Technology Law

Technology is a critical component of business operations. If technology is not working for you, it may be working against you. The need for information security is creating a whole range of new challenges and issues that officers, directors and shareholders cannot afford to ignore.

Our firm’s intricate understanding of technology law, resulting from years of advising clients through the internet boom (and bust), the telecom era, and now the cybersecurity and data privacy era, stands us apart from other boutique firms. We have negotiated technology related agreements and transactions across a wide array and variety of businesses and industries.

We have also worked with many of the local seed, angel investment and venture capital firms. This gives us valuable insight into what transactional terms and conditions are reasonable and which ones should be avoided. It also helps us understand the appetite of local investors, so clients do not waste time pitching investors who are not likely to invest in their business. Capital raises often take longer than expected. We help our clients avoid these common traps.

 

Technology Licensing

We have been involved in every manner of software licensing issues, including client-server licenses, SaaS, IaaS, PaaS, reseller, value-added reseller and other forms of marketing, distribution and licensing transactions. We have assisted clients involved in licensing technology to the Government, or through a prime contractor to the Government, under the FARs and the DFARs, whether as custom development or commercial software.

The firm also supports clients in the development of online terms of use, privacy policies, click-wrap licenses and open source licenses. We have represented managed web hosting companies, data center clients and Cloud services clients. We have also assisted clients in selling their technology both separate from and as part of the sale of the entire company.

 

Data Security, Privacy and Cybersecurity

The newest and most complex technology law issues revolve around data security, privacy and cybersecurity. There are multiple Federal agencies and forty seven state Attorney General offices actively enforcing overlapping data breach and privacy laws and regulations. Companies and executives need to work with a law firm that is familiar with the myriad of rules and regulations impacting these new responsibilities.

Government contractors also face new and unique regulations requiring the protection of unclassified and classified technical data associated with government contracts. Those obligations often flow-down to all of their subcontractors and include reporting obligations for various problems such as cyber security incidents and discovery of malware.

Health care providers are also implementing new HIPAA regulations and trying to protect themselves from the actions and omissions of their business associates, including outside data hosting firms. Companies which handle PII (personally identifiable information) or process credit card transactions have their own special issues. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is exercising its broad authority over “unfair and deceptive practices” to scrutinize privacy policies and terms of use.

Enforcement actions and lawsuits are not limited to large corporations or even for-profit entities. Both the FTC and the HHS Office of Civil Rights have instituted various actions against small businesses and non-profit organizations presenting significant liability exposure. Class action lawsuits have been filed in many jurisdictions and the list is growing. The average cost of data breaches is running in the millions of dollars and cybersecurity insurance premiums are growing rapidly. Many companies are learning the hard way that inadequate data security and lack of planning can literally put them out of business.

Berenzweig Leonard helps our clients prepare for and address this new reality by explaining the requirements of the many new laws and regulations, and helping clients implement a reasonable strategy for mitigating these risks while also focusing on business and revenue growth.