Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
By J.D. Houvener
Patent Attorney and Founder

Hi everybody, I’m J.D. Houvener, your host of the Bold Today’s Show. For you, the inventor, entrepreneur, or business owner, here’s your daily inspiration to make the world a better place. Happy Friday, everybody, and this is unfortunately the end of our 10-part series covering the FIFA World Cup. We’re not at the end of the tournament though, so if you haven’t seen it, go check it out. It’s coming down toward the end of the tournament; hopefully, your team is still in it. Check out the soccer action; there’s some really amazing talent on the football field, the soccer field. For all those US fans watching, we’re at the end of this interesting intersection where we’ve looked at the main parts of intellectual property and how they are. We’ve given FIFA World Cup a sort of background to each of those sections. We’ve talked about trademarks, copyrights, patents, and even trade secrets.

Now, this week, this is the final section of intellectual property: privacy law. Privacy law has gotten a lot of press lately with the European Union’s GDPR, which is the general determinant of privacy rights for residents that are in the European Union. So many companies all around the US are now scrambling to make sure their privacy laws and the way they’re gathering, storing, and transmitting personal data for anyone that is a resident of the EU, or if they are, that they violate these laws, they’re subject to thousands plus dollars of fines for each different case. And so even our firm, even many law firms, are subject to this privacy rule. It may be the case that the United States itself will follow suit and also institute a similar privacy law.

Privacy law starts with the idea that every individual has a right, an inherent right, a legal right to the information about themselves and their own personality, their characteristics, and the ability to control where their information, something as simple as their name or email or phone number, where that gets transmitted when they enter a site or when they go anywhere in public and making sure that their information is not published or shown to someone without their permission. That’s really the heart of this. In the sense of soccer and at the heights of the World Cup level, we’re talking about athletes that have actually risen to the level of becoming famous. This is the case certainly for many actors and actresses and movie stars that are in the limelight. And so they actually get special case where they have privacy protections over their image and likeness. Oftentimes, people, artists, or just everyday people forget about this or maybe are even intentional about stealing the identity, and what I mean by that is taking away the likeness of what they’ve created and using it for their own commercial gain.

We’ve seen this a lot in t-shirt production where famous sports athletes are featured on the t-shirts or put on to websites without their permission and without getting licenses. And then items are being sold with their image, right, with their face attached to that website. And that athlete or famous individual has definitely not given the okay and is not endorsing that product or service. And so by doing that, by taking that person’s image and that likeness that is sort of famous, they are infringing, misappropriating, just like trade secrets, their privacy. And so it’s a privacy law right that is at the heart of that misappropriation. So there’s lots of privacy law things to think about. So if you’re launching a new company, you’re going to be interacting with people online, having a privacy law, having a good privacy statement, terms, and conditions is essential for you. We have a privacy law expert here within Bold Patents; we work with all of our innovating clients. Be happy to sit down and talk with you about it.

So if you’ve enjoyed this version of Bold Bits, I encourage you to please forward this email to someone you know that could also use a daily tip to help keep them motivated in their intellectual property and specifically patent law. I’m your host J.D. Houvener of the Bold Today Show. It’s my pleasure talking with you. Have a great weekend, everybody. Go big, go bold.

About the Author
J.D. Houvener is a Registered USPTO Patent Attorney who has a strong interest in helping entrepreneurs and businesses thrive. J.D. leverages his technical background in engineering and experience in the aerospace industry to provide businesses with a unique perspective on their patent needs. He works with clients who are serious about investing in their intellectual assets and provides counsel on how to capitalize their patents in the market. If you have any questions regarding this article or patents in general, consider contacting J.D. at