Myers Berstein
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Business Archives

The Ashley Madison Hack: What Other Online Businesses Need to Be Aware Of

The recent leak of the names and other identifying information of 30 million users of the Ashley Madison website has intensified the discussion about privacy on the Internet. The Ashley Madison hack is the latest in a series of notable online data and privacy breaches. The nonprofit Identity Theft Center recently counted 519 data breaches so far this year, which have targeted businesses, government agencies, and other institutions. The result is that nearly 140 million records have been exposed. Some records are more sensitive than others.

Trump's Breach of Contract Issues

Donald Trump's comments about immigrants may have negative legal consequences, but not if he can help it. Trump has sued the organization of celebrity chef Jose Andrés, seeking $10 million in damages for breach of contract after Andrés backed out of a deal to open the flagship restaurant in Trump's redevelopment of the historic Old Post Office Pavilion. Andrés, like other business owners, severed his connection with Trump upon hearing Trump's comments about Mexican immigrants. Andrés explained that working with Trump is "impossible" because Trump's comments and behavior made opening the Spanish restaurant "no longer viable." As Andrés himself is an immigrant from Spain who became an American citizen in 2013, and over half his team and many of his guests are Hispanic, Andrés argued that Trump burdened the business with his "inflammatory statement" and that he could no longer continue working with Trump.

Do I Really Need a Contract?

When you form an agreement with another person, you may wonder if, or why, you need a contract. After all, you know the other guy (or girl), and contracts seem so formal, like something lawyers made up. Perhaps you were recently asked to sign an agreement and wondered "Why doesn't this person just trust me?" Many couples choose not to have a pre-nuptial agreement for this very reason - it may be seen as reflecting a lack of trust in one's partner and it seems less romantic to plan for the possibility of divorce. While contracts may seem like an added burden to an informal relationship, they can clear up any potential discrepancies and help prevent future misunderstandings.

Louis Vuitton's Checkerboard Pattern Is Not a Valid Trademark

Louis Vuitton's Damier checkerboard pattern continues to lack trademark protection. According to the European Union's General Court on April 21, 2015, the design is considered to be too commonplace to be owned by one brand. The EU's decision affirmed a 2011 ruling by the First Board of Appeal of the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM). According to that decision, the checkerboard pattern was composed of very simple elements and had been commonly used in relation to various goods. Without any features to distinguish it from other checkerboard representations, it could not function as a source, or origin, indicator.