Innovation Powerhouse

Helping businesses transform and grow in the digitalized world

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Data is not oil but a renewable asset refuelling new business models.

Jukka Lång, Head of Data Protection, Marketing and Consumers
Dittmar & Indrenius > Services > Innovation Powerhouse

It’s all about our clients’ innovations. 

We offer one-stop-shop strategic legal advice for companies in any industry dealing with new innovations transforming their business. We are known for being the leading digital disruption team in Finland. Our exceptional track record covers new digital business models, data, cybersecurity, Fintech, blockchain and other disruptive technologies.

In each project we join forces with relevant practices and industry groups working as one team, in one efficiently managed process, with one point of contact in constant interaction with our client. Centered around our clients’ needs and aligned with their best interests, our Powerhouse team explores the best legal solutions, industry practices and winning strategies to maximise the clients’ success.

Powerhouse is much more than a philosophy to us. It represents our ambition for excellence and thinking ahead for the benefit of our clients. To find continued, sustainable success, we sometimes have to look at creating solutions for problems that are not yet recognised. Our Powerhouse service method allows us to offer our greatest capacity for supporting our clients’ obejctives and growth.

Main contact: Jukka Lång, Partner

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Latest Insights

insight
Blockchain Does Not Block Change
18 Jun 2018 Blockchain technology and its applications will change the world of transactions and with it, the world of intellectual property. The technology was previously known mainly in the context of cryptocurrency, but now multiple industries are exploring its potential applications. The possibilities the technology offers are nearly endless and because of its broad applicability, it will almost certainly have an impact on several business sectors. Below we discuss the application of blockchain technology to transparent supply chains and intellectual property registration and enforcement. What's So Special About It? Blockchain is more than just the platform for the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, with which it is often wrongly confused with as being synonymous. Blockchain's emergence in 2008 as the Bitcoin's enabler was only the beginning and the past two or three years have brought the technology to the limelight especially because its properties make it a near-perfect disruptor to all business fields which use intermediaries to handle transactions between individuals, businesses and even machines. It has been proven time and again that trust is a delicate commodity, and without it transactions have a short shelf life. As there is inherent distrust between parties in transactions, blockchain's game changer feature is the way it changes the way we trust others. With blockchain, transactions can be secured without any of the traditional institutions that we have grown used to as intermediaries and that paves the way for blockchain to change the very nature of how transactions are executed. Due to its immutable nature, blockchain can also be used to change the way we look at supply chain integrity, IP registrations and enforcement of IP. "As there is inherent distrust between parties in transactions, blockchain's game changer feature is the way it changes the way we trust others." Supply Chain Integrity The importance being able to ensure supply chain integrity is paramount to all companies dealing with branded or otherwise exclusive goods. Blockchain is an excellent tool in bringing transparency into the process, and when you combine it with such technologies as the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart contracts, magic happens. Exhibit A of this claim are the companies that already tap into the blockchain for supply chain transparency, such as Provenance, which offers a digital passport for a product's authenticity and origin, Everledger which is used for uploading the characteristics, history and ownership of diamonds to the blockchain and Modum, which offers a monitoring solution for pharmaceuticals and their temperature during transportation. These are initiatives which, at least to the level of trust exhibited by these services, have not been possible in the pre-blockchain era. IP Registration The contents of IP registration are traditionally defined by documentation, (trademark information, patent records, ownership details). By virtue of its nature, there are applications for the blockchain technology in the recording and verification of different components of such documentation, such as ownership, identity, contents, transaction history, etc. The blockchain technology could be used by the IP offices to aid in the registration and granting of IP rights, e.g. to be used instead of the traditional databases with information on registered trademarks, designs and patents. Changing the recording system to be based on blockchain would increase the registrations' value and trustworthiness and create additional regulatory opportunities to build from these newfound possibilities. The European Union Intellectual Property Office EUIPO has understood the possibilities blockchain offers and is developing their readiness to use blockchain to record and enforce IP rights. EUIPO has engaged blockchain experts, national IP offices and right holder representatives in the development of blockchain applications. IP Enforcement The blockchain technology has a definite potential to completely revolutionize IP enforcement and anti-counterfeiting. If the right holder is able to convey to the authorities, especially the customs, a message that authentic products contain an easily readable feature proving that the product is authentic, it would greatly enhance the potential for unauthorized products to be caught by the authorities. Technology related interactive tags is not new, but the previous solutions such as QR codes, NFC and RFID tags were much more prone to copying and other misuse than blockchain-related technology. Counterfeiters and dealers in grey market goods would be unable to alter the information contained in the blockchain. First Wave A growing number of companies are riding the early developer wave and have started offering blockchain related IP services. Such companies include Bernstein Technologies, which secures IP assets and innovation processes, Kyna, which automates the transaction of patents, Ujo, a platform which allows musicians to automatically license their works through Ethereum and Blockai, which helps artists to register their copyrighted work. Several of the IP related blockchain developer companies are still on startup stage, but we are certain to see the amount of blockchain powered IP services to increase in the near future. Friend or Foe? For blockchain to become more than pie in the sky, there is a lot of work to be done with technological issues. Most of all there is work to be done with legislators, so that the technology is not seen as an enemy of the state, but rather as its ally. However, not all states are reluctant to start implementing blockchain technology to their administrative functions. The Estonian government has been using a Keyless Signature Infrastructure (KSI) technology to allow Estonian citizens to verify the integrity of their records in government databases, helping Estonia to launch digital services such as e-Tax, and reducing the state's administrative burden in the process. "Blockchain has all the characteristics of being a game changer in the networked information economy." Endless Possibilities Blockchain has all the characteristics of being a game changer in the networked information economy. Dozens of countries are investing heavily on its applications, with China leading the pack with 56 % of all patent applications globally coming from Chinese companies. Because of its enormous potential, a lot of venture capital funding is available for its development. A wide range of regulatory responses, as well as international standards and open source development programs already in place, open doors for the widespread use of the blockchain technology. It is already used in e.g. peer-to-peer lending, currency exchange, proof of authorship, data storage, securities trading and clearing. Time will tell how blockchain will change the game in these and in many other fields – especially those with outdated systems in place.  
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PSD2 Implemented in Finland
15 Jan 2018 The Second Payments Services Directive (PSD2) has been implemented in Finland on 13 January 2018 by amending two laws, the Payment Services Act and the Payment Institutions Act. The majority of the provisions of PSD2 apply already, but provisions on strong customer authentication and common and secure communication will come into operation at a later stage. Consequently, a transition period has begun and certain outstanding questions remain. Key changes PSD2 changes the European payments market radically for both payment service providers (PSPs) and payment service users by enabling consumers and companies manage their finances in a new way. One of the key changes is that PSD2 creates two new categories of PSPs: Payment Initiation Service Providers (PISPs) and Account Information Service Providers (AISPs) also referred as Third Party Providers. Account banks must provide these Third Party Providers with access to the accounts of any customers who authorise it. As an outcome, PISPs are able to initiate payments through the banks' infrastructure on behalf of the customers and AISPs can provide their customers access to account information in several banks at the same time. By this way, customers are in control of their own data, and open banking is made possible. Other changes introduced by PSD2 include, among others, better consumer protection such as adjusted liability rules, limits on customer fees for card payments, amended reporting requirements for PSPs and, in particular, higher security requirements for online payments. These provisions reflect the fact that PSD2 is relevant for anyone active in the payments market. Status in Finland PSD2 has been implemented in Finland by amending two laws, the Payment Services Act (in Finnish) and the Payment Institutions Act (in Finnish). As PSD2 is a maximum harmonization directive, the existing legislation has been amended only to the extent required by the implementation of PSD2. Some of the optionality provided for the Member States in PSD2 has been used in the Finnish implementation, corresponding mainly to the Member State options exercised already in the implementation of PSD1. For example, Finland applies the requirement for payment institutions having agents or branches in Finland to report to the Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA) on the activities carried out in Finland. Even though Finland is among the first European countries to implement PSD2, payment service users will have to wait for the new services. First of all, PISPs need to apply for authorisation and AISPs register with the FSA in order to provide payment services, and it may take months before first new Third Party Providers have been granted permissions in Finland. Also existing PSPs have to demonstrate to the FSA that they comply with the amended legislation. The Payment Institutions Act provides the PSPs with additional transition periods for providing necessary information and updating their authorisations. Even then, banks have until autumn 2019 to fully comply with certain provisions of PSD2 as set out below. Transition period EBA's guidance The majority of the legal provisions introduced by PSD2 apply as of 13 January 2018. However, some issues are yet to be clarified also on the European level. Most importantly, the Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) on strong customer authentication (SCA) and secure communication (CSC) drafted by the European Banking Authority (EBA) has not yet entered into force. The RTS will be applicable only 18 months after its entry into force, i.e. in autumn 2019 according to current estimation. During the transitional period between 13 January 2018 and the date when the RTS will be enforced, banks are supposed to comply with PSD2, but are not yet obliged to implement the new security requirements regarding for example the interfaces (APIs) to enable access to customers' accounts. This means that different standards and data formats may be expected in terms of access to the banks' infrastructure around Europe. To clarify various requirements during the transition period, the EBA has issued an opinion on the transition from PSD1 to PSD2. FSA's guidance In Finland, one of the most debated issue in relation to the transition period is the lawfulness of 'screen scraping' where a Third Party Provider logs in to a customer's bank account with the customer's security credentials as if it were the customer. This method has been offered as an alternative during the transition period to access necessary data before separate interfaces are in place in line with PSD2 and the RTS. According to a recently published opinion of the FSA (in Finnish), screen scraping may not be used, if the Third Party Provider cannot be identified in a secure manner and access cannot be restricted only to the account information specified by the customer. This opinion distinguishes Finland from many other counties. Also the EBA has given green light for the use of screen scraping during the transition period unless national law prevented such access before 12 January 2016. As the FSA's main concern appears to be security and it is at the same time encouraging early application of interfaces regulated by the RTS, the FSA's opinion should above all be considered as an initiative for banks and Third Party Providers to find common and secure solutions during the transition period. To facilitate the interpretation of PSD2, the FSA has also established a PSD2 Monitoring Group (in Finnish), which aims to discuss interpretation issues and give guidance to supervised entities. The Monitoring Group's presentations are published on the FSA's website and are likely to address also screen scraping in more detail.   We at Dittmar & Indrenius are happy to discuss any questions you may have regarding PSD2 and its national implementation in Finland. Further reading: ◾New Year's Promise – PSD2 Will Change the World in 2018 ◾Government Proposal for the Implementation of the Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) Published

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