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Global Media and Communications Watch

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

Posted in Cybersecurity, e-commerce Zhen FengSuyu Yuan

China: Three Cyberspace Courts now online and open for business

On 9 August and 28 September 2018, the new Cyberspace Courts in Beijing and Guangzhou were officially opened. These new specialised courts, along with their equivalent one that was formed in Hangzhou in August 2017, are meant to tackle the quickly swelling stream of internet-related court procedures in China. The establishment of these specialised courts is an encouraging step for the Chinese internet sector as well as for IP owners: it promises a more flexible procedure, less bureaucracy in obtaining evidence and higher quality judgments, handed down by specialist judges.


The establishment of the two new cyberspace courts fits in with the government’s policy of encouraging and regulating China’s burgeoning e-commerce sector, and comes in the wake of the promulgation of China’s first E-Commerce Law, which will soon enter into force. Continue Reading

Posted in Deal Trends Peter Watts

Headwinds make little impression on cross-border deal dynamics

For those operating in the TMT sector the pace of change in technology and in business models seems only to be matched by the pace with which regulators rush to keep up.

It can sometimes feel like decisions in Beijing, Brussels, London and Washington, to name but a few, are creating unbeatable headwinds for those looking at cross-border M&A in the sector.

Deal Dynamics, the new Hogan Lovells analytical tool looking at cross-border M&A, presents little clear evidence to support that concern.

There may be some signs of a slight softening in an overall cross-border M&A market which continues to show significant activity. However, the statistics provide little indication that cross-border TMT M&A is being hit hard by specific regulatory challenges. Indeed, the figures suggest that strong fundamentals (innovation, convergence and consolidation) continue to carry significantly more weight than the regulatory headwinds.

Those are themes we explore further in the market insights accompanying those figures.

Of course, whether those trends continue remains to be seen. Will the fundamental business deal drivers remain as “hot” as they have over recent years? Will regulators across the world see M&A as a positive driver, or negative influence, on the development of domestic TMT sectors?  Will deal makers and their advisors continue to navigate regulatory challenges?

Those are questions  Deal Dynamics will be monitoring over the coming months.




Posted in Copyright, Digital Single Market (EU) Nils Rauer

DSM Watch: EU copyright “Value Gap” – A video guide

The European Copyright Directive seeks to strike the right balance between the remuneration received by authors and performers, and the profits made by internet platforms when they make their works accessible. This difference is known as the value gap. Our 4 minute video summary covers the following points:

  • What is it?
  • What’s the issue?
  • What about liability?
  • What’s the challenge?
  • Why does it matter?
  • Where do the European Council and Parliament stand on this?
  • Next steps?

Watch the summary here

Posted in Data Protection & Privacy, Internet Christine GateauMichelle Kisloff

The Internet of Things Webinar Series: Overcoming IoT Litigation Challenges

On October 2, 2018, Hogan Lovells hosted the most recent instalment in its Internet of Things Webinar (IoT) Series. Two of our experienced litigation partners, Christine Gateau in Paris and Michelle Kisloff in Washington DC, discussed current regulatory actions and cutting-edge IoT litigation debates in the U.S. and Europe, as well as litigation risks to keep in mind when designing IoT products. To hear more on this topic, please access the full webinar recording using this link.


Posted in Policy & Regulation Imogen Ireland

The Skilled machines disrupting drug design

Capable of identifying novel compounds for therapeutic use, AI is saving time and costs in a process that can take around 10 to 15 years and billions of pounds to complete.

For the pharmaceutical industry, which has traditionally relied on patents to protect innovation and fund R&D, this should be good news, but is an intelligent machine’s output really patentable? This article, first published in Intellectual Property Magazine, October 2018, explores just some of the issues.

Clever algorithm or autonomous robot? 

“AI” is used to describe multiple technologies with a range of computer cognitive abilities, from clever algorithms, to autonomous computers with super-human intellect. Yet whilst the AIs at this latter end of the spectrum are, for the time being, confined to sci-fi, the AIs being developed for use in drug discovery are more advanced than some might think. Start-ups such as BenevolentAI and Healx are training their AIs to learn from public and proprietary resources – including scientific literature, clinical trials and compound libraries – to identify and plan the synthesis of new molecules or known molecules for new uses. Through machine learning, these AIs are able to analyse and learn from vast amounts of data to generate their own approaches to drug design. This is very different to programs currently used in biochemistry to model compounds or run simulations, which generally follow rules-based programming.

AI – not just a buzzword in pharma… Continue reading on HoganLovells.com

Posted in Data Protection & Privacy

California Consumer Privacy Act: The Challenge Ahead – Four Key Considerations for Health and Life Sciences Companies

This is the sixth installment in Hogan Lovells’ series on the California Consumer Privacy Act.

The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA) adds another set of privacy requirements for health and life sciences companies.  Managing the interaction of these new requirements with existing obligations under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), California’s Confidentiality of Medical Information Act (CMIA), and other health privacy laws will continue to be an area of focus in the health privacy community for years to come.

We describe below these issues and outline four important steps health and life sciences companies may consider to assess the CCPA’s operational impact. Continue Reading

Posted in Cybersecurity Mark BrennanBret Cohen

NTIA Seeks Comment on New, Outcome-Based Privacy Approach

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) issued a Request for Comments (RFC) on a new consumer privacy approach that is designed to focus on outcomes instead of prescriptive mandates. The RFC presents an important opportunity for organizations to provide legal and policy input to the administration, and comments are due October 26.The RFC notes that there is a fragmented approach to privacy, both in the U.S. and worldwide, as a “growing number of foreign countries, and some U.S. states, have articulated distinct visions for how to address privacy concerns.” Such fragmentation increases regulatory costs and hinders innovation. Furthermore, the RFC says the current prescriptive approach “does not necessarily provide measurable privacy benefits” and leads to “long, legal, regulator-focused privacy policies and check boxes, which only help a very small number of users” and stymie innovation. The RFC proposes seven desired outcomes that should underpin privacy protections: Transparency, control, reasonable minimization (of data collection, storage length, use, and sharing), security, access and correction, risk management, and accountability. According to the RFC, the outcome-based approach will provide greater flexibility, consumer protection, and legal clarity. The new approach also seeks to reduce fragmentation and increase harmonization and interoperability. Additionally, the RFC describes eight overarching goals for federal action on privacy:

Continue Reading

Posted in Technology

AI, machine learning & legal tech: The 6th Hamburg Legal Tech Meetup at Google with Hogan Lovells

On September 6, the sixth Hamburg Legal Tech Meetup took place at Google’s German headquarters in Hamburg. The Hamburg Legal Tech Meetup is an event series initiated by Nico Kuhlmann (Hogan Lovells). The gathering of stakeholders aims at elaborating new ways of adapting legal services to digitalisation by further enhancing interdisciplinary and inter-industry exchange in the field of legal tech.

This meetup’s technical focus was on artificial intelligence and particularly machine learning while the legal spotlight focused on how in-house counsel and external law firms are going to cooperate well under the influence of legal tech. Continue Reading

Posted in Technology Imogen Ireland

EU Patent Office publishes preview of guidelines on patenting AI applications

The preview-version of the EPO’s Guidelines for Examination is out now (link here), and, for the first time ever, there is specific guidance on patenting AI applications – Are there any surprises in the Guidelines?

Earlier this year the European Patent Office (“EPO”) held its first ever conference on patenting artificial intelligence (“AI”). Following intensive discussions on the impact of AI in the patents sector, the EPO promised to update its Guidelines for Examination, to provide specific guidance on the examination of AI applications under existing computer-implemented inventions (“CII”) practice and case law.

The EPO has delivered on its promise. A preview-version of the new Guidelines is now available on its website. These Guidelines are set to take effect on 1 November 2018. Plot spoiler alert – the new section on AI and machine learning now appears in section 3.3.1 of Part G of the Guidelines.  Those of you who are familiar with the Guidelines will immediately spot that this new section on AI and machine learning has been inserted under the part of the guidelines that deals with mathematical methods. Unsurprisingly, then, the new section begins by saying that, whatever other labels “AI” and “machine learning” might carry, they are based on computational models and algorithms, and (it appears) are to be treated as such for the purposes of examination:

Such computational models and algorithms are per se of an abstract mathematical nature, irrespective of whether they can be “trained” based on training data.

Continue Reading

Posted in Data Protection & Privacy Bret Cohen

California Consumer Privacy Act: The Challenge Ahead – A Comparison of 10 Key Aspects of The GDPR and The CCPA

This is the fifth installment in Hogan Lovells’ series on the California Consumer Privacy Act. 

As the most comprehensive privacy law to be enacted in the United States thus far, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) has inevitably invited comparisons to the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). At first glance, it is clear that the drafters of the CCPA (and the ballot measure that spurred its passage) drew inspiration from the GDPR. However, the CCPA is not a carbon copy of the GDPR, and a GDPR compliance program will not automatically meet the requirements of the CCPA. As businesses begin their CCPA compliance efforts, awareness of these laws’ similarities and differences will be key to creating efficient and effective compliance programs that capitalize on prior GDPR compliance work but also address the unique nuances of the CCPA. This post compares the CCPA and the GDPR in ten key areas: (1) geographic scope, (2) entities subject to the law, (3) the definition of personal data/information, (4) notice requirements, (5) access and portability rights, (6) deletion rights, (7) rights to object or opt out, (8) relationships with processors/service providers, (9) anti-discrimination / compelled consent provisions, and (10) enforcement. Continue Reading