Peter Guffin is a partner in the firm's Intellectual Property and Technology Group and heads the firm's Privacy & Data Security practice. He combines extensive experience in the areas of intellectual property, information technology, privacy and data protection, with a practical appreciation of the business and legal imperatives that can determine a client's success.

His particular focus is helping clients in highly regulated industries navigate the increasingly complex convergence of information technology and business, offering practical and strategic advice in the following areas:

  • Technology procurement and outsourcing arrangements
  • Privacy, information security, and data breach notification
  • Protection and enforcement of IP rights
  • Trademark, patent, copyright, and software licensing
  • Internet law and e-commerce initiatives

Peter represents businesses in a wide range of industries, including information technology, energy, banking, retail, financial services, insurance, and health care.

Before joining Pierce Atwood in February 2000, Peter served as Intellectual Property and Technology Counsel in the Legal Division of Unum Group (NYSE: UNM), a Fortune 500 company and the world's leading disability insurer. Early in his career, Peter practiced law with the Wall Street firm Chadbourne & Parke LLP in New York.

Honors & Distinctions

  • Listed since 2014 in The Best Lawyers in America® for Copyright Law, Trademark Law, and Litigation-Intellectual Property
  • Selected in 2015 as The Best Lawyers in America® "Lawyer of the Year" in Portland, Maine for Trademark Law
  • Certified Information Privacy Professional/United States (CIPP/US), International Association of Privacy Professionals, 2014-present
  • Distinguished Fellow, Ponemon Institute, in recognition of service, commitment, and leadership to the advancement of responsible information management practices in business and government

Professional Activities

  • Visiting Professor of Practice at the University of Maine School of Law (teaching information privacy law and cyber security)
  • Member, Judicial Branch Task Force on Transparency and Privacy in Court Records, reporting to Maine Supreme Judicial Court
  • Co-chair, Northern New England KnowledgeNet, International Association of Privacy Professionals
  • Member, Section of Science and Technology Law Information Security Committee, American Bar Association

Frequent invited speaker:

  • “The Security, Privacy and Legal Challenges of Offering and/or Procuring Cloud Services,” presentation and panel discussion at joint meeting of the Northern New England KnowledgeNet chapter and (ISC)2 Maine Chapter (October 2016)
  • “Weathering the Perfect Storm of Internal and External Threats,” panel discussion at the Cybersecurity and Fraud Forum hosted by Marcum LLP in Boston (October 2016)
  • Boston Bar Association 2014 IP Year in Review: CLE presentation on privacy and data security (January 2015)
  • "The Chief Privacy Officer and Information Governance," Data Breach and Privacy Law Seminar, DRI (September 2014)
  • Information Privacy Summer Institute 2014, University of Maine School of Law (June 2014)
  • "Workplace Privacy: Bring Your Own Device to Work Policies," University of Maine Law School (March 2013)
  • "Financial Services - Information Security and Incident Response in 60 Minutes," CLE presentation to in-house attorneys at a top 10 bank (March 2013)
  • "Managing Cyber Risks in Today’s World – Information Security, Cyber Crimes and Beyond," Maine Bankers Association (November 2012)
  • “Ethical Considerations for Lawyers Using the Cloud,” Maine State Bar Association Summer Meeting (June 2012)
  • “Property Interests in Databases,” Summer Privacy Institute, University of Maine Law School (June 2012)

  • “Vendor Management and Privacy and Security Issues,” Information Security Committee of the ABA (February 2012)

  • 46 States and Counting: State and Federal Data Breach Notification, Presentation at CyberCrime 2011 Symposium (November 2011)
  • Data Security Breach: Now What? – Presentation to Association of Corporate Counsel Northeast Chapter (May 2011)
  • Privacy, Data Security and Breach Notification Obligations under HIPAA, the HITECH Act, and State Laws and Regulations, Presentation to PRISM International (May 2011)
  • State Insurance Privacy and Data Security Laws and Regulations, CLE presentation to in-house attorneys of Fortune 500 insurance company (September 2010)

Publications

  • Co-author, PLC Intellectual Property and Technology, State Q&A, Right of Publicity Laws: Maine (http://us.practicallaw.tr.com/5-542-7486)
  • Chapter titled "The Electronic Communications Privacy Act" in Data Security and Privacy in Massachusetts, book published by MCLE Press (2015)
  • Chapter titled "Corporate Names" in Maine Corporation Law and Practice, a corporate treatise published by Tower Publishing. In this chapter Peter analyzes the standard for approval of corporate names under the Maine Business Corporation Act and explores the intersection of corporate names and unfair competition and trademark law.

Practice Areas

Representative Experience

  • On behalf of major insurers, banks, retailers, public utilities and health care providers, prepared and negotiated hundreds of technology procurement and outsourcing contracts involving mission critical systems and business processes, including major IT outsourcing deals involving offshore software development and other services
  • On behalf of leading software publishers, prepared and negotiated hundreds of software licenses, software development, application hosting, software as a service, joint development, strategic marketing and distributor (reseller/OEM) agreements 

Representative Experience

  • On behalf of publicly-traded (NYSE) financial services company, provided advice regarding IP and regulatory compliance issues, including privacy and data security, in connection with acquisition of a company that provides electronic payment processing solutions in the health care space, specifically, insurance premium and employee benefit payments
  • On behalf of a major U.S. utility, led legal team responsible for preparing and negotiating key technology license and services agreements for full scale deployment of a smart meter solution serving its entire customer base, one of the first such deployments in the United States      

Representative Experience

  • Regularly provide advice regarding compliance with various federal and state laws and regulations relating to privacy, data protection and data breach notification, including the GLB Act, FTC Act, HIPAA, HITECH Act and the NAIC model acts and regulations
  • Regularly counsel clients that have experienced data breaches with respect to breach notification obligations, incident response, communications with regulators, risk mitigation and litigation strategies