Taft Stettinius & Hollister, LLP

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The China Council for the Promotion of International Trade has currently issued at least 4,811 force majeure certificates due to the COVID-19 pandemic (link). These certificates qualify the coronavirus outbreak as a force majeure event and certify that a party’s partial performance or failure to perform under an agreement be excused if there is a force majeure clause in the agreement.  According to a Xinhua state media report, the total contract value for the agreements associated with the certificates is an alarming 373.7 billion Chinese yuan (equivalent to US$53.79 billion). Unfortunately, for many U.S. businesses impacted by the…
These are thoroughly disturbing statistics that should make every ERP user shudder: A survey of more than 400 IT professionals conducted by Onapsis Research Labs found that 64-percent of ERP software systems suffered a data breach in the past two years. Onapsis reported that 90-percent of SAP’s ERP software systems remain vulnerable to a nasty virus called 10KBLAZE discovered one year ago.  Onapsis also reported that there are serious security weaknesses in Oracle’s ERP payment modules. It seems that every week news of another data breach involving businesses, hospitals, and other organizations in the healthcare field and even government agencies…
The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) was barely a month old when the first private lawsuit was filed under the law. The action against a children’s clothing company and Salesforce Inc., the giant developer of CRM software that hosted the retailer’s customer data, was filed in federal court in early February 2020. The details of the lawsuit are not as important as the reality that it highlights the need for companies of all sizes and types to do two things. They must ensure they are taking proactive steps to prevent data hacks and leaks and know what will be required…
According to the FBI, billions of dollars are lost every year repairing computer systems and networks hit by cyberattacks like ransomware. The 2019 Internet Crime Report notes that in 2019 alone, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center received 467,361 complaints of cybercrime with reported losses exceeding $3.5 billion. While the number of ransomware attacks has declined sharply, the amounts demanded in such attacks has increased. For example, BleepingComputer recently reported seeing ransom notes for the Ragnar Locker ransomware, which targets software commonly used by managed service providers, with demands ranging from $200,000 to about $600,000. Some insurers selling cyber insurance…
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a press release on March 3, 2020, to inform patients, health care providers and manufacturers about a newly discovered cybersecurity vulnerability. A vulnerability set referred to as “SweynTooth” affects wireless communication technology known as Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). BLE allows two devices to “pair” and exchange information to perform their intended functions while preserving battery life and can be found in medical devices, as well as other devices, such as consumer wearables and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Microchips using BLE may be in a variety of medical devices, such as those…
With the stock market dropping 3,500 points last week, panicked over the latest coronavirus scare, COVID-19, public companies should expect plaintiff class action securities lawyers to pounce on any material misstatements or omissions made in their press releases and public disclosures, including misstatements about supply chain difficulties. According to Thomas Insights, 60% of U.S. manufacturers have been impacted by COVID-19 in their production facilities and supply chains, with 46% of suppliers reporting that their shipping and logistics have been disrupted, 35% reporting incidents of offshore factory suspension and production restrictions, and 8% reporting that the outbreak has…
The list of ERP software system train wrecks is legendary – and growing. Hardly a month passes without news appearing of another lawsuit being filed against a vendor or integrator by a customer who claims they wasted tens of millions of dollars – sometimes hundreds of millions – only to discover than an upgrade or a new system went off the rails. We’ve written about many of these failures, most recently on problems faced by the state of Maryland, Revlon, and National Grid. And ERP consultant Eric Kimberling created a list of his Top 10 Worst ERP
Much of the business world has been focusing on ensuring it is compliant with California’s tough Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) that took effect Jan. 1, 2020. Far less attention has been paid to a second law enacted by the state legislature that came into force at the same time regulating the data security of connected “smart” devices. Called the IoT law, the far-reaching act covers everything from connected bathroom scales and fitness trackers to printers, major appliances and some GPS devices. About the only products exempt from California’s rules are those regulated by federal law, such as medical devices…
Last summer, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the Stop Hacks and Improve Electronic Data Security (SHIELD) Act. The SHIELD Act’s data breach notification requirements are already effective and the law’s data security requirements go into effect on March 21. Any company that does business in New York or has customers in New York needs to understand what the law requires. New York, like many other states, has a data breach notification law that requires businesses to notify consumers when a breach occurs. The SHIELD Act goes further than New York’s previous law, both in its definition of what type…
Ever wonder how so many devices can operate together on a unified network like 4G or Wi-Fi? Ever stop to think about why you can send a selfie from your iPhone to someone else’s Galaxy halfway across the world without distorting your smile? Smartphones can operate together with other smartphones because hundreds of the inventions powering those smartphones are covered by Standard-Essential Patents (SEPs). And on Dec. 19, 2019, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) joined the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) new policy permitting injunctive relief in SEP cases, giving SEP owners a lot more leverage when licensing…
Over the years, we have written quite a bit about the many “train wrecks” that seem to plague a disturbing number of ERP software systems. We have also litigated many of these disputes on behalf of companies whose systems did not meet the promises made by software vendors or integrators during the software sales process. But litigation is a costly, time-consuming, energy-draining and lengthy process. Receiving compensation for a failure years after it occurs does not replace anything that was lost in the meantime. In our decades-long career of negotiating, drafting and litigating contracts for ERP software systems, we…
When Elizabeth Kubler-Ross first described the five stages of grief, she was exploring how people deal with the death of a loved one. When she wrote her definitive work, ERP software systems were not even a gleam in anyone’s eye. Yet as attorneys who have spent our careers working with ERP software systems and litigating many of the disputes that arise when the transformation goes haywire, we’ve seen clients go through many of Kubler-Ross’ stages of grief as they come to grips with their ERP loss. Anyone who took an undergraduate sociology course at university probably remembers the…
It seems a growing number of companies are coming to us to negotiate and draft contracts for an upgraded ERP software system. As part of understanding what we need to include in the contract, we ask the company’s CEO, COO, CTO or General Counsel why they are making the upgrade. Frequently, the answer revolves around the following: “our vendor told us we are falling behind in technology and need to upgrade to stay current.” While we appreciate their confidence in asking us to handle the legal components of their upgrade, a pattern seems to be emerging among ERP vendors and…
While the spread of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the construction sector is expected to be modest in the immediate future, a shift is coming. Stakeholders can no longer afford to see AI as pertinent only to other industries – engineering and construction will need to catch up with AI applications. This is the only way to contend with incoming market competitors and remain relevant. To read the full law bulletin authored by Cincinnati partner Joseph Cleves, Jr., click here.…
Technology companies are notorious for believing the solutions they propose to a potential user’s pain points are the best possible answer. When it comes to ERP software systems, however, too often many developers, vendors and integrators ignore or overlook the reality that the technology they sell is actually a business solution, not simply a technology tool. In the process of reviewing pitches and proposals from sellers, C-suite executives – including chief technology officers – need to remember that SAP, Oracle, Microsoft and all the rest are in the technology business – this is what they focus on selling. For an…