TECHNOLOGY, OUTSOURCING, AND COMMERCIAL TRANSACTIONS
NEWS FOR LAWYERS AND SOURCING PROFESSIONALS

Internet-connected devices contributing to the Internet of Things (IoT) are projected to exceed 50 billion devices by 2025, according to the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection in its June 2018 comments on the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s notice of public hearing and request for written comments on “The Internet of Things and Consumer Product Hazards.” Such widespread use of and access to these internet-connected devices—which can collect personal data from their users—has spurred legislative movement toward introducing security standards for IoT devices. These initial steps start with the US government’s use of IoT devices through the Senate’s third proposed bill on the subject, S.734. The bill, known as the Internet of Things Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2019, aims to manage cybersecurity risks regarding secure development, identity management, patching, and configuration management of “covered devices.” Under the proposed bill, a “covered device” is one that can connect to the internet, has data processing capabilities, and “is not a general-purpose computing device.” The covered devices at the focus of this bill refer to devices “owned or controlled by” the federal government.

Since the US Supreme Court’s June 21, 2018, decision in South Dakota vs. Wayfair, Inc. , many of the 45 sales tax-collecting states have been making moves to put laws and processes in place for tax collections for out-of-state online sales. Given the general complexity of state tax laws and the inconsistency from state to state, as well as the uncertainty as to whether or when uniformity across states may come to pass, businesses with online sales need to carefully monitor both the legal landscape and the processes established for administration and compliance for out-of-state transactions.

More than 1,000 Support Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies Act (SAFETY Act) of 2,002 approvals have been granted by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) since the act’s inception. Many professional sports teams in the National Football League, Major League Baseball, and National Basketball Association have had their venues certified under the SAFETY Act. For example, New Era Field for the Buffalo Bills became the 14th NFL stadium to receive a SAFETY Act certification in October 2018. However, professional sports leagues do not have a monopoly on large sporting events that garner huge crowds—some universities have football stadiums with capacity for more than 100,000 people.

As companies continue to improve the cyber defenses of their computer systems operating key enterprise and national infrastructure, one area that presents unique challenges is the supply chain. A single asset may depend on multiple vendors around the world, some of whom may only produce a single component or piece of software, but any of which can introduce critical vulnerabilities. Please join us for a one-hour webinar to discuss best practices in supply chain cybersecurity to mitigate these risks.

China introduced a new Foreign Investment Law on March 15, which, among other things, aims to encourage cross-border technological cooperation. In this LawFlash, Shanghai partner Todd Liao discusses related amendments to various Chinese regulations that affect technology transfer deals between foreign technology owners and Chinese licensees.

Join Morgan Lewis at our Philadelphia office on April 11 for a discussion on hot topics impacting services contracts in the digital economy. Morgan Lewis labor and employment partner Sarah Bouchard, litigation partner Greg Parks, together with technology, outsourcing, and commercial contracts partners Barbara Melby and Michael Pillion, and associates Christopher Archer and Katherine O’Keefe will speak at the event.

Topics will include:

  • Ethical considerations for lawyers working in a digital world
  • Common issues to consider when using vendor cloud agreements
  • Industry updates
  • Contracting for automation solutions

A networking reception will follow the discussions. We hope you can join us!

Register here.

March is a busy month for webinars at Morgan Lewis. Check out the Morgan Lewis website for a number of webinars coming up in March that are of interest to technology and sourcing lawyers and professionals. A few that caught our eye:

  • March 12 - Cyber Insurance: Is Your Company Covered?
  • March 12 - M&A Academy: Bridging the Gap with Transition Services Agreements
  • March 13 - Global Public Company Academy: Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Developments

For a complete listing of firm events and CLE opportunities, visit our Global Events Calendar.

Customers in outsourcing arrangements are coming to expect (or starting to demand) that their providers have the resources, technology, and know-how to leverage automation software—whether robotics desktop automation (RDA) or robotics process automation (RPA) software—to enhance the capabilities and efficiencies of IT and business processes. While the software promises big benefits, such as higher levels of accuracy, scalability, and cost-savings, as with the implementation of any new technology, there are new challenges to consider.

In this post we take a look at the top five issues to consider when contemplating the use of automation software in your outsourcing transaction.

When polling fellow tech lawyers about blockchain, most of them seemed to be waiting out getting up to speed on the technology to see if the hype would stick and whether clients would actually implement blockchain solutions at an enterprise level. Would blockchain for business applications, such as supply chain and data transfer, explode like the “cloud” and “automation” or fall by the wayside as other technologies outpaced it?

While the staying power of public cryptocurrency platforms is still in question, the use of blockchain technology to enable business solutions seems to be increasing, with blockchain use cases moving from the innovation lab into implementation.