Covington & Burling LLP

Summary Next week will be a committee week in the European Parliament. Interesting votes are expected to take place. On Tuesday, the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (“ENVI”) is expected (subject to confirmation) to vote on the compromise agreement reached between the Parliament and the Council of the EU on December 19, 2018, on the proposal for a Single-Use Plastics Directive.  The compromise agreement was adopted officially by the Council of the…
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…
This article was originally published in Law360 and has been modified for this blog. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently issued a bid protest decision regarding the application of the Berry Amendment’s domestic sourcing requirement to a U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) solicitation for leather combat gloves with touchscreen capability.  In that decision, the GAO found that the nonavailability exception to the Berry Amendment applied to the glove’s kidskin leather even though the agency determined,…
(This article was originally published in Law360 and has been modified for this blog.) The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently issued a bid protest decision regarding the application of the Berry Amendment’s domestic sourcing requirement to a U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) solicitation for leather combat gloves with touchscreen capability.  In that decision, the GAO found that the nonavailability exception to the Berry Amendment applied to the glove’s kidskin leather even though the agency determined,…
On January 9, 2019, a divided three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit held that the Federal National Mortgage Association, or Fannie Mae, is not a “consumer reporting agency” within the meaning of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (the “FCRA”). The case, Zabriskie v. Federal National Mortgage Association, was brought by prospective borrowers who were unable to refinance their current mortgage loans due to allegedly erroneous information in their credit histories, as reported by Fannie Mae…
The partial federal government shutdown could affect the timing of processing of certain new merger and acquisition applications by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “Board”). Pursuant to special procedures outlined in a December 2018 notice, the Office of the Federal Register is not publishing documents during the partial government shutdown except where necessary to safeguard human life, protect property, or provide other emergency services consistent with the performance of…
In a joint report (the “Report”) published on 7 January 2019, the EU’s three financial industry watchdogs considered the need for potential strategies to help coordinate and promote innovation in the EU fintech space. The Report by the European Securities and Markets Authority (“ESMA”), European Banking Agency (“EBA”) and European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (“EIOPA”) (together the European Supervisory Authorities or “ESA”) sets out (i) a comparative analysis of the role of innovation hubs…
On 10 January 2018, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruled that the Republic of Azerbaijan violated Articles 8 and 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) by failing to adequately investigate claims by an Azerbaijani journalist that she had been the victim of political blackmail. The ECtHR’s ruling follows upon reports of rising concern in the Council of Europe about government mistreatment of journalists across Europe, and in Azerbaijan in particular
Summary Next week, Members of the European Parliament (“MEPs”) will gather in Strasbourg for the plenary session. Interesting votes, debates and committee debates will take place. On Monday, January 14, MEPs will debate the non-legally binding Report on the Union’s authorization procedure for pesticides prepared by the Special Committee on the Union’s authorization procedure for pesticides (“PEST”).  This report seeks to address perceived shortcomings in the authorization system for pesticides.  The co-rapporteurs stress the importance…
On January 10, 2019, Advocate General Szpunar of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) released his opinion regarding a 2016 enforcement action carried out by the French Supervisory Authority (CNIL) against Google.  In that case, the CNIL ordered Google to de-reference links to webpages containing personal data.  According to the CNIL, the de-referencing had to be effective worldwide.  Google challenged the CNIL’s decision before the French administrative court, which then referred this…