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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 … Continue Reading

Incompetent #ad Disclosure – the ASA Issues Warning to Influencers

The ASA has issued a stark warning to advertisers: non-compliance with ASA rules on disclosures in advertising is rife and that is unacceptable. The regulator now plans to get tough with those in breach. We blog regularly on Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) scrutiny of advertising rules in the social media landscape. The ASA has now … Continue Reading

The Rise of the “Deepfake” Demands Urgent Legal Reform in the UK

The phenomenon of ‘fake news’ and spread of misinformation is not a new one, but advancements in technology, in particular ‘deepfakes’, have highlighted the seriousness of the threat in a way that has not happened before. Deepfakes have evolved significantly in recent years and the tell-tale signs (odd hand or mouth movements or odd pronunciation … Continue Reading

The Danger of the Social Media Filter – ASA Rules Adverts are Misleading

The beauty industry faces a constant challenge in relation to the truthfulness of the products it sells. Through the power of social media, beauty brands use influencers to endorse their products, adding a dimension of apparent authenticity to their advertising. In an attempt to regulate such practices, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has focused on … Continue Reading

Buy Now, Pay Later: New Advertising Guidance

With online shopping at all-time high, ‘buy now, pay later’ (BNPL) options are becoming increasingly popular. BNPL is an option that enables customers to delay paying for goods or allows them to pay in instalments. The service typically bears interest which consumers have to pay. It differs from hire purchase because with BNPL, the customer … Continue Reading

Hang Fire for Revised Guidance on Changes to VAT and Early Termination Payments

This blog is a follow-up to our recent blogs on HMRC’s controversial Changes to VAT and Early Termination Payments and VAT on Compensation in Intellectual Property Settlements. As previously noted, the retrospective nature of the changes and the consequential risk of having to unpick historic settlement payments raised a number of issues. This has now … Continue Reading

UK’s First Injunction Secured under Trade Secrets Regulations

US company Celgard, LLC has secured an interim injunction against its rival, Chinese company Shenzhen Senior Technology Material Co Ltd (“Senior”), that prevents Senior from importing or supplying its battery accessory products into the UK. The Court found there was a likelihood that Senior had misused Celgard’s confidential information and trade secrets, and that the … Continue Reading

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

Platform to Business Regulation – Now in Force

Since 12 July 2020, the Platform to Business Regulation has been directly applicable in the UK and all EU member states. However, with Brexit worries and the COVID-19 crisis having an ongoing impact on business in the digital sector, the new rules have passed many by. Now is the time to ensure compliance. The Regulation … 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
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