Articles Posted in Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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An exponential increase in telework prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a parallel increase in cyberattacks, requiring companies to actively monitor cyber risks. On Pillsbury’s Industry Insights podcast series, colleague Brian Finch, a partner in the Public Policy group and co-leader of the COVID-19 taskforce, discussed two types of threats that have skyrocketed in the current crisis. The following describes three key takeaways on the increased risk for cybersecurity and measures businesses should take to mitigate threats in the case of a cyberattack.

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iStock-1158859023-ip-sharing-300x214As the COVID-19 outbreak continues its spread across the globe—resulting in more than four million infections worldwide and thousands dying of the virus every day—a growing community of scientists, software developers, health organizations, public consortia, private companies, and federal agencies (e.g., NIH) have been collaborating and sharing their patented technologies and IP rights with the shared goal of understanding and responding to COVID-19.

We briefly look at some of the mechanisms, including open source software, patent pool, and open patent pledge, that are helping facilitate this open innovation paradigm.

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Please join us May 21, 2020, at 11:00 am PT / 1:00 pm CT for an Industry Insights webinar series designed to help clients spot issues, mitigate risk and navigate challenges specific to their industry. During this 30-minute webinar, David Tsai, Chris Kao and Josh Tucker will discuss what the COVID-19 crisis means for technology companies and their IP. Major topics will include the current patent litigation climate, considerations for buying and selling IP portfolios, and a look ahead at the opportunities and implications of emerging tech.

REGISTER HERE

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iStock-1177157871-cannabis-300x200While everyone is chilling at home, well into over a month of mandatory social distancing, demand for cannabis products has never been higher. Sales of cannabis products broke records last months, helped by the transition of many stores to delivery or curbside pick-up. Sales have spiked in California, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington—all of which are states in which recreational usage of marijuana was legalized. Cannabis-related beverages and edibles have especially seen an uptick in interest, with edibles being estimated to have an impressive 28% increase in growth. Customers in some states have also been observed to be panic-shopping cannabis products in bulk, along with their stockpiles of toilet paper, yeast, alcohol and other groceries, indicating the increasing importance of cannabis-related products as everyday consumer products.

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iStock-577965144-contact-tracking-300x200‘Contact tracing’ is a process used by public health officials to identify individuals who may have come into close proximity with a contagious virus, such as COVID-19. Traditionally, infected persons are asked to identify interactions with people whilst infected or in the days leading up to infection being diagnosed. Health practitioners can then contact those at risk to warn them of potential exposure, what steps to take and how to avoid infecting others.

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With every day that passes under various shelter-in-place and similar orders, life before COVID-19 seems less and less familiar. Yet prior to the pandemic, businesses were just starting to recognize and deploy an employee benefit demand that went beyond the traditional employer offerings of health insurance, life insurance and 401k contributions—holistic wellness. A decidedly positive, albeit fragile, trend was emerging that prioritized mental health and community building in the workplace. It was not uncommon in small and large companies alike to see direct offerings, stipends or discounts for meditation, therapy, yoga, gym memberships, life coaches, meal plans, etc. More than ever, wellness in the workplace was being recognized as being about more than sick days and family leave—it can be key to remaining competitive in drawing talent and, in turn, enabling sustained growth. As tellingly, health insurance providers were rolling out and investing in preventative health programs—becoming more aware that their own long-term savings were tied to having a healthier pool of participants.

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fda-logoSociety is driven by word-of-mouth endorsements. Likewise, it’s instinctive to share self-prescribed remedies that alleviate our various ailments. A colleague recommends ginger tea for a cold. A friend tells you how lavender essential oil helps with anxiety and insomnia. We habitually rely on such recommendations. However, a business making such statements must be careful that any claims are substantiated and that marketing efforts do not run afoul of any laws or regulations. This is especially true now, where consumers are desperately hunting for hygienic methods to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus and to treat symptoms stemming from COVID-19. Amidst the seemingly uncontrollable COVID-19 pandemic, it might seem like the perfect time for dietary supplement manufacturers and holistic medicine practitioners to tout the benefits of their products and services. But is it?

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NASCAR-iracing-logoCar racing games have long attracted avid gamers.  There’s the Gran Turismo series, the appeal of which wasn’t just the number of cars and tracks available, but also the ability to simulate a racing season and race against other players online. The cars could be heavily tuned, and for the most part different models had their own handling quirks and personalities.

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The Mid Lane is a rundown of developments in the world of esports.

It is no surprise that COVID-19 is impacting esports players, tournaments and the overall landscape of the growing industry. (But Facebook did something, too!)

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iStock-1214106763-coppa-covid-privacy-300x200With the shelter-in-place orders imposed by the local and state governments, businesses are scrambling to transition to a virtual workforce and facilitating employees to work remotely from home. Educational institutions are no exception. School administrators and teachers have been working hard to create and implement plans to educate students at home, including maintaining a classroom curriculum through online platforms and incorporating daily or weekly interactions with the teacher and classmates through video chat or remote conferencing services.

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