Predictions 2010: Third Post

December 4, 2009

{b}From John MacKenzie, a partner at Pinsent Masons{/b}

2010 will see brand owners battling advances in context sensitive advertising; behavioural advertising and social network technologies as budding business owners realise the best way to attract customers is to entice them away from existing brands.

The ECJ will find in favour of Louis Vuitton; and then in favour of Interflora. At this point, battle royal will commence as multi-million pound class actions are commenced against Google. Google will return to its policy of allowing trade mark owners to veto use of their brands. Brand owners will quickly realise that the Louis Vuitton and Interflora rulings apply to all advertising based on keywords and so parking pages, text messaging, link farms and ‘web beacons’ will all come under scrutiny. Brands will finally engage with Facebook and malicious falsehood will become a common cause of action.

ICANN will abandon its .everything policy, when it realises that nobody is interested except spammers and cyberquatters…

{b}From TJ McIntyre, Solicitor and Lecturer in Law, University College Dublin: {/b}

2010 will be the year when Irish lawyers begin to catch up with the rest of the world in their use of {i}electronic discovery{/i}. Cases such as {i}Dome Telecom v Eircom{/i} [2007] IESC 59 have shown a judicial willingness to push out the boundaries of electronic discovery and this has recently been reflected in specific rules of court (Ord .31 r. 12, amended by Statutory Instrument No. 93 of 2009). Litigators are increasingly likely to take advantage of this judicial receptiveness.
2010 will also see continued government failure to reform Irish law in relation to {i}cybercrime{/i}. Despite repeated promises, we have yet to see legislation to implement either the Cybercrime Convention or the Framework Decision on Attacks Against Information Systems, leaving Irish law lacking effective offences to deal with basic matters such as interception and denial of service attacks. It seems likely that no reform will take place until these deficiencies are highlighted by a high profile and therefore embarrassing case.