Science and Technology Law Articles
Articles written by attorneys and experts worldwide
discussing legal aspects related to Science and Technology.
September 16, 2014 By GRP Rainer LLP
Computers have become indispensable in private households and even more so in companies. When using software, licensing agreements, in particular, must be observed.
September 10, 2014 By MMLC Group
This article is aimed at introducing some important provisions of the PRC Patent Law that pharmaceutical companies need to be aware of when making or selling their drugs in China.
The EU Data Retention Directive (2006/24/EC) was introduced into EU legislation during the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Madrid, London and New York, and provided that communications firms should keep data about subscribers’ activities for a period of between 6 and 24 months.
New Law Concerning Debt Recovery in Albania - "On Late Payments for Contractual and Commercial Obligations”
By LPA Law Firm
The Albanian parliament has passed on 24.04.2014 the law no. 48/2014 “On Late Payments for Contractual and Commercial Obligations”, which is partially aligned with the Directive 2011/7/EU of the European Parliament “On Combating Late Payment in Commercial Transactions”.
By MMLC Group
The coverage provided by China's Plant Variety Rights Law and associated regulations.
Verizon, the US telecommunications giant, has issued Netflix with a “cease and desist” letter following media reports claiming that Netflix was blatantly telling its customers that the Verizon network was responsible for faulty streaming.
On the 13th May 2014 the Norwegian Consumer Council lodged a complaint against Apple with Norway’s Consumer Ombudsman. According to the complaint, Apple’s iCloud service violates European consumer law by allowing Apple to change its terms and conditions at any time without giving notice to its customers.
The US Court of Appeals ruled last Monday the 12th of May that software source code can qualify for copyright protection in certain circumstances.
Peer-to-peer networks are commonly used in child pornography investigations. It's important to understand what they are and how they are searched. From a defense standpoint, it is important to understand whether the accused was knowledgeable about the network's settings as that can impact the charges filed.
Last week a district judge in New York ruled that US authorities can access and search through electronic data stored by US companies on servers based outside the US.
Criminals are utilizing their Internet connection to file false tax returns that help them steal refunds from the innocent. In 2013, fraudulent returns saw almost $4 billion sent into the hands of scam artists. Making things worse is the fact that the Internal Revenue Service is having a hard time stopping the fraud from happening in the first place.
The concept of ‘net neutrality’, or of ‘open internet’, refers to the notion that internet service providers and governments should treat all data on the Internet equally. Advocates of this concept envisage an internet where people can use their internet connection from anywhere and for anything with no additional charges and/or restrictions.
Broadcasting and telecommunication has come a long way in Nigeria. Formally these services were considered social services in nature hence private companies were foreclosed from participation of any kind. This article will explore these procedures, conditions for grant, refusal, renewal and withdrawals of these licenses.
The Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) of 2012 governs the collection, use and disclosure of personal data by private organisations. It establishes a Do Not Call (DNC) Registry, which came into effect on 2 January 2014. Here are five things you need to know about the DNC.
DRC: Adoption of legal framework for the implementation and operation of fiber optic telecommunication networks.
The DRC adopts a legal framework for the implementation and operation of fiber optic telecommunication networks.
The principle of non-transferability of telecommunications licenses challenged by the OHADA Law as a result of the accession of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to OHADA.
The strengthening of data protection laws in Europe has been a pet cause for German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, for some time now. In July 2013, Merkel was strongly backed by the European commission in her call for tougher data protection laws, particularly in the ICT sector.
By LPA Law Firm
The electronic communications sector in Albania is governed by the Electronic Communications Law, 2008, as amended and supplemented by implementing regulations.
A Malaysian perspective on White-Collar Crime. A daunting task it has failed to curb, yet.
Research and Development (R&D) activities have been supported in numerous countries since 1970's in order to increase the industrial production activities. To maintain and develop these activities, technoparks have been established in Turkey and in many other countries.
Medical researchers and private companies across the world spend years mapping the human genome in an effort to discover the root causes - and cures - for gene-related diseases and illnesses that kill people every day. The research involves isolating and testing individual genes in order to determine how to manipulate them.
Notwithstanding the reasoning, companies in China have yet another amorphous compliance bugbear to obey. Given the inconsistent state of existing data privacy rules and recent dicta that position personal data at the epicenter of the data protection maelstrom, one might think it counter-intuitive, if not disingenuous, that there is no legally authoritative definition of “personal data” under Chinese law.
There is a significant regulation with regard to the companies in Turkey and their shareholders in Turkey and abroad which has been promulgated in the Official Gazette dated August 28, 2012, numbered 28396, which indicate ‘‘Regulation pertaining to the General Assembly of Joint Stock Companies to be held via Electronic Means (EGKS) ’’.
Virtually anyone who has used the Internet outside of China has heard of the search engine giant Google (China blocks Google and has its own domestic search engine). But, many did not know that in 2002, one of Google's founders, Larry Page, had a plan to put every book ever written on the Internet. The plan stalled after legal troubles, but may now be back on track thanks to the Fair Use Doctrine.
Once again, the EU is dealing with data protection. Under new EU regulations, companies must now report data mishaps within 24 hours.
With patent expirations large pharmaceuticals are facing, there has been a tremendous opportunity for growing biotech companies.
If you run a website, you may already be familiar with the concept of website's terms of service (“TOS”). If you are just starting out with your own site, you may not be familiar with these and need to get a handle on what is involved. In either case, terms of service can help to protect the owners of a website from liability to those who use the site or others, and should be an essential part of any website you own or design.
App developers, users, and regulators alike are all grappling with the possibilities and implications of app technology in the health sector. As use of these apps grows, increasing attention is also being paid to privacy issues where those apps involve the collection and use of personal information including patient data. This article highlights some of the privacy fundamentals to consider, in particular when developing a medical app.
The majority of enterprises nowadays rely on information technology as an essential tool for meeting their business objectives as well as safeguarding their intellectual property, financial information and the Company’s reputation, amongst others. Concurrently, critical digital assets are being targeted and the potential impacting businesses has never been greater.
The rights of software licenses may not simply be transferred with the sale of authenticity certificates.
Of all human rights, privacy can be one of the most difficult to balance. This is exacerbated by the Internet where free, easy and voluntary dissemination of information is routine both in the business and privately.
The United States Congress enacted ESIGN in 2000 (Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 7001 – 7006, (2012)) and Turkish Parliament enacted the 'Elektronik İmza Kanunu' (Electronic Signatures Law - EIK) in 2004. This article targets to summarize a comparison of approach between these statutes.
Acknowledging the importance of the IT sector in Ukraine’s economy, the government has provided tax breaks to qualified companies and individuals in the IT sector that fall under the category of "subjects of the software product industry". From the period of January 1, 2013 until January 1, 2023, qualified IT companies and individuals are subject to a reduced profit tax rate of only 5%, provided they maintain a separate accounting of income and expenses of their activity in this sphere.
A proprietor of an internet connection generally should not be liable for copyright breaches of their spouse.
On February 27, the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party adopted an opinion on smart devices. The opinion strives to clarify the European regime on the collection and use of personal information by means of smart devices.
The ECJ has ruled that the spreading of television programs via live streaming without the creator’s consent shall not be possible.
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has decided that the general permission of resale of software also applies, if the licenses have been downloaded from the Internet.
It has emerged from a judgment of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) dated 7 March 2013 (file no. C-607/11) that television broadcasters can probably ban the dissemination of their broadcasts via live streaming.
Google has long provided the service of blocking search results in pursuance to website takedown requests.
The retransmission of television programs of broadcasting companies over the internet by other companies can be prohibited by a broadcasting company.
DR Congo Adopts a Legal Framework for the Implementation and Operation of Fiber Optic Telecommunication Networks
The Minister of Posts, Telecommunications and New Technologies of Information and Communication, « The Minister », has recently taken, not without reason, a Decree of major importance in a world where the quality of telecommunication services is required at any price.
In the EU, the “right of access” to one’s personal data has existed for over a decade. The US, on the other hand, seemed to be moving in a vastly different direction.
Since September 12, 2012, OHADA Law (the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa) is directly applicable and binding, as domestic positive law, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (“DRC”).
The internationally recognised regulator of web addresses Icann (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is constantly seeking new ways to avoid abusive use of domain names. One of the more common abuses is that of cybersquatting, the act of registering domain names consisting in somebody else’s trademark in order to make gains of that trademark’s reputation. There are several types of cybersquatting, however this is the most common.
When we think about creativity in the field of technology, we normally think about the U.S. and Japan. The European Union Commissioner for technology and the digital agenda Neelie Kroes is now actively trying to challenge this notion. Few people realize, for example, that Angry Birds and Skype were actually created in Europe. These may not trump the prolific success of Silicon Valley, but they are certainly a start.
For over a year, Microsoft has been under the watch of the EU Commission regarding a perceived breach in EU competition law due to their “Windows” operating system being shipped with a pre-loaded internet browser.
The EU has long been considering the implementation of frameworks and legal solutions to address mounting concerns in regard to cyber security. In addition to the introduction of a new strategy in this regard, the Commission made a proposal in February 2013 to introduce a directive to facilitate the creation of a harmonized network and to standardize information security throughout the EU.
The data privacy law in Hong Kong underwent a microscopic review a result of the Octopus card case of unauthorized sale of customers' personal data and greater awareness of individual's privacy rights in today's rapid changing technology.
EU Application (App) developers for smartphones and tablets are anxiously awaiting new guidelines from the Article 29 Working Party which is composed of representatives from all national EU data protection authorities.
Technology has become a staple in today’s legal industry by shaping and changing the way business is conducted.
On the 14th January 2013, Neelie Kroes, in her capacity as Commissioner responsible for telecommunications within the European Union, issued a statement that the EU will dedicate this year to introducing reforms in the regulation of the pan-European telecoms market.
The proposed new EU General Data Protection Regulation continues to generate discussion at the EU level.
The amendments to the Belgian Act on Electronic Communications (Telecom Act) entered into force on October 1, 2012. Amongst other things, the amended Telecom Act introduces a requirement for opt-in consent for cookies and a data breach notification obligation for telecommunications providers.
Face Recognition Technology
This article was written to help explain the various video formats available to attorneys after conducting a video deposition.
In 2009, Microsoft made an agreement with the European Commission, in its capacity as the pan-European antitrust watchdog that it would offer the opportunity to users to choose which web browser to use on its Windows 7 operating system. The discussions that brought about this agreement were labelled as the “Browser Wars”.
A new study reveals that over 20 percent of patent filings can now be traced to mobile technology. The findings suggest that the industry may be the future of innovation. The study, authored by consultant Chetan Sharma, examined approximately 7 million patents granted both by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the European Patent Office.
Service providers in the mobile and ICT sectors are currently calling for a review of the existing EU level framework concerning the protection of personal data. They have pointed out that the 2002 “ePrivacy Directive” and the newly proposed “Data Protection Regulation”, if left as they are, would create discrepancies in data protection standards that would be detrimental to industry, consumer and operator alike.
Where the priority of the community trademark over a national trademark is in debate, then the day of registration is pertinent and not the exact time. The precise time of the brand registration mustn't be considered. With the help of a Spanish court, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) built a specific ruling on the 22.03.2012 (C - 190/10) that the term "registration day", consistent with article 27 of the Community trademark rules (GMV)...
In the wake of the controversial law commonly called ACTA, the Maltese government has undertaken a public consultation exercise in order to enshrine “digital rights” in our Constitution. Currently, these rights are known to be the following: - The right to internet access; - The right to access information online; - The right to online freedom of expression; and - The right to exchange information online.
A recent DMCA takedown request to the web hosting company “ServerBeach” resulted in the temporary denial of access to 1.45 million education related blogs. The notice regarded the website “Edublogs” which hosted all the blogs in question, all of which were housed on ServerBeach’s hardware. The subject of the notice was a questionnaire from 2007 which was under copyright protection in favour of a company going by the name of “Pearson”.
In the wake of Apple’s recent announcement of the iPhone 5, the Brussels based consumer standardisation group ANEC has expressed its “dismay” at Apple’s decision to market its new product with yet another new “stand-alone” piece of technology.
On the 21st August 2012 Pablo Chavez, Google’s public policy director, released a statement saying that software patents, rather than promoting innovation and creativity, are actually stifling it. He further commented that these measures have the effect of harming consumers who have less varied products to choose from on the market. This was after Motorola Mobility, one of Google’s many subsidiaries, sued Apple, demanding an import ban on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
The High Court in the UK recently rejected an appeal made by Michael Toth in regard to his loss of the domain name ‘emirates.co.uk’. Toth, who possessed an extensive portfolio of domains, such as ‘china.co.uk’ and ‘maldives.co.uk’ appealed to the high court stating that his registration of the domain ‘emirates.co.uk’ was not done abusively.
Regulation of social media from a global prospective. Jan Dhont comments on transatlantic differences. Social media policies attempt to grapple with the impact that employee conduct online may have on the reputation, business interests, and legal obligations of an organization. They do this by guiding employees on appropriate online behavior and prohibiting certain conduct.
Environmental Audit, One of the Conditions for Mining Operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Mining is a key sector and continues to grow in several part of the world including in the Democratic Republic of Congo [DRC]. Legislation for mining may require an environmental impact assessment to be carried out before a mine is developed, and that a mine be developed and operated in an environmentally sound manner with the least impact on the environment. This paper gives insights of the environmental audit for mining operations in the DRC.
In 2012 the Australian Parliament will implement reforms to the Privacy Act which grant more powers to the Information Commissioner and streamline some of the public and private sector obligations relating to privacy. Australia’s Privacy Act 1988 (‘the Privacy Act’) governs the federal privacy regime in Australia, along with other legislation relating to telecommunications, health care, government data-matching, and criminal records.
By Asia Law
Companies that wish to produce new technologies often choose to jointly develop it with others. That option is popular, as it allows two companies to share their respective strengths, resources and expertise. It is also risky, because each party relies on the other and may be required to share sensitive trade-secrets and other intellectual property rights. However, handled properly, the risks can be minimized and a mutually beneficial relationship can flourish.
The Internet is destroying the enforceability of small business contracts. Here are a few examples: Case 1: Painting Company and the BBB. - A house painting company (“PaintCo”) bid on and signed a contract with a home owner to paint his house. The contract had a three day cancelation clause which was not invoked.
I spent three weeks in Brazil at the end of 2011, traveling in Campinas, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and the upscale resort town of Buzios in RJ State. One way in which Brazilian urban and suburban landscapes differ from those in the United States is that almost everywhere you look, you see new multi-family construction projects being built, mostly high-rises.
In a recent ruling, a Finnish District Court held that when an act of copyright infringement takes place through the use of a person’s open Wi-Fi network, by somebody other than the owner of the network, that same owner cannot be held liable for the infringing acts. The case was brought by the Finnish Anti-Piracy Centre, a coalition of intellectual property right holders. They collectively sued a woman who owned the network for €6,000.
Broadband is a game changing development and policy-makers are still in “catch-up” mode. Legislatures and courts have so far taken a fairly traditional approach to dealing with the protection of online copyright works. Ultimately, it is expected that creative creators will continue to think outside the square to develop new business models – and that this group will manage to stay “ahead of the curve” when it comes to generating value (and new revenue streams) from their creative efforts.
Transborder data flows are a significant concern for those interested and involved in cyber-security and information privacy. The issue is given particular focus in the context of cloud computing. A key new source of risk for users on cloud computing services is that associated with the storage of data and the execution of transactions in foreign jurisdictions. This whitepaper examines government and industry responses to cross-border data flows in the context of cloud computing.
Inadequate data security leaves businesses open to significant damage and embarrassment. Whilst data security is a key concern for any business when it considers the use of its IT resources, businesses that operate within, or are seeking to operate within, the cloud need to be particularly attuned to the increased risks and dilemmas that cloud computing poses for their data security. - Data Security in the Cloud - A Whitepaper by Nicholls Legal
The adequate protection of the privacy of personal and sensitive data has proved to be one of the key concerns that has emerged in the area of cloud computing. Adequate protection of privacy intersects with many other issues affecting cloud computing, including data security, jurisdictional concerns and contractual issues. Cloud Computing and Privacy - A Whitepaper by Nicholls Legal
Clinical Trial Agreements (“CTAs”) can be surprisingly complex documents with numerous legal issues, particularly in the setting of a multi-center trial for a new drug product candidate. This outline highlights the principal issues typically arising in a CTA and some of the considerations for companies sponsoring pharmaceutical trials (“Sponsors”) in addressing these issues.
Update: The Agreement drawn up at EU level regulating this matter will come into force as of 1st July 2012.
At least three promising studies during the past decade indicate that heart patients may one day enjoy improved health after their hearts are treated with stem cells taken from some of their own fat cells. Several of these studies have been run by Dr. James Willerson of the Texas Heart Institute. During recent interviews, Dr. Willerson has said that he believes one of his most successful studies was the one he presented in 2011.
Recognizing that the development of a bed sore during an admission to a hospital as something that simply should not occur, many facilities have begun to categorize their development for what they truly are a serious medical error. Bed sores now join a list of dreadful occurrences such as: operations on the wrong body part, patient suicides, foreign objects left in during surgery and deadly falls in the hospital as situations that simply shouldn't occur in the presence of proper medical care.
We’ve all heard the phrase “taking the Fifth.” A defendant in a criminal defense TV drama takes the Fifth in answer to a question as his Atlanta criminal lawyer glances from the stand. A friend jokes that she’s going to take the Fifth about what she was doing last night because her partner would be upset. But what does “taking the Fifth” mean?
Recently, McDole & Williams has received multiple requests to evaluate official-looking trademark registration notices received by clients. These official-looking notices claim to be from governmental trademark offices, alleging that the client must pay fees in order to maintain his/her trademark and rights.
Unfortunately, about two out of three new clients come to our firm because they have a problem with their signed contract or legal documentation. Too late, they have received the previously unconsidered information that their contract does not have a jurisdictional provision (so they are being sued in Idaho); or their contract doesn’t allow for....
A brief summary of some positive and negative consequences of the America Invents Act. America Invents Act: Pros and Cons - by Todd Juneau
The European online privacy watchdog known as the ‘Article 29 Working Party’ has called for stricter regulation on the practice of using ‘cookies’ for online advertising. A cookie is a tracking program uploaded to a computer by advertising companies in order to monitor the activities of an internet user. This, in turn, allows the advertising company to forward advertisements to the user tailored to their personal interests.
In 2004, California voters enacted Proposition 71, approving $3 billion worth of funding for stem cell research to be allocated over a 10-year period to different research facilities. Now, in 2011, the money is scheduled to run out in around five years and voters are debating whether to approve a proposition authorizing additional funding. The proposition of providing more public funding for stem cell research has proven controversial among California voters, explains a lawyer.
By Jaburg Wilk
Generic top level domains known as “gTLDs” are about to change. If you are thinking that this may be interesting but has no effect on you or your business, think again. Brand owners have several options for protecting their trademarks in this new unlimited gTLD system. By: Maria Crimi Speth
The Hungarian Parliament has recently adopted a new act arguing that the provisions of the current data protection are outdated. Although the applicable EU directive is under significant review in the EU, the new Hungarian act still follows the old (current) EU legislation. The new act is called Information Act), and maintains the rigid Hungarian system of data protection and misses the opportunity to help foreign data processing.
What is a Shell Company? Securities Act Rule 405 and Exchange Act Rule 12b-2 define a Shell Company as a company, other than an asset-backed issuer, with no or nominal operations; and either: • no or nominal assets; • assets consisting of cash and cash equivalents; or • assets consisting of any amount of cash and cash equivalents and nominal other assets. By: Brenda Lee Hamilton, Attorney Hamilton & Associates Law Group
Petroleum Market Law numbered 5015 has been enacted at December 4, 2003, within the efforts performed to institutionalize the market economy and improve the competitive environment in order to update the current legal regulations in the petroleum and petroleum product industry and regulate the markets.
A lot of people who use the internet have the need to protect their privacy. However, the internet is still so new that online privacy laws are still being written and modified.
Debt Relief Websites are they trouble? Make sure you review the terms and conditions of any site before agreeing.
Microsoft is currently in the process of acquiring the well known VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) provider Skype. This move has caused a great deal of concern to competing companies, some of which have filed objections in all applicable jurisdictions where the merger is being examined.
In a preliminary ruling passed by the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Justice on the 4th October 2011, the court laid down a variety of principles which may bring about changes for the television service market.
Defamation and Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
The author explains behavior marketing and its possible ramifications on people.
Don't think you need contracts for your website? Think again! Consult a lawyer today that specializes in internet law.
Over the last several years the pharmaceutical markets of some countries of the former Soviet Union have witnessed strengthening positions of domestic production of medicines, as well as the general tendency of the imported medicines substitution by the domestically produced pharmaceutical products (so-called “import substitution”).
The European Commission is persisting in its efforts to bring about further accessibility to consumers roaming within its borders by further standardizing the cost of voice calls, Short Message Service (SMS) and data transfer across the European Union whilst roaming. A new roaming regulation which will be updating the current one should be announced on the 6th July 2011 The regulation must be approved by the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers before being implemented.