New issue includes Q&A on tech sector corruption concerns with MoFo’s Chuck Duross, former head of DOJ’s FCPA unit; plusses/minuses of crowdfunding; rise of LNG vehicles; conflict minerals in the supply chain
Morrison & Foerster has published the latest issue of MoFo Tech, its award-winning magazine of legal news, trends and analysis affecting the technology and life sciences sectors.
The spring/summer issue can be viewed in its entirety here: http://www.mofo.com/docs/pdf/MoFo-Tech-Spring-Summer-2014/
The cover story, “Who’s Watching Whom?” looks at privacy concerns around new forms of wearable technology, which is expected to grow to a $5 billion industry in the next two years. Google Glass went on sale in mid-April, but there are also portable insulin pumps, ear buds that track heart rate, devices to take blood pressure readings, and many others.
The amount of personal data that can now be gathered, sent and stored by wearables has skyrocketed – creating an environment ripe for new regulation. “Society – and the legal system – may need more time to determine all the potential concerns associated with new wearable devices. New laws will emerge, just as some states and municipalities forbid texting while driving,” MoFo Tech notes.
MoFo partner Gabe Meister, who has sampled a number of wearables, adds that companies have thus far been well ahead of the lawmakers, but that that a game of catch-up is inevitable. “We’re in the phase where we are trying to apply old laws to new technology,” Meister says. “But at some point, when devices like this become essential, you’ll see new laws being tailored to the technology, and not vice versa.”
MoFo Tech presents a Q&A with Charles Duross, head of the firm’s Global Anti-Corruption practice and formerly the nation’s top anti-corruption enforcement official as director of the Justice Dept.’s FCPA unit. Not only has the federal government been strengthening its corruption regime, but foreign countries have too – 40 are now signed on to the OECD’s Anti-Bribery Convention. Training, compliance and review are the name of the game in staying free of an FCPA investigation. “Corruption tends to occur at companies with loose control environments,” Duross says. “When companies invest in a compliance program, they are investing in the health of the business.”
Launched in 2009, MoFo Tech remains the only magazine to focus on the intersection of law and technology. Written by prominent business and technology journalists, MoFo Tech has won the Custom Publishing Council’s Pearl Award five years running and was named “Best New Magazine” in its class. Its readership has grown each year and now surpasses 20,000, primarily C-level executives and general counsel at many of the country’s top tech and life sciences companies.
“MoFo Tech is a truly unique resource, delivering the latest sweep of tech industry news from the perspective of current legal developments in the space, which includes everything from new laws and regulations as well as the policies and even personalities driving industry change,” said Tessa Schwartz, co-chair of the firm’s Technology Transactions practice who oversees the magazine. “Our contributors are able to grasp both complex technological innovation and the legal issues that simultaneously arise, and then present that information in a relevant manner. Our newest issue is rich with timely news, data points and helpful analytics, trend-watching and thought leadership.”
Also in the latest MoFo Tech—
- The move by many federal agencies to turn to the cloud for data storage has meant a strong jump in business for some IT companies, who previously had to choose between public- and private-sector clients. MoFo Tech includes a handy 2-page primer on winning government cybersecurity and cloud computing contracts.
- A profile of San Francisco software provider Splunk and its general counsel Lenny Stein, who discusses the company’s popular machine-learning enterprise software, and how Splunk’s legal department has surged with the compliance demands that come with a growing government contracting and export business.
- The arrival of Berlin as a technology start-up hub, thanks to lower living- and work-space costs, a Silicon Valley-like entrepreneurial spirit, government backing for angel investors, and corporate accelerator heavyweights such as Coke and Microsoft.
- Abetted by the U.S. shale boom, public transport and medium- to heavy-duty truck operators are among the first to adopt natural-gas vehicles; UPS is investing $70 million to build 13 LNG fueling stations across the country.
- What crowdfunding says about you: while the SEC has removed some barriers to crowdfunding, Silicon Valley is still skeptical of companies that have to advertise for investors, and the companies themselves are stuck with verifying that those who answer the call are accredited, etc.
- A move to make companies responsible for ensuring that key components of electronics, avionics, and other devices are not “conflict minerals” originating in any of 10 African countries. A challenge to this Dodd-Frank provision succeeded on First Amendment grounds, said MoFo securities partner David Lynn, but he recommends that companies and their supply chains know exactly where their coltan, cassiterite, wolframite, and other raw materials originate.
- Patent-holders know that inter partes review replaced reexaminations under the America Invents Act, but they might not know how much stingier the PTO is now regarding changes to claims in response to patent challenges. The lesson, says MoFo patent partner Peter Yim, is to get it right the first time: patent filers have to make their claims much tighter now on the original application.
MoFo Tech can also be accessed through the MoFo Tech Blog (www.mofotechblog.com), a real-time companion that reproduces each issue and provides updates on stories. Follow MoFo Tech on Twitter @MoFoTech.