With quantum computing and the metaverse over the horizon, what can firms in the region do to protect their business interests?

Technology impacts every area of business in every sector, from the management and operation of a company and its systems, processes, and data—to the delivering of products and services, engagement with customers, and the creation of new business models.

The emergence of technologies such as blockchain, big data, AI and quantum computing have developed vast opportunities for exploration, and with these new opportunities complex disputes will arise across multiple jurisdictions.

According to Ling Ho, a partner at Clifford Chance, three legal trends in technology are surfacing:

    1. More disputes and litigation are arising around new technologies, including in relation to AI and digital assets
    2. Enhanced regulatory frameworks are being implemented that impact everything from data use to cybersecurity to product liability to the resilience of the digital asset ecosystem.
    3. In this increasingly complex regulatory framework, legal issues arising in one sphere can no longer be looked at in isolation, and the interplay with the rest of the global legal landscape needs to be comprehensively assessed when driving an effective tech risk management strategy or navigating a technology-related dispute

The firm has published the second edition of their “Guide to Technology Disputes in Asia Pacific”, aimed at helping businesses in the Asia Pacific region to optimize protection of intellectual property; protect data and data privacy; manage cyber incidents, and defend against a range of technology regulation and disputes, such as in the areas of:

    • Fintech/digital assets/crypto
    • Anti-trust
    • Anti-money laundering
    • Sanctions
    • Responsible tech
    • Product/contractual liability

Additionally, the guide addresses the new types of commercial activity in virtual worlds: these add another layer of jurisdictional complexity and will raise novel practical considerations if litigation and arbitration proceedings begin to be conducted in the metaverse, or if forays into “on-chain arbitration” occur.

As a consequence, litigation and arbitration strategy will increasingly require a combination of international disputes management expertise with legal specialization in technology and data.