On October 21, Charlene Flick, director of intellectual property and competition at USCIB, addressed the Silicon Valley Association of General Counsel in Santa Clara, California. Ms. Flick discussed emerging legal challenges for U.S. companies as they expand internationally, and specifically how USCIB helps American industry navigate an increasingly complex global marketplace.
USCIB recently updated its Legal Issues Overview, which presents a number of key international policy issues with strong legal components as a reference for corporate counsel and other legal professionals.
“The objective of USCIB’s work,” Ms. Flick noted, “is to foster fair and predictable legal and regulatory regimes across borders to enhance seamless transactions across borders.” Ms. Flick discussed how USCIB capitalizes on its extensive industry network to influence policy at both national and international institutions. She then offered a selection of legal challenges that she confronts regularly in her work at USCIB, ranging from questions of jurisdiction and extraterritoriality to the adequacy of a country’s intellectual property regime and whether or not the U.S. notion of due process is respected in foreign jurisdictions in the course of a foreign enforcement action.
“Of particular interest to the general counsels was the realization that legal privilege as U.S. lawyers understand it – that communications between corporate executives and in-house lawyers are privileged and not discoverable — does not apply in all foreign jurisdictions,” Ms. Flick observed. “The European Union, for example, does not accept this notion of legal privilege, and it is important for American companies to understand that communications internally across borders may be subject to different legal norms in the course of a foreign investigation, and how best to deal with this reality.”
Ms. Flick emphasized that advocacy should not be limited to the legislative bodies, but that influencing policy objectives should be approached on the executive and judicial fronts, as well. She noted that as the markets globalize, policymakers will be forced to harmonize their own regulatory landscape with that of other countries to benefit their own economies. “U.S. industry is global industry,” Ms. Flick concluded, “and it should insist upon being at the table where regulations and policies are conceived that will dictate global business.” This, of course, is where USCIB really provides value to its members.
Staff contact: Helen Medina