Judge limits damages Qualcomm can seek from Apple

Judge limits damages Qualcomm can seek from Apple


Chris Velazco/Engadget

Qualcomm has enjoyed a few successes in its legal fight against Apple, but it just faced a significant blow. A judge has granted Apple’s request to limit potential damages in a Qualcomm patent lawsuit to the period after the suit was filed in 2017. The chip maker can’t demand cash for years upon years of infringements if the case is successful. The judge further reduced the possible impact by determining that Apple wasn’t infringing on one of the patents.

The patents dovetail with those in one of Qualcomm’s two International Trade Commission complaints, which also haven’t gone according to plan. The ITC hasn’t issued its final decision, but it has so far determined that Apple violated only one patent and that there was no need for an import ban. Companies frequently back up US lawsuits with ITC complaints in hopes of forcing their opponent’s hand, but that hasn’t panned out here.

Qualcomm sued Apple in response to antitrust lawsuits accusing the chipset giant of misusing its dominance to overcharge for wireless component royalties. And it’s unlikely to back down when it has accused Apple of owing billions in back payments. This fight isn’t about to end any time soon, then, even if Qualcomm also has an FTC antitrust trial looming over its head.

View the Original Article . . .

{authorlink}
https://www.engadget.com/rss.xml Engadget RSS Feed

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

https://www.blogsmithmedia.com/www.engadget.com/media/feedlogo.gif?cachebust=true

Advertisements

Man sentenced to 65 months in prison over phone ‘cloning’ scheme

Man sentenced to 65 months in prison over phone ‘cloning’ scheme


Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

The US is tying loose ends on an elaborate cellphone crime spree. A Florida judge has sentenced Braulio De la Cruz Vasquez to 65 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to charges he worked with four co-conspirators (who’ve already pleaded guilty) as part of a ring that would ‘clone’ phones and use them for international calls. De la Cruz would receive identifying information linked to wireless subscribers’ accounts and use that to “reprogram” cellphones he controlled. After that, his partners would send international calls to his home internet connection and route them through the hijacked phones, making the unwitting victims pay for others’ calls.

On top of this, De la Cruz acknowledged receiving “tens of thousands” of dollars from at least one internet calling company in return for routing those international calls through his home. He faced six charges in total, including three for fraud, one for identity theft, and two for using illegal telecom devices.

De la Cruz received about 2,158 identifying numbers between March 2011 and April 2013, according to his testimony. He’s officially a citizen of the Dominican Republic, but was extradited to the US in August 2018.

The sentence helps wind down the case as a whole, nicknamed Operation Toll Free. It won’t put an end to these kinds of account breaches — SIM hijacking in particular remains a very real problem. However, it’s part of a broader initiative to stop “large-scale” telecoms fraud. For the feds, this could be as much about sending a message to other would-be crooks as it is shutting down a specific operation.

View the Original Article . . .

{authorlink}
https://www.engadget.com/rss.xml Engadget RSS Feed

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

https://www.blogsmithmedia.com/www.engadget.com/media/feedlogo.gif?cachebust=true

Judge rejects Yahoo’s proposed settlement over data breaches

Judge rejects Yahoo’s proposed settlement over data breaches


Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Yahoo’s proposed settlement over massive data breaches hasn’t passed muster in the courtroom. Judge Lucy Koh has rejected the settlement from the company (now owned by Engadget parent Verizon) for not specifying how much victims could expect to recover. While the proposal included $50 million in damages and would pay $25 for every hour spent dealing with the breaches, Koh was concerned that it didn’t reveal the scope of the settlement fund or the costs of the two years of promised credit monitoring. The judge was also worried the proposed class for the settlement was too large, as it didn’t reflect the considerably smaller number of active users during the affected period.

Koh added that Yahoo’s settlement details continued a “pattern of lack of transparency” that manifested in the breaches themselves, where the company revealed breaches years after they took place and wasn’t clear how it would support victims. She was also concerned that the $35 million cap on the plaintiffs’ lawyer fees was “unreasonably high” given that their case was “not particularly novel.”

In a statement, Verizon said it was “confident” there was a “viable path forward” despite the judge denying preliminary approval.

The denial isn’t a complete surprise. The settlement was meant to cover 200 million people across the US and Israel with close to 1 billion accounts. That’s a lot of potential recipients, and there’s a concern that victims could get less than they’re due despite the threats to their privacy and security.

Verizon owns Engadget’s parent company, Verizon Media. Rest assured, Verizon has no control over our coverage. Engadget remains editorially independent.

View the Original Article . . .

{authorlink}
https://www.engadget.com/rss.xml Engadget RSS Feed

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

https://www.blogsmithmedia.com/www.engadget.com/media/feedlogo.gif?cachebust=true

US judge rules that feds can’t force fingerprint or face phone unlocks

US judge rules that feds can’t force fingerprint or face phone unlocks


releon8211 via Getty Images

Authorities can’t force people to unlock devices with their faces, fingers or irises, a magistrate judge from California has ruled. Forbes has uncovered a nine-page order denying the search warrant for an investigation looking into a Facebook extortion crime. While the judge admits that investigators were able to establish probable cause for the warrant, she called their request to unlock any phone on the premises with biometrics “overbroad.” The request wasn’t limited to a particular person or device, and authorities would’ve been able to get everyone in the house to open their devices.

Magistrate judge Kandis Westmore stressed that law enforcement doesn’t have the right to force people to unlock their phones even with a warrant, thereby declaring that biometrics are equal to passcodes. Courts commonly allow biometric unlocks, because judges don’t consider body parts “testimonial.” The reason being, people have to give up passwords and passcodes verbally and willingly, so they’re covered under the Fifth Amendment protections against self-incrimination. Westmore wrote in her ruling:

“If a person cannot be compelled to provide a passcode because it is a testimonial communication, a person cannot be compelled to provide one’s finger, thumb, iris, face, or other biometric feature to unlock that same device.

The undersigned finds that a biometric feature is analogous to the 20 nonverbal, physiological responses elicited during a polygraph test, which are used to determine guilt or innocence, and are considered testimonial.”

Westmore noted that “technology is outpacing the law” and that the government has other means to solve the case. In this particular instance, investigators can obtain Messenger communications from Facebook itself with a proper warrant under the Stored Communications Act. According to Forbes, Facebook had been willing to hand over messages to authorities for a significant number of previous cases, so there’s really no reason investigators can’t go that route. While Westmore’s decision is out of the norm and can still be overturned, EFF senior staff attorney Andrew Crocker said it’s worth noting that “courts are beginning to look at these issues on their own terms.”

View the Original Article . . .

{authorlink}
https://www.engadget.com/rss.xml Engadget RSS Feed

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

https://www.blogsmithmedia.com/www.engadget.com/media/feedlogo.gif?cachebust=true

Judge blocks NYC law requiring Airbnb to share host data

Judge blocks NYC law requiring Airbnb to share host data


LIONEL BONAVENTURE via Getty Images

A federal judge has issued an injunction against a New York City law that would require home-sharing companies like Airbnb and HomeAway to provide detailed information to the city about those who rent spaces through the platforms. Mayor Bill de Blasio signed the law in August and it was set to take effect next month. As defined by the law, the information these companies would be required to share with city officials would include the names and addresses of hosts as well as whether whole apartments or individual rooms were being rented.

“The city has not cited any decision suggesting that the governmental appropriation of private business records on such a scale, unsupported by individualized suspicion or any tailored justification, qualifies as a reasonable search and seizure,” Judge Paul Engelmayer wrote in his decision. He also described the amount of information required by the law as “breathtaking.”

Proponents of the law claim it will help NYC authorities enforce state regulations, which say for most buildings, apartments cannot be rented for less than 30 days unless the person living there resides in the apartment throughout the rental. They also say these laws are meant to help the city address its affordable housing crisis. “The vacancy rate in New York City is very low,” City Council Speaker Corey Johnson told the New York Times in July. “We’re in an affordable housing crisis. We’re in a homelessness crisis. And Airbnb will not give us this data.”

New York City isn’t the only city to crack down on Airbnb listings. San Francisco enacted a law last year requiring hosts to register with the city and pay a fee to do so. Other cities and countries, including New Orleans, Japan and China, have instituted regulations on home-sharing companies as well.

Some critics of the NYC law say it’s flawed while others, like Airbnb itself, have maintained that limiting rentals hurts average New Yorkers. “The bill as written imposes needless challenges on the home-sharing industry, and comes with other concerns around privacy, tax revenue and vague language,” Tech:NYC Executive Director Julie Samuels said in a statement. “Judge Engelmayer’s ruling gives us time to revisit the law, offering stakeholders an opportunity to have a positive conversation about crafting more sensible, 21st century rules.”

In response to today’s ruling, Airbnb said, “The decision today is a huge win for Airbnb and its users, including the thousands of New Yorkers at risk of illegal surveillance who use Airbnb to help make ends meet.” Airbnb sued NYC over its law in August, saying it violated residents’ constitutional rights. Judge Engelmayer’s injunction will remain in place while that litigation plays out.

“This is a law to stop landlords from creating de facto hotels, which is unfair and illegal,” Mayor de Blasio said during a press conference. “We believe we’ll ultimately prevail.”

View the Original Article . . .

{authorlink}
https://www.engadget.com/rss.xml Engadget RSS Feed

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

https://www.blogsmithmedia.com/www.engadget.com/media/feedlogo.gif?cachebust=true

Elon Musk asks judge to toss ‘pedo guy’ defamation lawsuit

Elon Musk asks judge to toss ‘pedo guy’ defamation lawsuit


Robyn Beck/Pool via Bloomberg

Elon Musk is hoping to end the US lawsuit over his “pedo guy” statements against British cave diver Vernon Unsworth before it gets started. His attorneys have filed a motion to dismiss the case on the grounds that his insults weren’t serious and thus were protected free speech in the US. This was just a “schoolyard spat,” Musk’s attorneys said. They contended that Twitter was a place where you could “expect to read opinions, not facts,” and thus that no one could realistically assume Musk was telling the truth.

Unsworth’s attorney rejected the claims in a statement to The Guardian. The argument would “effectively doom all lawsuits” over defamation, and that Musk’s dismissal points were “novel but inaccurate.”

It’s not clear how the judge will respond to the dismissal request, although it might not work in Musk’s favor. While he did apologize for his initial “pedo guy” remark in July, he undercut that in August when he told BuzzFeed News reporter that Unsworth was a “child rapist.” For that matter, Musk ran into trouble with the SEC precisely because he used Twitter to make a serious claim about taking Tesla private. Don’t be surprised if the case moves forward to its initial hearing on April 1st.

View the Original Article . . .

{authorlink}
https://www.engadget.com/rss.xml Engadget RSS Feed

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

https://www.blogsmithmedia.com/www.engadget.com/media/feedlogo.gif?cachebust=true

Game developer Rebellion is opening its own UK film and TV studio

Game developer Rebellion is opening its own UK film and TV studio


Rebellion

The UK game developer behind Sniper Elite has is opening its own film studio where it plans to shoot a Judge Dredd TV series and Rogue Trooper film. Rebellion, which also created the PSVR tank shooter Battlezone, nabbed the rights to the comic books after acquiring iconic British publisher 2000AD back in 2000. It followed that up with another acquisition in 2016, this time purchasing Fleetway and IPC Comics (known for football comic strip, Roy of the Rovers, and comic anthology, Battle).

Both adaptations will set up at Rebellion’s new $100 million site: a former printing press for the Daily Mail newspaper in Didcot near Oxford, England, which measures 220,000 square feet and includes a 25,000-square-foot sound stage. The facility will be ready for use within weeks, with plans to rent it out to third-parties as an increasing number of Hollywood blockbusters decamp to the UK for production work.

Rebellion’s Judge Dredd: Mega-City One will mark the straight-shooting lawman’s first TV series, after being portrayed in films by Sylvester Stallone — in the tepidly-received Judge Dredd in 1995 — and more recently in 2012 by Karl Urban in the Alex Garland-penned Dredd (on which Rebellion owners, brothers Jason and Chris Kingley, served as producers). Rogue Trooper, meanwhile, has director Duncan Jones (Source Code, Warcraft) locked in to tell the tale of 2000AD’s genetically-modified blue soldier.

Rebellion’s expansion into film and television follows similar moves by Ubisoft and Activision Blizzard. Like its bigger counterparts, it’s looking to merge its visual entertainment ambitions. “I think we are pretty good at creating content in all different types, screen content and interactive games and all sorts of stuff, and I’m hoping we’re going to be equally good at making TV and film,” Jason Kingsley told Variety.

View the Original Article . . .

{authorlink}
https://www.engadget.com/rss.xml Engadget RSS Feed

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

https://www.blogsmithmedia.com/www.engadget.com/media/feedlogo.gif?cachebust=true

Engadget will once again judge the official Best of CES Awards

Engadget will once again judge the official Best of CES Awards

It seems like just yesterday that Engadget began judging the official Best of CES Awards in January 2014, but now we’re already approaching our sixth consecutive year on the job. Over the years we’ve made some nips and tucks here and there — accessibility tech got its own category at CES 2017, for example, and sports tech is also a recent addition.

This year, it was important that we set aside more space for products and technologies with gravitas — not those intended for fun, but those that have the potential to transform or even save the world. To that end, we’re expanding what was formerly known as the “Best Vision of the Future (Smart City)” category and renaming it “Most Impactful.” This may still include things like smart infrastructure, sure, but also technology meant to prevent or respond to natural disasters. Basically, anything that will have implications for entire communities.

Though the list of categories has been slightly streamlined (16 categories, down from 17), our vetting process is the same as ever. We’ll be accepting nominations through a submission form, which will be open until the night before press activities are set to begin at CES 2019. We will also send our editorial team throughout the show floor to scout promising candidates in each category. We’ll announce a list of finalists, with two to four picks in each category. The finalists will be announced the next day, at an award ceremony taking place at the Engadget stage at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Below are the the Best of CES award categories for 2019. To learn more about our eligibility requirements, check out our awards hub here.

  • Best Accessibility Tech: Technology that helps those with disabilities achieve healthier and more independent lives.
  • Best Startup: The startup showing great sophistication and innovation while also demonstrating a clear path to real-world availability. Eureka Park will be a focus.
  • Best Digital Health and Fitness Product: A product exhibiting the most innovative use of technology to improve users’ health and well-being. Example products include smart scales and activity monitors.
  • Best Wearable: The best gadget at the show that can be worn on your person. Examples include smart watches, augmented reality glasses and any piece of wearable item (be it socks or shorts) that have sensors in them.
  • Best Transportation Technology: Technology related to the ever-advancing science of getting from here to there. Example products include infotainment systems and advances in self-driving technology.
  • Best Home Theater Product: This award is all about home entertainment. Example products include set top boxes, streaming players, tuners, audio systems and more.
  • Best Connected Home Product: A product that belongs in the connected home. Example includes smart refrigerators, connected thermostats and smart lighting.
  • Best Phone or Mobile Device: The smartphone or related mobile device that most impresses with its combination of specifications, design and overall ability.
  • Best TV Product: The television that is deemed the best in terms of display, design and overall quality, or the product that might most revolutionize your use of that screen.
  • Best Gaming Product: The product that best moves forward the broad field of gaming. Example products include game-specific tablets and PCs, video game consoles, controllers and gaming services.
  • Most Unexpected Product: The product that turns heads on the International CES show floor without necessarily fitting into any defined product category. This product may not be the best of the best at the show, but it will be one of the most talked-about.
  • Best Sports Tech: The product that changes the game, quite literally. These products will be found on the court, the field, the track or at the gym.
  • Best PC or Tablet: The best laptop, desktop or tablet, judged based on its design and specifications.
  • Best Robot or Drone: A drone or robot that is deemed the best of this unique category.
  • Most Impactful Product: This category focuses on products designed to improve entire communities through the use of technology, shaping the way we will all live in the future.
  • Best of the Best Award: The device, service or technology in any category that stands clearly above the rest, judged based on its innovation and design quality.
  • People’s Choice Award: The product from this year’s show that most captured the hearts and minds of our readers. The winner will be determined by viewers and readers.

If you’re looking to submit something for consideration, make sure you meet our eligibility requirements and then enter in all your information in this submission form. In order to be eligible, your company must have an official presence at CES and the product must fit within one of the award categories above. It does not have to be announced at the show, but it certainly helps. And, of course, it can’t be more than a year old. Submissions will stay open until 11:59PM ET on the evening of Saturday, January 5th, before press day kicks off on Sunday, January 6th. Please include the following required items for a product to be considered:

  • Product name
  • Company name
  • Product description
  • Which of the 16 category/categories for which you’d like to be considered. You may submit a product for more than one category.
  • Contact information for media relations and at least one internal point of contact while your company is exhibiting at the show. We need to be able to reach someone on site in the event that you’re a finalist or winner!

Whenever possible, companies should submit the following materials as well:

  • Photos (minimum 1,920 x 1,080 resolution and 300 DPI)
  • Spec sheet(s)
  • Press release(s)
  • Release date
  • Price

Good luck and see y’all in Vegas!

View the Original Article . . .

{authorlink}
https://www.engadget.com/rss.xml Engadget RSS Feed

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

https://www.blogsmithmedia.com/www.engadget.com/media/feedlogo.gif?cachebust=true

Judge tells Amazon to provide Echo recordings in double homicide trial

Judge tells Amazon to provide Echo recordings in double homicide trial


AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

Prosecutors are once again hoping that smart speaker data could be the key to securing a murder conviction. A New Hampshire judge has ordered Amazon to provide recordings from an Echo speaker between January 27th, 2017 and January 29th, 2017 (plus info identifying paired smartphones) to aid in investigating a double homicide case. The court decided there was probable cause to believe the speaker might have captured audio of the murders and their aftermath.

Law enforcement had charged Timothy Verrill with murdering Christine Sullivan and Jenna Pellegrini at the home of Sullivan’s boyfriend Dean Smoronk. Verrill had access to the home’s security code and had been seen on surveillance cameras with the two women, leading investigators to believe that Smoronk’s Echo might have picked up additional information.

Whether or not there’s any information to provide isn’t clear. In a statement, Amazon didn’t acknowledge the presence of any recordings but said it wouldn’t provide customer data unless there was a “valid and binding legal demand properly served on us.”

However, the likelihood of recordings isn’t terribly high. Like many smart speakers, the Echo isn’t continuously recording — it only captures audio when someone uses the speaker’s hotword (typically “Alexa”), and then only for the brief moment it takes to issue a command. The murderer would have needed to explicitly activate the Echo while committing the crimes. Paired phones wouldn’t necessarily have helped, either. You don’t need to link a specific phone to an Echo to use it, and a paired phone won’t necessarily give away who used the speaker.

As it stands, prosecution teams haven’t had much success using Echo devices to secure convictions. In 2017, a judge dismissed the high-profile case against James Bates after the hot tub death of his friend Victor Collins. Attorneys managed to obtain data from Amazon, but that and other evidence wasn’t enough to rule out “other reasonable explanations” for Collins’ death, such as his extremely high blood alcohol level. A smart speaker like the Echo is far from a surefire piece of evidence in cases like this, even if prosecutors hope otherwise.

View the Original Article . . .

{authorlink}
https://www.engadget.com/rss.xml Engadget RSS Feed

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

https://www.blogsmithmedia.com/www.engadget.com/media/feedlogo.gif?cachebust=true

Judge: Qualcomm must license modem tech to rivals like Intel

Judge: Qualcomm must license modem tech to rivals like Intel


Ramon Costa/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Qualcomm isn’t having much luck defending itself against the FTC’s antitrust lawsuit. US federal Judge Lucy Koh has ruled that Qualcomm must license some of the patents in its cellular modems to rival chip manufacturers. Qualcomm and the FTC had previously asked Koh to delay the ruling for up to 30 days while the two sides negotiated a possible settlement, but the judge denied that motion.

We’ve asked Qualcomm for comment.

There’s a good chance Qualcomm isn’t happy about the move, though. The wireless chip firm is embroiled in a longstanding patent royalty dispute with Apple, and has even accused the iPhone maker of feeding trade secrets to Intel. Now, it might not have much choice but to supply some of those secrets to the competition, possibly including Intel and Samsung. And when Qualcomm has lost and settled some antitrust cases in other parts of the world, an FTC settlement might not provide much relief.

View the Original Article . . .

{authorlink}
https://www.engadget.com/rss.xml Engadget RSS Feed

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

https://www.blogsmithmedia.com/www.engadget.com/media/feedlogo.gif?cachebust=true

3 Female Lawyers Tackling Jurisdiction To Define The Cryptocurrency Ecosystem

3 Female Lawyers Tackling Jurisdiction To Define The Cryptocurrency Ecosystem

Bitcoin law paragraph judge gavel 3d-illustration

Stable coins, the rise of custodial solutions and the recent announcement of Fidelity launching an institutional platform for Bitcoin and Ethereum are all designed to make it easier for institutional investors to partake in the cryptocurrency market.

Yet a number of questions arise as the cryptocurrency ecosystem continues to expand its reach to traditional financial markets. Trust must be built among new market participants, countries leading innovation need to respond to legal concerns and actions should to be taken to pave the way for both accredited and non-accredited investors to step foot into the cryptocurrency market.  

As a result, lawyers specializing in cryptocurrency related matters have become key players for ensuring the success of the global adoption of digital assets. Three women lawyers in particular are taking action to help define legal uncertainties currently facing the evolving crypto ecosystem.

Establishing Trust Among Market Participants: Sydney Schaub

First and foremost, trust is required as new market participants enter the crypto market. The licensed digital asset exchange and custodian founded by the Winklevoss brothers, Gemini Trust Company, LLC (Gemini), recently announced that Sydney Schaub has joined as General Counsel. Ms. Schaub will focus on tackling new jurisdiction expansion, product initiatives and building Gemini’s in-house legal team, reporting directly to Gemini’s President, Cameron Winklevoss.

At this important moment for the global adoption of digital assets, establishing trust among market participants will be critical for success. Gemini’s leading market surveillance technology and digital asset insurance, coupled with its thoughtful approach to growth and regulation, are essential for creating this trust. I am looking forward to working with my new colleagues at Gemini to build the future of money, Schaub told me.

Gemini Trust Company, LLC (Gemini) announced that Sydney Schaub has joined as General Counsel.Gemini Trust Company, LLC

Schaub joins at a time of incredible growth for Gemini, which recently received approval for the Gemini Dollar, the world’s first licensed and regulated stablecoin. Gemini also recently became the first licensed exchange in the world to offer ZCash upon obtaining approval from the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS).

Ms. Schaub brings tremendous experience working with industry-disrupting, high-growth start-ups to her role as General Counsel for Gemini, said Tyler Winklevoss, Chief Executive Officer of Gemini. Sydney’s reputation as a trusted advisor to business, product and engineering teams precedes her, and that, along with her proven ability of successfully navigating complex deals and strategic partnerships, will prove invaluable to Gemini as our organization continues to expand.

Bringing More Investors To The Crypto Market: Joshua Ashley Klayman

According to Joshua Ashley Klayman, Founder and Managing Member of Klayman LLC, a boutique blockchain-focused law firm based in New York City, certain steps should be taken from a legal standpoint to get more investors involved in the crypto market. While a key focus has been on bringing institutional investors in, Klayman believes that an increasing number of investors from around the world will soon enter the crypto market.

As regulators, the media and the general public become more familiar with digital tokens, my view is that increasing numbers of investors from around the world will enter the crypto market. A few steps that could be taken to promote the involvement of additional investors in the crypto market may include enhanced disclosure in connection with token sales, including use of proceeds, lock-ups, percentage of tokens held by founders, discounts, etc, Klayman told me.

Joshua Ashley Klayman, Founder and Managing Member of Klayman LLCJoshua Ashley Klayman

Additionally, Klayman mentioned that clarity concerning how the existing securities laws apply to digital tokens is needed.

We now know that the SEC’s view is that present day sales of Ether are not deemed to be sales of securities, due, among other things, to sufficient decentralization. But, we do not yet know at what point sufficient decentralization is achieved or how, as a practical matter, a token seller would be able to remove itself from reporting and other securities law requirements when its tokens originally were sold as securities. We also need greater clarity, in the form of no-action letters and other guidance, regarding legally permissible approaches where compliance requirements may be less clear.

Navigating Malta’s Cryptocurrency Ecosystem: Veronique Dalli

Finally, countries innovating in the cryptocurrency space also need lawyers to help navigate the evolving ecosystem. Malta in particular has become one of the most innovative countries for cryptocurrency and blockchain related projects. Yet while Malta’s recently passed cryptocurrency, blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) laws have created a sense of legal certainty, grey areas still remain.

Veronique Dalli is a cryptocurrency lawyer based in Malta. Dalli started studying crypto law at the end of 2015, when her law firm, Dalli Advocates, began to receive inquires about cryptocurrency and blockchain applications. According to Dalli, the questions she typically receives deals with licensing requirements in Malta.

Veronique Dalli, a cryptocurrency lawyer based in Malta and Founder of Dalli AdvocatesVeronique Dalli

It is required to bring all crypto projects to jurisdiction in Malta. It must be understood that the Maltese Government is a sound legal system that doesn’t come up with any surprises once an initial coin offering (ICO) is launched. It has been made very clear in Malta as to what jurisdictions will be at the receiving end of the token generating events issued here. For example, there are jurisdictions where by residents are not allowed to participate in crowd funding. As for investors, I would say that one needs to be careful in the sense of looking at the way ICOs are being advertised – if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. When someone comes to Malta to launch an ICO, we look at the white paper very carefully. We see what is proposed in the white paper and then determine if that is being seen in their ICO, Dalli told me.

Other Legal Questions To Consider: Utility Vs. Security Tokens

Security tokens are another area crypto lawyers are finding of interest. In a recent article, it is stated that 2017 was the year of the utility token and that 2018 was the year of realizing the mistake of the utility token. As a result,  2019 will be the year for tokenized securities and the rise of Security Token offerings (STOs).

Yet according to Klayman, there are still many grey areas to consider when it comes to security tokens.

Even if you launch a token sale to U.S. persons and presume that such token sale is a sale of securities, unanswered questions remain.  This is because applying the existing U.S. federal securities laws to digital tokens is an imperfect fit. Among other things, security token sales raise important issues relating to flowback of tokens into the United States from regulated and unregulated exchanges worldwide – even if initially tokens were sold only to non-U.S. persons; requirements to file periodic reports with the SEC under Section 12(g) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”); risks of inadvertently becoming an investment company under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “40 Act”); and compliance with transfer agent and broker-dealer registration requirements.

While security tokens seem to be a growing trend in the U.S., countries like Mata, where regulations are in place, are still seeing a great deal of ICOs. However, according to Dalli, there are still legal uncertainties.

“The concept of utility tokens is still in its initial stages. There could be situations, which are left without a solution. I think it is easier to regulate security tokens than utility tokens. If the asset is introduced as an access to a company’s product, financial authorities are unlikely to investigate it,” Dalli said.

View the Original Article . . .

{authorlink}
https://news.google.com/news/rss/headlines/section/q/cryptocurrency/cryptocurrency?ned=us&hl=en&gl=US cryptocurrency – Google News

Google News

https://ssl.gstatic.com/news-static/gnrss.png

Judge approves settlement between SEC and Elon Musk

Judge approves settlement between SEC and Elon Musk


Joshua Lott via Getty Images

Today, as first reported by Bloomberg, a judge has approved Elon Musk’s settlement with the SEC over his tweets about taking Tesla private. Hopefully, this means that Tesla can move on and focus on its business, rather than its CEO’s Twitter account. And Elon Musk can get back to the real work he has to do, which is apparently creating Tesla-branded tequila called Teslaquila.

Tesla has been through a bit of a roller coaster lately as founder and CEO Elon Musk tweeted about having the funding to take the company private, but then it turned out he actually didn’t. Also he was possibly high when he wrote that tweet. The SEC investigated because of the effect the false information had on Tesla’s company stock, of course, and offered Elon Musk a settlement that was pretty generous. Musk then declined said settlement because reportedly he wouldn’t be following his personal truth. Then the SEC sued Musk, and he quickly changed his mind and signed a settlement.

The settlement, which involves a $40 million fine split between Musk and Tesla, doesn’t require either to admit wrongdoing. It was widely expected to be approved by a judge, though Musk didn’t help matters when he took to Twitter to call the SEC the “Shortseller Enrichment Commission.”

View the Original Article . . .

{authorlink}
https://www.engadget.com/rss.xml Engadget RSS Feed

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

https://www.blogsmithmedia.com/www.engadget.com/media/feedlogo.gif?cachebust=true

Judge rejects Lime request to block e-scooter rivals in San Francisco

Judge rejects Lime request to block e-scooter rivals in San Francisco

Lime just lost a last-minute bid to delay the launch of San Francisco’s electric scooter pilot program. A judge has denied the company’s request for a temporary restraining order that would have blocked Skip and Scoot from launching their services i…

Continue reading . . .

{authorlink}
https://www.engadget.com/rss.xml Engadget RSS Feed

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

https://www.blogsmithmedia.com/www.engadget.com/media/feedlogo.gif?cachebust=true

Tesla will have to defend itself against claims of foreign worker abuse

Tesla will have to defend itself against claims of foreign worker abuse

A federal judge has ruled that Tesla and two of its subcontractors — Eisenmann Corp and ISM Vuzem — will have to defend themselves in a lawsuit that alleges foreign workers were mistreated at Tesla’s Fremont factory. The allegations surfaced in 201…

Continue reading . . .

{authorlink}
https://www.engadget.com/rss.xml Engadget RSS Feed

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

https://www.blogsmithmedia.com/www.engadget.com/media/feedlogo.gif?cachebust=true

ITC judge denies Qualcomm’s request, won’t stop iPhone imports

ITC judge denies Qualcomm’s request, won’t stop iPhone imports

While the patent lawsuit battle between Qualcomm and Apple is far from over — remember how long it took for things to get settled with Samsung? — we do have an update. On Friday, U.S. International Trade Commission judge Thomas Pender found (PDF) t…

Continue reading . . .

{authorlink}
https://www.engadget.com/rss.xml Engadget RSS Feed

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

https://www.blogsmithmedia.com/www.engadget.com/media/feedlogo.gif?cachebust=true