Obviousness-type Double Patenting Does Not Limit an Otherwise Validly Obtained Patent Term Extension

The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has ruled that obviousness-type double patenting does not invalidate an otherwise validly obtained patent term extension (PTE) under 35 U.S.C. § 156. The decision in Novartis AG v. Ezra Ventures LLC affirmed the Delaware District Court’s similar judgment, and demonstrates that a patent with an earlier expiration date, including one that is terminally disclaimed over other patents, can be extended beyond one or more patents with later expiration dates. Continue Reading

Not so super? BCAP issues strict new guidance on the use of superimposed text in TV ads

The Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (“BCAP”) has recently issued revised guidance on the use of superimposed text (“supers”) in TV advertising. Advertisers often use supers to help avoid misleading viewers, as supers can convey information (required for legal or regulatory purposes), to qualify claims made in television ads. However, research by the Advertising Standards Authority (“ASA”) established that some consumers find certain supers difficult to read and comprehend, with viewers expressing particular concerns around the elongation of letters and text having poor background contrast.

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Are Trademark Licensees Protected In A Licensor Bankruptcy? 

The Supreme Court Is Now Poised to Answer This Question.


Certain licensees of intellectual property are expressly given expanded rights when their licensors file bankruptcy.  But, what about trademark licensees?  Trademarks are not among the defined categories of “intellectual property” for bankruptcy purposes.  Nonetheless, are trademark licensees otherwise protected in a licensor bankruptcy?  The U.S. Supreme Court is poised to finally answer this question now that it has granted certiorari in Mission Product Holdings, Inc. v. Tempnology, LLC, 879 F.3d 389 (1st Cir. 2018). Continue Reading

Adapting the law for automotive automation

The Law Commission of England, together with the Scottish Law Commission, last week announced a consultation into the laws around the self-driving vehicles, as they help prepare for a ‘safe and effective deployment’ of such vehicles in the UK.

The consultation, which is part of a three year review (running until March 2021) looks at the laws around automated road vehicles which are capable of driving themselves and considers a number of issues which may impact developers’, manufacturers’ and future users’ responsibilities.

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Increasing the ASA’s impact in an evolving world

Earlier this month the ASA announced its new strategy, More Impact Online, which aims to advance its regulation of online advertising over the next five years. The strategy has been developed following consultation with consumers, industry organisations and the government, and recognises the need for the ASA to move forward and adapt to the changing world of advertising, as well as to build trust – with both the public and across the industry – in a system of self-regulation.

The reasoning behind the focus of the strategy is clear: not only were “88% of the 7,099 ads amended or withdrawn in 2017 online (either in whole or in part), but in the first half of 2018 there has been a significant increase in the number of adverts being amended or withdrawn, with 7,232 such rulings between January and June 2018.

The strategy has six key strands: People; Online; Effectiveness; Buy-in; Enforcement and Independence, and the ASA has identified key drivers, strategic decisions, and markers of success for each of these elements.

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Block Party? UK Government Considers New Ways of Clamping Down on Illegal Streaming

The UK government has recently published its response to its call for views on illicit Internet Protocol Television streaming devices or “ISDs”. The government describes ISDs as “small plug and play media servers, originally designed to allow consumers to stream legitimate content”, which have been modified with software that enables users to view “illegal content through streaming websites, file lockers and BitTorrent trackers”. Continue Reading

GDPR’s Impact on the CAP Code and How Prize Winners are Announced

Back in May this year, the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP), which authors the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising and Direct & Promotional Marketing (the CAP Code), launched a consultation (the Consultation) on changes that may be required to the CAP Code on the issue of administration of prize promotions. This followed the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The Consultation was completed on 19 June 2018.

Following the Consultation, CAP has agreed to change its prize promotion rules in order to comply with the stricter requirements under the GDPR, especially around consent. Continue Reading

Regulator Investigating Celebrities and Social Media Influencers Who do not Label Commercial Posts

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in the UK is launching an investigation into concerns that social media stars and influencers may not be declaring payments or rewards when they endorse goods or services online.

UK Consumer law

Consumer law, under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, requires that if a blogger is paid to promote a product or service, they must make clear to their audience that it is in fact a paid-for endorsement. However, the CMA has identified growing concerns that these influencers may be misleading their audience by failing to declare their commercial relationships with these featured brands. Continue Reading