Kenneth K. Dort leads the firm’s data breach response team, chairs the ABA Intellectual Property Law Section’s Information Technology Committee, and is one of the nation’s preeminent resources on mission-critical data security issues. Clients rely on Ken both for immediate advice on their most dire data and privacy matters, and guidance and strategy on the legal implications of cutting edge IT infrastructure. Whether as a courtroom advocate representing clients on information technology disputes, a facilitator negotiating with regulators, or a valued counselor on software development, licensing, systems development and integration, or traditional intellectual property disputes, Ken has spent his 30-year career focused on the ways that law and regulation frame the development of new technology. In addition to his client work, Ken serves as Chair of the firm’s Data Security and Technology Committees.
Ken is CIPP/US, CIPP/E and CIPP/C certified, and advises clients around the world on their data security and privacy practices and compliance needs arising under the FTC Act, the California Consumer Privacy Act, HIPAA, COPPA, the CAN-SPAM Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, the Video Privacy Protection Act, PCI-DSS, the EU GDPR, Canada’s Privacy Act and PIPEDA and other federal, state, provincial, and international privacy and data security laws and industry standards. He assists clients with the drafting and implementation of data security and privacy, document retention, device usage and mobile application policies and protocols. Ken also regularly works with leading forensics investigators to assess client information systems and security protocols.
In addition to his work as a client advisor and strategist, Ken has spent a significant portion of his career as a trial lawyer in courts and arbitration forums around the nation, litigating disputes arising out of the full spectrum of IP and IT issues. He also recently stepped down as chair of the ABA Intellectual Property Online Data, Transactions, and Security Committee. Over the years, Ken’s litigation experience has spanned patents, copyright and trademark infringement, breaches of data security systems, information systems development and implementation failures, open source software licensing and development, trade secret misappropriation, and other types of complex commercial disputes.
Ken’s experience assisting clients in the resolution of disputes relating to patent, copyright and trademark infringement includes:
- Intelligent Medical Objects, Inc. v. Health Fidelity, Inc., Northern District of Illinois (2015). Represented defendant health care data processing company against copyright infringement and contract action arising from license of plaintiff’s software and database. Resolved action through settlement dismissing all claims.
- Live Face on the Web, LLC v. Tweople, Inc., et al., Middle District of Florida (2014). Represented co-defendant sales company against copyright infringement action arising from usage of video software licensed from main defendant. Successfully resolved action through settlement dismissing all claims.
- World Market Center Venture v. E.B. DesignWorks & Co., Inc., District of Nevada (2010) (represented trademark holder against declaratory judgment claim, asserting counterclaim for trademark infringement – action settled in favor of client with payment of damages and injunctive relief).
- CPE SA v. Wilton Industries, Inc., Northern District of Illinois (2010) (represented defendant in obtaining dismissal of contract and fraud claims arising from failed asset acquisition).
- Stihl Incorporated v. Hawkins, Eastern District of Virginia (2009) (represented plaintiff in trademark infringement action obtaining complete relief and damages).
- LaTourelle v. K & Company and Wilton Brands, Inc., Western District of Kentucky (2009) (represented defendants against major copyright infringement claims obtaining desired settlement of matter).
- The Annex Club, LLC, et al. v. Clarke, Northern District of Illinois (2009) (represented Wrigley Field rooftop owners against tourist/entertainment website in trademark infringement action obtaining complete relief and damages).
- Park Li Management Simulations v. Interpretive Software, Inc., et al., Northern District of Illinois (2007) (represented defendant software developer against claims for copyright and trademark infringement obtaining advantageous settlement permitting continued use of software and trademarks in dispute).
- Nanodetex Corp. v. Sandia Corp., et al., District of New Mexico (2007) (represented plaintiff technology licensee against national laboratory obtaining confidential settlement arising from breach of underlying commercialization license).
- Pettibone Corp. v. Infor Corp., Northern District of Illinois (2006) (represented plaintiff software licensee against software developer obtaining desired settlement arising from implementation and pricing dispute).
- Cyborg Systems, Inc. v. David DeWilde and DeWilde Consulting Corp., Northern District of Illinois (2003) (represented plaintiff against former consultant asserting violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act – obtained complete injunctive relief and damages).
- eLoyalty Corp. v. Qwest Corp., American Arbitration Association (2002) (represented plaintiff software developer in action seeking unpaid development fees – awarded damages of $2,000,000).
- Flora v. Art.com, Inc., et al., Northern District of Illinois (2002) (represented plaintiff software developer against former chief technology officer and his subsequent employer asserting claims of copyright infringement and trade secret misappropriation – obtained complete injunctive relief and desired monetary settlement).
Ken leads the firm’s data breach response team and has assisted numerous clients in the technology, retail, finance, health care, manufacturing, entertainment and other sectors in investigating and responding to data breaches and then implementing appropriate measures to minimize the risk of recurrence.
- Supervised investigations in 2016 for multiple manufacturing and industrial companies involving breaches of human resource data leading to numerous instances of tax fraud and identity theft. Assisted clients in complying with applicable notification statutes and working with law enforcement and IRS to address and rectify subsequent developments.
- Supervised investigations in 2015 for multiple recreational and retail companies involving potential instances of credit card information breach. Assisted clients in working with forensic investigators and credit card companies to establish that no breaches had occurred on clients’ respective systems.
- Supervised the 2014 investigation of incident involving data system of large Mid-Atlantic health care system that concluded no breach had occurred. Worked with client to upgrade its information systems, formulate new data security protocols and implement them throughout the new systems.
- Represented a defendant restaurant wholesale supply company against a class action arising from two data security breaches. Successfully resolved the action through settlement dismissing all claims. Hogan v. Jetro Holdings, LLC, et al., Southern District of California (2013).
- Oversaw the 2013 review of a Fortune 200 pharmaceutical company’s new data security policies and procedures to accommodate new health care data reporting services under applicable U.S. and EU statutes and regulations.
- Supervised the 2012 investigation for Fortune 200 medical device and health care company into a data breach involving patient treatment information. Assisted client in complying with applicable notification statutes and working with forensic investigators to identify source of breach and to rectify the system defect.
- Supervised the 2011 investigation for a large Mid-Atlantic not-for-profit foundation into data breaches involving student scholarship information. Assisted client in complying with applicable notification statutes and worked with forensic investigators to identify source of breaches and rectify the system defects.
Awards Methodology (www.drinkerbiddle.com/content/awards)
Chairman of the ABA Intellectual Property Law Section Online Data, Transactions and Security Committee
- The University of Chicago Law School, J.D., 1986
- Stanford University, A.B., 1983
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
- American Bar Association
- American Bar Association, Intellectual Property Law Section, Online Data, Transactions and Security Committee, Chairman (September 2012-present)
- American Health Lawyers Association
- American Intellectual Property Association
- Association of Trial Lawyers of America
- Chicago Bar Association
- Illinois State Bar Association
- International Technology Law Association
Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago
Board of Trustees
President’s Council, Chairman
Ken's Areas of Focus
- Information Privacy, Security and Governance
- Information Technology and Outsourcing
- Intellectual Property
- Advertising and Promotions
- Branding and Trademarks
- Intellectual Property Litigation
- Technology Transactions and Licensing
- Software Litigation
- Information Privacy
- Information Security
- Trade Secrets
- Cybersecurity and Incident Response Services