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Call For Proposals

We invite you to submit a proposal to speak to ITechLaw 2021 World Technology Law Conference in San Francisco, May 26-28. All proposals must be submitted ahead of the deadline - August 18 at 11:59 PM PDT.

Speaking at an ITechLaw conference is an honor, and the conference planning committee carefully considers all proposals to select the best for this year’s conference. If you are selected as a presenter, you will be asked to submit materials in advance of the conference and you will receive a complimentary conference registration. The presenter should assume that all attendees have a working knowledge of the topic and should focus the presentation on the implications of the topic and what it means for lawyers in practice. Each session will be assigned a moderator and the moderator will communicate with the presenters in advance of the conference to create a cohesive panel presentation. 

You can submit your name to be a speaker or a moderator or both. The moderator will help set the vision for the panel (based on the topic themes identified below) and work with the speakers to ensure their content is forward-looking and cohesive. Speakers will share their views on the topic and work with the moderators and other speakers to ensure the overall session is a success. Sessions will still be 90 minutes in length, but there will be up to 3 concurrent sessions. Please keep this in mind when submitting your proposals; only the best, most engaging, and forward-looking proposals will be selected. Please see the topics below and consider proposing in one of these main areas. 

CONSIDERATIONS:

  • Firm and Presenter Limits: To maximize the overall number of views expressed during the conference, the Planning Committee will continue the practice to limit presenters to one per firm for the duration of the conference.
  • Individual Paper Submission: This proposal submission is intended for individual paper submissions; however, if you propose a panel you may still be considered depending upon the space available in our programming. Panel submissions with multiple presenters must not have duplicate representation from firms – see above, only one speaker per firm will be selected for the entirety of the conference.
  • Proposal Selection: More than 75 proposals are regularly received for consideration for each conference, so please understand that selecting panels is a difficult and highly selective process. Preference in selection will be given to proposals that are made by ITechLaw members and focus on advanced knowledge of a topic.
  • This conference will be hybrid: In these challenging times, the conference will have both an in-person and virtual element. Topics should have a broad appeal and involve engagement both for those in person and at their home computers. 

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All proposals must be submitted by Tuesday, August 18 at 11:59 pm PDT for consideration. The program planning committee will review all submissions and notify each presenter of the status by October 2020. If you have any questions or difficulties, please contact us at memberservices@itechlaw.org.

Topics of Interest

  • Artificial Intelligence: To highlight current developments and innovation in AI across a range of sectors including financial services and healthcare and to examine the legal and ethical challenges of commercializing and using AI. Related topics could include the extent to which AI-based inventions can be protected by patents and other IP rights; IP and data ownership in contracts involving AI; transparency and accountability in decision-making; approaches to institutional prejudice or bias that may be built into decisions; international approaches to regulating the use of facial recognition technology; the use of facial recognition with law enforcement and how that affects policy; safety and product liability issues; the global race to AI supremacy.

  • Online Platform Liability: In many parts of the world, Facebook, Twitter, and other leading online platforms enjoy broad protections and immunities from claims arising out of the user-content appearing on their sites. There is increasing pressure in western democracies and other nations to reduce or modify those protections in light of growing political and social extremism and real-world violence. This session would explore the evolving role of online platforms in “policing” the content appearing on their sites, and how different countries may view that role differently depending on the nature of their political system. Comparing different international approaches to policing the internet and evolving rules and regulations regarding free speech and censorship.

  • Social Justice, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: In times of financial stress, political and racial tension, and economic uncertainty, there is an increased risk that issues of diversity and inclusion will be sidelined until people are less preoccupied with short-term concerns. On the contrary, it is even more important to keep issues of diversity and inclusion front-and-center, not only because it is a moral imperative, but because inclusivity, diversity and mutual understanding are powerful drivers of resilience in society generally, and are crucial for fostering innovation, agility and problem-solving in particular. The panelists could discuss such topics as how the tech community (and the law firms that serve them) embrace diversity and inclusion in their businesses; the ways in which technology can draw us together during times of great physical separation, but can also make us feel more isolated and lost in our own virtual bubbles, cut off from the opinions of others; how technology can be seen as a great equalizer in society and how the law can help bring that about; and what the tech community, and lawyers, in particular, can do to strengthen diversity and to build a more inclusive culture in order to contribute to a more equitable world.

  • Surveillance Technology in the Age of COVID and Contact Tracing: There are opportunities, legal risks, and regulatory pitfalls associated with the deployment of surveillance technology and big-data solutions designed to facilitate contact-tracing for the purpose of combatting the spread of COVID and similar diseases. Indeed, contact tracing may well help reduce the spread of disease, but for what other purposes has the technology been used, and how might it be used in the future? At what cost to individual privacy and future government intrusion? The panelists would address how these applications and the data collected can be used (and misused) for other purposes by governments and the private sector, e.g., through tracking individuals for political purposes or marketing, and how current and future laws around the world have or will address these concerns, with widely differing results.

  • Legal Tech: How technological innovation is shaping the legal services market; new legal tech solutions with increased telework during quarantine; examples of successful legal service delivery transformation; how legal predictive analytics play into social justice issues (choosing cases based on what is winnable); and the challenges law firms face in procuring and getting value from new Legal Tech solutions.

  • Blockchain: It’s not just crypto-currency. Blockchain technology touches multiple industries around the world. Comparing different legal approaches to blockchain. The most important areas in which blockchain technology is or is likely to be deployed to deliver commercial and non-commercial benefits while complying with applicable legal guidelines. Technical and regulatory or risk considerations that are impeding the adoption of blockchain. Legal issues regarding smart contracts, decentralized applications (dApps), and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). 

  • FinTech: Comparative analysis of current regulatory trends and use cases from around the world. Topics could include, among others: (a) deployment of cutting edge payment technologies and token-based intermediary exchanges in cannabis and other industries that cannot avail themselves of traditional banking systems, (b) impact of EU PSD2 in Europe and potential for GDPR-like impact worldwide, (c) current trends in regulating (or banning) the use of bitcoin and other token-based payment systems; (d) the potential impact of government issuance of digital currency on other types of crypto-currency; and (e) more general regulatory trends in FinTech, particularly those intended to stimulate FinTech innovation.

  • Data Protection and Regulation: How domestic and international political and economic developments (including targeted meddling in democratic election processes) are fueling the desire of governments to regulate, protect and/or access personal data held by companies, including tech companies; how to balance the competing political, regulatory, commercial and privacy interests of governments, companies, political parties, and individuals as to the appropriate use of personal data; the need to follow CCPA/GDPR rules; the particular challenges posed in connection with the protection of COVID-19 data; and how to advise companies on the use and protection of consumer data moving forward.

  • Advanced Topics in Multinational Technology Sourcing: Identify the stickiest issues being encountered when negotiating IT sourcing (including outsourcing) agreements (e.g., data and IP ownership, compliance with the laws and regulations of multiple jurisdictions, data security, etc.). Discuss common vendor and customer arguments and how to achieve resolution. Inform presentation with “war stories” and consider the consequences of big IT failures and practical lessons to learn from such failures (especially in light of COVID-19), highlighting experience based on recent litigation.

  • Advanced Technology Topics in Non-Traditional M&A Transactions: The ideal panelists would have experience dealing with technology aspects of M&A in one or more of the following fields: (i) healthcare; (ii) aerospace, (iii) Big Data (iv) e-sports; (v) cryptocurrencies; (vi) the cannabis business, or (vii) the wine industry; or (viii) other cutting-edge industries. The panelists could (i) set out the principles on which they relied when faced with an unprecedented technology-related issue; and (ii) engage with the attendees to begin to develop a set of principles for dealing with those issues. Inform presentation with “war stories” and consider the consequences of failed transactions, highlighting experience based on recent litigation.

  • Cybersecurity: An examination of the increasing proliferation of cyber-security breaches and their sophisticated nature, and how companies can manage these risks and the related regulatory burdens.

  • Government Agencies: Reconciling the desire for governments to access personal data held by companies, including tech companies, with individuals’ rights to privacy and data protection: where is the line drawn? Among other things, by May 2021, the panel should be in a position to address the extent to which the recent demise of the EU-US Privacy Shield under Schrems II has induced (or is likely to induce) non-EU governments to be more protective of individual privacy rights. Has the decision had any practical impact on data flows from the EU or is it business as usual under the Standard Contractual Clauses? This session could also address such topics as increasing government action to obtain data regarding crypto-transactions.

  • IP Dispute Resolution: Selecting the right forum and recent trends in IP dispute resolution, including the growing trend of platforms providing IP dispute resolution proceedings.

  • Material Adverse Change, Force Majeure and Litigation: In the increasingly uncertain world of COVID, clients are increasingly seeking to cancel contracts based on material adverse changes in circumstances allegedly caused by the pandemic. As a result, material adverse change and force majeure clauses are being poured-over in ever-greater detail, and litigation over them has ensued and will likely increase. The ideal panel would take a deep dive into the nuances of these clauses, share war stories and sample clauses, address the current status of pending litigation, and offer practical drafting guidance.

  • Healthcare in the Age of COVID: COVID has focused the world’s attention on the healthcare sector. Among other things, the COVID emergency has challenged health care systems worldwide to provide care remotely while patients stay in their homes. Telehealth and telemedicine can improve access to care, promote care coordination, foster patient engagement, and reduce costs. What are the most important legal pitfalls to consider when implementing a telemedicine program? How is the regulatory landscape evolving worldwide?

  • California Wine Industry: The impact of Agri-tech in the wine industry of California: how drones, IoT, artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, and other technologies can revolutionize the winemaking industry and tackle climate change.

Thank you for your interest in speaking at an ITechLaw Conference!

Submit Now!

2021 World Technology Law Conference