The Outsourcing Playbook – a new dawn for public sector contracting?

The UK government has this week published its Outsourcing Playbook (the Playbook) providing guidance for central government on getting outsourcing right, from making the initial decision to outsource through to termination, transition and dealing with supplier failure.

With in-boxes groaning under the weight of Brexit related government guidance it would be easy to miss the Playbook or to discount it as a tool only for central government procurement professionals. However, the Playbook makes for interesting reading for potential suppliers or anyone with experience of contracting with central government.

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Preliminary Injunction in Blockvest Provides New Fodder for SEC Regulation of Digital Assets and Raises Scrutiny of Marketing Materials

In an interesting twist, a federal court has revisited its earlier decision in SEC v. Blockvest, where it denied the SEC’s motion for a preliminary injunction against issuers of the BLV token, this time granting the SEC’s motion.  The opinion has important implications for cryptocurrency issuers. Continue Reading

The EU’s Digital Copyright Directive – where are we now?

In 2016 the EU proposed the “Directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market” (the Directive). Since then, the Directive has been widely debated at EU level and has been the subject of intense campaigning and lobbying, with various interested parties writing numerous open letters to the EU Council’s Working Party on Intellectual Property, the European Commission and the European Parliament, setting out their concerns about the proposals. Such campaigning has contributed to the slow progress of agreeing and finalising the wording of the Directive and even stalled negotiations shortly before final trilogue discussions were due to take place.

Despite these earlier attempts to hinder its progress, according to a press release from the European Parliament on 13 February, an agreement has now been reached on the wording of the Directive.

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The Federal Circuit Continues to Narrow the Eligibility Standards for CBM Review of Patents Under the AIA

In its recent ruling in IBG LLC v. Trading Techs. Int’l, the Federal Circuit vacated determinations by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) on patents relating to a graphical user interface (“GUI“), holding that the patents were “not … technological inventions” and were therefore ineligible for Covered Business Method Patent Review (“CBM review”).

The petitioners challenged the validity of U.S. Patent Nos. 6,766,304, 6,772,132, 7,676,411, and 7,813,996 (the “Asserted Patents”) via multiple CBM review proceedings, including CBM2015-00161 and CBM2016-00035. The Asserted Patents share the same specification and are related to a GUI for a trading system that “reduc[es] the time it takes for a trader to place a trade when electronically trading on an exchange, thus increasing the likelihood that the trader will have orders filled at desirable prices and quantities.” Continue Reading

Security Token Offerings: Old Wine in a New Bottle?

If you keep an ear tuned to recent developments in digital currency and blockchain, you’ve almost certainly heard the term “Security Token Offering” (or “STO”) bandied about.  But what exactly is an STO?  Is it legally, functionally, or technologically different than an ICO?  Or is this simply old wine in a new bottle? Continue Reading

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.


  • Matthew Kirk, international affairs advisor, Squire Patton Boggs


  • 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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