International Services Group

Second Circuit Says Federal Warrant Cannot Be Used to Obtain Customer Data Stored Overseas in Cloud

On July 14, the Second Circuit ordered a lower court to quash a government warrant demanding that Microsoft turn over a user’s emails that resided on servers located in Ireland.  See Microsoft Corporation v. United States of America, No. 14-2985 (S.D.N.Y. July 14, 2016). 

The dispute concerned emails stored by a user of Microsoft’s web-based email service,, which the government believed would show that the user was involved in drug trafficking.  A U.S. magistrate judge found probable cause and issued a warrant under Section 2703 of the Stored Communication Act (SCA).  Although Microsoft produced certain non-content information stored on its United States servers in response to the warrant, it filed a motion to quash the warrant as it pertained to the user’s emails which were stored on Microsoft’s servers located in Dublin, Ireland. Read More ›

It's official - EU approves Privacy Shield

Nine months after the EU-U.S. Safe Harbor Framework for personal data was declared invalid by the EU Court of Justice, EU and U.S. officials announced the approval and adoption of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework.  The Privacy Shield is a negotiated agreement that replaces the Safe Harbor Framework, and provides U.S. companies with a structure for establishing that their collection, use and transfer of personal data of EEA (European Economic Area) citizens is handled in a manner that provides adequate protection as required by EU data privacy laws.  It addresses the key concerns voiced by EU officials and others:  U.S. assurances concerning bulk data collection for government mass surveillance purposes; a right of redress in the U.S. for EU citizens and mechanisms for that redress; and a requirement for data retention. Read More ›

Brexit’s Implications on European IP

On June 23, 2016, the United Kingdom voted to withdraw as a member of the European Union.  This British exit, or “Brexit,” will have far reaching implications and touch upon almost every aspect of European business over the coming years.  While the full impact of Brexit on European intellectual property is uncertain and will be determined largely by the laws and regulations adopted in response to the UK’s withdrawal, IP holders should consider taking steps now to avoid lapses in rights during or after the transition. Read More ›

A Podcast on Hiring and Safety Practices and Business Structures in the USA

I was honored to participate in CS Nordics' podcast debut for their "Smart Investing in the USA" podcast series.

The podcast provides advice to foreign business owners considering operations and investments in the USA. It focuses on hiring practices, safety laws, taxes, and how to engage, retain and utilize personnel. This resulted from the first Nordic Road Show by Select USA, the federal government’s effort to attract foreign direct investment into the USA.  I was fortunate enough to be the US business attorney representative who accompanied Select USA at six stops in five Nordic countries in late 2015. Read More ›

The Trans-Pacific Partnership: An Overview for Japanese and U.S. Companies involved in Cross-Border Trade

Since the spring of 2013, representatives of the Japanese government have been negotiating with the United States and nine other governments for passage of a trade agreement between pacific nations, named the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). TPP is a large scale, multilateral trade agreement that, if passed, would govern a staggering 40 percent of the global economy, totaling $28 trillion in U.S. dollars, and would regulate roughly one third of all world trade. Indeed, if the TPP is passed, it will cover trade between 700 million people and be the biggest trade agreement since NAFTA. Current negotiations involve the governments of Japan, the United States, Australia, Brunei, Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. While all countries listed are participating in TPP talks, the clear motivator behind passage of the TPP is establishing a trade agreement between Japan and the United States; these two countries represent 80 percent of the GDP in the TPP region combined. Read More ›

New USCIS Policy Memorandum Clarifies Employers’ Obligations Before Relocating H-1B Employees

Under H-1B regulations, an employer has to notify the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) of "material changes,” through the filing of an amended or new H-1B petition. However, the regulations do not explicitly explain what constitutes a material change.  Employers have generally relied on prior guidance from USCIS, which indicated that moving an H-1B employee to a new worksite did not constitute a material change if a new Labor Condition Application (LCA) was in place for the new worksite before the move.  In April 2015, the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) issued a precedent decision, Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC (Simeio),on this issue. Now, as a result of this decision, USCIS has reversed itself and has issued a new policy memorandum on the actions needed before an employee is relocated. Read More ›

Employer Slapped With $600,000 Fine For I-9 Violations

An administrative judge recently handed down a stunning $605,250 fine against an employer for improperly completing its I-9s. The decision, U.S. v. Hartmann Studios, Inc. (OCAHO Case No. 14A00008, July 15, 2015), serves as a reminder that employers need to be taking I-9 compliance as seriously as the government, and that preventative measures such as extensive training and self-audits can help companies avoid the government’s crosshairs. Read More ›

China stakes its claim on regulating Internet Advertising - Draft rules issued –

On July 1, 2015, China issued Interim Measures for Internet Advertising Supervision and Management, with a deadline of July 30 for public comment. Read More ›

Foreign Direct Investment Becomes Easier – SAFE Circular 13

In February 2015, China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) simplified procedures for foreign investors in certain respects.  This is another step forward in making foreign direct investment into China less time consuming and bureaucratic.  The two most important measures were these: 

  •  Revocation of foreign exchange registration with SAFE – this can now be accomplished directly with qualified banks.  SAFE will take on an indirect supervisory role through its supervision of FDI-related foreign exchange of the banking sector.  How this will unfold in practice remains to be seen, so watch for the implementation of CXircular 13 to commence on June 1.
  •  Revocation of the registration requirement to confirm a foreign investor’s investment when it acquires an equity interest owned by a Chinese party  - this relates to both cash and non-monetary forms of acquisition.  The practical effect should be to provide more flexibility to contracting parties in the timing and price adjustments possible for acquisitions of interests of Chinese equity holders by foreign purchasers.
Read More ›

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Attorney Spotlight

Joseph J. Dehner Joe Dehner concentrates his practice on multinational business and securities disputes. He counsels a wide variety of companies, domestic and foreign, on issues confronting global business, including transnational investment, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, customs and trade issues, international business structures, distribution and agency agreements and the resolution of international disputes.