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

Federal Circuit Allows Service by Alternative Means Under Rule 4(f)(3) in Patent Cases

Serving a district court complaint for patent infringement on a foreign defendant usually requires compliance with the Hague Convention on Service. A recent Federal Circuit decision, however, endorses alternative options under Federal Rule 4(f)(3) that could significantly simplify the process for plaintiffs and make it more difficult for foreign defendants to avoid service and delay participation in patent litigation in the United States. Continue Reading

The Covid Conundrum – CMA Closes its Investigation into Covid Consumer Refund Rights

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has today announced it is closing its investigation into the refusal of British Airways and Ryanair to provide refunds to consumers who were unable to travel on previously booked flights as a result of Covid lockdown restrictions due to uncertainty in the underlying law. Continue Reading

UK Regulators Show Unjustified Green Claims in Advertising the Red Light

Certified Organic logo“Green”, “organic”, “eco-friendly”, “recyclable”, “natural”. These are just a few ‘green claims’ that consumers are increasingly used to seeing on the products and services they buy. However, how accurate are these claims and are organisations using them correctly?

UK regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), has now published the Green Claims Code to help businesses understand their obligations under consumer protection law. It contains key principles, which require that all green claims must be truthful, accurate, clear, unambiguous and substantiated. Further, the CMA prohibits claims that omit or hide important information, and requires advertisers to consider the whole life cycle of their products and services when making environmental claims. Continue Reading

ITC Section 337: Tips for Avoiding Discretionary Denials at the PTAB

patent and related wordsWe previously wrote that a co-pending ITC Section 337 investigation virtually guarantees that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) will exercise its discretionary power to deny institution under 35 U.S.C. §§ 314(a) and 324(a) when considering a petition for inter partes review (IPR) or post-grant review (PGR). See ITC Section 337: Kiss of Death for PTAB Proceedings. Below, we provide several tips for petitioners faced with a real or imminent parallel proceeding at the ITC to avoid a discretionary denial at the PTAB. Continue Reading

The Proposed New EU Regulatory Regime for Artificial Intelligence (AI)

In April 2021, the EU Commission (EC) proposed a suite of new legislative and non-legislative proposals related to artificial intelligence: in a proposed Regulation laying down rules on Artificial Intelligence (“Artificial Intelligence Act – AIA”), the EC attempts the first-ever comprehensive legal framework for this highly debated and fast-developing family of technologies. As summarized below, and as set forth in more detail in our recent article, we identify key policy considerations and proposed new restrictions, risk-classifications and related obligations for AI providers and users stemming from this landmark proposal. Continue Reading

Plaintiffs Beware – Disclose all Evidence of Lost Profits Damages During Discovery

In a patent infringement lawsuit, a plaintiff often seeks to recover lost profits damages—the profits that the patent owner would have made but for the competitor’s alleged infringement—instead of a lower reasonable royalty. A plaintiff is not automatically entitled to such damages, though, even upon a finding of infringement. Rather, the patent owner must prove its entitlement to lost profits damages. A recent decision from the District of Delaware is a salient reminder that this burden may be particularly hard to meet in cases where multiple related entities are collectively seeking lost profits damages. As explained below, parent/subsidiary plaintiffs should beware when one entity is the patent owner and the other entity sells the item on which the lost profits are based. Continue Reading

The Pandemic Isn’t Over, Nor is the USPTO’s Fast Track Program for COVID-Related Inventions

On September 3, 2021, the US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) will announce that it is modifying the COVID-19 Prioritized Examination Pilot Program to accept an unlimited number of applications until December 31, 2021. Continue Reading