미 법무부(Department of Justice)와 연방거래위원회 (Federal Trade Commission)는 한국 공정거래위원회와 9월 8일 워싱턴, D.C.에서 양국의 경쟁당국간 협력 및 교류를 증진하기 위한 업무협약(Memorandum of Understanding on Antitrust Cooperation)을 체결하였다. 동 업무협약은 건전하고 효과적인 양국의 경쟁법 집행이 시장의 효율적인 운영 및 각국 소비자들의 경제적 복지에 매우 중요하다는 점을 확인하고, 양국의 경쟁당국간 경쟁법 집행시의 협력 및 조율을 통해 각 경쟁당국 단독으로 움직일 때보다 각 경쟁당국이 염려하는 바를 보다 효과적으로 해결할 가능성이 있음을 인정하였다. 또한, 동 업무협약은 더 나아가 양국의 경쟁당국간 경쟁법 및 경쟁 정책에 대한 원활한 의사소통이 경쟁당국간의 관계 증진 및 강화에 기여할 수 있음을 확인하였다. Continue Reading
On June 16, 2015, IAP Worldwide Services Inc., a private defense and government contracting company, agreed to pay $7.1 million to settle criminal charges of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) related to bribing Kuwaiti government officials to secure a Kuwaiti government contract. On the same day, James Michael Rama, IAP’s Former Vice President of Special Projects and Programs also pleaded guilty to FCPA charges. For U.S. government contractors, the opportunities to provide services and expertise to foreign governments are lucrative, but this enforcement action also highlights the risks associated with obtaining such contracts. Continue Reading
Section 14 of the Anti-Monopoly Law of the PRC (“AML”) clearly regulates retail price maintenance (“RPM”), and RPM definitely is on the radar of the AML authorities for investigation and penalties. Enforcement against Maotai Liquor in 2013 proved that enforcing compulsory retail prices may cross a redline with the authorities in China. Recent enforcement and civil cases in 2013 and 2014 should also alert all multinational companies to double-check and improve their AML compliance system. Continue Reading
On February 12, 2015, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced that three U.S.-based importers had agreed to pay more than $3 million to resolve a lawsuit brought by the United States under the False Claims Act (“FCA”). The Government alleged that the importers had made false declarations to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) and conspired with other domestic companies to make false declarations to CBP in order to avoid paying “antidumping” and “countervailing” duties. No Government contracts were involved. These were “reverse” FCA claims based upon underpayment of duties for private sector import transactions. Continue Reading
On February 9, 2015, the United States’ Food & Drug Administration (“FDA”) issued final guidelines to outline its regulatory enforcement approach to mobile medical applications (or “apps”). The FDA is taking a risk-based approach, focusing its oversight on apps that (1) meet the definition of medical devices under section 201(h) of the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act, and (2) could pose a risk to a patient’s safety if the app did not function as intended. The FDA will not exercise authority over apps that are not medical devices under section 201(h), nor will it enforce its rules and regulations against the numerous apps that meet the definition of medical devices but present only minimal risk to consumers or patients. Continue Reading
The Government of the People’s Republic of China (“China”) and the Government of the Republic of Korea (“Korea”) have entered into a co-production treaty that became effective September 1, 2014. The treaty entitles films that are co-produced by one or more nationals of one country in cooperation with one or more nationals of the other country and made in accordance with the treaty to all the benefits which are or may be accorded to national films by each Party (that is, China or Korea) under its national laws. A key benefit of national treatment in China for qualifying co-production films is that China’s import quota on foreign films is not applicable to such films.
Sheppard Mullin’s intellectual property group prevailed before the United States Supreme Court in the trademark matter entitled Hana Financial v. Hana Bank. 574 U.S. ___ (2015). Justice Sotomayor, writing for a unanimous court, affirmed a Ninth Circuit ruling that the doctrine of trademark tacking presents a question of fact appropriate for jury determination. 735 F.3d 1158 (9th Cir. 2013). This was the first substantive trademark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in nearly a decade. Partner Carlo Van den Bosch argued the case before the Supreme Court on behalf of client Hana Bank, who he has represented since the initial filing in 2007 in California federal court.