On 2 January 2018, the Standardization Administration of China (“SAC”) released the final draft of “Information Technology – Personal Information Security Specification” (National Standard GB/T 35273-2017) (GB/T 35273-2017 信息安全技 术个人信息安全规范) (“Specification”). The Specification came into effect on 1 May 2018. The Specification sets out the recommended practices on personal information protection. Although the Specification is not legally binding, compliance is expected by the PRC authorities and may be taken into account when assessing a company’s compliance with related laws (e.g. China’s Cybersecurity Law).
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In the world of intellectual property rights, there are cracks the law doesn’t reach—areas that do not sit squarely within copyright, patent, or trade secret law. Data is one of those areas. To protect their investments in data, businesses must mortar over the gaps. As part of our Technology Transactions Webinar Series, we will discuss the trowels for the job. The webinar will take place on Tuesday, July 23, 2019, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. EDT.
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In its second statement of intent of the week, on 9 July 2019, the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) announced its intention to fine Marriott International, Inc (“Marriott”) £99.2m under the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) for a personal data breach that occurred in relation to the Starwood guest reservation database system.
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The revised Trade Mark Law was enacted in 2014 to much fanfare, as it included important new provisions targeting bad faith applications by trade mark hijackers, a recurring problem that has plagued brand owners in China. Unfortunately, in the 5 years since the enactment, the new provisions have done little to reduce trade mark hijacking activity and the onus has remained with brand owners to oppose or invalidate hijacked marks.
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The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) today (8 July 2019) announced its intention to fine British Airways (“BA”) £183.39m under the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) for a personal data breach. This is the highest fine issued so far by a European Union data protection supervisory authority for a personal data breach under the GDPR.
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On June 24, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the prohibition against registering immoral or scandalous trademarks, holding that the ban against such trademarks violates the First Amendment by discriminating on the basis of viewpoint. In a 6-3 vote, the Justices, in an opinion written by Justice Kagan, explained their decision to invalidate the Lanham Act’s prohibitions on registrations that “[c]onsist of or comprise immoral … scandalous matter” (15 U.S.C. § 1052(a)), stating that “[t]he government may not discriminate against speech based on the ideas or opinions it conveys.”
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On 4 June 2019, the German Federal Court of Justice upheld a ruling by the German Federal Patent Court in which the latter court denied an application for a compulsory license under a patent related to the treatment of cholesterol-related disorders (Case X ZB 2/19). This decision is in line with previous German jurisprudence that has, with a few exceptions, been restrictive to grant compulsory licenses.
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After the EU Copyright Directive was passed by the EU Parliament last month (see our original blog post for further details), it was formally approved by the Council of the European Union on April 15, 2019. Nineteen EU member states, including Germany, France and the UK, voted in favor. Six member states – namely Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden – voted against the Directive, while three countries abstained from the vote.
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In today’s interconnected, “always-on” environment, it is easy to forget how dependent we all are on records and, more importantly, on the people we trust to make these records correctly and to hold them securely. One solution has been the “trusted third party,” who maintains a single ledger for a group. Blockchain is another solution. From a legal perspective, there are challenges with both the blockchain technology and the idea of adopting smart contracts. Mayer Brown partner Oliver Yaros shares his insights as part of our Tech Talks video series.
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After several months of delay and heated political discussion among all German parties about the scope of protection regarding journalists, whistleblowers and employees, the German parliament adopted the Federal Government’s draft Trade Secrets Act on 21 March 2019. This act implements Directive (EU) 2016/943 of the European Parliament on the protection of undisclosed know-how and business information (trade secrets) against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure into national German law with the aim of establishing a homogenous protection of trade secrets.
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