Technology Law Source

Monthly Archives: March 2010

Welcome to the Hotel Nanotel

Welcome to the hotel california Such a lovely place Such a lovely face Plenty of room at the hotel california Any time of year, you can find it here Don Felder, Glenn Fry, Don Henley, "Hotel California"

Hotels emerged in the Gilded Age as destinations, the places for the wealthy, particularly in New York, to go and be seen. Some hotels have become almost legendary, such as the Waldorf-Astoria or the Algonquin Hotel, whose dining room became the favoured hangout of the "Algonquin Round Table", made up of writers such as Dorothy Parker, Harold Ross, the founding editor of The New Yorker, and George S. Kaufman. Some hotels, such as the ones in the W Hotel chain, have revived the idea of the hotel as a luxury destination for the wealthy and chic, as places to see and to be seen. Some fictional hotels, such as the Hotel California or The Royale, are used as metaphors for Hell.

The Nano Excel Corporation is in the process of building adifferent type of hotel, the Nanotel Hotel and Resort, to be located in Hyderabad’s HITEC City.

The Nanotel Hotel hopes to make it’s mark by being a "healthcare hotel and resort", using paint that incorporates nano photo catalysts to prevent dust from collecting on walls, nanotech based antibacterial towels and bedsheets and water purifying showers.

Nano Excel Corp. hopes to have the first of a chain of Nanotels open by the middle of April. …

First Nano-Specific Insurance: Lexington Insurance Company Introduces LexNanoShield

To our knowledge, this press release announces the first nano-specific liability insurance coverage available in the United States. Many nano-related businesses have been waiting a long time for a product like this. It will be interesting to see industry reaction.

Lexington Insurance Company Introduces LexNanoShieldSM March 30, 2010 10:15 AM Eastern Daylight Time

NEW YORK–(EON: Enhanced Online News)–Lexington Insurance Company, a Chartis company, today introduced LexNanoShield, an integrated insurance product and array of risk management services designed for firms whose principal business is manufacturing nanoparticles or nanomaterials, or using them in their processes.

“LexNanoShield can help insureds assess and manage these new nanotechnology exposures.” For the exposures faced by these pioneering companies, LexNanoShield includes liability coverage that provides protection for general liability, product liability, product pollution legal liability and product recall liability exposures. In addition, first party product recall coverage is available to reimburse expenses incurred if a product containing nanoparticles or nanomaterials is recalled from the market for safety reasons. LexNanoShield also provides insureds with legal, technical and loss control consulting services to help develop, implement and assess nanotechnology-specific risk management programs.

“The enhanced reactivity of materials on the nanoscale has led to sunscreens you can’t see, clothes that don’t wrinkle, and paint coatings that don’t scratch. Because many of these products and others like them are relatively new, they require unique coverage and service,” said Tom McLaughlin, Lexington’s Senior Vice President of Specialty Casualty. “LexNanoShield can help insureds assess and manage these new nanotechnology exposures.” …

New Canadian Nanotech Bill

Frequently on this site we have discussed legislation introduced in Congress that would have an impact on Nanotechnology, most recently just a few weeks ago with the introduction of S.3117, the Promote  Nanotechnology in the Schools Act of 2010. Legislation affecting nanotechnology, nanoparticles, nanomaterials or nanoindustry are also being introduced in other national legislatures. Recently,  Peter Julian, MP, a member of Canada’s New Democratic Party, introduced Bill C-494, which would affect the regulation of nanotechnology in Canada by amending the Canadian Environmental Protection  Act of 1999 in several ways. Among these would be the following:

1)The Ministers of Health and the Environment would be required to "conduct research or studies relating to Nanotechnology, including nanomaterials, nanoparticles" and "sources of nanomaterials, and nanoparticles, how these would be transported, their effect on human health and the environment, how to develop and apply risks assessments and tests, and how to develop methods of preventing and mitigating risks"

2) "The Ministers shall establish a National Inventory respecting nanotechnology, including nanomaterials and nanoparticles. . . . " This National Inventory would then be published "in any manner that the Minister considers appropriate".

Similar language may be found in the reports published by groups such as Friends of the Earth and also in language being considered by the European Parliament.

3) Nanomaterials would be added to the Canadian Domestic Substances List if the Minister (which Minister, Health or Environment, is not specified in Bill C-494) "is satisfied that it

(a) was manufactured in or imported into Canada …

Opening of .co ccTLD Draws Interest as .com Typo Variant

A country code top-level domain (ccTLD) is an Internet top-level domain generally used or reserved for a sovereign state or territory. There are currently over 270 such domain extensions— from the Ascension Island (.ac) to Zimbabwe (.zw)—delegated by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA). A number of the world’s countries have licensed their TLDs for worldwide commercial use—usually when the TLD has coincidental alternative meanings making it especially marketable. Examples include Tuvalu and the Federated States of Micronesia, small island-states in the Pacific, sell domain names using the .tv and .fm TLDs respectively.

The .co top level domain extension is the latest ccTLD to draw interests from domain registrants not located in the country indicated by the domain extension. The .co extension, the country code top-level domain assigned to the nation of Colombia, is significant to brand owners because Internet users searching for brand owners’ Web sites frequently mistype ".com” as ".co."…

Identity Theft Protection Company to Pay $12 Million to Settle FTC Claims, State AG Actions

According to an FTC press release on March 3, 2010 and as reported in various media outlet reports, like this one from The New York Times, LifeLock, Inc., an identity theft protection company, has agreed to pay $11 million to the Federal Trade Commission and $1 million to a group of 35 state attorneys general to settle charges that the company used false claims to promote its identity theft protection services.

The FTC claims and state attorneys general actions appear to have been centered around LifeLock’s representations that its protections against identity theft were complete, absolute, and guaranteed.  FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz noted in the FTC’s press release,

"While LifeLock promised consumers complete protection against all types of identity theft, in truth, the protection it actually provided left enough holes that you could drive a truck through it."…

President’s Council Evaluates National Nanotechnology Initiative

This article originally appeared on the National Nanomanufacturing Network’s InterNano website earlier today. It is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported.

Maxine Savitz[1] and Ed Penhoe[2] provided a recent presentation summarizing the highlights of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST)[3] report on the status of the US National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) at a public meeting held at the National Academics on March 12, 2010.

Ms. Savitz provided a brief review at the beginning of the presentation regarding how, when, and why NNI was formed; its history from 2000 – 2010; and some of the participants in the PCAST review process. Participants included representatives from DuPont, IBM, A123 Systems, Nanocomp Technologies, Rice, Harvard, Caltech, Sandia National Labs, and the Woodrow Wilson Institute. Ms Savitz also explained that the group held two prior working meetings to solicit input from government agencies, the legislative and executive branches, as well as outside stakeholders. Finally, she explained that PCAST’s report has three major thematic areas: NNI program management; NNI output and work product; and NNI environmental, health, and safety programs and strategies.

Ed Penhoet then provided an update regarding NNI’s continued successes. He noted that the US is currently the world leader in nanotechnology and commercialization, but that other nations are gaining fast — particularly in Asia and Europe. He further noted that NNI has had a substantial impact on the US nanotechnology industry over the past ten years, which can be seen in the larger number of nanotechnology patents …

S. 3117, Promote Nanotechnology in the Schools Act of 2010

While much of the media and public’s attention was focused on Senator Dodd’s introduction of an amended financial services reform bill and the ongoing debate over the health care reform bill, Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) introduced S. 3117, the "Promote Nanotechnology in the Schools Act of 2010" (the link is to Senator Wyden’s introductory remarks; the text of S. 3117 is not available from THOMAS yet).

Noting that "nanotechnology represents an opportunity to provide long-term, well-paid employment for millions of Americans"  and "to ensure that many of the needed jobs will be created here in the U.S., it is necessary to provide our students with the tools that will provide the skills and knowledge that nanotechnology companies need", S. 3117 would direct the National Science Foundation to establish a grant program that would provide up to $400,000 to schools, community colleges and colleges and universities to cover the cost of purchasing equipment and materials to be used in instructing students in nanotechnology, with the schools receiving the grants having to provide 1/4 of the grant amount as matching funds. For example, if a college received the full $400,000 it would need to put up $100,000 of its own funds.

If this sounds familiar, a similar program of grants from the NSF is at the heart of HR 4502, the Nanotechnology Education Act introduced by Reps. Wu and Lipinski in January of this year and discussed here. HR 4502 was assigned to the House Committee on Science …

Gold Nanoparticles as X-ray Contrast Agents for Damaged Bone Tissue

The accumulation of microdamage in bone has long been linked by physicians to increased risk of fractures in both physically active individuals and the elderly. The role of microdamage in bone fragility has not been well studied due to limited capabilities for detecting such damage. Current imaging techniques are, by their nature, invasive, destructive, time consuming (and thus expensive) and limited to the two dimensional.

In their paper "Preparation of functionalized gold nanoparticles as a targeted x-ray contrast agent for damaged bone tissue", Zhenyuan Zhang, Ryan D. Ross and Ryan K. Roeder, all of Notre Dame’s Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, after determining that what was needed was "a deliverable, biocompatible and damage-specific x-ray contrast agent" and that the contrast agent "must be nanoscale in order to be delivered through vasculature to microcracks". Noting that gold nanoparticles had recently been studied as a vascular contrast agent, "exhibiting high x-ray attenuation, colloidal stability, and biocompatability" and that gold nanoparticles are readily synthesized and functionalized through surface adsorption of molecules with thiols or amines, Zhang et al conducted experiments successfully using gold nanoparticles as targeted x-ray contrast agents.

In their conclusions, Zhang et al noted that "Functionalized AU NPs are a promising candidate for a targeted x-ray contrast agent for damaged bone tissue".  .

This is yet another example of the incorporation of nanoparticles to improve existing medical technology.… — Nanotechnology Law Report Reaches Poland

Our friends at will now be publishing summaries of select nanolawreport blogs in Polish.  Here’s an example:

  Drukuj Email
NOWOSCI The Nanotechnology Education Act  Pełny artykuł zamieszczony  1 lutego, 2010, w Nanotechnology Law Report przez Robert Oszakiewski :

Streszczenie i tłumaczenie: Ewa Lockard

Końcem stycznia 2010, dwóch kongresmanów amerykańskich: David Wu i Daniel Lipinski, zaproponowali wprowadzenie ustawy (The Nanotechnology Education Act), której celem byłoby stworzenie pogramu dotacji wspomagających wprowadzenie i ulepszenie programów i infrastruktur związanych z nauczaniem nanotechnologii. Dotacje obejmowałyby zarówno szkoły średnie, college, uczelnie jak i nieformalne centra technologiczne. Fundusze byłyby przeznaczone na: zakup sprzętu i oprogramowania, zatrudnienie nauczycieli włącznie ze szkoleniami dla nauczycieli nanotechnologii.

Zmieniony ( 06.03.2010. )
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“Nanotechnology Law” — Now Online

Readers may be interested in learning that my 2009 book "Nanotechnology Law" is now online. You can find it on Westlaw as Nanotechnology Law (NANOTECH). 

The Westlaw version is very helpful because you can now electronically search for any nano-related legal topic and let your computer do all the work — it even provides links to the footnotes.

As another shameless plug, "Nanotechnology Law" is the only comprehensive legal text on nanotechnology currently on the market and weighs in at 1006 pages.  (All the better reason to use the Westlaw search function).

Finally, I am in the process of updating the book for the 2010 edition.  Thus, if there is anything important from 2009 that you would like to see analyzed in the 2010 edition — please let me know and I will see what I can do.


What Border Officials Can Do with Your Laptop And Cellular Phone

Having your laptop or smartphone searched or detained by Customs on your way back from a business trip would be a nightmare for most travelers, including bankers and other finance professionals. However, this scenario is quite possible under new governmental policies.

In 2009, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) both issued their respective new policies on border searches of electronic devices. This was a coordinated effort of CBP and ICE to update and harmonize their border policies to detect an array of illegal activities, including terrorism, cash smuggling, contraband, child pornography, copyright, and export control violations.

With all the technology innovations that allow business travelers to carry massive amounts of information in small electronic devices, CBP and ICE are facing an enormous challenge. On the one hand, travelers have a legitimate right to carry information on electronic devices. In that respect, there are serious concerns regarding the traveler’s expectation of privacy. On the other hand, the government has a duty to combat illegal activities and to enforce U.S. law at the border. The difficulty is finding the right balance between the government’s duty to enforce the law and the rights of travelers.

The legal basis for ICE and CBP policies is the border search exception to the Fourth Amendment requirement that officers obtain a warrant before searching someone’s property. But, assuming that they have this power, another key issue is exactly what CBP and ICE are allowed to do with one’s laptop. In …

Government Agencies Enforce HITECH Act Regulations

As of February 22, 2010, the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) began enforcement of data breach notification requirements explained in the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (“HITECH Act”).

Enacted as a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the HITECH Act, modifies the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) substantially by, among other things, requiring covered entities to provide notification to individuals whose protected health information has been compromised, used, or disclosed without authorization, or otherwise fails to comply with HIPAA.

(For more information, see our law alert (PDF) published 08/21/09 and provides a general overview of the HITECH Act and its changes to HIPAA.)

In its “Breach Notification for Unsecured Protected Health; Information Interim Final Rule” issued August 24, 2009, HHS stated that it will begin imposing sanctions on February 22, 2010 against covered entities failing to comply with the HITECH Act requirements, although, HHS also states that it expects covered entities already to be in compliance with HITECH and HHS’s regulations. HHS enforcement implicates all health care providers, health plans, business associates, and others that use, access, or disclose protected health information.

Additionally, HITECH includes enhanced enforcement provisions such as:

  1. an increased scale of fines for noncompliance up to $1,500,000;
  2. the authorization to state Attorneys General to bring actions on behalf of state residents to enforce violations of HIPAA; and
  3. expanded applicability of various portions of HIPAA directly to business associates.

All affected entities should adopt …

Latest Apple Trademark Dispute Highlights Need for Careful Mark Selection

Despite being the world’s foremost creator of hip consumer technology and a brand recognized worldwide, Apple has consistently managed to find itself embroiled in seemingly avoidable trademark disputes. As discussed in Hiroko Tabuchi’s New York Times article, "IPad? That’s So 2002," Fujitsu Says, Apple has found itself in another very public trademark dispute.  While the latest flap is that created by Apple’s use of iPad with its new tablet computer, it is by no means the first time Apple has been accused of trademark infringement.

In perhaps one of the most well known trademark disputes, Apple Computer sparred with Apple Corps on multiple occasions. Apple Computer’s first dustup with the corporate entity behind the Beatles’ Apple Records record label occurred in 1978 (shortly after the founding of Apple Computer in 1976) when Apple Corps sued Apple Computer for trademark violation. The parties settled that dispute in 1981 with the understanding that Apple Computer would never enter the music industry.

Predictably, in hindsight, Apple Corps filed suit against Apple Computer again eight years after the settlement—this time for violating the original agreement not to enter the music industry.…