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SEC and CFTC Offer Views on Regulation of Virtual Currency

On February 6, 2018, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton and CFTC Chairman Christopher Giancarlo provided testimony on virtual currencies to the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. Below we provide a summary of the written statements and testimony and analysis for participants in the virtual currency and blockchain spaces. New Possibilities, New Risks Takeaway:  … Continue Reading

Digital Single Market: EU negotiators agree to end unjustified geoblocking

The European Commission has issued a press release announcing that the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission have reached a political agreement to end unjustified geoblocking for consumers wishing to buy products or services online within the EU.   Geoblocking occurs when a customer is treated differently based on their nationality, place of residence or location … Continue Reading

USPTO Continues Outreach on Patent Subject Matter Eligibility with Recap of Roundtable Discussions

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) recently released a Report summarizing the comments received during two roundtable discussions that the USPTO hosted in 2016 on patent subject matter eligibility. Since 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court has issued four major decisions that have transformed subject matter eligibility law, and the USPTO has responded with … Continue Reading

New Bill Changes Telecoms Regulation in France

In earlier posts, we have highlighted the impact of the Digital Republic Bill in France on regulation in the digital sphere, such as open data, the online cooperative economy and access to the internet. This post highlights the changes introduced by the Bill that will particularly affect stakeholders in the telecommunications sector. The key measures … Continue Reading

Drones – The Legal Challenges

Commercial use of drones is on the rise, with companies like Amazon (which recently filed a patent for a “flying warehouse”) positioning themselves at the forefront of the field. The challenge is to capitalise on drones’ commercial and technological potential, whilst navigating a complex and developing area of law.      UK regulation is comparatively flexible, although … Continue Reading

New Year’s Resolution: Make Sure Privacy Policies are Followed and Opt-Out Procedures Work

A recent Federal Trade Commission (FTC) settlement is a reminder that companies should make sure that they live up to their privacy policies and that their opt-out procedures work as promised.  If not, the FTC is likely to claim that the company violated Section 5 of the FTC Act by engaging in unfair and deceptive … Continue Reading

New Comprehensive Chinese Cyber Security Law Approved

This week, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress approved the new Cyber Security Law. The law, which contains 79 articles under eight chapters, is set to take effect in June 2017 and has wide-ranging implications for how companies in China handle personal data and cybersecurity issues. The law applies broadly to entities or … Continue Reading

Technology Licensing: Some Strategic Thinking

Inventors and technology owners considering licensing their technology may want to read our guidance note: ‘Technology Licensing: Some Strategic Thinking’.  Drafted with potential licensors in mind, the note explores some of the key issues around technology licensing (that is, licensing the IP rights subsisting in an inventive product or process in return for royalty income).  … Continue Reading

ITC To Consider Whether Laches Is An Available Defense In Section 337 Investigations

The US International Trade Commission (“ITC”) announced that it will consider whether a laches defense can be used in Section 337 investigations. In Certain Network Devices, Related Software, and Components Thereof, the respondent argued that a laches defense should be available in light of the Federal Circuit’s 2015 decision in SCA Hygiene Prods v. First … Continue Reading

FTC Prescribes Data Security and Privacy Best Practices for Mobile Health App Developers

Mobile apps that collect and report health-related data have increased consumers’ knowledge and tracking of their individual health issues in inventive ways– a consumer can count her daily steps and caloric intake, monitor blood pressure, and track many other variables.  Some apps are interactive and are capable of transmitting data to health professionals—or other third … Continue Reading

Political Robocalls Are Subject to TCPA Rules: Reminder from Federal Communications Commission Enforcement Advisory

The presidential campaign is well underway in the U.S., even though the election is over 6 months away.  Many candidates reach out to the public through automated phone calls or texts, often referred to as “robocalls,” and prerecorded voice calls. To remind candidates and their campaigns that those calls and texts are regulated under the federal … Continue Reading

Excellent Summary of the FCC’s Net Neutrality Order

With much publicity, the FCC recently released its Open Internet Order laying out the its revised net neutrality rules.  In an historic change of position, the Order, among other things, (1) reclassifies retail broadband internet access as subject to “common carrier” regulations, (2) imposes prohibits from giving preferred customers a “fast lane” to end-user customers, … Continue Reading

Website Terms of Use: Website Owners Beware of Pitfalls Leading to Unenforceability

Companies typically include a “Terms of Use” on their websites, which essentially serves as a contract between the company and the website user regarding the user’s use of the website.  Online Terms of Use are typically presented to consumers in a couple of different forms (more on that below). Companies with websites targeted to U.S. … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Ruling In Aereo – What Does It Mean For New Technologies?

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a much-anticipated ruling in the latest chapter of the saga of copyright infringement cases related to new technology.  In American Broadcasting Cos., Inc. v. Aereo, Inc., the Court held that Aereo’s broadcast television Internet streaming service constituted an unauthorized public performance in violation of the Copyright Act.  … Continue Reading

.LONDON domain name to launch on 29 April 2014

What is it?  A new top-level domain name (TLD) permitting registration of (brand).LONDON, with priority given to London businesses, organisations and individuals.  Anyone with a presence or interest in London should consider seeking to register a .LONDON domain name.  It is expected that domain names will be allocated by August or September 2014. Who is … Continue Reading

Read this before you Tweet that link!

Most companies by now have made their footprint in social media, including on leading platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.   With 500 million Tweets being sent per day, companies need to get creative to come up with enough content to engage their consumers.  One popular technique is to send Tweets that contain links to third-party content, along … Continue Reading

When is hyperlinking lawful?

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), Europe’s highest court, has given its much anticipated ruling on when hyperlinking will be lawful (Svensson v Retriever Sverige AB). The dispute The dispute concerned four journalists who wrote for the Swedish newspaper Gӧteborgs-Posten.  The articles also appeared on the Gӧteborgs-Posten website.  Retriever Sverige (Retriever) operated … Continue Reading

European Union: the circumvention of copy protection measures can be lawful

A few days ago, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), Europe’s highest court, handed down a ruling which will be of interest to copyright holders who supply copy protected works and those who manufacture and supply devices designed to circumvent the copy protection. The result of the ruling is that those devices will, … Continue Reading

New CNIL guidance on cookie use

On 5 December 2013, the French data protection authority, the CNIL, published new guidance (with supporting user-friendly factsheets) on the use of cookies by businesses operating in France.  The guidance updates the CNIL’s informal recommendations on the use of tracing technologies first published at the end of 2011.   All businesses using cookies must familiarise themselves … Continue Reading

Beginning Of The End For “Sockpuppet” PR

Wikipedia’s parent company, Wikimedia, has recently sent a cease and desist letter to a PR firm for engaging in an activity known as “sockpuppetry”. For the uninitiated, “sockpuppetry” is essentially the practice of altering Wikipedia articles to make a company, person or client look better from a PR perspective. Wikipedia’s concern about this practice, is that it … Continue Reading