In the wake of the recent Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published guidance on June 29, 2022, regarding an individual’s privacy rights for reproductive health and abortion services under the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Shea Luna takes a look at the guidance in this client alert.
In recent years, the capabilities of, and applications involving, artificial intelligence (“AI”) have dramatically increased, so much so that AI systems are now able to produce works of creativity and ingenuity once thought only to be possible through human efforts. The U.S. Copyright Office has already wrestled with the question of whether creative works authored by AI are eligible for federal copyright protection and determined that they are not in an opinion letter dated February 14, 2022.
In a recent win for healthcare practitioners, the Supreme Court in Ruan v. United States held that, to convict individuals of violating the Controlled Substances Act, the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant knowingly or intentionally acted in an unauthorized manner. The decision resolves a split among federal circuit courts. As a result of the split, healthcare practitioners were held to different standards related to the requisite state of mind for conviction under the CSA solely based on the location of their practice. In other words, a physician convicted in one state could have avoided conviction in another. The Supreme Court’s adoption of a universal standard cures this injustice.
The Metaverse, often characterized as the next level in the evolution of the Internet, is intended to be a virtual-reality, three-dimensional environment where users are able to interact meaningfully with not only other users but with the virtual environment itself. Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook (re-branded as Meta) has characterized the Metaverse as “an embodied internet where you’re in the experience, not just looking at it.”
When one seeks to protect one’s intellectual property, patents, trademarks and copyrights immediately come to mind. Often given short shrift is the "forgotten stepchild" —trade secrets. Trade secrets may encompass a wide range of business information that (a) has value because it is not generally known in the trade and (b) is subject to reasonable efforts to preserve its confidentiality. When considering trade secrets, “business information” should be given a very broad definition and may include, but is not necessarily limited to, processes, procedures, research projects, nonpublic company documents (relating to, for example, recruiting, accounting, financial information and legal information), drawings, blueprints, laboratory notebooks, test data, training manuals, customer information and supplier information.