As forecasted in a previous entry on this blog, on April 18, 2015, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (“ICANN”) delegated a new adult entertainment generic top-level domain (“gTLD”) to the ICM Registry, “.SEX.” Now, brand owners who have registered their trademarks with the Trademark Clearinghouse (“TMCH”) will have the opportunity to block cyber-squatters from registering their trademarks on the “.SEX” gTLD during the “sunrise period” from September 1, 2015-October 1, 2015, for a registration fee of $200. The sunrise period is a priority registration phase which allows brand owners to be the first to register their domain names. During this sunrise period, only those entities and individuals who have registered trademarks with the TMCH will be able to register domain names on the new .SEX gTLD registry.
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By Giulio Coraggio and Kate Lucente

In its February 2015 Report on the Internet of Things (IoT), the FTC estimated that there are now 25 billion connected devices worldwide. Another more conservative report by Gartner estimates there will be 2.9 billion connected devices in the consumer sector this year and 5 billion total, and that total will climb to 25 billion by 2020. Regardless of the accuracy of the numbers, clearly the growth of IoT presents unique challenges because of the sheer variety of “connected devices” – from sprinklers, to fitness trackers, to connected cars – and the data they may collect. It is therefore not surprising that regulators have released privacy and security guidance and frameworks for IoT.


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Republished from Law A La Mode 

By: Janice Yau Garton and Carly Roberts 

There is little doubt that the continuing shift towards online retailing will have tremendous implications for the Asian real estate market. Over the coming years, physical retailers will have to change the way they use their space, shopping centers will undergo a transformation, and logistics real estate will see a boom, particularly in China.

This year, the Asia-Pacific region is set to overtake North America as the world’s largest e-commerce market, and China is predicted to become the second-largest business-to-consumer e-commerce market by 2017 (with the US remaining the largest). Between 2009 and 2012, e-commerce grew by an annual average of 70 percent in China.

Customers are looking to online retailers for lower prices, wider ranges and more convenience. In Asia in particular, access to the Internet has improved markedly in recent years, and Internet users located in Asia now account for almost 50 percent of all Internet users worldwide.


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Republished from Law A La Mode 

By: Carol Umhoefer, Kate Lucente, and Belinda Tang

Online retail presents unparalleled opportunities for reaching new consumer markets and collecting consumer data. With such opportunities, however, come heightened regulatory scrutiny, compounded by high-profile consumer data security breaches in the US, Germany and elsewhere. Not surprisingly, there have long existed specific requirements for the collection and use of consumer data in the context of online retailing, for example in the US. Other countries, notably China, are now also regulating consumer privacy, and there are more changes to come, particularly in the EU.


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Reposted from Law A La Mode 

By: Kai Bodenstedt and Astrid Schnabel

Labor Unions and Collective Bargaining Agreements

As the profits of German online retailers increase, so too do the HR pressures that such businesses face. As electronic retail businesses hire more and more workers, they are increasingly faced with labor law issues. For example, the primary German trade union for the retail sector, ver.di, has tried desperately to get a foot in the door at several online retailers.


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Reposted from Sports, Media and Entertainment Online

By Keitaro Uzawa and Ann Cheung

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan (“METI“) recently revised the Interpretative Guidelines on Electronic Commerce and Information Property Trading (“Guidelines“), which apply to all online business operations in Japan and clarify how the Civil Code, which governs Japanese commercial contracts, and other relevant laws, such as the Act on Special Provisions to the Civil Code Concerning Electronic Consumer Contracts and Electronic Acceptance Notice (Act No. 95 of 2001) (“Electronic Contract Act“) and the Act on Specified Commercial Transactions (Act No. 57 of 1976), are applied to various legal issues relating to electronic commerce and information property trading.


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Repost from LAW À LA MODE, Issue 13 – April 2014

By Ann K. Ford and James “Bink” Stewart (Washington D.C.) 

The rise in popularity of social networking websites and blogs has extended the reach of a single consumer’s opinion about a brand or its products or services. In fact, prior to purchasing goods or services, consumers frequently review what other consumers have said about the brand or its products or services online. Given the power of consumer testimonials, savvy brands have explored various means of incentivizing positive consumer conversation about their brand online or explored ways to produce content which mimics positive consumer conversation.


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