Restricting trading restrictions: the Geo-Blocking Regulation

In early December 2018, the Geo-Blocking Regulation 2018/302 (the Regulation) came into force across the EU, with the aim of creating a single digital market by banning unjustified geo-blocking (the blocking of access to websites to individuals based in certain territories) and other forms of discrimination based on customers’ nationality, place of residence or establishment within the market. The introduction of the Regulation may have a serious impact on how traders in the EU operate their businesses. Continue Reading

Recent Changes in Trademark Procedures in China

The beginning of 2019 brought about two important changes to trademark filing and prosecution proceedings in China. These changes will impact all brand owners.

Update of the China Goods and Service Classification

Effective January 1, 2019, the China Trademark Office (CTMO) has adopted a new 2019 version of the classification table. Goods and service specifications have been updated, and new ones have been added. The 2019 version of the China classification table has incorporated goods and service specifications of the Nice system to a certain extent. However, a significant gap with the 11th Edition of the Nice Classification remains. Rights holders will therefore need to plan and strategize on the adaptation of the specifications in their original foreign filings to the updated Chinese classification table. Continue Reading

Promoting innovation through ethically driven AI

Robot ArmUsing artificial intelligence (AI) and big data is becoming an increasing conundrum in the drive for competitive advantage. Governments and industry are all developing AI plans, but what does this mean and what are the social consequences? If you are an EU or national policymaker, what regulatory framework should you consider? Are the existing liability rules for defective products sufficient to deal with AI-related risks?

How can you navigate General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)/ePrivacy compliance while ensuring successful and innovative AI projects? What is the role of Article 89 GDPR as a legal ground available to member states to influence the usage AI? Are European countries prepared for the broader societal impact of AI, such as job displacement and skills development, and will the EU approach put Europe at the forefront of AI-related developments compared with the US and China?

Squire Patton Boggs invites you to join us for lunch in Brussels on 20 February from 12:15, to discuss and debate using big data and AI to drive competitive advantage, as well as to consider how the European policy framework will be developed to encourage innovation and mitigate risk. We have assembled a panel of experts who will share their views on and experiences with this important topic.

Moderator

  • Matthew Kirk, international affairs advisor, Squire Patton Boggs

Panelists

  • Juha Heikkilä, Head of Unit, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, European Commission
  • Chiara Tomasi, Public Policy and Government Relations Executive, AI, Cloud and Emerging Technologies, Google
  • Rosa Barcelo, partner, Squire Patton Boggs

We expect this to be a very popular event and with limited places available, registrations will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. For further information, or if you would like to attend, please visit the event page to register.

Influencing the influencers – ensuring social media is upfront on endorsements

Last year, the Global IP & Technology Law Blog covered the investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) into commercially driven posts on social media, the results of which were published last week.

Following the investigation (which considered potential breaches of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008), a number of prominent online influencers have provided the CMA with undertakings that they will ensure that their posts will make clear where they have received any payment or incentive to promote or endorse a particular product. The celebrities giving undertakings to ensure that their future social media postings are not misleading included Alexa Chung, Mario Falcone, Jim Chapman, Ellie Goulding, Rita Ora and Zoe Sugg (‘Zoella’).

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Modernising and harmonising… the Trade Mark Regulations 2018

On the 14 January 2019, the Trade Marks Regulations 2018 (the Regulations) came into force in the UK, amending provisions in the Trade Mark Act 1994 and the Trade Mark Rules 2008, bringing UK trade mark law in line with that of the EU. The Regulations introduce changes to elements of the application process, disputes and trade mark management, and seek to both harmonise and modernise trade mark laws.

The Regulations have amended the rules around what can be registered as a trade mark (which may now include smells, movement and sounds, amongst other things) and introduce useful mechanisms by which owners can challenge counterfeit products more robustly. The Regulations also provide some wider ownership rights relating to collective trade marks and additional ways for licensors to enforce their rights.

Further details of the changes introduced by the Regulations can be found at Squire Patton Boggs’ Insights.

Anti-counterfeiting operations plan to tackle intellectual property crime

Counterfeit goods now account for up to 2.5% of world trade and 5% of imports in the EU and are a significant problem for many industries in a rapidly evolving digital world. As businesses are aware, tackling IP infringements in counterfeit goods by law enforcement alone is not always effective. Therefore, it will be welcome news that there is a growing package of alternative measures available in order to improve the enforcement of IP rights against counterfeit goods. Continue Reading

A Private Sale is Still a Sale – SCOTUS Affirms the Federal Circuit for a Change

The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals has been a consistent punching bag for the Supreme Court over the past ten or so years.  The high court has repeatedly reversed the Federal Circuit in key decisions such as Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l, 573 U.S. 208 (2014) (patentable subject matter), TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC, (venue in patent infringement cases), SCA Hygiene Products Aktiebolag v. First Quality Baby Products, LLC (laches), and Impression Products, Inc. v. Lexmark Int’l, Inc. (exhaustion).  In what will be scrutinized as a potential turning of the tide, on January 22, 2019, the Court unanimously affirmed the Federal Circuit in Helsinn Healthcare S.A. v. Teva Pharma. USA, Inc., a closely watched appeal regarding the parameters of the on-sale bar under 35 U.S.C. § 102(a). Continue Reading

France’s new investment control in the cybersecurity and technology sectors

Decree No. 2058-1057 of November 29 2018 on foreign investments subject to prior approval

France, who in recent years has been relatively open to overseas investors, has extended its control over foreign investment into certain ‘sensitive’ industries, particularly the IT, cybersecurity, communication and technology sectors.

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New Examples Demonstrate the USPTO’s Revised Subject Matter Eligibility Guidelines for Patents

On January 7, 2019, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) released its 2019 Revised Patent Subject Matter Eligibility Guidance (“Guidance”), which revises the procedures for determining whether a patent claim is directed towards a judicial exception. Based upon post-Alice Federal Circuit decisions, the Guidance modifies the grouping of abstract ideas, and adds an intermediate step to determine whether a judicial exception is integrated into a practical application of the judicial exception. Continue Reading

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