March 2012 Client Alerts

April 24, 2012

Authored by: Bryan Cave

9th Circuit Holds TILA Bars Rescission Suits Filed More Than 3 Years After Consummation

In McOmie-Gray v. Bank of America (9th Cir. Feb. 8, 2012), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that under the Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”), “rescission suits must be brought within three years from consummation of the loan, regardless whether notice of rescission is delivered within that three-year period.”  It ruled that the three year period in the Act is an absolute limitation on rescission actions and that the one year period for bringing claims applies only to damages actions and does not extend the time to file a claim for rescission even where the borrower has sent the Bank a written notice of rescission within three years of loan signing or “consummation.”  To learn more about the facts in this case and the Court’s decision, please click here to read the Alert published by the Commercial Litigation Client Service Group and the Financial Institutions Client Service Group on March 6, 2012.

How Long Should You Retain Data?  Recent Developments May Add Confusion Not Clarity

Businesses have always collected information about their customers, but with the explosion of on-line commerce the quantity of information collected has ballooned.  One question that necessarily arises for almost any business is deciding how long it will keep the data it collects.  Businesses are aware that future developments in technology will improve the usefulness (and value) of the data that is currently in their possession.  Retaining consumer data, however, raises a number of legal risks which are often difficult to quantify in light of the changing regulatory and litigation landscape.  For a discussion of how recent developments add to the legal complexity, please click here to read the Bulletin published by the Data Privacy & Security Team on March 16, 2012.

Supreme Court Weakens EPA’s Enforcement Regine

The United States Supreme Court handed landowners a major victory against the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in its unanimous decision in Sackett v. EPA, No. 10-1062.  The decision announced March 21, 2012, held that Clean Water Act compliance orders can be challenged in court under the Administrative Procedures, undercutting EPA’s historic practice of using compliance orders to, in the words of the Court, “strong-arm” parties into voluntary compliance.  To learn about the case and the Court’s decision, please click here to read the Alert published by the Environmental Client Service Group on March 22, 2012.

Recent Developments in Privacy Policy Disclosures for Mobile Applications

The California Attorney General recently reached an agreement with the six leading mobile applications (“apps”) platform operations that is intended to improve privacy protections for mobile app consumers.  Amazon, Apple, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft and Research in Motion (collectively, “Platform Companies”) and the Attorney General signed a Joint Statement of Principles that acknowledged the applicability of the California Online Privacy Protection Act to mobile apps and adopted five key principles “to foster innovation in privacy practices, and facilitate compliance with privacy laws in the mobile arena.”  To read more about the agreement and the five key principles, please click here to read the Bulletin published by the Data Privacy & Security team on March 14, 2012.

Supreme Court Defines the Boundary Between Patentable Subject Matter and Non-Patentable “Laws of Nature”

In a unanimous decision in Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc., the Court held that a process of determining proper drug dosage was not patentable, because it did not provide sufficient “inventive concept” above and  beyond the underlying law of nature.  For a discussion of the case and the Court’s decision, please click here to read the Bulletin published by the Intellectual Property Client Service Group on March 26, 2012.

Deadline for Retailers Issuing Gift Cards and Retailers Selling Other Companies’ Cards to Comply with FinCEN’s Prepaid Access Rule –  March 31, 2012.

As of March 31, 2012, gift card issuers were required to comply with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s (“FinCEN”) prepaid access rule (the “Rule”) if their gift card programs were not otherwise exempt.  To learn more about the impact of the Rule and exemptions provided for therein, please click here to read the Alert published by the Retail Group on March 27, 2012.

Tax News and Developments

For a discussion of recent Tax News and Developments, including Expanded U.S. Reporting Requirements for Taxpayers with Foreign Assets, Recent Developments in the Application of the Economic Substance Doctrine to Tax Credit Transactions and other matters of interest, please click here to read the March 2012 Tax News and Developments Bulletin published by the Tax Advice and Controversy Practice Group.

Data Privacy & Security Team Launches Data Breach Hotline

For information about the firm’s new Data Breach Hotline, please click here to read the Alert published by the Retail Group on March 7, 2012.

The English High Court Takes a Commercial Approach to the Interpretation of Entire Agreement Clauses

Bryan Cave achieved a significant win for its Bulgarian and Luxembourg clients in a commercial dispute in the English High Court, signalling a commercial approach to the interpretation of entire agreement clauses seeking to limit or exclude liability for misrepresentation.  For a summary of this case and how the decision will be welcomed by commercial parties seeking contractual certainty of the risks and liabilities they take on when entering commercial agreements, please click here to read the Alert published by the Commercial Litigation CSG and International Arbitration Team on March 29, 2012. 

UK:  New HMRC Guidance on Dual Contracts

The HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), the UK’s tax authority, recently issued revised record-keeping requirements affecting dual contract arrangements.  This guidance will affect any employee employed under a “dual contract arrangement” who spends at least some  time working in the UK.  To read about the new requirements, please click here for the Briefing published by the Labour and Employment Client Service Group and Tax Advice and Controversy Client Service Group (London) on March 30, 2012.

When an Entity is Owned or Controlled by the Government of Iran for U.S. Sanctions Purposes

The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control has amended the Iranian Transactions Regulations to redefine when an entity is owned or controlled by the government of Iran.  For a discussion of the new definition, please click here to read the March 20, 2012 Memorandum published by International Trade Client Service Group.