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CMA Moves to Investigate ‘Green’ Claims

On 2 November 2020, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced that it will be investigating descriptions and labels used to promote products and services claiming to be ‘eco-friendly’ and whether they could mislead consumers. The concern for the CMA is that an increase in demand for sustainability could lead to businesses making misleading, … Continue Reading

VAT on Compensation Payments in Intellectual Property Settlements

This blog is a follow-up to our recent blog on HMRC’s surprising Changes to VAT and Early Termination Payments. As we noted, HMRC’s updated guidance is proving to be highly controversial. What’s happened? Folks are unhappy because the updated guidance treats contract termination payments (including for breach or withdrawal or under liquidated damages clauses) as … Continue Reading

UK Begins Review of National Gambling Legislation

The UK government has started its review of national gambling legislation, likely to result in the introduction of a new Gambling Act. New measures could include tighter restrictions on gambling sponsorship and advertising, such as gambling operators no longer being allowed to advertise on the shirts of sports teams or any other visible part of … Continue Reading

Changes to VAT and Early Termination Payments

Following the recent decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union in Meo (C-295/17) and a related case, HM Revenue & Customs (“HMRC”) has updated its guidance on the VAT treatment of contractual compensation payments for early termination of commercial contracts. Such payments, irrespective of whether described as compensation or liquidated damages, will … Continue Reading

Guidance for UK Life Sciences Offered During End of Brexit Transition

With the Brexit transition period ending on December 31st, the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is issuing guidance for the UK Life Science industry – including guidance on clinical trials, market authorizations, and manufacture and supply, among other areas. The guidance will apply from the start of 2021. Squire Patton Boggs’ Triage … Continue Reading

Complying with ASA Rules During a Pandemic

The UK’s Advertising Standards Agency recently provided some useful guidance on compliance with its CAP Code that will assist promoters, influencers, agencies and brands as they continue to navigate the various ASA rules during the COVID-19 crisis. Dealing with unexpected events whilst running promotions Section 8 of the CAP Code governs promotions, and includes rules … Continue Reading

Public Procurement During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Many bodies which are contracting authorities for the purpose of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (“PCR 2015”), or equivalent contracting entities under the Utilities Contracts Regulations 2016, the Concession Contracts Regulations 2016 and/or the Defence and Security Public Contracts Regulations 2011, will have a crucial role in responding to the COVID-19 outbreak. This may include … Continue Reading

As broad as it is long: CJEU rules that trade mark owners need not amend broad specifications

On 29 January 2020, brand owners across the EU were reassured in relation to the content of their trade mark specifications following the decision of the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) in Sky v SkyKick (C-371/18). The CJEU provided welcome confirmation that trade mark registrations with specifications comprising of broad terms such as … Continue Reading

Data Security Ignoring the PCI Data Security Standard Could Cost You!

Is compliance with payment card data security standards being ignored? The recent £500,000 fine, levied by the UK Information Commissioner on DSG, the owner of Currys PC World and Dixons Travel stores, highlights a worrying trend of non-compliance with payment card security standards. Our Security & Privacy Team has prepared a full blog post on … Continue Reading

Coronavirus and Contractual Penalties

We recently considered the issue that the Coronavirus outbreak may result in an upsurge of force majeure related claims under commercial contracts. A further risk now coming to light is customers seeking to enforce contractual fines, penalties, “service credits” or “liquidated damages” (collectively referred to for ease of reference as “Penalties” although all slightly different … Continue Reading

Coronavirus and Force Majeure

Usually found towards the end of a commercial contract, a force majeure provision seeks to exclude the liability of one or more parties for events beyond their reasonable control. Often (and mistakenly) overlooked as “standard boilerplate”, the increasingly apparent and potentially extensive impact of the Coronavirus outbreak on global supply chains is likely to bring … Continue Reading

A Win for Patent Inventors: 13 Year Battle Between Shanks and Unilever Draws to a Close

In a landmark decision delivered recently by the UK Supreme Court, Professor Shanks, an inventor, was awarded £2 million in compensation for a device he created. Professor Shanks developed the technology while he was employed by a Unilever company and the invention has proved lucrative for Unilever in many jurisdictions.  Background In the early 1980s, … Continue Reading

Not So Hot: Challenger Bank Fails in Attempts to Register “Hot Coral” Colour Mark

There are some colours that consumers associate with particular brands. For example, EasyJet is known for its distinctive orange livery, while Cadbury is known for the dark purple colour which it uses on the packaging of some of its chocolate bars and in its advertising. However, it is far from straightforward for brands to register … Continue Reading

Buy Now, Pay Later – New Compliance Rules Coming into Force

It was recently reported that Marks & Spencer is to offer a ‘buy now, pay later’ option on its website for online customers. The company  is modernising its services with the introduction of this payment scheme. Marks & Spencer joins the likes of ASOS and H&M in offering buy now, pay later (“BNPL“) services. How … Continue Reading

Lottery Tickets: It’s On The House?

Property firm Savills recently estimated that the UK housing market is at its weakest point since the global financial crisis of 2007/2008 and it is perhaps unsurprising, therefore, that in recent years sellers have increasingly resorted to listing their property in a lottery or raffle. However, running a property lottery whilst simultaneously staying compliant with … Continue Reading

How Harmful do Gender Stereotypes Need to be? Ads Banned in UK Following New Rule

As we reported earlier this year, a new rule dealing with the depiction of harmful gender stereotypes, was introduced into the BCAP and CAP Codes as of June 2019. The first decisions under the new rules have been released and we have seen two separate ads by Volkswagen and Philadelphia banned by the Advertising Standards … Continue Reading

Before The DST Settles: United Kingdom Pushes Ahead With Digital Services Tax

On Thursday 11 July 2019, the UK government confirmed that it will bring forward legislation for a new Digital Services Tax (DST) to take effect from April 2020. Squire Patton Boggs’ Tax team have prepared an alert, analysing the proposed legislation and assessing its possible impact and wider implications, which can be downloaded here. For more information, please contact Jeff VanderWolk.… Continue Reading

“It’s Unbelievable Jeff” – The ASA Overturn Sky Bet’s ‘Request a Bet’ Ad Ruling

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) recently announced that it has overturned its original ruling published on 13 March 2019 relating to a Sky Bet TV ad promoting their ‘Request a Bet’ service. As reported by Carlton Daniel in this blog and in Law360, the ASA had previously found that the advertisement contravened the advertiser’s duty … Continue Reading
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