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Global Media and Communications Watch The International Legal Blog for the Tech, Media and Telecoms Industry

Eugene Low

Posts by Eugene Low
Posted in Copyright, Intellectual Property Photo of Eugene LowPhoto of Charmaine Kwong

Cheaper in-app purchases… tempting but what is at stake?

Mobile applications are becoming indispensable in our daily lives and businesses. There are many ways to monetize a game app – through showing ads, offering free trials, income from in-app purchases etc. Unfortunately, there are people who reap profit from unauthorized in-app purchases. This also gives rise to potential legal issues such as infringement of intellectual property rights, money laundering, fraud and hacking. This article provides an overview of in-app purchases in games and the potential remedial actions. With the global lockdown and travel restrictions in place, we are seeing

Posted in Intellectual Property Photo of Anthonia GhalamkarizadehPhoto of Eugene Low

esports: IP opportunities and risks for brand owners

“esports” is competitive video gaming at a professional level. This space is attractive to brand owners for targeting today’s saturated audiences with innovative forms of advertising. Combined revenues in the esports industry are expected to grow to US$ 1.4 billion by 2020. It is attracting investors from across diverse sectors, including technology, consumer goods, traditional sports and financial institutions. We’re seeing new regulatory incentives on national and international levels and we’re observing self-regulation of IP ownership in the complex network of individual IP contributions that drive this industry. Click here for

Posted in Copyright, Intellectual Property, patents Photo of Zhen FengPhoto of Eugene Low

Investing in China’s TMT sector: What you need to know

China is a market that represents a paradox for many telecoms, media and technology (“TMT“) companies. On the one hand it offers the promise of almost unlimited growth potential if you get the product right, but on the other it presents huge challenges from the regulatory and compliance perspective in terms of establishing a foothold in the market. The challenges include market access restrictions, data localization requirements, to name but a few. The market access and intellectual property protection issues in particular have been the focal point of the ongoing

Posted in Internet Photo of Eugene LowPhoto of Charmaine Kwong

China: 2-year time-bar revised to 3 years under CNDRP

Previously, under the CNNIC ccTLD Dispute Resolution Policy (CNDRP) which governs the .CN (and .中国) domain in China, no complaints under CNDRP could be filed against a .CN domain which had been registered for more than 2 years. This time bar led to debates as to whether it imposes an unreasonable time limit on the fair and equitable enforcement of intellectual property rights.  For further background to this time-bar under CNDRP, please refer to our previous post (July 2017). Time-Bar extended to 3 years As discussed in our previous post, we

Posted in Intellectual Property Photo of Yu-an ChangPhoto of Zhen FengPhoto of Grace GuoPhoto of PJ KaurPhoto of Eugene Low

Post-INTA roundup: China’s evolving IP landscape

During this year’s 2019 INTA Annual Meeting, our Greater China IP team discussed the following key issues around China’s evolving IP landscape. What’s in store for brand owners in China? Partner, Helen Xia discussed recent updates on strategies to curb trademark hijacking and factors leading up to this phenomenon. In recent years, China has had a high volume of trademark fillings due to the first-to-file principle, the lack of an intent-to-use requirement, and the low costs of filing marks. Internal and external pressures, including trade negotiations with the U.S., have given

Posted in Advertising Photo of Anthonia GhalamkarizadehPhoto of Eugene Low

Webinar recording: From homes to stadiums – Brand presence in esports

Last month, our IP Outlook webinar series looked at the emerging opportunities and risks for brand owners exploring opportunities in the esports market: from innovative advertising and marketing activities during tournaments and within games, sponsorship of tournaments or teams, to merchandise and fan items.The recording of the webinar is now available to watch here. What are esports? Esports refers to competitive video gaming at a professional level, with competitors playing matches in arenas with huge live and online audiences, accompanied by match commentators. The buzz and spectacle accompanying those matches, as well

Posted in Intellectual Property, Policy & Regulation, Technology Photo of Eugene LowPhoto of Andrew McGintyPhoto of Stefaan MeuwissenPhoto of Andrew CobdenPhoto of Yu-an Chang

China breaks new ground with Foreign Investment Law-related IP reform

In a recent move involving both the Chinese legislature (the National People’s Congress) and the executive branch (the State Council), China has overhauled two of its most important pieces of legislation governing inbound IP-related investments. The first major change was the adoption of the new Foreign Investment Law (“FIL”) on 15 March 2019 (full text in Chinese here, English version available upon request). The new FIL will enter into force on 1 January 2020, and the existing legislation that has formed the backbone of Foreign Direct Investment regulation since the

Posted in Advertising, Broadcasting, Entertainment & Content, Intellectual Property, Internet, Technology Photo of Eugene LowPhoto of Anthonia Ghalamkarizadeh

Webinar: From homes to stadiums – Brand presence in esports

On 27 and 28 March, our global IP team will take a look at some of the emerging opportunities and risks for brand owners exploring opportunities in the esports market: from innovative advertising and marketing activities during tournaments and within games, sponsorship of tournaments or teams, to merchandise and fan items (see earlier post here). Esports refers to competitive video gaming at a professional level, with competitors playing matches in arenas with huge live and online audiences, accompanied by match commentators. The buzz and spectacle accompanying those matches, as well as

Posted in Cybersecurity, Data Protection & Privacy, e-commerce Photo of Roy ZouPhoto of Adrian EmchPhoto of Sherry GongPhoto of Andrew McGintyPhoto of Eugene LowPhoto of Mark Parsons

A game changer? China enacts first e-commerce law

In stark contrast to the rapid development of e-commerce in China, it has taken nearly five years and no less than four drafts for China to finalise its first e-Commerce Law. The new law will enter into force on 1 January 2019. This new law has a remarkably broad scope, encompassing many aspects of e-commerce, including, for example, e-payments, product safety, data protection, cybersecurity, anti-competitive conduct, and intellectual property infringement. The law also covers all the main players in the e-commerce industry in China, from the platform operators (like Taobao

Posted in Advertising, Policy & Regulation Photo of Eugene Low

Episode two: Hong Kong relaxes regulations on product placement

The Communications Authority (“CA”) recently issued its decision to relax existing regulations on indirect advertising (commonly known as product placement) in television programmes (“TV programmes”) and to lift bans on advertisements for undertakers and associated services. We have previously discussed the CA’s decision in September 2017 to review its Generic Code of Practice on Television Programme Standards and Generic Code of Practice on Television Advertising Standards (together, the “Codes“) in our article: Opening the door for product placement in Hong Kong? (link). The CA conducted a one-month public consultation in

Posted in Policy & Regulation, Telecoms & Broadband Photo of Eugene LowPhoto of PJ Kaur

Cold calls in hot water: Hong Kong consultation paper on P2P telemarketing

Businesses may often use peer-to-peer (“P2P“) telemarketing calls involving interpersonal communication to promote goods and services directly to customers. While such calls may be effective in some cases, they appear to be not so welcomed by customers in Hong Kong. A 2015 government consultancy study in Hong Kong reports that an overwhelming 96% of call recipients considered such calls as nuisance, with many not answering or hanging up soon after. Considering public sentiment towards P2P calls, the Hong Kong Commerce and Economic Development Bureau (“CEDB“) recently launched a public consultation

Posted in Copyright, Internet Photo of Alastair ShawPhoto of Nathaniel BoyerPhoto of Eugene LowPhoto of Zhen FengPhoto of Josefine CronaPhoto of PJ Kaur

UK, US, HK and China – Access denied: an international perspective on ISP blocking injunctions

While the UK Court of Appeal has opened the door for broadband ISP blocking to combat trademark or copyright-infringing activities (see our earlier report ), the picture in the United States, China and Hong Kong is more complex. “‘It is, it is a glorious thing, to be a Pirate King,’ said W.S. Gilbert: but he was speaking of ship pirates. Today we speak of film pirates. It is not a glorious thing to be, but it is a good thing to be in for making money.” So said celebrated English judge Lord

Posted in Technology Photo of Deanna WongPhoto of Eugene LowPhoto of Zhen Feng

IP aspects of China’s new controversial Cyber Security Law

China’s Cyber Security Law, which will take effect from 1 June, 2017 was finally adopted on 7 November.  The third draft of the law adopted by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, China’s highest legislative authority, contained few changes from the second draft put forward for comment in July, 2016 (see our briefing). The net result is on-going controversy coupled with uncertainty, with multi-national businesses in particular questioning the intent behind the law and criticising its vagueness. All in all, the direction of travel is towards a much

Posted in e-commerce Photo of Eugene Low

China strengthening consumer protection in e-commerce

It is no exaggeration to say that e-commerce is huge in China. E-commerce sales on China’s Singles’ Day (11 November 2016) have been hitting record-high year and year again. This year, it was reported that online consumers of Alibaba’s Chinese website have spent over US$17 billion on the Singles’ Day in just 24 hours. Amid this popularity of e-commerce, the Chinese Government is stepping up its efforts in enhancing consumer protection ins this space. Recently, China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) released an Opinion for Online Consumer Protection

Posted in Policy & Regulation Photo of Eugene Low

Trending to the positive: New draft regulations for consumer protection in China

China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) recently released its draft Implementing Regulations on the Protection of the Rights and Interests of Consumers (Draft Regulations) for comments.  The Draft Regulations seek to further strengthen consumer rights in China. Proposed changes include setting mandatory returns and exchange arrangements, tackling aggressive selling behaviour and expressly prohibiting cold calls. In this article we will look at some of these key proposed changes: 1. Who are the consumers? The Consumer Law provides that consumers who purchased or used goods or accepted services are

Posted in Policy & Regulation Photo of Jun WeiPhoto of Roy ZouPhoto of Nolan ShawPhoto of Andrew McGintyPhoto of Eugene LowPhoto of Mark Parsons

China to grow big on e-healthcare data

On June 21, 2016, the State Council issued the Guiding Opinions on Promoting and Regulating the Development of the Application of Healthcare Big Data (“Guiding Opinions“). The Guiding Opinions declare that healthcare big data is a fundamental, strategic national resource; recognize that its development will have a significant impact on healthcare and medical treatment; and formulate programmatic plans for development goals, key tasks, and an organizational framework. Given the Guiding Opinions’ embrace of digitization, the use of data, and information sharing, we expect that a foreseeable campaign to promote the development

Posted in Advertising, Policy & Regulation Photo of Eugene LowPhoto of Deanna WongPhoto of Andrew McGinty

No place to hide in Chinese cyber space – new rules regulate online advertising

On 4 July 2016, the State Administration of Industry and Commerce (“SAIC“), the regulatory body charged with enforcing, among other things, the People’s Republic of China Advertising Law (revised with effect from 1 September 2015) (“Advertising Law“) released the Administration of Online Advertising Interim Measures (“Interim Measures“; in Chinese <互联网广告管理暂行办法>), which will come into effect on 1 September 2016. These will be the first set of national level rules specifically regulating advertising activities through the Internet and other online media. This is in line with the Chinese government’s earlier attempts

Posted in Internet Photo of Eugene Low

Are mobile chat messages caught by Hong Kong’s anti-spam law?

In April this year, the Magistrates’ Court of Hong Kong directed a defendant to disclose information on the sending of unsolicited group chat messages on a mobile messaging application. This confirms that mobile chat messages and potentially other forms of interactive messaging on social media would be subject to the anti-spam law of Hong Kong, the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Ordinance (“UEMO“). The regulatory authority, the Office of the Communications Authority (“OFCA“), received over 1,000 complaints about the sending of an identical, unsolicited short message promoting the defendant’s tutor referral service via

Posted in Data Protection & Privacy Photo of Eugene Low

Right to be forgotten denied in the Chinese court

The Beijing No.1 Intermediate People’s Court recently refused to recognise that there is a “right to be forgotten” under Chinese laws. However, the fact that this issue was expressly raised and discussed in the Chinese court highlights that litigants and courts in China have kept themselves apprised of data privacy developments elsewhere in the world. And while recognising that this “right to be forgotten” is not expressly provided for under Chinese laws, the Chinese court seemed to have left open the possibility of offering some kind of protection if the

Posted in Internet Photo of Deanna WongPhoto of Eugene LowPhoto of Mark ParsonsPhoto of Sherry Gong

Towards a Greater Chinese Firewall? – China issues new draft domain name rules

On 25 March 2016, the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (the “MIIT“) issued Draft Rules on the Administration of Internet Domain Names (“Draft“) and issued a call for comments. The Draft has raised serious concerns among the public and the international media. In this article we summarize the key changes in the Draft, and try to distinguish fact from fiction. Overview of main changes under the Draft The Draft regulates most aspects of the domain name system in China, and contains various provisions ranging from minimum requirements applicable

Posted in Data Protection & Privacy Photo of Eugene Low

Data Users Alert: New Guidance on Data Breach Handling in Hong Kong

On 9 October 2015, the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data published a Guidance Note on “Data Breach Handling and the Giving of Breach Notifications“, a revised version of its June 2010 edition. The Guidance Note gives guidance to data users (the concept of ‘data user’ is similar to the concept of ‘data controller’ under EU law) on how to deal with data breaches. In particular, the Guidance Note provides more of a focus on the relationship between data users and data processors (third parties engaged to process data on behalf

Posted in Advertising, Internet Photo of Adrian EmchPhoto of Zhen FengPhoto of Eugene Low

Most recent Chinese ‘ad block’ judgment affirms ad-based revenue model for Internet businesses

On 14 October 2015, a local court in Shanghai adopted the latest in a series of judgments on the legality of software and other technical measures that block or skip advertisements on digital platforms. In its judgment, the Shanghai Yangpu District People’s Court found that Juwangshi Technology Corporation (“Juwangshi“), a video streaming service aggregator, had breached anti-unfair competition rules by utilizing certain decryption measures to block ads while displaying videos streamed from iQiyi, one of China’s main online video sites. The judgment also addressed the issue of online businesses “scraping

Posted in Advertising, Internet Photo of Eugene LowPhoto of Deanna Wong

China’s SAIC tightens its grip on online advertising in its newest Draft Measures

Given the lower level of government scrutiny and the widespread use of (mobile) internet, online advertising has become very popular in China. However, in the wake of China’s new Advertising Law, the State Administration of Industry and Commerce (‘SAIC’) has now turned its attention to the online environment, recently issuing its Draft Interim Measures for Supervision and Administration over Internet Advertising (‘Draft Measures’). The Draft Measures have implications for virtually every company providing goods or services in China, and in this post, we summarize the highlights.   Scope of regulated

Posted in Data Protection & Privacy, Policy & Regulation Photo of Mark ParsonsPhoto of Eugene Low

A Right to be Forgotten in Hong Kong?

A recent appeal against an enforcement notice issued by the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data of Hong Kong raised an interesting and highly controversial issue as to whether, and to what extent, individuals in Hong Kong have a “right to be forgotten” entitling them to deletion of personal data in the public domain. This label of “right to be forgotten” gained significant publicity following a landmark ruling of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in May 2014 where it held that under certain circumstances search engines are obliged to remove