Once Again, the ITC Finishes the Year with a Flurry of New Complaints

In January 2021, I noted that the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) saw a flurry of new complaints filed in the second half of 2020, particularly in November and December. See here. A similar pattern emerged at the end of 2021, culminating with eight Section 337 complaints filed between December 15 – 31, 2021. Continue Reading

The USPTO Again Extends the Fast Track Program for COVID-Related Inventions

On January 3, 2022, the US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) announced an extension of the modified COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program. Compliant requests filed on or before March 31, 2022, will be accepted.

We covered this modified Pilot Program in our post three months ago, and we covered the original program in prior posts (here and here). The USPTO’s notice published in September extended the Pilot Program to December 31, 2021, and removed the limit on the number of applications that could receive prioritized examination. The current notice now extends the program for three additional months. Continue Reading

Payment Terms in France: Updated Sanctions by the Regulator

Non-French companies need to pay attention to the French Payment Terms Regulations when paying (or being paid by) any French company. On December 2, 2021, the French regulator in charge of investigating and sanctioning noncompliance with the French payment terms regulation, the “DGCCRF,” published a “Review of the sanctions taken by the DGCCRF in the first half of 2021 and publication of guidelines relating to the determination of sanctions“. Continue Reading

UK Regulator Issues New Guidance on In-Game Advertising

What is the UK advertising regulator’s position on the costs of mystery items, bonus time, and levelling up? Several platforms urgently need to change their game mechanics to comply with new rules. Continue Reading

Are All the Terms in Your Standard Terms and Conditions Incorporated?

A recent High Court decision in the case of Blu-Sky Solutions Limited (“Blu-Sky”) v Be Caring Limited (“BCL”) has put terms and conditions into the spotlight. The case has highlighted the importance of making sure that any onerous terms in your standard terms and conditions are clearly brought to the attention of the other party if you want to rely on the term. In this case, Blu-Sky sued BCL, a social care provider, for cancellation charges (£180,000 plus VAT) under a contract relating to the supply of a mobile network service following the cancellation of an order form by BCL. Continue Reading

Judge Leonard P. Stark Will Bring a Wealth of Patent Experience to the Federal Circuit

On Wednesday, November 3, 2021, the White House announced President Biden’s nomination of Judge Leonard P. Stark (U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware) to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. If approved, Judge Stark will succeed Judge Kathleen M. O’Malley, who recently announced that she will retire in March 2022. Continue Reading

Server Test Showdown? The Conflicting Rulings Over Whether Embedding a Social Media Post Violates the Copyright Act

Last year, I wrote about a ruling in the Southern District of New York, Sinclair v. Ziff Davis, 18-CV-790 (KMW), that refused to dismiss claims against a media company for embedding an Instagram post into one of its articles online. This ruling and others in federal trial courts in the Second Circuit conflict with the Ninth Circuit’s ruling in Perfect 10, Inc. v. Amazon.com, Inc., which held that embedding images could not violate a copyright holder’s exclusive display right. A recent California District Court ruling affirmed that Perfect 10’s ruling applied to the embedding of images from social media onto third party websites. This post will explain the conflict that now exists in these Circuits. Continue Reading

Practical Considerations for Prize Draws – New Guidance Issued by the ASA

Prize draws and promotions are a popular choice for brands to engage with its consumers, particularly through online social media platforms.

As discussed in a previous blog post, the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has emphasised that prize draws must comply with provisions of its CAP Code. Failing which one risks being in breach of the rules, which can ultimately lead to criminal prosecution for failure to comply with consumer protection, gambling and advertising laws. Following an increase in consumer complaints that some prize draws are not being administered in accordance with the relevant rules, together with its influencer monitoring work, the ASA has recently released a dedicated resources and guidance page, which aims to help influencers and brands get their prize promotions right. Continue Reading

The Rise of ‘Voice Cloning’ Provides More Evidence of the Need for Urgent Legal Reform in the UK

Earlier this year, we published our blog on the topic of ‘Deepfakes’, in which we argued that the rise of this technology necessitates urgent legal reform. Without the courts developing English law in a way that they are usually unwilling to do, the current position is that it is not well-suited to deal with the problems that deepfakes pose. Perhaps surprisingly, there are no laws specifically regulating the use of this technology. Since self-regulation has proven to be insufficient, parliamentary legislation is therefore required. Continue Reading

AFCP 2.0 Extended: Your Mileage May Vary

On October 12, 2021, the USPTO extended its program for after-final patent prosecution practice, AFCP 2.0, to September 30, 2022. The USPTO initiated the “pilot” program in 2013, to speed up prosecution and to increase contact between Examiners and applicants. Although the USPTO has not issued statistics about the results of the program, applicants still invoke AFCP 2.0 with some frequency. The USPTO has renewed the program each year since inception.

This renewal provides a timely opportunity to discuss briefly what might make participation in the AFCP 2.0 program worthwhile. Continue Reading