Technology

The Illinois Supreme Court announced the adoption of a policy which will require every state courthouse in Illinois to adopt individual orders or rules regarding the use of portable electronic devices in their courthouse buildings and in their courtrooms.

In adopting this policy, the Court recognizes that portable electronic devices such as cell phones, computers, tablets, and e-book readers are essential tools of today’s society.

Many courthouses already possess policies which address the needs of lawyers, jurors, and other court users and staff to possess portable electronic devices in courthouses yet some bar members of the public and self-represented litigants
Continue Reading Illinois Supreme Court Announces New Policy on Portable Electronic Devices

On April 1, 2021, the Supreme Court decided Facebook, Inc. v. Duguid, which narrowed the scope of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA). The Court unanimously ruled that Facebook did not violate the TCPA by sending unsolicited text messages to individuals without their consent, overturning the Ninth Circuit’s decision to broadly define automatic telephone dialing systems (“autodialers”) under the federal statute. The case boiled down to everyone’s favorite subject—grammar.
To read more, visit the Taft Privacy & Data Security Insights blog post.
Continue Reading Comma Again? The Supreme Court Provides a Grammar Lesson and Hands Down a Big Decision Impacting TCPA Compliance

The U.S. Court of Federal Appeals (CAFC) just released its decision in another breach of software license case. Bitmanagement Software GMBH v. United States, Fed. Cir. 2020-1139 (Feb. 25, 2021). This is the second case where the court recently found for the contractor and held the Government to have overextended its use of a software license. (For a similar case at the Contract Board of Appeals, please see here).
As factual background, the Navy was using Bitmanagement’s software through a third party reseller agreement. The Navy was having trouble tracking the seat licenses and transferring them when needed (i.e. when
Continue Reading Remanded for Damages: Navy Was Not Authorized To Copy Software

In our prior articles on artificial intelligence (AI) in construction, we discussed machine learningimage recognition, sensors-on-sitebuilding information modeling, and smart contracts. As we noted, significant legal issues will arise with the increasing implementation of these technologies. These issues can be grouped generally into: (1) risk allocation; (2) ownership and protection of the technology, as well as the data input and outputs; and (3) the applicable standard of liability.
In this concluding article of this series, we discuss those issues briefly in our full law bulletin, available here.
Continue Reading Artificial Intelligence in Construction: Part IV

As we noted in our first article on artificial intelligence in construction, artificial intelligence (AI) is a broad term that generally refers to technology that uses algorithms to process data and simulate human intelligence. In our first two articles, we discussed machine learning and then image recognition and sensors-on-site. In this article, we discuss two more AI-related topics: (1) building information modeling; and (2) smart contracts.
To read the full law bulletin authored by Cincinnati partner Joe Cleves, Jr., click here.
Continue Reading Artificial Intelligence in Construction: Part III

Despite COVID-19 shutdowns, re-openings, and partial re-closings in some parts of the state, Illinois manufacturers of all sizes are grappling with serious management decisions. Many halted the implementation of planned installations or upgrades to an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software system or deferred part of their project when the pandemic began. Now, they are trying to decide whether to proceed or wait until their business returns to something approaching “normal” – whatever that might be once the virus recedes.

It is a huge decision with managerial, financial, operational, and employee relations implications that ripple throughout an organization.

For large manufacturers
Continue Reading What to Consider When Restarting ERP Projects During and After COVID-19

In this article, we continue our series on artificial intelligence (AI) in construction. Here we address image recognition and sensors-on-site. This technology uses cameras and other sensors to assess vast quantities of video, pictures, and other recorded conditions from worksites. Such technology has the potential to: (1) monitor worksite conditions for safety risks and hazards; (2) enhance equipment and material management, boosting productivity; and (3) improve worker safety by identifying unsafe behavior to inform future training priorities.
To read the full law bulletin authored by Cincinnati partner Joseph Cleves, Jr. click here.
Continue Reading Artificial Intelligence in Construction Part II: Image Recognition and Sensors-on-Site

Since their inception, ERP software systems have historically been used almost entirely by large organizations: major corporations, financial institutions, federal and state government agencies, and similar behemoths with complex structures and massive operations.
Over the last few decades, ERP vendors have focused aggressively on the small to medium-sized business market. Today, a growing number of smaller businesses (stand-alone manufacturers with roughly $50-100 million in sales) have implemented ERP projects.
This shift marks a sea change in ERP users.
It also means that executives and in-house counsel are contending with not just a transformation of the business but a type of
Continue Reading Six Missteps Smaller Companies Must Avoid with an ERP Project

Failed ERP software system implementations and integrations happen frequently and the problems are legion. However, there are ways that organizations can avoid their own failures. In a recent Taft Technology Insights post, we discussed how to avoid a failure if restarting a deferred integration during COVID-19.
We are frequently retained by companies whose projects are in such disarray that vendor or integrator relationships are beyond repair and disputes are heading to court. We spend a considerable amount of time reviewing contracts, emails, reports, and memos, and speaking with key figures as part of negotiating a settlement or preparing a
Continue Reading Reducing the Risks of Being the Next ERP Failure

If ERP software system integrators were as smooth at integrating new or upgraded projects as they are at selling, it is likely they would be involved in fewer court disputes with users. Often, disputes happen because senior management hands off responsibility for the effort to the integrator rather than owning it as an integral part of management’s job.
In reality, people in charge of an organization cannot delegate authority for an ERP project to either the vendor or an integrator. Interests are usually different. Ensuring this does not happen should start when the project is in its inception phase, before
Continue Reading Six Ways Users Can Control Their ERP Integrator

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a broad term that generally refers to technology that uses algorithms to process data and simulate human intelligence. Examples of AI technology include machine learning, image recognition and sensors-on-site, building information modeling (BIM), and “smart contracts” stored on a blockchain-based platform. This technology can be used in the construction industry by way of design, operations and asset management, and construction itself. Construction leaders interested in staying ahead of the curve should consider its advantages, and the legal implications.
To read the full law bulletin authored by Cincinnati partner Joseph Cleves, Jr., click here.
Continue Reading Artificial Intelligence in Construction: Part I

When the integration and implementation of an ERP software system starts going off the rails and all sides begin pointing fingers at each other, often many of the user’s fingers point at the vendor’s project manager.
In a way, this is understandable, even before the root causes behind the looming failure are known. The project manager is supposedly in charge, ensuring that all of the pieces fit together, and it is his or her job to make the system work smoothly.
Often, it turns out the project manager is at least partially responsible.
Yet, if the user’s senior executives are
Continue Reading Preventing an ERP Project Manager From Failing

Many organizations are looking at ways to restart ERP projects that were deferred when the pandemic forced widespread lockdowns. Whether a company was in the midst of upgrading a legacy system or had been on the verge of moving forward on their first ERP software system, we suggested five ways senior executives can fast-track an ERP transformation safely and cost-effectively during the COVID-19 pandemic while warding off a potential “train wreck” as they recalculate and recalibrate their overall technology strategy.
At the same time, it is important for users to recognize that both vendors and integrators of ERP
Continue Reading Avoiding Problems With an ERP Restart During COVID-19

As we wrote recently, a global survey of senior technology executives conducted by KPMG and Oracle revealed that worrying about data security is the thing that most keeps them awake at night. The concern is especially acute for data stored in the cloud, but it also exists for on-premises servers.
For users of ERP software systems, this can be especially troubling. Every ERP system may hold a wealth of information about everything from production techniques to the supply chain and customers, from financial data to employee information, and other highly sensitive, often proprietary secrets.
ERP data security continues to loom
Continue Reading Five Must-Do’s When Assessing ERP Data Security

A debate is raging between some politicians and public health officials over the timing of reopening the economy. Noisy arguments in the news media, on Facebook or Twitter aside, the fact is that corporate executives need to be thinking seriously about the status of planned ERP software system upgrades or proceeding with projects that were slowed or put on hold during the COVID-19 emergency.
A recent report from McKinsey & Co. suggests that a corporate reopening strategy needs to include shifting IT and technology to what amounts to a restart mode. Prime among them is accelerating digital transformations to ensure
Continue Reading Five Ways ERP Transformations Can Be Fast-Tracked Despite COVID-19

In July, the European Court of Justice ruled that the Privacy Shield, which allows for the transfer of data on European Union (EU) residents to the United States, is invalid. Privacy Shield certification was granted to companies if they met certain requirements regarding data security and information use.
 
The agreement between Washington and Brussels ensured that U.S. companies adhered to EU standards on data protection and privacy. In exchange, businesses were able to shift personal data on EU residents. But the high court ruled that American laws do not provide adequate protection for personal data.
 
While the
Continue Reading What Losing the EU Privacy Shield Means for ERP Users