Monthly Archives: March 2012

Supreme Court Remands Myriad Following Rejection of Prometheus Patents

When a unanimous Supreme Court earlier this month rejected Prometheus’ claims that isolated DNA sequences are patentable (see Mayo v. Prometheus: SCOTUS Issues Landmark IP Law Opinion), many wondered if the diagnostic testing patents held by Myriad Genetics would meet a similar fate. It took less than one week to get the answer. On March… Read more »

HIPAA Violation Leads to $1.5M Fine: 5 Takeaways for Businesses

In November 2009, 57 unencrypted computer hard discs containing protected health information of more than one million people were stolen from a storage locker leased by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee (BCBST). Recently, the Department of Health and Human Services entered into a $1.5 million settlement with BCBST over privacy and security violations as… Read more »

International Interesting: Syria, Russia, UK Bribery, Qatar, Australia, More

Seven international updates caught our eye today. For your reference:  Russia Accedes to OECD Anti-Bribery Convention (Dinsmore & Shohl) “The law defines foreign government official to include any appointed or elected official who has a position in any legislative, executive, administrative, or judicial branch of a foreign country or an individual who serves any public… Read more »

Energy Law Updates: Offshore Wind Farms, Solar Projects, Government Contracts, Hydropower, & More

For your reference, here’s a roundup of commentary on recent legal developments in the renewable and alternative energy industry:  Wind Power Offshore Wind Energy Development in Mid-Atlantic Moving Forward (Venable LLP) “Coinciding with the publication of the environmental assessment, [the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)] announced that it is soliciting statements of interest from… Read more »

Brazil Revises Foreign Bribery Bill

Brazil is making its foreign bribery bill easier to understand, which should help companies doing business in the country build and refine their compliance strategies. From anti-corruption lawyer Matteson Ellis: “The amendments clarify and boost the voluntary disclosure program, which should be a welcomed change for companies. In the earlier version, companies that self reported… Read more »

The Economic Espionage Act

Foreign corporate spying and the theft of trade secrets are alive and well, according to the federal government. And the Economic Espionage Act is an important tool in combatting such activities. From law firm Quinn Emanuel: “The [Economic Espionage Act] is a far-reaching law that criminalizes two distinct but related types of trade secret misappropriation:… Read more »

Lawyer: Asking for Facebook Password in Hiring Process Might Violate the Federal Stored Communications Act [Video]

JD Supra Biznews: The web is abuzz with news (and fairly unanimous outrage) that some employers are asking job candidates for their Facebook passwords, as way to do proper due diligence on the folks they’re hiring. Make what you will of the practice, personally, there are certainly legal implications to it. … Watch the video:… Read more »

FCPA Definitions of “Foreign Official” and “Instrumentality” Remain Broad

International law firm White & Case has produced a useful overview of recent judicial decisions regarding the definition of “foreign official” and “instrumentality” of the government under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Their analysis highlights an important issue for businesses that interact with foreign state-owned companies:  “… courts faced with challenges to charges based on… Read more »

FCPA: A Look Into The Future of Enforcement

Are the tactics of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement changing? That’s the question white collar and anti-corruption lawyer Mike Volkov ponders in Wiretaps — A New Tool for FCPA Enforcement?: “While the whistleblower rules are important and justify vigilant compliance efforts, there is a more significant, and possibly damaging, trend for FCPA enforcement. Corporations now… Read more »

Competition Law: Recent Developments in International Antitrust Enforcement

Staying on top of global competition laws is crucial to the success of any company doing business in multiple jurisdictions. But it’s a challenging task, made all the more difficult as countries continue to refine and strengthen their regulatory regimes. For reference, a roundup by region of recent legal commentary and analysis on developments in… Read more »

Mayo v. Prometheus: SCOTUS Issues Landmark IP Law Opinion

On the JDSupra Buzz blog: Yesterday the United States Supreme Court issued its unanimous decision in Mayo Collaborative Services v Prometheus Laboratories, a significant intellectual property case that, according to law firm Patton Boggs LLP: “…has widespread impact on the pharmaceutical and biotechnology… Read on: Mayo v. Prometheus: SCOTUS Issues Landmark IP Law Opinion… Read more »

Capital Raising: Legislative and Regulatory Efforts to Reduce Barriers

From law firm Morgan Lewis, a comprehensive overview of ongoing initiatives in Congress and key federal agencies to loosen restrictions on raising capital. There’s something for everyone in this update, from startups to privately held businesses to public companies: “H.R. 3606 would create a new category of issuer, an ‘emerging growth company,’ defined as a… Read more »

FATCA: Why It’s Still Important, New Filing Requirements, & More

We continue to see interest in the legal implications for US taxpayers and foreign financial institutions alike of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, known as FATCA. For your reference, here’s a roundup of recent advisories from lawyers and law firms on JD Supra. [See also the updated 5 Takeaways from New IRS FATCA Guidance] … Read more »