UK Online Safety Act Becomes Law

The often-controversial UK Online Safety Act (the OSA) has finally become law after receiving Royal Assent yesterday, heralding the end of the era of largely self-regulation for user generated content by technology platforms, whether large or small.

The OSA will impose new duties on all providers who host “user generated content” (i.e. services which allow users to post their own content and/or to interact with other users) and internet search engines. The OSA has extraterritorial effect meaning it applies not only to providers based in the UK but also to any overseas providers of services which have a significant number of UK users (or the UK is a target market for their service) and any such services which are capable of access by individuals in the UK and have a material risk of significant harm to individuals in the UK.

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Federal Policymakers: Chasing the Runaway AI Train

The U.S. is generally viewed as “behind” in its regulation of AI compared to the European Union and Asian countries. Yet ChatGPT’s release triggered a tsunami of U.S. legislation in 2023 from federal and state legislators seeking to address perceived concerns with the emerging and fast evolving technology. State legislatures have introduced nearly 200 AI bills in 2023. Congress does not have nearly that number of AI bills, with about 30 bills tabled thus far. The various pieces of U.S. legislation – federal or state – seek to regulate both the creation of AI models and how those models may be used.

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Did the Supreme Court Rule that the Copyright Act Bars Damages for Old Infringement – Or Was It Just Sloppy Drafting? 

Columns - U.S. Supreme Court

It seems the Supreme Court will decide (again) whether a claim for copyright infringement can extend to infringement that occurred more than three years before filing suit. In Warner Chappell Music, Inc. v. Nealy, the Supreme Court will resolve a classic circuit split – the Second Circuit holding that no damages can be obtained for acts of infringement older than three years, and the Ninth and Eleventh Circuits holding that a plaintiff can recover all of its damages if it commences litigation within three years of discovery.

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The Year of AI Continues: U.S. Copyright Office Wants Your Thoughts on the Potential Regulatory Framework for AI

2023 has been a watershed year for AI with its entry into the broader public consciousness. AI has been front and center in the legal space as well, as this blog has detailed here and here. Now, the U.S. Copyright Office (USCO) is seeking public comments on the various legal, technical and policy issues raised by AI systems. The USCO is doing this with an eye toward possible changes or clarifications on what is copyrightable in this realm and to fulfill its functions of advising Congress and serving as a public resource on copyright law matters. In this post, we will provide more information about this USCO initiative and some preliminary thoughts on its implications for the copyrightability of AI-generated works in the future.

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SPB’s Paolo Beconcini to Speak at Let’s Take Stock: The Evolution of Counterfeiting in Asia and the Importance of Intelligence and Intelligent Strategies

Red Stamp - Counterfeit on asphalt road

Our colleague and leader of the firm’s China Intellectual Property team Paolo Beconcini will be speaking at the upcoming INDICAM event Let’s Take Stock: The Evolution of Counterfeiting In Asia and The Importance of Intelligence and Intelligent Strategies

Paolo will discuss how to protect your IP in China, sharing insights on the new trademark law proposal, as well as current counterfeiting trends and strategies for how to combat them. The in-person event will take place in Milan on October 12; details and registration are available here. The event follows a recent podcast on which Paolo spoke for the organization, covering brand protection in China and the status of counterfeiting — worth checking out here.

Proposed Amendments to FRCP 26 Should Streamline Discovery

On August 15, 2023, the Committee published proposed amendments to Rules 16 and 26 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (“Rules”). The amendments are designed to require that parties address and agree on discovery issues regarding privilege and work product protections at the Rule 26(f) Conference. This is a welcome change that should both streamline the discovery process and reduce the cost of discovery obligations.

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Podcast: SPB’s Paolo Beconcini Covers Global Counterfeiting and the Importance of Protecting Your Brand in China

Counterfeiting is a global problem that affects a wide variety of entrepreneurs and innovators – from small businesses to global corporations.  Action in China can be an important tool for combating these problems.  Head of the firm’s China Intellectual Property team, Paolo Beconcini covers the complex challenges of fighting global counterfeiting for INDICAM (Italian Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property), with focus on the “offline” counterfeiting issues in China. Paolo shares his first-hand experience with raids and enforcement in China over the years and how brands can find the right strategy to enforce their brand in China. Check out the full discussion here.   

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U.S. Outbound Investment Restrictions and Notification Requirements Mandated by Executive Order: Currently Limited to Certain Investments in China Tech

USA and China

U.S. businesses and investors may be subject to new compliance requirements for outbound investments in certain technology sectors pursuant to U.S. President Joe Biden’s Executive Order (“EO”), titled “Addressing United States Investments in Certain National Security Technologies and Products in Countries of Concerns,” and the corresponding the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“ANPRM”) issued by the Treasury Department.  Our colleagues at our sister blog The Trade Practitioner recently posted on this topic here and we wanted to take a moment and call this to your attention.

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Patent Linkage Litigation in China: A Two-Year Review

On June 1, 2021, the Fourth Amendment to the Chinese Patent Law became effective. An important part of the amendment is the introduction by Article 76 of the patent linkage system in China – a system for litigation of drug patents prior to market entry of generics, similar to that provided by the Hatch Waxman Act in the US. On July 4, 2021, the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) of China and the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) jointly issued the Measures for the Implementation of Early Resolution Mechanisms for Drug Patent Disputes (“Measures”), which provide more details on how litigations are handled under the patent linkage framework.

How has this new legislation impacted foreign patent holders? Has the Chinese Patent linkage framework worked as designed? On occasion of the second year’s anniversary of the Chinese patent linkage we will try to answer the above questions.

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A New China Trademark Trojan Horse: Hold Registered Trademarks Ransom by the Filing of Bogus Non-Use Cancellations

The recent draft amendment of the Chinese trademark law seems to finally zero in on trademark squatters, as described in my previous blog here). The new regulations, if approved as drafted, will make it more difficult for squatters to steal others’ trademark by abusing the first-to-file system in force in China. This could be a historical turning point in China’s fight against trademark theft, a plague that has negatively affected many foreign right holders more or less famous in the past twenty years. Even before the draft amendment, the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) had already started loosening evidence and administration standards to favor oppositions and invalidations proceedings filed by victims of trademark theft. However, squatters have taken notice of all this. Ever resourceful and ready to exploit as much as possible any possible legal loopholes, they have devised new ways to hold right holders’ trademarks ransom and thus gain illicit profit. One of the most recent trends is attacking trademark holders with non-use cancellations.

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