Cycle-Tracking Apps and Data Privacy in the Post-Roe Climate

This past summer, the United States Supreme Court passed down its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization and explicitly overturned the precedential abortion frameworks set forth in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey. Under Dobbs, abortion is not a right protected by the United States Constitution and states are therefore able to regulate abortion legality and access within their borders.

In addition to impassioning women’s rights advocates across the United States and bringing additional attention to the world of women’s healthcare as a whole, Dobbs has left many attorneys in apprehension as they wait to see how the decision will affect traditional privacy law frameworks, considering Roe v. Wade and Casey were both based on finding a place for abortion within the privacy protections of the Constitution.

While privacy attorneys wait to understand this potentially broad restructuring of existing law, consumers have begun to consider how their current data habits and application usages may be affected by the Dobbs decision. In particular, apps that track menstrual and ovulation cycles have become a topic of important discussion.

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How the Cookie Crumbles: The #UtahCookieWars

Besides offering delicious cookies that can be delivered straight to your door, Crumbl Cookie is bringing some interesting legal content to the news by filing trade dress infringement lawsuits against two other cookie companies. Crumbl claims that two smaller Utah business, Dirty Dough and Crave Cookies, are using packaging, logos, and designs that are confusingly similar to that of Crumbl, which could constitute infringement under the Lanham Act. In reference to Dirty Dough in particular, Jason McGowan, co-founder and CEO of Crumbl Cookies, posted on LinkedIn on August 29, 2022, alleging that “Dirty Dough has stolen trade secrets from Crumbl’s internal database,” including recipes, building schematics, statistics, training videos, and more. As redress, Crumbl is seeking monetary and injunctive relief in the District of Utah.

Adding another dimension to Crumbl’s allegations, Dirty Dough’s founder was a former Crumbl employee, and the owner of Crave Cookies had previously had their application to become a Crumbl franchisee rejected. Both individuals, Crumbl alleged, took Crumbl’s packaging, marketing, advertising, and presentation in an attempt to profit off of Crumbl’s trade dress and brand identity.

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Welcome to Our October Guest Blogger!

Our Student Contributor for October is 3L Emilie Smith. Emilie is from Green Bay, Wisconsin, and has a strong interest in Business Law and Intellectual Property Law. She currently has a comment pending publication in the Marquette Law Review on the digital recreation of copyrighted tattoos for use on video game avatars. Welcome Emilie!

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