Over the last year we have seen increasing interest from our global client base in investing in strategic, transformational technology transactions with European counterparties.  These transactions often facilitate access to key technologies, geographies and, of course, data.  In this note we set out 6 key points to keep in mind when planning, negotiating and executing these types of transactions across Europe.

Continue Reading Strategic Technology Transactions in Europe – Considerations for U.S. and Global Companies

This month, situated among foldable tablet computers and flying taxis, the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Elaine Chao, unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (“CES”) the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (“DOT”) long-anticipated fourth round of automated vehicles guidance, “AV 4.0.”  Formally entitled, “Ensuring American Leadership in Automated Vehicle Technologies,” AV 4.0 is less regulatory guidance and more regulatory aggregator.  The document lists in great detail the various Administration efforts—across 38 federal departments and agencies—geared toward promoting, supporting, and providing accountability for users and communities with respect to autonomous mobility.
Continue Reading IoT Update: DOT Introduces Fourth Round of Automated Vehicles Guidance (AV 4.0)

Artificial intelligence is your new insurance claims agent. For years, insurance companies have used “InsurTech” AI to underwrite risk. But until recently, the use of AI in claims handling was only theoretical. No longer. The advent of AI claims handling creates new risks for policyholders, but it also creates new opportunities for resourceful policyholders to uncover bad faith and encourage insurers to live up to their side of the insurance contract.

Most readers are familiar with Lemonade, the InsurTech start-up that boasts a three-second AI claims review process. However, as noted in a Law360 article last year, Lemonade deferred any potential claim denials for human review, so the prospect of AI bad faith is still untested.  Now it is only a matter of time before insurers face pressure to use the available technology to deny claims as well.

So what happens when a claim is denied?


Continue Reading AI Update: What Happens When a Computer Denies Your Insurance Coverage Claim?

Wearable watches that help consumers obtain a better understanding of their eating patterns; wearable clothes that send signals to treating physicians; smart watches: they are but a few examples of the increasingly available and increasingly sophisticated “wearables” on the EU market. These technologies are an integrated part of many people’s lives, and in some cases allow healthcare professionals to follow-up on the condition or habits of their patients, often in real-time. How do manufacturers determine what wearables qualify as medical devices? How do they assess whether their devices need a CE-mark? Must they differentiate between the actual “wearable” and the hardware or software that accompanies them? In this short contribution, we briefly analyze some of these questions. The article first examines what “wearables” are, and when they qualify as a medical device under current and future EU rules. It then addresses the relevance of the applicability of EU medical devices rules to these products. The application of these rules is often complex and highly fact-specific.
Continue Reading IoT Update: Are Wearables Medical Devices Requiring a CE-Mark in the EU?

On September 25, 2018, Lee Tiedrich, the co-chair of Covington’s global Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) Initiative,  participated in a roundtable discussion on the future of innovation, the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and the need for multidisciplinary approaches involving the entire eco-system to address the adoption of new technologies in society. She was joined by Singapore’s Ambassador to the United States, Ashok Kumar Mirpuri, and Dean of the Duke University Fuqua School of Business, Bill Boulding.

This program began with a discussion of Singapore’s growth over the last sixty years into a global innovation hub. The Ambassador shared lessons from Singapore’s growth since the 1960s and its investment in its future through Smart Cities partnerships, transportation, and education. He stressed Singapore’s emphasis on building a fertile ground for international investment and innovation to prosper.


Continue Reading AI Update: A Discussion on Global Innovation and Singapore

Computer code on a screenLast month, President Trump signed into law the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (“NDAA” or the “Act”), which, among other things, includes provisions addressing the development and use of artificial intelligence (“AI”) in the context of national security and defense.
Continue Reading AI Update: NDAA Renewal Addresses Uses and Implications of AI in National Security Context

Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) is quickly becoming a part of everyday life.  As AI-based technologies advance, even law firms are harnessing them to improve the efficiency and caliber of their work – despite law firms’ reputations for being old-fashioned, traditional, and perhaps a tinge out-of-date.  The reasons are obvious: AI-based tools can help reduce lawyer time spent on routine tasks that would otherwise add greatly to the expense of increasingly complex matters (thereby enabling lawyers to deliver more value at less cost to their clients).  In addition, these tools can help attorneys meet the increased discovery and research demands wrought by the digitization of communications, documents, and other pieces of information.
Continue Reading AI Update: Equal Justice Under Bots—Artificial Intelligence and Legal Practice

City leaders across the globe are predicted to spend upwards of $41 trillion by 2020 to deploy smart city technologies within their locales. From Toronto to Tokyo, cities are vying to harness the benefits of the Internet of Things (“IOT”) in order to help make their streets safer, transportation more efficient, and their environments greener. While exciting, there are a number of challenges facing cities on their quest to get smart. Resources are scarce, building the required infrastructure is expensive and obtaining the necessary consensus and cooperation amongst municipal stakeholders can be downright impossible. For vendors looking to capitalize on this momentum, learning from successful smart city projects and planning around the common conflicts that tend to arise is crucial. Below are a number of best practices gleaned from the strategies and progress of a number of cities who have found success in implementing smart city solutions.
Continue Reading Covington IoT Update: Best Practices for Outsmarting Common Pitfalls in Smart City Projects

On 9 July 2018, the Economic Affairs Committee of the European Parliament (the “EP”) published a study identifying potential competition law concerns in the financial technology (“FinTech”) sector (the “Study”).
Continue Reading The European Parliament publishes a study on financial technology and competition law

On April 6th, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) issued a Proposed Decision authorizing pilot testing for autonomous vehicles (AVs) in California. This action follows up on the California DMV’s permitting rules for AVs in California, which would have allowed driverless testing and deployment permits to issue as early as April 2 of this year. The DMV’s action was big news when it broke at the end of February; it meant that AVs could be deployed without any human in the vehicle. Now, the CPUC has proposed a pilot to allow the use of driverless test vehicles with passengers inside as soon as this summer.

While shared and electric mobility has already been deployed at scale, the road ahead for autonomy is still evolving. California is working to tackle this third pillar, and prior to the CPUC’s Proposed Decision, companies like Uber and GM Cruise had urged the Commission to move forward to enable the use of AVs for passenger transportation under existing regulatory frameworks. Lyft encouraged the Commission to address AVs in a rulemaking, noting that it “ma[de] little sense” to wait for Congress to act, or to “scramble” to regulate after AVs are already deployed en masse.

But now that the Proposed Decision has been published, stakeholders need to make sense of it.


Continue Reading IoT Update: Will California’s New Autonomous Vehicles Regulations Provide a Roadmap for a National Regulatory Framework on Driverless Cars?