July 26, 2013 – August 2, 2013

The summaries provided in this Weekly Recap do not necessarily represent the views of Squire Sanders (US) LLP and should not be deemed to be endorsements of them. The Recap is intended to be a compilation of articles and events to encourage discussion within the conflict minerals community and to keep our readers updated on the most recent developments.

Waterloo Region Record: Fostering Awareness of the Origins of Minerals

The Waterloo Region Record, a daily newspaper covering Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada, featured a story highlighting Kirsten Van Houten’s effort in obtaining signatures in support of the Just Minerals Campaign – a Canadian national awareness movement highlighting the link between cell phones and conflict minerals. Not long ago, the Just Minerals Campaign came out in support of Paul Dewar’s (Member of Parliament) recently introduced bill called the Conflict Minerals Act, which, like its U.S. counterpart, requires companies to publicly disclose the source of the minerals contained in their products.

Why is this story relevant to the Waterloo region? Blackberry Limited, the developer of the Blackberry smartphone, is headquartered in the Waterloo region. Blackberry did not comment on whether it supports Ms. Houten’s effort or the Just Minerals Campaign, but a spokesperson did state “the company supports publicly reporting on company activities to prevent the funding of conflict”.

To read the full article, please see Fostering Awareness of the Origins of Minerals.

Tulane Law School’s Payson Center for International Development Study Cited in Conflict Minerals Legal Challenge

Last week, U.S. District Judge Robert Wilkins rejected the National Association of Manufacturers, the Business Roundtable and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s claim that the conflict minerals rule was arbitrary and capricious and that the rule violated the First Amendment.

In the legal challenge, the National Association of Manufacturers supported its argument that the rule was expensive by using a study conducted by the Tulane University Law School Payson Center for International Development Study. The study found that the initial implementation of compliance measures will cost companies approximately $8 billion and an annual economic impact of more than $100 million a year. According to a press release issued by Tulane University, the study found that the SEC’s initial estimate was too low but that the National Association of Manufacturers estimate was too high.

IPC’s 2013 Conflict Minerals DVD

In an effort to assist you with your compliance measures, we thought we would let you know about a new DVD being released by IPC, a global industry association representing all facets of the electronics industry.

The DVD is titled “2013 Conflict Minerals Conference Proceedings” and is available for $100 for IPC members and $200 for non-members. This summer, IPC held a conference on conflict minerals featuring experts on the conflict minerals rule. For those who could not attend, the DVD is a perfect substitute as it is a compilation of audio and slide presentations recorded during the conference.

According to IPC’s press release, topics covered include due diligence and audit preparation, risk mitigation, data management, enterprise social responsibility and building compliance roadmaps.