No Child’s Play: Treatment of Contractually Protected Private Information in Bankruptcy Proceedings

Tuesday, January 1st, 2002 at 12:00 am by Yair Y. Galil
Yair Y. Galil, No Child’s Play: Treatment of Contractually Protected Private Information in Bankruptcy Proceedings, 2002 Colum. Bus. L. Rev. 823

Over the past two years, a growing overlap between bankrupt businesses and ‘dot coms‘ has presented a number of complex and challenging legal issues. In particular, the interplay between the bankruptcy code and some of the less well-defined fringes of intellectual property–often the main resource left to the failed dot com–has sparked considerable debate and controversy. This paper will focus on one corner of that interplay, namely the treatment of customers’ personal information during a bankruptcy process.

This issue recently received much attention from consumer groups, regulatory and legislative arms of federal and state governments, and national media during the sorry story of the bankruptcy of online retailer Toysmart. Part II of this paper, accordingly, will review the factual background of the Toysmart debacle; Part III will analyze the legal issues presented by it. Part IV will describe subsequent developments and reactions. Part V will summarize the current status of the legal issues and attempt to provide guidance for practitioners dealing with analogous situations.

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