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Digital Business Lawyer

Volume: 14 Issue: 7
(July 2012)


Leaders of the European Union agreed on 29 June to create a single EU Patent System and to establish a European patent court, which will be headquartered in Paris with two specialised divisions in London and Munich. Most industry experts, however, have expressed their disappointment and concern about the deal. / read more

The UK Government is to abolish sections 17 and 18 of the Digital Economy Act (DEA), said the Department for Culture Media and Sport on 26 June, following a report by Ofcom which found that the site blocking measures would be too unpredictable, costly and slow to be any more effective than existing copyright laws. / read more

A controversial anti-piracy proposal has been rejected by the European Parliament (EP). On 4 July, the EP voted to reject the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). / read more


Search engine Google has offered to settle an ongoing antitrust investigation by the European Commission in an attempt to end possible proceedings against the web giant. On 3 July, Google's chairman, Eric Schmidt, sent a letter to European Commissioner Joaquin Almunia, expressing his hope that a deal could prevent a fully-fledged and in-depth antitrust investigation, which could lead to hefty fines of up to 10% of the search giant's annual revenue. / read more

France / read more

Antitrust issues in the IT industry are high on the European Commission's agenda. In a world dominated by technology, the Commission continues to play an active role in maintaining the innovative freedom of the IT markets and is particularly concerned with entry barriers, interoperability and industry standards. Susanne Zuehlke and Tomas Nilsson, of Latham & Watkins in Brussels, examine recent developments in antitrust and discuss mergers within the IT sector. / read more

Following the implementation of the new UK law governing the use of cookies, which came into force on 27 May, the EU's Article 29 Data Protection Working Party has released an opinion on the exemptions to the requirement to obtain consent for the setting of cookies. Opinion 04/2012, on Cookie Consent Exemption, analyses the grounds on which a cookie may be set without the user's consent, as Rohan Massey, a Partner at McDermott, Will & Emery LLP, discusses. / read more

The recent trend of employers demanding access to the social media accounts of prospective employees has raised privacy concerns and, as a consequence, a number of US States have begun looking to regulate this area. Only last month, the US State of Maryland enacted legislation to limit the demand for such personal information as a condition of employment. Scott W. Pink, an Attorney at DLA Piper LLP, analyses the issue, the exceptions to the rule and the steps businesses should take to ensure they are compliant with laws governing the evolving nature of social media. / read more

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers has recently given the go ahead for the registration of a range of new generic top-level domain names, which can be anything from sports abbreviations or brand names. This decision does create opportunities for exisiting brands, however, it also poses serious challenges, as Jeffrey M. Drake, an Attorney at Wood Philips in Chicago, discusses. / read more

Network neutrality - the principle against restrictions to internet networks - is a much debated issue in Europe. BEREC, the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications, that is responsible for monitoring developments and issuing guidance on net neutrality, recently published a number of draft guidelines, analysing the current situation in Europe. Ginny O'Flinn, a Senior Associate at Olswang in London, discusses the draft guidelines and looks at the first European net neutrality law and the first major court case. / read more

The draft Communications Data Bill aims to reform access to communications data for the intelligence services, in the face of technological advancements and evolving communications channels. Emily Parris and Simon Briskman, of Field Fisher Waterhouse in London, discuss the proposals set out in the draft Bill and exactly what constitutes 'communications data', while they also look at concerns. / read more

Intermediary Liability: Payam Tamiz v Google Inc. and Google UK Limited
Social networks: AKO Capital LLP & another v. TFS Derivatives & others
Price Fixing: Apple Inc and book publishers / read more

About Digital Business Lawyer:

The monthly publication providing authoritative insights and thought leadership on the legal/regulatory issues affecting online business, covering distance selling, contracts, domain names, adblocking, advertising, cloud computing, net neutrality, e-privacy, data protection, cyber crime, the Internet of Things, social media, internet taxation and software / read more

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