K&L Gates recently published its Global Government Solutions 2011 Annual Outlook, which contains articles from around the firm on key governmental developments expected in 2011.
The Annual Outlook includes an article addressing developments affecting the Telecom, Media and Technology sector in 2011 by DC partners Marc Martin and Marty Stern, noting that the TMT sector enters 2011 with significant regulatory uncertainty and the FCC facing an uphill battle on many signature regulatory initiatives.
The article reviews the FCC’s net neutrality order and the challenges it faces in court and on Capitol Hill, discusses the recent FCC and Department of Justice approvals of the Comcast/NBCU transaction, and a number of additional issues getting significant focus in 2011. These include retransmission consent battles between broadcasters and cable/DBS providers and the FCC’s expected rulemaking proceeding on this issue, the Commission’s implementation of new communications accessibility requirements under the new 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act, and continued efforts to reform the Universal Service Fund and make it broadband-centric.
An article entitled The Year of Privacy Protection, by DC partner Bruce Heiman, of counsel Henry Judy, and Seattle associate Samuel Castic, addresses significant privacy initiatives in the US and Europe in 2011, noting that significant commercial, technological and policy developments in 2010 have all set the stage for new privacy laws and regulations to emerge in Europe and the United States in 2011. In particular, the authors note that they expect the United States and the European Commission to actively consider imposing new requirements on companies to address the collection, use, protection, retention and disposal of personally identifiable information. The article also reviews commercial, technological, and policy developments in the United States and Europe, noting certain common themes and directions on both sides of the Atlantic.
Finally, an article entitled Patent Strategies: The New Normal For 2011, by DC partner Stephen Glazier, reviews expected changes that have resulted in a “new normal” condition for patents in 2011. The article reviews factors resulting in this new base state, including expected increased funding for innovation, particularly in software; business method and computer-related patent applications; more intense IP due diligence in equity financing; continued evolutionary changes in patent case law; increased patent litigation in the strengthening economy; and a dramatic increase in China-origin patent applications in the U.S.