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European Union: European Court of Justice Rules Sellers Must Inform Consumers of Fee-Incurring Preloaded and Preinstalled Services on SIM Cards

(Sept. 28, 2018) On September 13, 2018, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) held that selling SIM cards with preinstalled and preloaded fee-incurring services constitutes an aggressive unfair commercial practice. It stated that consumers must be informed in advance of such services so that they can make a free choice. The ECJ concluded that such […]

Liechtenstein: Government Adopts Consultation Report on Draft Blockchain Act

(Sept. 20, 2018) On August 28, 2018, the government of Liechtenstein adopted a consultation report on a proposed Blockchain Act. The goal of the Blockchain Act is to take advantage of the potential of blockchain technology, create legal certainty for market participants, protect users of blockchain technology from potential abuse, and reduce potential reputation risks […]

Malta: Government Passes Three Laws to Encourage Blockchain Technology

(Aug. 31, 2018) On July 4, 2018, the Maltese government enacted three laws whose goal is to make Malta a haven for projects that rely on blockchain and other distributed ledger technology (DLT). The Malta Digital Innovation Authority Act (MDIA Act), Innovative Technology Arrangements and Services Act (ITAS Act), and Virtual Financial Assets Act (VFA […]

Japan: Age of Adulthood to Be Lowered to 18 in 2022

(Aug. 30, 2018) The Diet (Japan’s Parliament) passed an act in June 2018 to amend the Civil Code and other laws (Act No. 59 of 2018, KANPOU [OFFICIAL GAZETTE] Extra Ed. No. 132, at 6 (June 20, 2018), National Printing Bureau website (in Japanese)) to lower the age of adulthood to 18 (CIVIL CODE, as […]

Germany: New Law Allows Consumer Class Actions

(July 31, 2018) On July 17, 2018, a new law to allow consumer class actions (“model declaratory proceedings”) was published in Germany’s Federal Law Gazette. The Act will enter into force on November 1, 2018. (Gesetz zur Einführung einer zivilprozessualen Musterfeststellungsklage [Act to Introduce Civil Model Declaratory Proceedings], July 12, 2018, Bundesgesetzblatt [BGBl.] [FEDERAL LAW GAZETTE] […]

Brazil: Rio de Janeiro Regulates Ridesharing Services in the City

(May 30, 2018) On April 11, 2018, the Mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, issued Decree No. 44399, regulating the use of the municipality’s road system for the economic operation by private individuals of paid-passenger transportation services (like Uber and Lyft) intermediated by digital platforms managed by transport companies (known as Provedoras de Redes de […]

European Union: Regulation on Cross-border Portability of Online Content Services in Effect

(Apr. 10, 2018) On April 1, 2018, the Regulation on Cross-border Portability of Online Content Services (Portability Regulation) became applicable across the European Union (EU). The Portability Regulation aims to accomplish seamless access for consumers throughout the EU to online content services, such as Netflix or Spotify, which they subscribe to in their home Member […]

Iran: Cabinet Abandons Directive on Scrapping Old Cars to Reduce Air Pollution

(Dec. 5, 2017) Pressure from Iran’s automakers and the country’s Ministry of Industry, Mines and Trade has led to the cancellation by the Council of Ministers (Cabinet) of a recently adopted directive aimed at combating the high levels of air pollution in Iran’s big cities, 80% of which comes from automotive sources. (Ameer Hossein Askarian, […]

France: Advocacy Group Files Criminal Complaint Against Alleged Planned Obsolescence Practices

(Nov. 1, 2017) An advocacy group in France has filed a criminal complaint against several manufacturers of computer printers, including Epson, HP, and Canon, for selling products allegedly designed with a planned obsolescence. (Isabelle de Foucaud, Obsolescence programmée: une plainte déposée contre des fabricants d’imprimantes [Planned Obsolescence: Lawsuit Filed Against Printer Manufacturers], LE FIGARO (Sept. […]

Iran: New Law Poses Health and Financial Problems for Thalassemia Sufferers

(Sept. 27, 2017) A recent Iranian law that in effect removes all foreign medications from the list of drugs covered by insurance organizations reportedly endangers the health of a large percentage of the country’s thalassemia patients and subjects them to heavy financial burdens.  (Law Creating Hurdles for Thalassemia Patients, FINANCIAL TRIBUNE (July 26, 2017).)  The […]