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Regulation of cryptocurrency

In this episode, Jay and Porter Wright attorney Brett Thornton dive into e-currency, with a focus on cryptocurrency. They start by covering the basics: what it is, the different types and the technology that facilitates the exchanges. Brett explains the rules and regulations for this currency, securities law ramifications to be aware of, and what other agencies might be involved in these types of transactions.…

Venture capitalism and start-ups in Ohio

Ohio has become a hot spot for venture capitalists to invest in companies. The level of talent and sense of community that the state provides are just a few of the reasons VC’s are putting their money here. Jay talks with Falon Donahue, CEO of Venture Ohio, and Porter Wright attorney Brett Thornton about why many international companies, including start-ups and emerging businesses from Israel, Japan and the EU, large organizations like Amazon and cyber security firms are calling Ohio home.…

ABA Section of Antitrust Law Spring Meeting 2016: Clarifying liability in hub-and-spoke conspiracies

Last in our series on the ABA Antitrust Section’s 2016 Spring Meeting, but certainly not least, we bring you Jetta’s summary of the panel discussion on hub-and-spoke conspiracies. These conspiracies seem to be in vogue now, with the Apple (e-book) case prominent among them. Not surprisingly, the government and the defense bar sees these cases very differently.

Kudos to our associates for preparing these summaries. We hope you have enjoyed them. Stay tuned for future articles and podcasts.

-Jay Levine

The concept of “hub-and-spoke” conspiracies can be found in cases dating back to at least 1939, most notably, the Supreme …

ABA Section of Antitrust Law Spring Meeting 2016: International perspectives on online vertical restraints

As Co-Chair of the Antitrust Practice Group, it is my pleasure to bring you a series of articles summarizing some of the seminars presented at the recent ABA Antitrust Section Spring Meeting. The Spring Meeting is the Antitrust Section’s hallmark event and brings together thousands of competition and consumer protection attorneys and related professionals from across the globe. The 2016 Spring Meeting was a great success and kudos to all the organizers and presenters. Several members of our Antitrust Practice attended the meeting and have summarized some of the more interesting topics presented. To start us off, Chris Yook’s article

Authors write the latest chapter in their ongoing saga with Amazon

The same group of authors, book publishers and booksellers that urged the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate Amazon for antitrust violations last summer recently voiced its support for Apple in its attempt to overturn the adverse verdict against it entered by a New York federal judge in connection with the DOJ’s civil prosecution of it for harming competition with—you guessed it—Amazon.

As we have previously discussed, the literary community has been at odds with Amazon in recent years; claiming that Amazon used its dominance of the e-book retail market to control the flow of information to the general …

Third Circuit affirms FTC authority to sanction companies’ insufficient cyber security postures

The Third Circuit’s recent ruling in FTC v. Wyndham Worldwide Corp., No. 14-3514 (3rd Cir. Aug. 24, 2015) marks a watershed moment in the ongoing saga of Wyndham Worldwide Corporation’s (Wyndham) data breach litigation. Prior to this decision, federal cyber security regulation has existed in the legal badlands, with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice regulating different aspects of data security using separate and overlapping authorities. Congress has shown little consensus on passing a comprehensive federal data breach law, and the states have created what could generously be described as …

Deletion of Emails Not Enough To Support Obstruction Conviction

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled Monday that moving emails from an inbox to deleted items is not sufficient to establish Obstruction of Justice under 18 U.S.C. § 1519. In reaching this conclusion, the Court found the “concealment” must be proven by more than the fact that the defendant took a step that merely inconvenienced a reasonable investigator; there must be some likelihood that the item will not be found.

Andrew Katakis (Katakis) was charged with obstruction of justice for deleting incriminating emails that tied him to a conspiracy to rig bids at real estate …

Part three: Has® become an….. amazon? Taking a Hachette to censorship?

In parts one and two we discussed®’s growth into a true giant of the publishing industry – not simply in terms of content, cost or delivery, but in size and strength – and its past history with Apple and its rival publishers (who are also its suppliers).  As part three of this series, we consider whether Amazon’s size and hardball tactics are anticompetitive or  procompetitive, and whether their effect on the dissemination of literature is relevant to an antitrust analysis.

Against this backdrop, Amazon’s “corporate bullying” once again moved into the spotlight in early 2014.  The retailer entered into …

Part Two: Has® become an….. amazon? Taking a bite out of Apple

Our second segment of this three- part series adds some background to the publishing landscape, and through the antitrust saga involving Apple and the largest publishing companies, explores how the evolution of ebooks has impacted not only consumer habits, but the publishing industry as a whole.  Check out Part One of this series here.

The publishing industry has a long, tumultuous history with the antitrust laws.  But with the advent of e-books, the relationship was taken to a whole new level.  Amazon first produced its Kindle platform in 2007, making it the first widely available e-book platform.  The mass …

Has® become an….. amazon? Part One

Authors take their turn trying to tame the retailing beast

This three part series will discuss the newest antitrust challenges aimed at Amazon.  In Part One, we’ll introduce you to the most recent issues facing the online retailer (and publisher), while in Part Two we will provide a little history on the Amazon/Apple scuffle that cost Apple and various publishers hundreds of millions of dollars.  Finally, in Part Three, we’ll provide a bit more detail on the latest challenges and discuss whether the antitrust laws can affect the publishing elephant in the room.® (or just plain ole Amazon) …

Ascertainability is different from other class action elements …seriously, we aren’t joking

A little over a year ago we wrote to discuss the FTC’s Order against Aaron’s, one of the country’s largest rent-to-own (“RTO”) stores, charging that its franchisees were spying on its customers.  Well, the inevitable follow-on class actions were filed and recently, in Byrd v. Aaron’s Inc., — F.3d –, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 6190 (3d Cir. Apr. 16, 2015), the Third Circuit clarified the analysis for the ascertainability requirement for class actions.  While perhaps not as salacious a topic as the conduct underlying the actions themselves, the opinion could have important repercussions for antitrust and consumer class …

Hospital pays six figures to settle data breach enforcement suit

At the end of last month, Boston hospital Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) settled a data breach lawsuit brought by the Massachusetts Attorney General related to the 2012 theft of a physician’s laptop. Under a consent decree entered on Nov. 20, 2014, BIDMC agreed to pay $100,000 and to take a number of steps to ensure future compliance with state and federal data security laws.

The state of Massachusetts filed the enforcement suit against BIDMC on the same day as the consent decree’s entry, alleging that an unauthorized person gained access to a BIDMC physician’s unlocked office on campus …

Keeping up with the dot-anythings

Over at our sister blog, Technology Law Source, we’ve been working hard to keep our readers apprised of developments related to The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers’ (ICANN) new generic top-level domain (gTLD) program. This program, which is redefining the face of the Internet, is likely to impact any business — or, indeed, any entity — with a web presence. If you haven’t been able to keep up with the hundreds of gTLDs already delegated this year, download our e-book: Protecting Your Brand in a New gTLD World.