The digital economy is revolutionizing every aspect of our lives, and success in today’s economy requires that businesses become disruptors and innovators. At Patrick Law Group, we believe that a critical component of competitiveness in the digital economy is the pursuit of sharing and collaboration of relevant information.

We recognize the increasing complexity our Clients face in identifying relevant content and insightful business perspectives on changes and developments important to their practice areas and business interests. We invest in creating and sharing Client-centric content, and provide our Clients with current insights and knowledge that affect critical business decisions and the development of cogent business strategies.

Just Push the Button! Instagram’s Response to Influencers, Hashtags and Disclosures

In April, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”), after reviewing Instagram posts by celebrities, athletes, and social media influencers, issued 90 letters reminding influencers and marketers about the FTC’s requirements that influencers clearly and conspicuously disclose their relationships to brands when promoting or endorsing products through social media.  In this case, the FTC focused on influencers’ posts on Instagram.

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Mark Madness: Avoiding Trademark Landmines in College Sports

By Dawn Ingley | Recently, the Washington Post reported on a Maryland high school’s thwarted attempt to expand its use of a green hornet mascot logo which resembles Georgia Tech’s famous “Buzz” mascot trademark.  The Damascus Swarmin’ Hornets had previously negotiated with Georgia Tech to carefully define its use of the “Green Hornet,” which, unlike “Buzz,” faced in an opposite direction, had a “D” on its chest and was yellow and green, instead of gold and black.  Damascus and Georgia Tech previously agreed that the Green Hornet could be used on helmets, hallway signs and in the school’s newspaper. 

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LabMD – FTC Face-Off Continues Over FTC’s Data Privacy Authority

By Linda Henry | The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit recently heard oral arguments in LabMD, Inc. v. Federal Trade Commission, the long-running dispute over the FTC’s authority to impose liability for data security breaches even in the absence of actual consumer injury. The Court’s decision, which is expected in the coming months, will have widespread implications on companies’ potential liability for lax security practices.

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IoT Device Companies: Add COPPA to Your “To Do” Lists

By Jennifer Thompson | Last week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) updated its guidance on the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).  COPPA and the FTC’s related COPPA Rules establish guidelines to protect children under the age of 13 as they access the internet.  The recent updates issued by the FTC make it apparent that companies, when expanding their business offerings and product portfolios, must also ensure they are adequately protecting children in their potential use of these products and offerings.  Specifically, the FTC identified: 1) new business models that could cause a company to become subject to COPPA; 2) new products that are covered by COPPA; and 3) new methods for obtaining parental consent under COPPA.

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Is Automation Really the New Outsourcing?

By Dawn Ingley | As disruptive technologies continue to explode across the corporate technology landscape, a natural inclination from both business personnel and attorneys may be to draw parallels between these innovation tools and more established technologies and practices.  Robotics and process automation (“RPA”), a hotbed of exponential growth in recent years, is no different.  Increasingly, the benefits and risks of RPA have been compared to those ones associated with traditional outsourcing or managed services (“BPO”).  And while a considerable amount of overlap undoubtedly exists, the critical differences between RPA and BPO are even more striking.

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Someone Needs a Digital Makeover: Rethinking NAFTA in the Digital Economy

By Linda Henry | When the North American Free Trade Agreement went into effect on January 1, 1994, there were an estimated 10,000 websites, most people used dial-up online services, Google had not yet become a verb, and the first online transaction (purchase of a Sting CD) would not occur until later that year.  As a result, NAFTA did not contemplate digital trade flows and many in the tech sector agree that the time has come to update NAFTA for the digital age.

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