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Disruptive technology law

Over the last 20 years, disruptive technology has been forcing businesses to significantly alter the way they operate. A lot of emerging technologies are still at very early stages of evolving therefore laws and regulations are continuously changing to keep up.

Our technology lawyers are at the forefront of many bleeding edge deals advising clients across key disruptive technologies including AI/robotics, IoT, connected and autonomous vehicles, smart cities, cloud and blockchain. Our lawyers stay abreast of the latest advancements and use their leading market knowledge to help our clients stay on top of and respond to the upcoming legal and regulatory challenges.

Smart Cities

Smart Cities

With technology advancements we are seeing more examples of smart city transformation where traditional networks and services are made more efficient through the use of digital and telecommunication technologies. The growth of cloud computing, advanced machine learning, IoT and the use of smartphones are enabling smarter urban transport networks, upgraded water supply and waste disposal facilities, and more efficient ways to light and heat buildings. Smart Cities are continuing to develop, finding more ways to use of the vast amounts of data at their disposal. We are regularly advising on numerous aspects of smart cities including infrastructure, clean energy, technology and connectivity, privacy and data analytics, environmental aspects and much more.

Additive Manufacturing

Additive manufacturing thumbnail

Additive manufacturing is in its relative infancy in terms of adoption, but the change is coming. Whether you are a supplier or a customer, there are some tricky issues to consider in this area including material sourcing for the build, IP ownership, how to deal with any developments needed for the printing technology and/or the software files, the taxation position, product liability and more. We have helped customers in this area and most recently we have worked extensively with a technology company in building their model and terms across EMEA, looking at contracting positions, insurance, product liability, IP issues and more. We therefore have an excellent knowledge of all the issues you will face when adopting or selling this technology or service.

AI/Robotics

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the simulation of human intelligence processes by computer systems and other machines. These processes include machine learning (essentially the acquisition of data and rules for using the data), reasoning and use of the rules to reach conclusions as well as an element of self-correction. Many countries are currently catching up with the need for changing laws as a result of the changing risk profile and social and other impacts which result from use of AI and robots. It will be important to watch the status of legal and policy changes in order to consider your own company’s potential legal coverage and/or liability whether you are “selling” AI/robots or adopting their use. Our team is at the forefront of these laws and can help you navigate the changes.

IOT

iot

The internet has become an essential part of daily our daily lives; very few activities can be completed without an interaction with technology. We are continuously developing technologies to help us mechanise and automate processes, drive efficiencies, increase output and reduce manual labour. Cars, watches, heating systems, phones, traffic lights, trains and fridges, are now equipped with computer chips and fixed or wireless connectivity which enables them to store and transmit data. We refer to this connected world as the “Internet of Things” (IoT).

IoT poses a new set of practical and regulatory challenges, including: the use of Big Data and analytics, consumer rights, IP rights, customer consents, connectivity, contractual arrangements, liability and risk for failure, compliance with regulations and import and export requirements. Our team is experienced across a range of industry sectors including technology, energy, transport, automotive, fintech, smart manufacturing and more.

Connected and Autonomous Vehicles

Driverless Cars

Countless lives are lost each year due to vehicle-related deaths, and more than 90% of these accidents are attributable to human error. With the advent of new technological capabilities, we live in an age where limiting these tragic outcomes is a very real possibility. Artificial Intelligence in the driver’s seat is a reality today and will become far more advanced with each passing year. By embracing this new technological advancement, the rate of auto-related deaths will be lowered drastically while at the same time improving overall transportation, commerce and quality of life.

However, with these advancements there are numerous legal risks and we are working closely with clients to future proof against some of these. Whether you are an auto manufacturer, technology supplier or an intermediary key considerations include IP, data ownership and liability as well as customer consent and transparency. New laws around autonomous/connected cars, data protection and AI coming in over the next few years will need to be considered and we are helping our clients understand their obligations in these areas.

Cloud

Cloud

We have phenomenal experience in negotiating cloud deals and drafting templates on both the customer/procurement side and the supplier side, across the globe. Privacy and cyber remains a strong area to focus on and our privacy and cyber team work closely with our technology experts to produce fit for purpose timely advice for our clients.

Cloud adoption has surged in recent years. Our Cloud Report (developed in conjunction with The Lawyer) indicates that this trend will continue – almost eight out of ten surveyed cloud purchasers expect to increase their level of cloud spend in the future. The survey focuses on what is currently driving the uptake of Cloud solutions, the potential barriers to adoption and current M&A trends. Eversheds’ “Spotlight on the Cloud” event brought together industry experts and legal advisors to discuss the evolution of the Cloud over the past 5 years, and what Cloud technology will mean for the future.

By far the most important legal consideration when it comes to Cloud adoption is data protection and security, c. 30% of customers have walked away from cloud deals because negotiations have failed when it comes to this point. Other legal considerations for both suppliers and customers include: service level agreements, liability clauses, exit provisions, and customer compliance. Download our full report for further detail.

Block Chain

block chain

Blockchain, the mechanism for information storage based on a distributed ledger structure, has generated considerable levels of interest and speculation as to how it might transform the exchange of data and ability to transact globally across a vast array of fields, including financial services. Blockchain technology promises to be an innovative disruption to the fintech ecosystem.

It is likely that blockchain technology will feature prominently in the future on the regulatory agenda. Blockchain has the potential to ease many current regulatory issues, including by increasing transparency, boosting liquidity, facilitating trust between market participants, securing data and improving accessibility to the markets through lower transaction costs. However, regulatory concerns remain about the “new” technology and are likely to evolve considerably while blockchain technology and its surrounding architecture continue to develop.

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