Thomas F. Zych
Chair, Emerging Technologies Practice
Tom chairs the firm's Emerging Technologies Practice and heads our Privacy & Cybersecurity team. Tom has over 30 years of experience in a wide range of data protection, intellectual property, consumer protection, social media, competition and antitrust matters. Tom represents a full range of business enterprises in their privacy and data security operations. His technology practice focuses on providing strategic counseling to both mature and early stage technology ventures, including click and mortar enterprises, biotechnology and bioinformatics ventures, and established businesses adopting electronic and technologically advanced means of competition. He also has considerable experience in trade secret litigation and counseling; patent, trademark and copyright litigation; intellectual property transactions including joint ventures, development agreements and licensing transactions; corporate internal investigations; merger and acquisition counseling; antitrust criminal investigations; antitrust civil litigation; and social media marketing and advertising, promotional content, consumer testimonials, compliance with FTC standards, promotion of experimental therapies in light of advertising and privacy laws, social media service agreements and moderating employee activity on social media sites.
- Manages enterprise-wide privacy initiatives for major global businesses.
- Counsels Fortune 200, middle market and start-up companies on website design, mobile communications and e-commerce implementation strategies.
- Represents businesses and enterprises in investigating, preventing, mitigating and remediating serious data breach incidents and in defending litigation and government enforcement actions.
- Advised a leading common carrier on policies and procedures for responding to and moderating employee activity on social media sites.Represents early stage biotechnology ventures in licensing and exploiting pioneering life sciences therapies and devices.
- Represents Fortune 100 companies in domestic and international information technology insourcing and outsourcing projects.
- Represents a leading international industrial products manufacturer in litigation against software vendor.
- Represent major photojournalism content providers in domestic and international copyright litigation.
- Represents numerous publicly and privately held business entities in software acquisition and licensing.
- Represents B2B and B2C dot-com startups in fabricated metal products, food, media, print, construction, application services, medical devices, motion picture, computer hardware and other markets.
- Intellectual property litigation experience involving banking and investment services, automotive aftermarket, industrial valves, software, fabrics, aircraft electronics, home decor, collectibles, lawn and tree care services, broadcast music, packaging, sports entertainment services, steel mill equipment, legal services, automotive components, craft and notions, surgical instruments, medical apparatus, oil and fuel additives, paints and coatings, power tools, lawn furniture, lighting fixtures and other products and services.
- Advised a leading global manufacturer or home décor products on social media services agreements and using social media outlets to promote products and services.
- Represents a publicly held specialty retail chain in supply chain integration strategies and software acquisition.
- Civil and criminal antitrust litigation in the commercial explosives, construction, motion picture distribution, carbon black, metals, used machinery auction, concrete pipe, engineered materials, food additive, packaging, grocery store, telephone, chlorine distribution, automotive aftermarket component and other markets.
- Successfully represented a building construction products manufacturer in software license dispute.
- Represents strategic partners in the formation, development and marketing of industry-wide vertical supply chain management and content sites.
- Represented a leading specialty retailer in business integration software contract dispute.
- Represented a leading life sciences software developer in ongoing patent litigation and in strategic technology acquisitions.
- Represents a publicly held national retailer in internet branding and domain name strategies and disputes.
- Represents major financial institutions in internet branding strategies and strategic alliances.
- Represented a leading financial services provider in service mark infringement litigation against thrift institution.
- Advised a global pharmaceutical company in the use of and linking to social media outlets for the promotion of experimental therapies in light of FTC and FDA (and counterpart international) advertising, promotional and privacy laws.
- Represented Pro Mold & Tool Co. in successful patent and unfair competition litigation in the sports memorabilia collectibles market.
- Represents a leading photographic rights company in copyright infringement litigation.
- Represented a major aftermarket racing wheel supplier in design patent and product configuration litigation.
- Advised a leading global supplier of automotive products on the application of the FTC Testimonial Guidelines to social media marketing and advertising, including review of promotional content and consumer testimonials for compliance with the Guidelines and FTC advertising standards.
- Represented a leading specialty retailer in trademark, copyright, design and utility patent and unfair competition matters.
- Represents the largest national distributor of firearms in Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, trade secret and unfair competition litigation.
- Represented Glidden in a trade secret trial that resulted in what was then the largest plaintiff's verdict rendered in the Northern District of Ohio.
- Represents a global chemical products manufacturer in international trademark dispute.
- Represented a leading food machinery supplier in patent and false advertising cases.
- Represented a national restaurant chain in trademark litigation and USPTO/TTAB administrative proceedings.
- Represents a leading consumer signage supplier in internet business method patent litigation.
- Represented a leading consumer pet supply retailer in trademark and service mark enforcement.
Select listing of publications
- “EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Review Confirms Adequacy and Suggests Improvements,” Thompson Hine Privacy & Cybersecurity Update, October 2017
- “FTC Increases Focus on Smart Toys with COPPA Update,” Thompson Hine Privacy & Cybersecurity Update, August 2017
- “Adviser: Don't Ignore the Human Element in Reducing Risks,” Crain’s Cleveland Business,” July 29, 2017
- “Court Finds Work Product Doctrine Protects Data Breach Records,” Thompson Hine Privacy & Cybersecurity Update, June 2017
- “New York Financial Services Cybersecurity Regulation Takes Effect March 1,” Thompson Hine Privacy & Cybersecurity Update, February 2017
- “FTC Announces Updated HSR Thresholds for 2017.” Thompson Hine Antitrust, Competition & Trade Regulation Update, January 26, 2017
- “Cybersecurity Commission Report Encourages Immediate Action, Collaboration,” Thompson Hine Privacy & Cybersecurity Update, December 2016
- “The Potential for Enhanced Liabilities for Cyber Failings,” Cyber Security Practitioner, November 2016
- “New York Proposes Cybersecurity Regulations for Financial Services Firms,” Thompson Hine Privacy & Cybersecurity Update, October 2016
- “European Commission Releases E-Commerce Report,” Thompson Hine Antitrust & Business Litigation Update, September 2016
- “Second Circuit Limits Use of Warrants to Secure Electronic Data Stored Abroad,” Thompson Hine Privacy & White Collar Update, July 2016
- “European Commission Adopts EU-U.S. Privacy Shield,” Thompson Hine Privacy & Cybersecurity Update, July 2016
- “Defend Trade Secrets Act Enacted – Implications for Employers & Trade Secret Litigation,” Thompson Hine Antitrust, Competition & Trade Regulation Update, May 2016
- “Congress Passes Federal Trade Secret Law,” Thompson Hine Antitrust, Competition & Trade Regulation Update, April 2016
- “Fourth Circuit Finds Insurance Coverage for Exposure of Electronic Medical Records Under Traditional Insurance Policy,” Thompson Hine Privacy & Cybersecurity Update, April 2016
- “Protecting Your Personal Information,” The Ohio Bar Association, March 2016
- “European Commission Publishes EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Legal Texts,” Thompson Hine Privacy & Cybersecurity Update, March 2016
- “FDIC Issues Cybersecurity Guidance for Banks,” Thompson Hine Privacy & Cybersecurity Update, February 2016
- “U.S. and EU Agree on New Framework to Replace Safe Harbor,” Thompson Hine Privacy & Cybersecurity Update, February 2016
- “EU Court: Employee Email Monitoring May Not Breach Privacy Rights,” Thompson Hine Privacy & Cybersecurity Update, January 2016
- “Is Your Native Advertisement or Sponsored Content Deceptive?”, Thompson Hine Consumer Protection & Trade Regulation Update, January 2016
- “Enhanced EU Data Protection Regulations,” Thompson Hine Privacy & Cybersecurity Update, December 2015
- Contributor, "Privacy and Data Security in the Real World: You Can't Protect What you Don't See," Pratt's Privacy & Cybersecurity Law Report, LexisNexus, November/December 2015, Vol. 1, No. 3
- “Additional DoD Guidance for Contractors on Cybersecurity Safeguards and Reporting,” Thompson Hine Government Contracts Update, December 2015
- Contributor, "Presence of Kids' Data Boosts Stakes in VTech Breach," Law360, December 4, 2015
- Contributor, "5 Ways Retailers Can Avoid A Breach This Holiday Season," Law360, November 24, 2015
- Contributor, "3 Things Law Firms Need To Know About Info-Sharing Bill," Law360, October 29, 2015
- “EU/U.S. Safe Harbor Framework in Jeopardy: Article 29 Working Party Statement on ECJ Case,” Thompson Hine Privacy & Cybersecurity Update, October 2015
- “Court Decision Imperils Privacy Safe Harbor,” Thompson Hine Privacy & Cybersecurity Update, October 2015
- “DoD Issues Interim Rule on Cloud Cybersecurity,” Thompson Hine Government Contracts Update, August 2015
- “OMB Releases Draft Cybersecurity Guidance; New FAR Regulations on the Horizon,” Thompson Hine Government Contracts Update, August 2015
- “New U.S. Government-Backed Standards for Protecting Data Will Affect Federal Contractors,” Thompson Hine Government Contracts Update, June 2015
- “Proposed Rule to Control Exports of Cybersecurity Technologies,” Thompson Hine International Trade & Customs Update, May 26, 2015
- “Increased Cybersecurity Requirements for Government Contracts,” Thompson Hine Government Contracts Update, May 2015
- “Supreme Court Opines on Challenging Trademark Registration,” Thompson Hine Intellectual Property Update, March 2015
- “Revisions to New York’s Proposed BitLicense Regulations,” Thompson Hine Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency Update, February 2015
- “New York Issues Digital Currency Transaction Tax Policy,” Thompson Hine Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency Update, January 2015
- “New SEC Rules to Combat Technology Glitches and Enhance Cybersecurity,” Thompson Hine Privacy & Investment Management Update, December 2014
- Co-author, “FinCen further clarifies the regulation of digital currencies,” E-Finance & Payments Law & Policy, November 2014
- "New York Proposes Issuing BitLicenses," Thompson Hine Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency Update, July 2014
- “When Does Social Media Use Create a Product Endorsement?” Thompson Hine Business Litigation Update, July 2014
- “SEC Issues Alert on Bitcoin Investments,” Thompson Hine Bitcoin & Cybercurrency Update, May 2014
- “European Union Imposes Extraterritorial Privacy Obligations on U.S. Businesses,” Thompson Hine Privacy & Information Security Update, May 2014
- “Canada’s New Anti-Spam Law – Is Your Business Ready?” Thompson Hine Privacy & Information Security Update, May 2014
- Co-author, "Why Not Accept Bitcoin for Goods and Services?" Corporate Counsel magazine, March 5, 2014
- “New California Law Requires Tracking Transparency,” Thompson Hine Privacy & Information Security Update, March 2014
- “Bitcoin: A Primer,” Thompson Hine Cybercurrency Update, February 2014
- "California Legislature Passes “Do Not Track” Disclosure Law," Thompson Hine Privacy & Information Security Update, September 2013
- "FTC Provides New Guidance on Antitrust Compliance in Physician Collaborations," Thompson Hine Health Care & Antitrust Law Update, March 2013
- "Contests, Promotions and Social Media – Is Public Voting Worth the Risk?" Thompson Hine Business Litigation Update, March 2013
- "Proposed Amendments to EU Draft Privacy Regulation Compound Compliance Concerns," Thompson Hine Privacy & Information Security Update, January 2013
- "JOBS Act Update: SEC Proposes Rules Lifting Regulation D General Solicitation Prohibition," Thompson Hine Startup Companies Update, September 2012
- "New Tool for Cross-Border Data Transfers: APEC Approves U.S. Participation in Cross-Border Privacy Rules System," Thompson Hine Privacy & Information Security Update, August 2012
- "Canada Raises the Antispam Stakes," Thompson Hine Privacy & Information Security Update, May 2012
- "Skechers to Foot $40 Million FTC Bill," Thompson Hine Business Litigation Update, May 2012
- "European Commission Proposes Sweeping Changes to Data Privacy Regulation," Thompson Hine Privacy & Information Security Update, January 2012
- Co-author, "The Coming Wave of Greenwashing Class Action Lawsuits," The Voice, Defense Research Institute, May 2010
- Author, "Privacy in M&A Deals: 2 Worlds Collide," Law360, May 2010
- Co-editor, Data Security Handbook, 2008
- Editor, The Secure Times Privacy and Information Security Newsletter, 2005 to 2008
- Co-author, "Cross-Border Fraud Enforcement: Who's in the Crosshairs?" Antitrust Magazine, 2004
- Lead author, "Effectively Managing the Discovery of Electronic Records," National Electronic Commerce Coordinating Council, 2004
- Co-editor, "Consumer Protection Update," ABA Antitrust Section, 2004 to 2005
- Contributor, Doing Business in and With the United States, 2000
- Contributor, "Antitrust Law Developments," American Bar Association Annual Review, 1995
- Contributor, Antitrust Evidence Manual, 1990
- Author, "Software Buys Need Careful Plan, Vigilant Review," Crain's Cleveland Business, 1999
- Co-author, "Protecting Your Intellectual Property Under Ohio Law," 1989
- Co-author, "Drafting International Technology License Agreements," Negotiating and Structuring International Commercial Transactions, American Bar Association, 1989
- Presenter, “Preparing Your Business to Accept Payments in Bitcoin,” INSIDE BITCOINS the future of virtual currency conference, New York, April 2014
- "Cyber Security and Data Protection Law," Washington, D.C., October 2013, delivered to People's Republic of China Ministry of Information and Information Technology
- "Once More Into the Breach: Preventing and Defending Data Breach Litigation," Chicago, Illinois, Defense Research Institute, October 2013
- "Allocating Risk and Liability via Contract," New York, March 2013
- The Limits of the FTC's Data Security Program: Where is the line, and where should it be?", American Bar Association, September 2012
- AV® Preeminent Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
- Ranked nationally as one of America's leading lawyers in Privacy and Data Security by Chambers Global, 2008, 2009 and 2011
- Selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers by Ohio Super Lawyers magazine in 2007 and 2015
- Selected for inclusion in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, Antitrust Litigation, Ohio, 2010
- Listed in The Best Lawyers in America, 2011 to 2018; recognized in 2015 and 2018 as Lawyer of the Year in the area of Antitrust Law
- American Bar Association, Section of Antitrust Law: Consumer Protection Officer; Member, International Task Force; Founding Chair, Privacy and Information Security Committee; Past Chair, Committee Operations Task Force; Member, Consumer Protection, Privacy and Information Security and Advertising Disputes and Litigation Committees
- Ohio State Bar Association, member, Antitrust Section Council
- Ohio State Bar Foundation, life fellow
- Northeast Ohio Information Technology Security Roundtable, member
- U.S. Secret Service Cleveland Field Office Information Technology Task Force, member
- Chair, Cyber Litigation Committee, Defense Research Institute
- American Bar Foundation, fellow
- Pratt's Privacy & Cybersecurity Law Report, Board of Editors
- Elder, Forest Hill Church, Presbyterian
- Friends of Cleveland School of the Arts, President, Board of Trustees
- Cleveland Film Society, Past President
- Cleveland Music School Settlement, Past Secretary
- Cleveland Heights Board of Zoning Appeals, Member
- Club 24, Member, Board of Trustees
- International Angel Investors Institute, Board of Advisors
Adviser: Don't Ignore the Human Element in Reducing RisksCrain's Cleveland Business
July 29, 2017
Protecting Your Personal InformationThe Ohio State Bar Association
March 31, 2016
December 01, 2015
Twelve Thompson Hine Partners Named Lawyers of the YearThompson Hine LLP
September 09, 2014
July 18, 2014
Why Not Accept Bitcoin for Goods and Services?Corporate Counsel
March 05, 2014
Thompson Hine Partner Recognized as Leader in Privacy and Data Security - Thomas F. Zych Ranked in Chambers Global
April 27, 2011