By John Wilks and Charles Harvey

UK IP legislation is changing.

First, the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 (which received Royal Assent on 25 April 2013), has just been published, and modifies UK copyright law (though not as drastically as some would have liked).

Secondly, the Government announced in the Queen’s Speech that it will be introducing an Intellectual Property Bill to make changes to the law of design and patents.

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By Radiance W. Harris

On April 10, 2013, Florida revised several provisions of its game promotion statute, which will likely change how for-profit brands and non-profit entities offer contests and sweepstakes within the State and to its residents. In particular, these revisions include:

• A game promotion can only be operated by a for-profit organization on a limited and occasional basis as an advertising or marketing tool in connection with and incidental to bona fide sales of consumer products or services, if no purchase is necessary to play; and

• Non-profit entities and charitable organizations cannot operate a game promotion.

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Repost from E-Commerce and Privacy Alert

By Scott W. Pink

On March 12, 2013, the Federal Trade Commission issued its long-awaited update to its 2000 guidance on disclosures in online marketing and advertising.

The guidance, entitled .com Disclosures: How to Make Effective Disclosures in Digital Advertising, not only reaffirms many of the FTC’s longstanding principles for effective online disclosures, but also provides guidance as to how those principles will be applied to new technologies that have emerged since 2000, such as mobile phones and tablets with more limited space, banner ads and multimedia messaging, and social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

The FTC has broad powers under Section 5 of the FTC Act to protect consumers from “unfair and deceptive acts or practices.”i Under the FTC Act, the FTC has long required effective disclosures for claims that would otherwise be deceptive or misleading without them. .com Disclosures is designed to help businesses comply with the FTC Act by providing examples and direction on how to avoid unfair and deceptive practices through appropriate disclosures in their online and mobile marketing.

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By John Wilks and Catherine Beloff

The CJEU has handed down its decision on the copyright questions referred by the UK High Court in the long-running battle between ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 and TV Catchup (“TVC”). Copyright owners will be relieved that the CJEU has confirmed that streaming content via the internet constitutes the infringing act of communication to the public. 

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By Philip F. Zeidman and Tao Xu


It is not difficult to understand why China is viewed by businesses around the world as an indispensable market. Its size alone is staggering (1.3 billion people). Its purchasing power is equally impressive (on a purchasing power parity basis, it is already the second largest economy in the world).

What attracts most prospective sellers of goods and services, of course, is China’s astonishing growth rate.  Even during the recession which has plagued the rest of the world China has continued its remarkable trajectory, with retail spending increasing steadily by 15 percent and more.

For franchisors, there are some aspects of China which make it especially attractive. The size of the middle class, while smaller as a percentage of the population than in some other countries, is a powerful magnet; within a generation it will be roughly 4 times the size of America’s, for example.

Another measurement by which China is almost uniquely attractive is its number of large cities. Since franchisors (or their multi-unit developers or master franchisees) seek out concentrations of population, so as to make it possible to reach their target markets in an economic and logistically feasible fashion, the number of cities in China with more than 1 million population is eye-popping: 94, compared to 9 in the United States.

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The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has just begun accepting applications for the new generic top-level domain (gTLD) program.  This program allows organizations to own their own top-level domain extension and is intended to greatly proliferate the number of available domain extensions beyond the “.com,” “.org” and limited number of other extensions to which Internet users are accustomed.  

With a few exceptions, organizations can apply to have almost anything to the right of the dot, including their company’s own brand name or a generic term.

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By Joshua Briones and Patrick S. Park

A judge ruled last week that, a web-based community of cell phone information, has properly pled a trade secret and conversion claim arising out of Phonedog’s allegations that it is entitled to certain Twitter followers that a former employee had built up during his four years at the company, where he worked as a blogger. 
The case raises at least two questions.  First, who owns a company Twitter account?  Second, how much is a Twitter follower worth?  

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Robert Benson

Today President Barack Obama signed into law the America Invents Act, marking the first time in nearly 60 years that US patent legislation has been reformed.

The US does not often update its patent law. The most recent set of federal patent laws was signed by President Harry Truman in 1952, which itself was the first major revision of US patent law since the Patent Act of 1836.

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