31 December 2015

IoT, Internet of Things, Inevitable Collision with Product Liability

IoT, Internet of Things, Inevitable Collision with Product Liability, security, Industrial Internet Consortium, cybersecurity,

source: The Internet of Things and the Inevitable Collision with Product Liability PART 5: Security and the Industrial Internet Consortium | Wilson Elser - JDSupra

30 December 2015

Pintrips Emerges “Pin” Intact in Trademark Dispute with Pinterest

re: brands, trademarks

source: Pintrips Emerges with Its “Pin” Intact in Trademark Dispute with Pinterest | Pillsbury’s Social Media & Games Law Blog - JDSupra

10 December 2015

Cyber-Insurance Does Not Ensure Protection From Data Breach

... a recent lawsuit filed in California underscores that while obtaining cyber-insurance may be prudent, it cannot replace conducting a thorough risk assessment and adopting best practices when it comes to information security management. Failure to implement critical information security policies may render a cyber-insurance policy invalid...

cybersecurity, insurance, data, breach, cyberattack, security,

Source: Cyber-Insurance Does Not Ensure Protection From Data Breach | Wiggin and Dana LLP - JDSupra

09 December 2015

Google Cracking Down on Advertising Fraud

source: Google Cracking Down on Advertising Fraud | Michelman & Robinson, LLP - JDSupra

Google is cracking down on domains that falsely represent advertising inventory with its Ad Traffic Quality Team, currently showcasing a filtering tool—DoubleClick Bid Manager (DBM)—that detects when publishers are trying to trick advertisers.

07 December 2015

Trademark Issues: Selection, Protection, Registration, Use

trademark selection, registration, registerable,  protectable, protection, mark, trademarks, goods, services, United States Patent and Trademark Office, USPTO, categories, arbitrary, fanciful, suggestive, descriptive, generic, federal trademark law, immoral, deceptive, scandalous, deceptively, misdescriptive, geographically, distinctive,  secondary meaning, consumers, confusion test, trademark use, adjective, infringement

source: Issues to Be Aware of When Seeking Trademark Protection | McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP - JDSupra

04 December 2015

Copyright, Google: Digitize Millions of Books is Fair Use

Recent decision handed down by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit found that Google’s scanning of copyrighted books as part of its Library Project amounted to “fair use” and did not violate federal copyright law.--

Source: Google’s Effort to Digitize Millions of Books is Fair Use | Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP - JDSupra

23 November 2015

Corruption Across The World Visualised

Infographic: Corruption Across The World Visualised | Statista

Chart: Corruption Across The World Visualised | source: Statista

Poorly equipped schools, counterfeit medicine and elections decided by bribes are just some of the consequences of public sector corruption. According to Transparency International, nowhere on earth is deemed totally free of corruption. Somalia and North Korea in particular stand out on this map - both scored only 8 out of a potential perfect score of 100. Denmark, New Zealand, Finland and Sweden were rated the least corrupt nations worldwide, according to Transparency International.

This chart shows countries and territories ranked on perceived public sector corruption in 2014.

18 November 2015

IGF2015: UN's Ban Ki-moon: ‘Turn digital divides into digital opportunities’

‘Turn digital divides into digital opportunities,’ Ban tells annual UN forum on Internet governance:

To cover the “breadth and depth” of the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals, the potential of the data revolution must be explored through the use of new and non-traditional sources of data, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed at the 10th annual Internet Governance Forum (IGF), João Pessoa, Brazil.

“Less than two months ago, world leaders adopted the visionary 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Our challenge now is to implement this blueprint for a better future. Information and communications technologies and the Internet can empower this global undertaking,” said Mr. Ban in his remarks at the Forum, delivered by UN Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development, Department of Economic and Social Affairs Lenni Montiel.

Mr. Ban observed that there are several challenges in implementing the Sustainable Development Agenda, including large digital divides.

“People living in poverty, women and girls, children, persons with disabilities, older persons, indigenous peoples and marginalized, vulnerable groups lack adequate access to and training in using ICTs and the Internet,” said the Secretary-General, adding that cyberattacks, cybercrime and issues related to privacy and surveillance are also issues that need to be addressed.

Mr. Ban urged all stakeholders to “intensify efforts to promote accessibility, affordability, education and multilingualism by investing in critical infrastructure and capacity building and by building an open, reliable, safe, secure, stable and inclusive Internet through multilateral and multi-stakeholder global partnerships.”

He also called for collective reaffirmation of the universality, indivisibility, interdependence and interrelation of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, both online and offline.

Each year, the United Nations convenes the IGF meeting, through the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, to bring together various stakeholders to discuss current and emerging Internet governance issues, as well as related opportunities and challenges.

The IGF is an open, inclusive and transparent forum for dialogue on public policy issues related to key elements of Internet governance. It is intended to foster a common understanding of how to maximize Internet opportunities and address the challenges that arise.

According to a news release issued by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the three-day meetings was expecting some 5,000 attendees, including high-level government officials, civil society leaders and Internet policy experts, both in-person and online.

“Evolution of Internet Governance: Empowering Sustainable Development” was the overarching theme of this year’s Forum, focusing on the importance of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and the Internet in developmental activities.

“Information and Communications Technologies, as a powerful enabler of sustainable development, can make great contributions to the implementation of the goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda,” noted Mr. Wu Hongbo, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs.

Other sub-themes addressed in the Forum were Cybersecurity and Trust; Internet Economy, Inclusiveness and Diversity, Openness; Enhancing Multi-stakeholder Cooperation, Internet and Human Rights, Critical Internet Resources and Emerging Issues.

“The IGF Platform has contributed towards efforts at national, regional and international levels to build a cyberspace that promotes peace and security, enables development and ensure human rights,” said Mr. Montiel.

Further, the Department observed that Agenda 2030 aims to “significantly increase access to information and communications technology and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020.”

According to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), there are more than 7 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide, compared to only 738 million in 2000. However, ITU estimates that four billion people in the developing world still remain unconnected despite making progresses in bridging the digital divide.

source: United Nations News Centre - ‘Turn digital divides into digital opportunities,’ Ban tells annual UN forum on Internet governance (10 November 2015)

17 November 2015

UN Internet Governance Forum, IGF2015, ICTs, Sustainable Development

14 November 2015 – Consensus at the closing 10th Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Brazil today underscored the contribution of Information Communications Technologies (ICTs) and the Internet to the achievement of the recently adopted 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the United Nations announced. Goal 9 of the agenda sets an ambitious target to “significantly increase access to information and communications technology and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020.”

“In keeping with the IGF inclusiveness, this gathering in Joao Pessoa addressed both opportunities and challenges under the following sub-themes: Cybersecurity and Trust; Internet Economy; Inclusiveness and Diversity; Openness; Enhancing Multi-stakeholder Cooperation; Internet and Human Rights; Critical Internet Resources and Emerging Issues,” said UN Assistant Secretary-General Lenni Montiel in a press release.

According to the UN, the three-day Forum “became the Mecca center for vibrant discussions about internet governance in the context of sustainable development.” Annually convened by the Organization, the 2015 event reportedly succeeded in giving some 4,000 online participants, from 116 developed and developing countries, the opportunity to engage directly with 2,400 on-site attendees in debates that addressed the challenges, as well as opportunities for the future of the internet.

In addition, over 150 thematic workshops at the 10th IGF focused on a diverse range of topics spanning from zero rating and network neutrality to freedom of expression online, cybersecurity and internet economy. Many workshops also stressed the interrelation of human rights and fundamental freedom, both online and offline and how this related to the promotion of development.

Meanwhile, the Under-Secretary-General for the Environment, Energy, Science and Technology of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil, Ambassador José Antônio Marcondes de Carvalho, said the Forum could develop and produce “tangible contributions” and, thus, have more substantial impact on the evolution of the Internet, especially in terms of public policy.

“This Forum gives an unambiguous message of the importance of the IGF and the legitimacy and relevance of its continuity,” he stated.

source: United Nations News Centre - UN Internet Governance Forum closes, highlights linkages with sustainable development

16 November 2015

NTIA's Larry Strickling at Internet Governance Forum, João Pessoa, Brazil

Remarks of Lawrence E. Strickling, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information, at IGF2015, the Internet Governance Forum 2015, at João Pessoa, Brazil, on November 10, 2015–as prepared for delivery–(emphasis added):

Thank you. At the outset, let me congratulate our host nation, Brazil, as the first country to have hosted two meetings of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF). It is fitting that Brazil, with its strong tradition of supporting multistakeholder Internet governance, be the first country to earn this honor.

Over the past 10 years, the IGF has proven itself to be an indispensable platform for addressing Internet issues. I look forward each year to attending the IGF and meeting with this diverse collection of stakeholders to tackle the challenges facing the Internet. This year I am pleased to see important innovations in the IGF’s intersessional work on items such as the best practices forums and the IGF policy options document on connecting the next billion. These and other innovations will enrich the conversations this week in Brazil.

As we mark the 10-year anniversaries of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and the IGF, it is important to take stock of where we have come and the challenges ahead. There is much to celebrate in how the Internet has evolved into a platform for global economic growth, innovation and free speech. The open Internet is helping the economies and societies of both developed and developing nations. Not only has it created a dynamic and growing digital economy, it has transformed just about every facet of our day-to-day lives. Every one of us has a stake in ensuring the continued growth, job formation and wealth creation that an open Internet brings.

In the United States, we attribute that success in large part to the bottom-up, multistakeholder approach to resolving technical and policy challenges facing the Internet. This is why we are such strong supporters of the IGF – one of the preeminent international examples of this approach – and have called for an extension of the IGF that is consistent with its original mandate. We are pleased that so many countries have echoed this call. If collectively, we continue to support multistakeholder Internet governance, if we make it more inclusive of developing countries and more responsive to all stakeholders, then we can truly achieve the Information Society we envisioned 10 years ago.

In the United States, we are committed to multistakeholder Internet governance, as convincingly demonstrated by our announcement in March 2014 that the U.S. government would transition its historical stewardship role over the Internet Domain Name System to the multistakeholder community. Since that time, the response from the community of technical experts, academics, civil society and industry has been inspiring. Over the past year and a half, stakeholders have worked hundreds of hours to complete a transition proposal that meets the criteria we have outlined. We are hopeful the working groups will complete their work in the coming weeks.

This work is tiring; sometimes contentious; perhaps exasperating. No doubt, this is not an easy task. But it is an important one. All of us should appreciate the effort and level of commitment demonstrated by all the participants in this process. Most importantly, the process is working and I am confident it will be successful. It will be a testament to the strength of the multistakeholder process when the transition is completed.

But even with the growth of international support for multistakeholder governance, there is continued cause for concern. Freedom House’s 2015 report on Internet freedom finds that Internet freedom around the world is in decline for a fifth consecutive year. More governments are censoring information from their citizens and attempting to put up barriers to the open Internet within their borders.

The growth of sophisticated malware and other cyber security threats, the need to protect the privacy of Internet users and the mounting online theft of intellectual property online have challenged governments’ ability to balance these important interests with the equally important need for openness. Governments increasingly feel compelled to do something they see as meaningful – if not outright drastic – to protect their citizens and their businesses from these threats.

Regrettably, in their attempts to do something to protect their citizens and businesses, governments sometimes rush to put up digital walls between their countries and the rest of the world, between their citizens and people abroad. In recent years, we have seen governments institute data localization laws, as well as impose limitations on data storage and data transfer.

Historically, these kinds of restrictive policies have tended to be pursued by authoritarian governments that want to try to control information and monitor the activities of their citizens. In recent years, however, even democratic countries have considered restrictions on data flows.

Such proposals do far more harm than good. Restricting data flows and competition between firms increase costs for Internet users and businesses, retard technological innovation, and may curb freedom of expression.

This assessment may seem like common sense to many of us in this room. But it is not accepted by everyone. And that is why it is imperative that we continue multistakeholder venues like the IGF. They allow us – as representatives of diverse stakeholder communities – to come together, to offer our unique perspectives, to work through our most difficult problems, and to make a case for policies and practices that encourage the development of an open and innovative Internet.

In closing, I urge all nations to step up in support of the free and open Internet and the multistakeholder process that has led to its success. If we want to maintain a vibrant and growing Internet, we must all take action to ensure that the multistakeholder approach continues to define the future of Internet governance. Thank you for listening.

Source: US Government - NTIA

11 November 2015

The European Video Streaming Challenge

Infographic: The European Video Streaming Challenge | Statista

Chart: The European Video Streaming Challenge | Statista--This chart provides key information about video streaming--

Video streaming market development with Netflix
After its extremely successful development in North America, Netflix has made efforts to try and spread the same enthusiasm for its subscription-based video streaming services across Europe since early 2012. Last year, both Netflix and competitor Amazon launched their streaming services in Germany. The European market for subscription-based video on demand services (SVOD) appears to be on the upswing. Upon taking a closer look at the phenomenon, Statista’s Digital Market Outlook found that the triumph of video on demand subscriptions does not extend to other countries in quite the same way. In North America, roughly 67 million consumers subscribe to paid video streaming services, generating revenues of roughly $5 billion in 2015. So far, Netflix is the uncontested market leader with 71% (USA) and 68% (Canada) of all SVOD users subscribing to its services. In Europe, there are three major markets for video on demand subscriptions and roughly 12 million paying users. Here, Netflix has already won over 40% of German, 37% of French and an impressive 80% of all SVOD users in the United Kingdom.

European user penetration will not measure up to North America's triumph
While projections suggest that in America and Canada roughly 30% of the population will be subscribed to a paid streaming service in 2020, Statista forecasts expect to see the first signs of market saturation in Germany and France three years from now. Roughly 10% of the German population will be subscribed to paid SVOD services by then. Primary reasons for the lack of willingness to pay are national mandatory broadcasting fees on the one hand, and a general reluctance when it comes to paid digital subscription models on the other. The United Kingdom is the exception here. Nevertheless, success rates of streaming services in Europe will not compare to those in North America in the long run.

Per capita revenues to increase further
Even though the market penetration of streaming services in Europe is significantly lower than in North America, growing revenues per user still point towards intensive usage and an increase in customer loyalty. New offers are placed on the market constantly and consumers will more than likely be tempted to sign up for multiple subscriptions at once. The forecast also takes into account that the number of first-time subscriptions is still relatively high, which in turn lowers annual average expenses. However, growing customer loyalty will ultimately have a positive effect on annual per capita revenues. Unsurprisingly, user demographics suggest that subscribers from Generation Y dominate the market across all countries. In Europe, male users form a slight majority.

10 November 2015

UNESCO, Internet Freedom, Internet Universality, at IGF2015, Nov 10-13

UNESCO advocates Internet Freedom and Internet Universality at 10th Internet Governance Forum in João Pessoa | United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization:

“Evolution of Internet Governance: Empowering Sustainable Development", is the main theme of the tenth Internet Governance Forum (IGF), which will take place in João Pessoa, Brazil, from 10 to 13 November 2015. Echoed with the theme of IGF this year and guided by Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), UNESCO will present its comprehensive Internet Study “Keystone to Foster Inclusive Knowledge Societies” at UNESCO Open Forum in the IGF.

UNESCO will also launch 6 editions of its publications in the Internet Freedom Series and trigger discussion through three workshops on burning subjects in balancing transparency and privacy, mitigating online hate speech and youth radicalization. The UNESCO delegation will also be speaking at more than 20 engagements including high level events, main sessions and workshops at the IGF.

Led by Dr Brito Lidia, UNESCO Director for Montevideo Office, UNESCO is sending to the 10th IGF a joint team consisting colleagues from Headquarters and the regional office. Dr Brito will address the High Level Leaders Meeting of the IGF on 10 November to advocate the draft UNESCO concept “Internet Universality” and its R.O.A.M principles: (i) that the Internet is human Rights-based (ii) Open, (iii) Accessible to all, and (iv) nurtured by Multi-stakeholder participation (acronym R.O.A.M. principles).

Being recognized as potentially being UNESCO’s own clear identifier for various fields of Internet related issues with UNESCO concerns, this concept has been therefore proposed as an option for formal adoption at Organization’s 38 General Conference in this month.

UNESCO will take the occasion to launch its new publication “Keystones to Foster Inclusive Knowledge Societies”, plus 6 editions in the Internet Freedom Series: 1. Freedom of connection, freedom of expression; 2. Global survey on Internet privacy and freedom of expression; 3. Fostering freedom online: the role of Internet intermediaries; 4. Building digital safety for journalism; 5. Countering online hate speech; 6. Principles for governing the Internet.

Highlighting the participation of multi-stakeholders as one of its principles to build knowledge societies, UNESCO considers IGF’s multistakeholder character to be the most important factor to enable wide-ranging discussions in a collaborative atmosphere. UNESCO welcomes participants from different sectors to bring inputs and discussions to UNESCO’s Open Forum and workshops it will convene in the forthcoming 10th IGF.

The program and background documents for these UNESCO events are available at the link below:

Balancing privacy and transparency: to protect online freedom of expression and freedom of information

Tuesday 10 November, 11:00-12:00, Workshop room 7

Launching UNESCO Internet Freedom Series Publications

Thursday 12 November, 9:00-9:30, Workshop room 2

Understanding and Mitigating Online Hate Speech and Youth Radicalisation

Thursday 12 November, 16:00-17:30, Workshop room 9

UNESCO Open Forum: Keystone to Foster Inclusive Knowledge Societies: Launching UNESCO’s Comprehensive Study on the Internet

Friday 13 November, 12:00-13:00, Workshop room 3

The leaflet for free download: please click here.

UNESCO has supported the Internet Governance Forum and has contributed to its work since the first IGF in Athens in 2006. UNESCO’s Member States have repeatedly expressed support for the important work of the IGF. In the past nine IGFs, UNESCO organized and co-organized workshops and Open Fora on promoting freedom of expression and privacy on the Internet, multilingualism in cyberspace, local content, digital preservation and many more dimensions of our Internet-related work.

UNESCO in parallel has been contributing to the WSIS Review process at the UN General Assembly, and will draw on its engagements at the IGF in further engagement with this process.

09 November 2015

Copyright Law: Whoever Controls Information Controls the World

 Happy Birthday, Copyright Law, Information Control--
With the proliferation of electronic media, we are facing inevitable and necessary reform to our current copyright system.  Along with net neutrality, I think it’s probably going to be one of the most important issues in the next decade.  After all, whoever controls the information controls the world.

source: Unhappy Birthday | Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A. - JDSupra

29 October 2015

Twilio, Messaging Services, SMS, MMS, FCC Seeks Comments

Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Seeks Comment on Twilio Petition Requesting Classification of Messaging Services Under Title II; Comments Due November 20th, Replies December 21st

source: Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Seeks Comment on Twilio Petition Requesting Classification of Messaging Services Under Title II; Comments Due November 20th, Replies Due December 21st | Kelley Drye & Warren LLP - JDSupra

more news links below (on mobile go to web version link below)

28 October 2015

Blocking FCC-approved Wi-Fi Hotspots Is “Patently Illegal”

source: FCC says blocking FCC-approved Wi-Fi hotspots is “patently illegal” and imposes $750,000 fine on Smart City. | Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP - JDSupra

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26 October 2015

Copyright Ownership: Who Owns the Monkey Selfies?

source: Monkeying with Copyrights: Who Owns the Monkey Selfies? A Lesson in Copyright Ownership | Jaburg Wilk - JDSupra

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23 October 2015

Doing Business in Cuba, Most Commercial Restrictions Remain In Place

Doing Business in Cuba, Most Commercial Restrictions Remain In Place

source: Trading with Cuba: Too soon to mix up the Cuba Libres? | Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP - JDSupra

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22 October 2015

Study Reveals Privacy Gaps in EU Data Protection Regulation

source: Study Reveals Privacy Gaps in EU Data Protection Regulation

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21 October 2015

Intellectual Property, IP, Pitfalls That Every Business Can Avoid

source: Common IP pitfalls every business can avoid | McAfee & Taft - JDSupra

Re: trademarks, copyright, patents, IP, intellectual property

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20 October 2015

New Delaware Law Requires Online Privacy Policy for Websites

source: New Delaware Act Requires Online Privacy Policy for Websites | Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP - JDSupra

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13 October 2015

Proactive Trademark Selection, Adding Value, Avoiding Problems

Proactive Trademark Selection, Adding Value, Avoiding Problems

source: Proactive Trademark Selection Can Add Value To A Company’s Assets And Avoid Problems | Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC - JDSupra

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12 October 2015

Maintaining Control of Your Brand Among 1200 New gTLDs

source: Blog: Maintaining Control of Your Brand Among 1,200 New gTLDs | Cooley LLP - JDSupra

more news links below (on mobile go to web version link below)

09 October 2015

Google vs Local Lighthouse Corp, Trademarks, False Advertising

Google v. Local Lighthouse Corp: "Google v. Local Lighthouse Corp Filed September 16, 2015
Northern California District Court Docket 3:15-cv-04219"

re: Google vs Local Lighthouse Corp, Trademarks, False Advertising

Google v. Local Lighthouse Corp by LJ's infoDOCKET

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07 October 2015

EU Court Invalidates EU-US Safe Harbor Agreement in Data Privacy Case

source: EU Top Court’s Safe Harbor Decision Invalidates Safe Harbor and Sends Facebook Case Back to Irish Data Protection Authority | Mintz Levin - Privacy & Security Matters - JDSupra

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28 September 2015

India and US Joint Strategic and Commercial Dialogue, Internet Governance

Joint Press Conference with Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, and Indian Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman: Remarks John Kerry Secretary of State Dean Acheson Room Washington, DC September 22, 2015: "... We spoke of India’s aspiration for greater participation in internet governance organizations such as ICANN and related bodies. We agreed to convene a track 1.5 program to further cooperation on internet and cyber issues in this regard. ..."

Remarks at the Joint Strategic and Commercial Dialogue Opening Plenary: US Secretary of State John Kerry remarks, in attendance: Minister Swaraj, Secretary Pritzker, Minister Sitharaman, Secretary Moniz, Minister Goyal, the members of both the Indian and the American delegations: "... And we’re also building an important and far-reaching partnership in the crucial area of Internet governance..."

 more news links below (on mobile go to web version link below)

21 September 2015

Silicon Valley Venture Survey, Second Quarter 2015

source: Silicon Valley Venture Survey - Second Quarter 2015 | Fenwick & West LLP - JDSupra

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18 September 2015

What Does It Take to Trademark Your Name?

source: What Does It Take to Trademark Your Name? - Tartell, M.D. v. South Florida Sinus and Allergy Center, Inc., et al. | McDermott Will & Emery - JDSupra

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17 September 2015

The Internet and Google’s New Logo

source: Internet Loses it Over Google’s New Logo | Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A. - JDSupra

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16 September 2015

Notice Your Trademarks and Copyrights

source: Do You Notice Your Trademarks and Copyrights? | Cullen and Dykman LLP - JDSupra
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15 September 2015

Sixth Circuit, Design Separability, Uniform Graphics, Copyright

source: Sixth Circuit Tackles “Metaphysical Quandary” Of Design Separability: Rules That Cheerleader Uniform Graphics Are Protected By Copyright | Brooks Kushman P.C. - JDSupra

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11 September 2015

FTC as Data Security Cop Affirmed

source: FTC as Data Security Cop Affirmed | Kelley Drye & Warren LLP - JDSupra

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08 September 2015

Life Sciences Brand Names, 5 Key Tips

source: Generating Life Sciences Brand Names: 5 Key Tips | DLA Piper - JDSupra

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04 September 2015

Uber, Airbnb, Public Policy, Conflicting Interests

"... In general, social scientists recognize that different people and groups in society often have conflicting interests in how economic institutions are shaped. These interests are reconciled — if they are reconciled — through political institutions. Many social scientists thus look not so much at efficiencies but at political institutions to understand why economic institutions are shaped the way they are. For example, a democratic local government in principle represents the interests of its citizens, through political institutions such as council elections and public consultations. Local governments consequently try to strike a balance between the conflicting interests of hoteliers and their neighbours, by limiting hotel business to certain zones. In contrast, Airbnb as a for-profit business must cater to the interests of its customers, the would-be hoteliers and their guests. It has no mechanism, and more importantly, no mandate, to address on an equal footing the interests of third parties like customers’ neighbours. Perhaps because of this, 74% of Airbnb’s properties are not in the main hotel districts, but in ordinary residential blocks. That said, governments have their own challenges in producing fair and efficient economic institutions. Not least among these is the fact that government regulators are at a risk of capture by incumbent market participants, or at the very least they face the innovator’s dilemma: it is easier to craft rules that benefit the incumbents than rules that provide great but uncertain benefits to future market participants. For example, cities around the world operate taxi licensing systems, where only strictly limited numbers of license owners are allowed to operate taxicabs. Whatever benefits this system offers to customers in terms of quality assurance, among its biggest beneficiaries are the license owners, and among its losers the would-be drivers who are excluded from the market. Institutional insiders and outsiders have conflicting interests, and government political institutions are often such that it is easier for it to side with the insiders..."

Read more at: Uber and Airbnb make the rules now — but to whose benefit? | The Policy and Internet Blog

02 September 2015

US Ambassador at 7th Annual Summit on Cyber and Network Security

U.S. Ambassador Richard R. Verma’s Remarks at ASSOCHAM’s 7th Annual Summit on Cyber and Network Security - Ashok Hotel, New Delhi | August 26, 2015 (As Prepared for Delivery):

Good morning and thanks for the generous introduction. I’m delighted to be here and thank ASSOCHAM for the chance to speak to you on this important topic. Of course, the Internet today is part of just about everything we do. This digital age has opened countless windows of opportunity, to the great benefit of the U.S. and India. Both our societies and our economies have been enriched by the many advantages of greater connectivity; and I know this first hand, since I continue to marvel and how instantly connected I have felt to Indians of all ages since I have started my Twitter account. In fact just two weeks ago I visited Twitter’s India headquarters and took part in an online chat with a number of tech savvy Indians.

When we talk about digital technology, it is natural to think about potential risks, but it is the possibilities that should motivate us. From the campuses of Silicon Valley to the tech parks of Bangalore, our countries have emerged as leaders in the field of IT development. The Indian diaspora has played a particularly large role. Just two weeks ago Sundar Pichai, a native of Chennai, was named CEO of Google, one of America’s tech giants. He is one of countless similar examples. Indeed, when Prime Minister Modi visits California next month, he will be welcomed by a vibrant Indian-American community which, over the last two decades, has helped to transform the high-technology sector.

Similarly, here in India, technology has been integral in powering economic growth, whether it be through e-commerce, IT services, or product development. The Prime Minister’s “Digital India” initiative highlights India’s commitment to enhancing digital capacity, across a variety of sectors, bridging the divide between urban and rural communities. Secretary John Kerry also recently launched a new initiative to increase internet connectivity, in partnership with government, development banks, engineers, and industry leaders. I applaud these efforts, as broadening the reach of the Internet is a powerful way to promote global development. Every time a country increases its internet penetration by ten percent, its total economic growth can expand by up to two percent.

The Internet is part of the critical infrastructure that we have come to depend on. We use it in so many ways – as a communication tool, a marketplace, a forum for expressing new ideas. Digital technology promotes transparency and helps to hold governments accountable. It is a means to fight against repression, and protect human dignity. Yet we must ensure that cybersecurity tools are not inappropriately used to undermine these important benefits.

But, as transformative as the Internet is, there are risks. And the more reliant we become on the Internet, the greater those risks become. This means we need sound policies to protect this essential resource, as it is vital to advancing human progress in the 21st century. Therefore, promoting an open, secure, and reliable Internet is a key component of our economic policy.

Protecting the Internet cannot be the task of just one country, however, and requires cooperation between government, industry, academia, and every user. It is a shared resource, and thus its stewardship is a shared responsibility. The Internet has flourished because of the bottom-up, consensus-based process that allows multiple stakeholders to participate in its governance. Likewise, all stakeholders have a critical role in cybersecurity and cybercrime as well. The multistakeholder approach reaches beyond government and includes the private sector, civil society, academic institutions, and all internet users. Multistakeholder Internet governance has served us well thus far, and it is critical to broaden this approach to other areas of cyber policy because all institutions and users share a responsibility to keep the internet operating in a safe, secure, and reliable manner.

To that end, India’s recent decision to support the multistakeholder approach to internet governance is not only a win for India’s people, but an example of India’s ever-expanding role as a democratic world leader. We look forward to working closely with India and other partners to preserve the multistakeholder model, wherever it is challenged.

Of course, there are other, serious threats to the internet. As recent headlines have shown, cyber-attacks are a real and persistent concern. Internet misconduct has resulted in billions of dollars in economic damage. Criminal networks misuse the Internet to steal information and profit at the expense of private citizens, businesses, and governments. Extremist groups see it as a means to disseminate violent extremist propaganda and mislead youth into joining their causes. It is in our shared interest to seek collaborative solutions to these challenges.

We believe that the best defense is to promote what we call “international cyber stability.” This means we are seeking broad consensus on what constitutes responsible behavior in cyberspace. Our goal is to create a climate in which people everywhere are able to enjoy the benefits of the digital world. There is general consensus that the basic rules of international law apply in cyberspace, but there are a number of additional principles that should underpin countries’ behavior in cyberspace.

First, we posit that no country should support or conduct online activity that intentionally damages or impedes another country’s use.

Second, no country should seek to prevent emergency teams from responding to a security breach, or allow its own teams to cause harm.

Third, no country should engage in cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property, trade secrets, or other confidential information for commercial gain.

Fourth, every country should confront malicious cyber activity emanating from its soil. This includes the activities of extremist groups who seek to engage in criminal and terrorist behavior.

And finally, every country should do what it can to help states that are the victims of a cyber-attack.

Agreeing to and abiding by these principles would move us a long way towards ensuring a more secure cyberspace. In order to get there, however, we must work to improve our own and our partners’ capacity to protect against cyber threats. This includes a preventative component – through strong legal frameworks and improved training. It also means enhancing our capability to respond to threats, by improving the resiliency of our networks, and strengthening the relationships between our law enforcement communities.

Perhaps the greatest protection against such threats is the regular and substantive sharing of information on cyber threats, and stronger coordination in response to cyber-attacks and cybercrime. This is an area in which the United States and India continue to partner. We recently provided information on a high-profile hacking group operating from India, enabling our two countries to take concerted action against its threat. We are also engaged in efforts to improve the process through which other countries can obtain bank records and other forms of electronic evidence from the United States, for use in legal proceedings against illicit actors.

We should continue to build information-sharing mechanisms through law enforcement and intelligence channels, as well as within our private sector, as the bulk of our networks lie outside of public and government control. We must also continue to work through differences in our legal systems that can sometimes slow the sharing of information used during criminal investigations. Given the risks involved, these are worthwhile efforts.

Just two weeks ago, our governments participated in the U.S.-India Cyber dialogue. The United States and India held open and constructive conversations about substantive measures to increase cyber cooperation, ranging from coordinating on internet governance issues, deepening our existing cyber security collaboration, streamlining the exchange of information related to cybercrime, and U.S. support for India’s ambitious but essential cybersecurity skills development initiative. These, and other common objectives, highlight the criticality of the U.S.-India relationship, leverage the inseparable ties of our IT communities, and emphasize yet another example of our joint efforts to safeguard critical infrastructure and national security.

Our populations are among the most interconnected on the planet, which is in part a reflection of our shared values. The Internet is an unparalleled platform where voices from every corner of the globe can contribute to political, economic, and social discourse. Discussions on how to manage cyberspace can be difficult, because they touch on the core of our democratic values, including ethics, the role of government in society, and economic liberty. But if we commit ourselves to protecting internet freedom, the digital revolution will continue to power the opportunities our societies cherish most – by helping to strengthen governments, make us safer, boost economic growth, and promote free expression. And those are goals worth fighting for.

Thank you.

source: Speeches & Remarks | New Delhi, India - Embassy of the United States

01 September 2015

Joint Statement: 2015 United States-India Cyber Dialogue

Joint Statement: 2015 United States-India Cyber Dialogue:

To increase global cybersecurity and promote the digital economy, the United States and India have committed to robust cooperation on cyber issues. To that end, the United States and India met at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC on August 11 and 12 for the 2015 U.S.-India Cyber Dialogue.

The whole-of-government Cyber Dialogue, fourth in the series, was led by the U.S. Cybersecurity Coordinator and Special Assistant to the President Michael Daniel and by India’s Deputy National Security Advisor Arvind Gupta. The Department of State Coordinator for Cyber Issues Christopher Painter and the Ministry of External Affairs Joint Secretary for Policy Planning, Counterterrorism, and Global Cyber Issues Santosh Jha co-hosted the Dialogue. U.S. whole-of-government participation included the Departments of State, Justice, Homeland Security, Treasury, and Commerce. The Indian government was represented by the National Cyber Security Coordinator at the National Security Council Secretariat, the Ministry of External Affairs, the Ministry of Home Affairs, and the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology.

The delegations discussed a range of cyber issues including cyber threats, enhanced cybersecurity information sharing, cyber incident management, cybersecurity cooperation in the context of “Make in India,” efforts to combat cybercrime, Internet governance issues, and norms of state behavior in cyberspace.

The two delegations identified a variety of opportunities for increased collaboration on cybersecurity capacity-building, cybersecurity research and development, combating cybercrime, international security, and Internet governance, and intend to pursue an array of follow-on activities to bolster their cybersecurity partnership and achieve concrete outcomes.

In addition to the formal Dialogue, the delegations met with representatives from the private sector to discuss issues related to cybersecurity and the digital economy. The Indian delegation also met with Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Lisa Monaco.

The two countries decided to hold the next round of the Cyber Dialogue in Delhi in 2016.

source: whitehouse.gov

31 August 2015

Internet Cooperation: United States and India

Protecting Our Shared Spaces - Remarks by U.S. Ambassador Richard Verma at the Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi | August 14, 2015 (excerpts):

Internet Cooperation
Finally, let’s turn to the realm of the internet, which has opened horizons almost as unlimited as space, and proven to be a great liberator, providing information and services to those who would not otherwise have access. As Cisco CEO John Chambers said: “The internet brought the world closer together, changed the way we lived, worked, learned and played and gave every citizen of the world a chance to participate in the economic future.”

The internet is already influencing many aspects of our lives, including our businesses, governments, power grids, homes, healthcare and education systems, and social relationships. Promoting access to the internet, therefore, will be essential to advancing human progress in the 21st century.

Over the past year, there has been a sobering increase of internet misconduct that has caused billions of dollars in economic damage. Criminal networks targeting both the United States and India misuse the internet to steal information and profit at the expense of private citizens, businesses, and governments. Increasingly sophisticated state-sponsored efforts have infiltrated government and commercial networks. Extremist groups such as the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), al-Qa’ida, and Laskhar-e-Taiba also use the internet to disseminate violent extremist propaganda and mislead youth into joining their causes. Cybercriminals grow increasingly skilled in targeting some of the most vulnerable members of our societies.

Recognizing that the United States and India have both been pioneers in the digital domain, we must continue to work together to combat existing and future threats through information sharing. For example, we recently provided information on a high-profile hacking group operating from India, enabling our two countries to take concerted action against these threats. Given the abuse of internet technology by illicit actors, we are also engaged in joint training and other efforts to improve the process through which India and other countries can obtain bank records and other forms of electronic evidence from the United States, for use in legal proceedings in India.

It is in our shared interest to seek collaborative solutions to the challenges of terrorist recruitment, Internet-based crime and cyber-based threats to our critical infrastructure. I don’t need to spell out the grave implications and potentially cascading effects of a catastrophic attack on a power grid, transportation network, or banking system. Perhaps the greatest protection against such threats is the regular and substantive sharing of information on cyber threats and hostile actors’ capabilities. To do so, we will have to continue to build information sharing mechanisms through law enforcement and intelligence channels, and within our private sector too, as this is where the bulk of our networks reside – outside of public and government control. We must also continue to work through differences in our legal systems that can sometimes slow the sharing of critical information. Given the risks involved, these are worthwhile efforts.

India’s recent announcement of support for a multi-stakeholder model for internet governance was a critical step toward a future where all individuals are able to enjoy the benefits of a free and open internet; and all individuals have incentives to cooperate and avoid conflict. We share the view that the preservation of transformational possibilities of the internet requires all stakeholders to have seats at the table, including the private sector, civil society, academics, engineers, and governments. We look forward to working with the Indian government to continue to support this multi-stakeholder approach, embodied in a myriad of institutions that each day seeks to ensure the reliability of digital spaces.

Our populations are two of the most connected on the planet, which is in part a reflection of our shared values. It is incumbent on us to apply these values in shaping the quality of debates that will determine whether the internet will remain a truly global and open forum that drives prosperity and promotes free speech, or devolve into a fragmented mosaic of discrete national networks. We must demonstrate the courage of our convictions as we address difficult issues and aim to progress on issues that are sometimes seen as in conflict, such as maintaining public security while defending individual liberty.

In closing, it is clear that the problems and opportunities that confront our countries and the world require a resolute commitment to partner beyond our borders.The steps we take should not only focus on tangible, realistic wins that serve our interests today, but on how we can cooperate to uphold our common values and project power for decades to come. What we do together can be a force for greater peace, prosperity, and security in the world. Shared spaces offer us a platform to realize this potential. I look forward to your comments and questions.

source: Press Releases | New Delhi, India - Embassy of the United States

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