Gerald J. Ferguson

Partner

New York
T 212.589.4238  |  F 212.589.4201

Pursuing his clients' interests has given Jerry Ferguson extensive experience protecting and exploiting intellectual property, technology, and new media assets. His diverse experience includes designing privacy and data protection compliance programs, responding to data security breaches, developing intellectual property portfolios, negotiating transactions, and successfully trying cases. His clients include banks, insurers, global retailers, luxury goods companies, web-based marketers and data analytics companies. Engaging deeply with his clients, Jerry brings the benefit of his multi-disciplinary perspective to every issue he faces as he assists client in solving problems, creating opportunities and achieving their objectives.

Jerry serves as Co-Leader of BakerHostetler's national Privacy and Data Protection team and the New York office Coordinator for the Intellectual Property, Technology and Media group. He is a regular contributor to BakerHostetler's Data Privacy Monitor blog and has authored numerous published articles. Jerry frequently speaks before client and industry groups, such as the Mortgage Bankers Association, the Advisen, ExecuSummit, the National Association of College and University Attorneys, Practising Law Institute, and the New York State Bar Association.

Select Experience

Privacy and Data Protection
  • Jerry developed and executed a breach notification program for banks, insurers, retailers, educational institutions, professional services companies, and others involving notification obligations under 47 state data breach notification laws, Gramm-Leach-Bliley, HIPAA/HITECH, and FERPA. Through careful management of forensics and other investigations, Jerry identified the notification obligations and minimized the long-term costs and reputational harm that could potentially face his clients.
Litigation and Administrative Actions
  • Through Trademark Trial and Appeals Board (TTAB) and federal court proceedings culminating in a jury trial, Jerry established the right of a sporting association to create a successful worldwide licensing program in the face of persistent opposition from a prominent fashion designer.
Regulatory Compliance
  • Jerry represented a pre-paid services card company in an informal discussion with the FTC and nine attorneys general regarding industry-wide practices relating to the disclosure of fees and expiration dates and compliance with gift card laws and regulations. The industry-wide reform efforts that were promoted as a result substantially benefitted the client by removing unfair competition.
Transactional Experience
  • As Intellectual Property, Privacy, and Digital Media counsel in mergers, stock purchases and asset acquisitions, Jerry advised an advertising agency in connection with the purchase of a business based on generating positive comments from social media.
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Experience

Privacy and Data Protection
  • Jerry developed and executed a breach notification program for banks, insurers, retailers, educational institutions, professional services companies, and others involving notification obligations under 46 state data breach notification laws, Gramm-Leach-Bliley, HIPAA/HITECH, and FERPA. Through careful management of forensics and other investigations, Jerry identified the notification obligations and minimized the long-term costs and reputational harm that could potentially face his clients.
  • A sophisticated hack into the systems of a payment card processor required Jerry to manage a breach response team when more than six million payment card records were exposed. Jerry directed company compliance with state notification laws, Payment Card Industry rules (PCI), GLB, and contractual obligations arising under thousands of contracts with banks, merchants, and other processors. He was able to minimize the costs and avoid extensive reputational harm to the company.
  • Jerry directed forensics and coordinated with law enforcement when a prominent government contractor suffered an intrusion from a foreign government team of hackers seeking trade secrets (aka the Advanced Persistent Threat). He directed compliance with state notification laws, HIPAA/HITECH, reporting obligations arising under government contracts and reported to the company’s directors and major stakeholders.
  • As a member of the Mortgage Bankers Association, Board of Directors Technical Advisory Committee, Jerry was the principle author of a White Paper setting for best practices for data security programs. He has assisted numerous clients in developing information security programs that meet ISO standards, industry standards and the developing NIST information Security Framework.
Litigation and Administrative Actions
  • Through Trademark Trial and Appeals Board (TTAB) and federal court proceedings culminating in a jury trial, Jerry established the right of a sporting association to create a successful worldwide licensing program in the face of persistent opposition from a prominent fashion designer.
  • Jerry established a program for the protection of a family of popular pre-paid calling card trademarks. He commenced the preliminary injunction proceedings in New York, Florida, Texas, Colorado, and California, and removed all significant infringements from the marketplace, allowing recoveries to be paid for the cost of the program.
  • Jerry protected the rights of a cable television station in the name of one of its most popular programs in a proceeding before the TTAB.
  • In an ICC arbitration involving termination of a copyright and trademark license and distribution agreement, Jerry obtained the recovery of $9.65 million on behalf of a Brazilian licensee when a Japanese licensor initially denied any payment was due.
  • Jerry obtained termination of a trademark license granted by a U.S. trademark owner to a Mexican licensee during a proceeding before the American Arbitration Association.
  • On behalf of a luxury goods company, Jerry established a nationwide trademark protection program involving integrated federal anti-counterfeiting and infringement actions, customs enforcement, and cooperation with local law enforcement.
Regulatory Compliance
  • Jerry represented a pre-paid services card company in an informal discussion with the FTC and nine attorneys general regarding industry-wide practices relating to the disclosure of fees and expiration dates and compliance with gift card laws and regulations. The industry-wide reform efforts that were promoted as a result substantially benefitted the client by removing unfair competition.
  • In an action brought by the FTC involving admitted violations of the Childrens’ On-Line Privacy Protection Act against Jerry's client, an owner and operator of websites popular with children, Jerry negotiated a substantially reduced fine and penalties for the client. He demonstrated that the violations were inadvertent and did not cause actual harm to minors using the websites.
  • Jerry established processes and procedures for hundreds of web-based business operations—including a 20-million-plus member social networking community, and a pioneering crowdsourcing solutions website—to obtain protection from liability under the Digital Millennium Copyright (DMCA) and the Communications Decency Acts (CDA), and to avoid liability under federal anti-spam laws (CAN-SPAM) and state anti-spam law, including California's anti-spam law.
  • Jerry assisted with numerous social media promotions in compliance with applicable law and industry regulations, including sweepstakes law, gift card law, and FTC product endorsement regulations.
Transactional Experience
  • As Intellectual Property, Privacy, and Digital Media counsel in mergers, stock purchases, and asset acquisitions, Jerry advised an advertising agency in connection with the purchase of a business based on generating positive comments from social media.
  • Jerry has advised a cable television network in connection with the purchase of a website based on blogs in the home design industry, as well as a sporting association in connection with the purchase of a media company including print and on-line rights.
  • On behalf of a major licensing agency, Jerry conducted a global review of all licensing, agency, representation, and syndication agreements. All agreements were updated to reflect the developments in the law and to conform to licensing industry best practices.
  • Jerry counseled a trademark owner in developing a domestic and global licensing program that initially generated a little more than $100,000 in retail sales and now generates more than $1 billion in retail sales globally. Jerry assisted with the registration and protection of the international trademark portfolio, developed the standard licensing and agency forms, participated in major contract negotiations and assisted with the development of product approval procedures.

Memberships

  • New York State Bar Association: International Section
      • Intellectual Property Committee: Co-Chairman (March 2013 to March 2014)
      • International Section: Chair-Elect (March 2014 to March 2015)
      • International Section: Chair (March 2015 to March 2016)
  • Martindale-Hubbell: AV Preeminent

News

Press Releases

Services

Industries

Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, 1996
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, 1996
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York, 1995
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of New York, 1994
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, 1990
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, 1989
  • New York, 1989

Education

  • J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, 1988
  • B.A., University of Virginia, 1984

Blog

In The Blogs

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Data Privacy Monitor
2014 Mobile Privacy and Security Trends and What to Look for in 2015
January 23, 2015
Most analysts and commentators agree that 2014 was the year mobile reached a tipping point.  With over 1 billion mobile smartphones in circulation, 2014 marked the first year that mobile Internet usage surpassed desktop use in the U.S...
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Data Privacy Monitor
New York Attorney General Announces Proposal to Revamp State Data Security Laws
January 20, 2015
On January 15, 2015, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman indicated that he plans to propose legislation to update New York’s information security laws, including by revising the definition of “private information” under the state’s...
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Data Privacy Monitor
Dear Lawmakers, Your New Breach Notice Laws Should Address These Issues
January 20, 2015
The days of companies being so afraid of the reputational impact of a breach that they would look for any way possible to avoid disclosure are gone.  The pendulum has swung in the opposite direction.  Now companies, often in the name of...
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Data Privacy Monitor
Tanya Forsheit Discusses Current Issues in Data Privacy and Security with California Lawyer
January 6, 2015
The “2015 Roundtable Series” in the January edition of California Lawyer includes comments from Partner Tanya Forsheit on data privacy and security. The article reports: Law and precedents surrounding data privacy and security are mounting...
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Data Privacy Monitor
International Privacy — 2014 Year in Review — EU
January 5, 2015
While the last refrains of “should old acquaintance be forgot” fade away from New Years’ Eve celebrations, 2014 may be remembered as the year of the “right to be forgotten” in light of an EU privacy ruling last May. Below we cover that...
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