2015 Florida Legislation Summary

Following up on our successful meeting at the annual meeting, Robert Kain was kind enough to share the legislative summary he authored for distribution to the committee. The summary includes descriptions of the following statutes adopted in the 2015 Session, which are likeley to be of note to Florida IP practitioners:

A. SLAPP: Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP lawsuits). CS/HB 1041, Fla.Stat. § 768.295, effective July 1, 2015.

B. The Patent Troll Prevention Act, CS/CS/CS/HB 439, Fla.Stat. § 501.991, effective July 1, 2015.

C. True Origins of Digital Goods Act, CS/CS/HB 271 – Florida Statute 501.155, effective July 1, 2015.

D. The Computer Abuse and Data Recovery Act, CS/CS/CS/SB 222, Fla.Stat. § 668.801 (“CADRA”), effective October 1, 2015.

E. Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act, CS/CS/SB 766, Fla.Stat. § 934.50, effective July 1, 2015.

Download the entire summary here. Thank you, Robert!

Florida’s Idea Statute of Frauds

Florida Statute § 501.972 serves as a statute of frauds of sorts for disputes arising out of using someone else’s idea.  While many may not have  heard of this statute before, the first Court opinion dealing with it was released from the Middle District of Florida last week.  The statute itself provides :

501. 972   Actions based upon use of a creation that is not protected under federal copyright law. 

(1) Except as provided in subsection (2), the use of an idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, discovery, thought, or other creation that is not a work of authorship protected under federal copyright law does not give rise to a claim or cause of action, in law or in equity, unless the parties to the claim or cause of action have executed a writing sufficient to indicate that a contract has been made between them governing such use.

(2) Subsection (1) does not affect or limit:

(a) Any cause of action based in copyright, trademark, patent, or trade secret; or

(b) Any defense raised in connection with a cause of action described in paragraph (2).

An engineer sued BP, claiming BP had used a couple of the engineer’s ideas in trying to stop the oil leak after the Deepwater explosion.  BP sought summary judgment under this Florida Statute, arguing there was no writing signed by BP, and thus the Plaintiff had no claim.  The Court agreed, granting summary judgment to BP.

I’ve written more about it here.  The case is Kaminski v. BP Exploration & Production, Inc., Case No. 8:12-cv-826 (M.D. Fla. Sept. 24, 2013) (J. Bucklew).

Prefiled bills of potential interest to IP lawyers in Florida

Our faithful Business Law Section lobbyist Bill Wiley reports that the following bills may be of interest to Florida IP lawyers.  Plan to discuss them at our upcoming meeting Thursday, January 21st in Orlando.

S586 GENERAL BILL by Fasano (Similar H 0279)

Data Destruction [CPSC]; Provides definitions. Requires all public agencies and private entities that collect personal information to adhere to the procedures provided in the National Institute of Standards and Technology “Guidelines for Media Sanitization” when destroying such information, etc.

S310 PUBLIC RECORDS/GENERAL BILL by Dockery

Pub. Rec./Proprietary Confidential Business Info. [CPSC];  Provides that proprietary confidential business information held by an agency is confidential and exempt from public records requirements. Authorizes any person to petition a court for the public release of those portions of a record made confidential and exempt by the act. Provides that the act does not supersede any other applicable public records exemptions that existed before a certain date, etc.