Ideas for Thanksgiving in 2020

As the leaves change and the temperatures drop, we realize that the holidays may look a little different this year. We pulled together some suggestions to avoid forgoing time with loved ones or your favorite seasonal dishes. Here are some ways to have some holiday fun while staying safe and making new traditions!

  1. It may be difficult for families to safely gather around the dinner table for the main meal this year. Instead, take advantage of outdoor space and set up tables on your deck or in the yard! Grilling presents a great alternative to overcrowded kitchen space and an opportunity for new flavors. If it starts to get chilly, bring outdoor blankets, sip hot cocoa, or get together around a firepit.
  2. If you’re unable to travel to see family this year, watch the parade or the big game (people watch football on Thanksgiving, right?) while video chatting to debate the best float or cheer on your favorite teams together.
  3. Virtual Friendsgiving! Gather with friends online on any of the many video chatting platforms. Although it may not be the traditional potluck, find new ways to make a Turkey Day virtual get together plenty of fun. For instance, plan a recipe to cook together ahead of time and see whose turns out the best. Everyone can share their family’s favorite (or least favorite) Thanksgiving dishes: Is mac and cheese part of your celebration? Do marshmallows belong on sweet potato casserole? Who makes the best green beans? Play online games or watch the same movie together after a meal to help bring everyone together too.
  4. If you’re not into Thanksgiving food, you can always order takeout to support your favorite restaurants! Local family and friends can do the same and everyone can get together for a picnic. Gather midday and each bring an item to create a fall-themed brunch spread! If you’re missing traveling to far off places, plan on having everyone bring a dish from a different cuisine.
  5. If you’re hosting a planned virtual party, send props or gifts to help everyone get in the spirit. There’s no need for a big expense; a small handwritten note, stickers, or sweets can go a long way.

When in doubt, follow the guidelines set up by the CDC:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html.

Wishing you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!

— Lily Taggart

U.S. Trademark Office to Increase Filing Fees for 2021

The United States Trademark Office recently announced that it will increase a number of its filing fees on January 2, 2021.  The increases apply to a wide variety of filings, including the fees for initial trademark applications.  We have included the most noteworthy increases below:

  • TEAS Standard Trademark Application: $350 per class
    Up from $275 per class
  • TEAS Plus Trademark Application (pre-approved goods and services): $250 per class
    Up from $225 per class
  • Section 8 (filed with both 8 & 15 and Renewal filings): $225 per class
    Up from $125 per class 
  • Petition to cancel/Notice of opposition filed through ESTTA: $600 per class
    Up from $400 per class
  • Initial 90-day extension requests for filing a notice of opposition, or second 60-day extension requests for filing a notice of opposition, filed through ESTTA: $200 per application
    Up from $100 per application
  • Petition to the Director filed through TEAS: $250
    Up from $100 

For the full list of fee increases, please visit: https://www.uspto.gov/trademark/laws-regulations/updated-trademark-ttab-fees-processes.

The U.S. Trademark Office will also implement a new fee for deleting goods, services, and/or classes from a registration after submitting a Section 8 declaration, but before the declaration is accepted, at a rate of $250 per class.

In light of the increased filing costs, Gavin Law Offices will work with clients who wish to take advantage of the lower filing fees to complete filings before the end of the year.  If you are considering a new trademark application or have maintenance filings due in the next year, we can help you complete such filings before January 2, 2021.  Please reach out as early as possible to ensure that we have enough time to get preclearance and/or the necessary documentation completed before the increase date.

  • – Rina Van Orden, Esq.

Gavin Team Life During Covid

Although 2020 has not gone as planned, that didn’t stop the GLO team!  We’d like to congratulate both Pam Gavin and Rina Van Orden on their respective weddings which took place in spite of the pandemic.  Pam enjoyed a quiet private church ceremony surrounded by her loved ones, while Rina revised her wedding plan for an intimate family ceremony in a beautiful setting.  In addition, both Jennifer Lovings and Kat Gavin purchased and moved into new homes!  Jennifer is settled into her lovely West End home, and Kat is getting familiar with life south of the James River in her magical and adorable home in Richmond’s Forest Hills area.

Rina’s Wedding (Photo by Awesomesauce Photography)

Kat Gavin’s New House

U.S. Data Privacy Law – 2020 Update 

By now, many of you have likely heard of the California Consumer Privacy Act (the “CCPA”).  The law, passed by California’s State Legislature in 2018, became effective on January 1, 2020.  The CCPA gives California residents more control over the personal information that businesses collect about themgranting residents the right to know how businesses use/share their personal information, the right to request that a business delete their collected personal information, and the right to opt-out of the sale of their personal information.  The CCPA borrows many of its provisions from the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) While many believed that the GDPR (adopted by the EU in 2016) would serve as a catalyst for the United States to enact similar data privacy law, the U.S. has yet to pass, or even seriously consider, any comparably comprehensive data privacy legislation at the national level.  

While several other states have passed data privacy and protection laws since 2018, arguably none have enacted laws as extensive as the CCPA.  However, due to revisions California’s legislature made to the original text of the CCPA, as well as certain language included in the Final CCPA Regulations published by California’s Office of the Attorney General (OAG) earlier this year, many Californians and consumer advocacy groups do not believe the CCPA goes far enough to protect consumers’ personal information.  Thus, on election day this year, California voters approved ballot initiative “Proposition 24”  the California Privacy Rights Act of 2020 (the “CPRA”).  The CPRA gives additional rights to California residents and further limits businesses ability to use/sell/share personal informationamending and expanding upon the CCPA.   

Most of the CPRA’s substantive provisions will not become effective until January 1, 2023.  However, businesses may begin preparing for compliance with the CPRA by familiarizing themselves with the following highlights of the new law: 

  1. Applicability – Just because the CCPA was or was not applicable to your business does not mean the same for the CPRA.  For example, the CPRA will cover businesses that buy, sell, or share over 100,000 consumers personal information (up from 50,000 under the CCPA), reducing the applicability of the law to small and midsize businesses. 
  1. Enforcement – The CCPA is currently enforced by California’s Office of the Attorney General (OAG) However, the CPRA establishes the California Privacy Protection Agency, which will have investigative, enforcement, and rulemaking powers instead of the OAG.  The CPRA also removes the 30-day cure period businesses have under the CCPA and increases maximum penalties for violations concerning minors. 
  1. New category of “sensitive personal information – The CPRA will keep the existing categories of personal information defined in the CCPA, but will add a new category for “sensitive personal information.”  Californians will have increased rights when their sensitive personal information is involved.  
  1. Expanded contractual requirements – The CPRA limits the use of personal information by service providers and contractors and adds contractual requirements regarding relationships between businesses and such third parties.   
  1. Modifying/adding new consumer rights – New rights include the CPRA’s expansion of an individuals’ private right of action for certain types of data breaches and requires that covered businesses provide consumers with two or more methods for submitting requests to correct inaccurate personal information 
  1. Regulates “sharing” in addition to “selling” personal information, to include cross-context behavioral advertising – The CPRA expands upon the CCPA’s limitations on businesses “sale” of consumers’ personal information to cover the “sharing” of consumers’ personal information even if such information is not being sold for monetary value.  Specifically, this will regulate cross-context behavioral advertising,” defined by the CPRA as the targeting of advertising to a consumer based on the consumer’s personal information obtained from the consumer’s activity across businesses, distinctly branded websites, applications, or services, other than the business, distinctly-branded website, application, or service with which the consumer intentionally interacts.”  Businesses that share personal information, including in the cross-context behavioral advertising context, will need to provide an opt-out choice for consumers, such as “Do Not Sell/Do Not Share My Personal Information for Cross-Context Behavioral Advertising.”    

The above highlights, as well as the other provisions of the CPRA, bring California’s data privacy laws closer to resembling the GDPR.  It will be interesting to see whether other states follow suit in 2021.  While Virginia established a task force to study data privacy issues last General Assembly session, it has not yet passed any data privacy law as comprehensive as the CCPA/CPRA.  The Commonwealth, as well as numerous other states, will likely consider data privacy legislation next year. 

In the meantime, while the effective date of the CPRA may seem far away, California’s OAG continues to publish updates to the CCPA Regulations and to enforce existing law.  For example, while the Final Text of the CCPA Regulations was published in August, the OAG released fourth set of modifications to the Regulations on December 10, 2020.  The latest modifications include further clarifications on the CCPA, including much-awaited guidance on the “Do Not Sell My Personal Information ‘Button.’”  Thus, businesses still need to regularly review their CCPA compliance while they prepare for the CPRA.  You can find more information on the CCPA, including updates, here: https://www.oag.ca.gov/privacy/ccpa.  Gavin Law Offices will continue to track data privacy-related issues in California, Virginia, and across the U.S. and abroad, and are here to help you navigate this complex field of law.  

– Courtney Reigel, Esq.

GLO Team Updates

We are pleased to announce that Elizabeth Sewell returned to the firm on March 9th, 2020 following a parenting sabbatical. Known for extensive experience in matters from trademark portfolio management to privacy issues and beyond, we are lucky to have her on our team!  Read more about Elizabeth or any of our other professionals under the “About Us” tab.

On September 9th we welcomed our new Administrative Assistant, Lily Taggart. She graduated summa cum laude from Loyola University Maryland this past spring and has been a wonderful addition to the team.  Along with other contributions, Lily manages our social media presence and creates content for the newsletter.

Our extern, Jamie Seibert, recently completed her time at GLO. Jamie is in her third year studying at William & Mary Law and we are grateful for her hard work and bright presence. During her time with us, she worked on trademark and copyright research, as well as corporate law questions. Click through our blog to find her article on Copyright Registration for Short Online Literary Works.