Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Outsourcing and Data Protection in the European Union: EU Standard Contract Clauses Must Be Changed Regarding Overseas Transfers of Personal Data

Out-law.com alerts us to the fact that a recent formal Decision of the European Commission requires that Model clauses for overseas transfers of personal data be updated, writing
"Outsourcing companies outside the EU will now have to get written permission to subcontract the processing of personal data after the European Commission changed arrangements permitting the export of such information.

The EU's data protection regime limits the export of personal data outside the European Economic Area (EEA) which comprises the EU, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.

A small handful of countries have proved their data protection regimes the equivalent of the EU's and so are permitted to receive personal data without further steps (Switzerland, Canada, Argentina, Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Jersey), while the US has a special arrangement, the Safe Harbour scheme, under which participating US companies can receive data if they promise to abide by rules over and above US law.

For transfers to all other countries there must be specific data protection contractual arrangements in place before the personal data of EU residents can be sent to companies based there for processing. The European Commission produces standard clauses that are used in such contracts.

The Commission has changed the terms of those clauses to allow companies in non-European Economic Area (EEA) countries to sub-contract work, but only with the explicit permission of client companies." [emphasis added]
Read the full article here for more details and a link to an Out-law.com guide to overseas transfer of personal data.

Racist Content on California Server is within UK Jurisdiction based on the Test of Substantial Measure of Activities in the UK

Out-law.com alerts us to the following UK Court of Appeal decision: Racist content on US server is within UK jurisdiction, says Court of Appeal | Pinsent Masons LLP
"The law of England and Wales applies to material published online, even if it is hosted on a server in another country, the Court of Appeal has ruled. As long as a substantial measure of the activities takes place in England, its law will apply, it said."

Intellectual Ventures and Invention Capital : Financing Inventors and Monetizing Creations : Making Big Money out of Patents : The "New" Software ?

Intellectual Ventures has been labelled "Intellectual Vultures" as a consequence of its acquisition of 30,000 patents and collection thus far of more than $1 billion in license fees. That is big business. What goes on?

In Investment Firm Hopes to Turn Patents Into Invention Capital Market, Steve Lohr at the New York Times reports on this "nonpracticing entity" - called a patent troll by its detractors - that makes no products of its own but deals in patents only.

The March 2010 Issue of the Harvard Business Review under the title Funding Eureka! features an article written by Nathan Myhrvold, former chief technology officer at Microsoft and Founder and CEO of Intellectual Ventures, in which Myhrvold makes the case that his company is not a patent troll but is trying to "create a capital market for inventions" and "to make applied research a profitable activity that attracts vastly more private investment than it does today".

Is it possible that Myhrvold represents the future of patents?

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