Tag archives: trade secret

NLRB issues new guidance on employer policies

In the wake of the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) decision in The Boeing Company, 365 NLRB No. 154 (Dec. 14, 2017), the NLRB has recently issued new guidance regarding employee handbook rules. The NLRB’s guidance can be found here.

In Boeing, the Board overturned its old standard, under which an employer rule violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) if a worker could “reasonably construe” it to interfere with the right to engage in protected concerted activity. Under the new standard adopted by the Board, an employer rule will only violate the NLRA if it would Continue Reading

The long arm of the law

Businesses today operate in a global, borderless environment, in which social media platforms allow them to market and distribute their goods and services around the world with ease. As a result, it has become more difficult to protect and enforce a company’s intellectual property rights online. For example, an alleged infringer could circumvent a country-specific restriction to access certain material by simply changing his or her ‘virtual’ location. This is posing an interesting question for the courts, and has led to a recent Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) decision in which the SCC ordered a worldwide injunction against … Continue Reading

LinkedIn’s Updated Terms of Service Aim to Increase Profile Visibility and Sharing

In 2017, LinkedIn made several updates to its Terms of Service – comprised of its Privacy Policy and User Agreement – to provide for new LinkedIn features and give users some choices over how their information is used.

In general, the changes revolve around new features that are intended to increase profile visibility and make it easier for users to share and connect with each other. LinkedIn permits users to opt in or out of these features to accommodate individual privacy preferences.… Continue Reading

The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act: Considerations for Employers

Although the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) (18 U.S.C. § 1030) is a federal statute that primarily protects against unauthorized computer access such as hacking, it can also impact employers in the realm of social media.  Originally enacted in 1984, CFAA makes it illegal to access knowingly or intentionally a “protected computer” without authorization or in excess of authorized access. Protected computers are defined broadly to include all computers that are used in or affect interstate commerce, and thus include most employer-owned computer systems.  Violations of CFAA may result in criminal penalties, and CFAA also permits individuals (and employers) … Continue Reading

Social Media & IP Enforceability

Social media channels represent an exciting medium to reach out to the public and potential collaborators. Social media can also play an important role in helping generate positive buzz for organizations seeking to develop a market for their products or services.  For example, many of today’s companies gauge the depth of market interest in their products not through traditional advertising or focus groups, but rather through leveraging social media, such as communication platforms (e.g., Twitter, WeChat, Facebook), and content sharing platforms (e.g., YouTube, Vine), and crowd-funding platforms (e.g., Kickstarter, Indiegogo, GoFundMe).  Some companies are also using open, collaborative approaches to … Continue Reading

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