Experts tasked by the EU to help “unleash” the economic potential of cloud computing are now working on how to address common issues among cloud users and providers through model contract terms. In September 2012, the European Commission identified cloud computing as a way to create 2.5 million jobs and grow GDP by €160 billion (approximately $217.4 billion). To reach that target, the commission formed an expert group in October 2013 to identify “safe and fair contract terms and conditions” in cloud computing agreements. The best practices aim to enhance trust and confidence in cloud computing as well as to help facilitate agreements.

Snapchat, a popular smartphone application, recently settled with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over allegations that the app misrepresented material elements of its program to the public.

The fog is starting to lift for website operators who have been navigating under murky rules for months. California’s Office of the Attorney General recently published recommendations for meaningful online privacy policy statements, reflecting legislation passed in 2013 regarding “do not track” (DNT) signals. The overriding message for operators is to use clear and simple policies. However, as our firm recently reported, specifications for a uniform DNT Web browser mechanism have yet to surface.

Just when we were getting used to the "cloud" way of things, new buzzwords are emerging to brand solutions that may replace (or more likely enhance) cloud computing. Two of these solutions—"fog" computing (Cisco) and computing pushed toward "the edge" (IBM)—were the topics of an interesting article recently published in The Wall Street Journal called “Forget ‘the Cloud’; ‘the Fog’ Is Tech’s Future” (subscription required). The article emphasizes that although “cloud advocates are fond of declaring that 100% of computing will someday reside in the cloud . . . [h]ere's the reality: Getting data into and out of the cloud is harder than most engineers, or at least their managers, often are willing to admit.”

New regulations from the Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (OFCCP) took effect on March 24, impacting contracts between federal contractors and subcontractors. The new regulations pertain to equal employment opportunity and affirmative action requirements with respect to certain categories of protected veterans and qualified individuals with disabilities under the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) and section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, respectively. Although the “bold” new requirement alluded to in the title of this post is really not bold per se, under the new regulations, a federal contractor may be required to include specific contract language, in bold text, in its contracts with subcontractors (e.g., vendors and suppliers).

As the outsourcing industry matures and contracts run their full cycles, we have seen an influx of deals that are expiring or up for renegotiation or resourcing. How can legal and sourcing leads prepare for an upcoming renegotiation or resourcing project? Read on for three tips to help get a leap on these projects.

As part of Morgan Lewis’s Technology May-rathon webinar series, partners Peter Watt-Morse and Douglas Crisman will provide an update on current industry trends; the impact on contracts, IP rights, and data security; and other legal issues that arise from cloud computing.

This webinar will be held today, Wednesday, May 28, from 1 to 2 p.m. Sign up here >

A recent jury finding in Energy Transfer Partners LP v. Enterprise Products Partners LP may have far-reaching effects in how relationships formed through nonbinding letters of intent are interpreted, specifically regarding whether conduct can negate a previous agreement between parties.

In numerous documents, including a letter of intent, executed by Energy Transfer Partners LP (ETP) and Enterprise Products Partners LP (Enterprise) the companies agreed that neither party had a legal obligation to pursue a pipeline project until both parties signed a definitive agreement stating their intent to be bound to the venture. Enterprise later abandoned the project citing a lack of concrete interest from shippers and ETP filed suit after learning that Enterprise entered into a similar project with a third party. ETP argued that the parties' conduct formed a state law partnership under Texas law and alleged that Enterprise breached its fiduciary duties.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently voted to make available for public comment a proposal on protecting and promoting an open Internet, and in particular, the concept of “net neutrality.” The FCC’s May 15 proposal stems from its conclusion that “broadband providers have the incentive and ability to act in ways that threaten Internet openness” and two previous invalidated attempts to impose protections. This Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is available for public comment until September 10, 2014.

As a result of new regulations, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has greater authority to regulate drug manufacturers for failing to have adequate controls around supply chain management, including the authority to impose penalties. This authority is derived from new part 711 of the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act, which was signed in 2012 to expand the FDA’s authorities and strengthen its ability to safeguard public health.