being victimized and protect your employees’ data.  …
In February, the California Attorney General issued the “California Data Breach Report.” That report contained several recommendations, the most controversial of which related to the Center for Internet Security’s Critical Security Controls (the “CCS”). The report stated that “failure to implement all the Controls that apply to an organization’s environment constitutes a lack of reasonable security.” A failure to have “reasonable security” obviously has large legal ramifications for all companies employing or doing business with…
In February, the California Attorney General issued the “California Data Breach Report.” That report contained several recommendations, the most controversial of which related to the Center for Internet Security’s Critical Security Controls (the “CCS”). The report stated that “failure to implement all the Controls that apply to an organization’s environment constitutes a lack of reasonable security.” A failure to have “reasonable security” obviously has large legal ramifications for all companies employing or doing business with…
For years, data-breach plaintiffs have faced a huge barrier to obtaining relief in court: many courts have dismissed their complaints because they have been unable to demonstrate actual harm (or “concrete and particularized injury,” in lawyer-speak)—and actual harm is generally a requirement to have standing in federal court. Many of these plaintiffs were able to show only a threat of future harm. But a recent decision by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals (Remijas v.…
Recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) may pursue a lawsuit against Wyndham Worldwide Corporation, a hotel and time share operator for “unfair and deceptive” cybersecurity practices. In its complaint, the FTC alleged that Wyndham “unreasonably and unnecessarily” exposed consumers’ personal data in more than 600,000 payment card accounts, resulting in 3 data breaches in 2008 and 2009. According to the FTC, these data breaches…
Recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled that the Federal Trade Commission (the “FTC”) may pursue a lawsuit against Wyndham Worldwide Corporation, a hotel and time-share operator, for “unfair and deceptive” cybersecurity practices. In its complaint, the FTC alleged that Wyndham had “unreasonably and unnecessarily” exposed consumers’ personal data in more than 600,000 payment-card accounts, resulting in three data breaches in 2008 and 2009. According to the FTC, these data breaches…
We recently wrote a post on this blog analyzing the Seventh Circuit’s ruling that the victims of a Neiman Marcus data breach could proceed with their claims against the retailer. We noted the significance of the decision because it allowed the plaintiffs to proceed with their claims against Neiman Marcus while many other courts had dismissed similar claims against other retailers:  having the Seventh Circuit declare that such claims could proceed would undoubtedly embolden similarly-situated…