What is the Cloud Act and Why Should Global IP Investigators Care?

*Previously posted on IPPIBlog.com

WHAT IS THE U.S. CLOUD ACT?

Last year the U.S. passed the Cloud Act which essentially makes it possible for the U.S. to compel a data provider to produce electronic evidence regardless of what country the data is stored.

It also provides for bilateral agreements between the U.S. and other qualifying countries to not restrict access to the data if stored in their country.

WHAT DOES THE WORD “CLOUD’ IN THE CLOUD ACT MEAN?

The acronym C-L-O-U-D stands for, “Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act”

WHAT WAS ONE OF THE CATALYSTS FOR THE CLOUD ACT?

Blueprint for Screening Candidates / Organizations – Trade Secrets Protection

*Previously posted on IPPIBlog.com

As a follow-up to my last post titled, “Know Your Researcher – Academic Espionage – Trade Secrets Theft,” I embedded an FBI Counterintelligence Strategic Partnership Intelligence Note (SPIN) dated September 2015.

If you haven’t had a chance to look it over, it warrants a closer look.

The last two pages of the document provide a blueprint—a list of things for organizations to consider when screening employee candidates and other organizations before collaboration starts. But, even if collaboration has begun, it is still a useful guide in determining if you should continue or end the relationship.

This blueprint is a particularly useful guide for general counsel, human resources and private investigators (retained on behalf of organizations) to conduct enhanced background screening of potential employees.

*All information in italics is extracted from the 2015 FBI handout.

Professor Allegedly Steals Student’s Research/Trade Secrets–Is Blockchain Technology the Solution?

*Previously posted on IPPIBlog.com

It was widely reported a few days ago that a pharmacy professor at the University of Missouri allegedly stole his gifted student’s research, sold it to a pharmaceutical company, and did not credit his student or the university with having made the discovery.

The alleged misappropriation of the student’s research took place sometime between 2008 and 2010.

Here’s one quote from a New York Times article titled, Former Missouri Professor Stole Student’s Research to Sell New Drug, Lawsuit Alleges: “The lawsuit said that Dr. Mitra and Mrs. Mitra [the professor and his wife] … or people responding to their orders, removed or destroyed Dr. Cholkar’s [the graduate student’s] laboratory notebooks that he used to document the experiments…

Beware of: Business E-Mail Compromise (BEC)

*Previously posted on IPPIBlog.com

The following blog post is not about IP per se, however, it does address an alarming fraud scheme that organizations, brands, and IP support professionals need to to have an understanding and awareness of:

It’s called: Business E-Mail Compromise (BEC).

ALARMING TREND

There is an alarming scam-assault on businesses taking place in the U.S. and in Western Europe in which BEC is the weapon-of-choice.

And it demands the attention of management.

Employee Use of Company Computers and Email Continues to Chronically Facilitate Trade Secrets Theft

* Previously posted on IPPIBlog.com

RECENT FIVE-PART BLOG SERIES-TRADE SECRETS THEFT ENTERPRISE

In last month’s five-part blog-post series titled, “Composition of a Trade Secrets Theft Enterprise-Case Study” we took a deep dive into how certain GlaxoKleinSmith (GSK – a U.S. pharmaceutical company) employees routinely downloaded trade secrets to their company email accounts then transferred it to their personal email accounts.

Part 1   Part 2    Part 3    Part 4   Part 5

AGAIN and AGAIN and AGAIN…

It just continues to be a common story. Employees (not outsiders!) transfer proprietary information from their company email accounts to their personal email accounts or download trade secrets from their company computers/laptops to the cloud or to a zip drive, and pass it on.

RECENT NOTABLE EXAMPLES

Here are four other recent examples within only the last thirty days:

COMPOSITION OF A TRADE SECRETS THEFT ENTERPRISE – CASE STUDY – Part 1 of 5

* Previously posted on IPPIBlog.com

Last month the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania announced the second guilty plea from one of five individuals charged with conspiracy to steal trade secrets from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) a U.S. pharmaceutical company. According to the press release the theft occurred in order to benefit a Chinese company backed by the Chinese government.

Use of IP-PIs Embraced by International Trademark Association (INTA)

* Previously posted on IPPIBlog.com

California IP attorney Scott Alan Burroughs published a recent article in the Above the Law website titled, IP And PIs: How The Right Investigator Can Make or Break Your Intellectual Property Case—PIs can help litigators bridge the gap between vague suspicion and a fact pattern robust enough to support a complaint.

Here is one of his quotes, “Not every infringement case requires a team of investigators, but they can be critical in helping litigators bridge the gap between vague suspicion and a fact pattern robust enough to support a complaint. In fact, the International Trademark Association has stated explicitly that instead of contacting law enforcement, which can be time-consuming and often to little effect, “companies are often better off placing their first call to an IP-PI.”[1]