Want to be more circular? The legal risks of implementing circular economy business model innovations

The transition towards a circular economy is central to global sustainability objectives. National governments are also increasingly looking to regulate production processes in order to encourage the private sector to design out waste within their value chains. While related policy objectives and regulatory developments are abundant, the legal implications of this fundamental shift within production and consumption processes have faced little scrutiny to date. Our article, published in the August 2021 edition of PLC Magazine, sets out key legal considerations for businesses in the private sector that are engaged in the journey towards circularity, including the legal risks and consequences associated with the adoption of circular business models (including IP, know-how, collaboration, competition, supply chain and contractual risks). Read more

Views on an evolving automotive industry – The importance of a clear IP strategy

Our latest intellectual property related briefing in the HSF "Views on an evolving automotive industry" series, concentrates on the importance of a clear IP strategy for automotive sector businesses. It considers the necessary elements of a successful IP strategy and the heightened importance of such a strategy in the context of an industry where new systems and technologies are taking centre stage. Read more

EU Action Plan on IP – the challenge ahead

Herbert Smith Freehills' European IP team have had a feature article on the EU's IP Action Plan published in the April edition of PLC Magazine – see EU Action Plan on IP – the challenge ahead here. The article looks at the current challenges for the EU in relation to IP, its key focus areas and plans for future regulation and legislation, including: • The Unified Patent Court (UPC) • Supplementary Protection Certificates (SPCs) • Compulsory licensing • Standard Essential Patents (SEPs) • AI and emerging technologies • Counterfeiting • Designs • Geographical Indications • Data • The Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe Read more

High Court finds clause imposing harsh consequences for breach of term aimed at protecting IP rights was not an unenforceable penalty

In a recent decision, the High Court has found that a clause in a settlement agreement which was aimed at protecting a business’s IP rights was not penal, despite imposing “undoubtedly extremely harsh” consequences for breach of certain obligations in a settlement agreement. Under the clause, the relevant party would cease to receive any payment … Read more

Patent pending: the law on AI inventorship

Last year the UK High Court decided that an AI system cannot be named as inventor on a patent application within the meaning of the Patents Act 1977, simply because an AI is not a person – but with the UKIPO recently calling for views on AI inventorship, could a change in law be on … Read more

Enforcement of intellectual property rights across online platforms

Considering how to enforce your IP rights online and make maximum use of the take-down procedures? Read Victoria Horsey, Joanna Silver and Sabesh Asokan’s practical tips in their practice notes, recently updated and published in Practical Law: • Enforcement of intellectual property rights across online platforms: injunctions A checklist on the circumstances in which a … Read more

Views on an evolving automotive industry – standards and essential patents

In the latest edition of the HSF Automotive sector's series of articles looking at the evolution of the industry Andrew Moir, Ina vom Feld, Frédéric Chevallier, David Webb and Laura Adde of our London, Düsseldorf and Paris IP teams consider some of the key issues surrounding standard essential patents or SEPs for those in the sector. These include, in particular, how standards work, their role in the Automotive sector, how fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) licensing operates, and the risks of litigation and the varying approaches across Europe (in the UK, Germany and France in particular). Read more

The Trade and Cooperation Agreement and its impact on IP, Pharma and Medical Devices

The final Brexit agreement, the Trade and Cooperation Agreement was agreed between the UK and the EU on 24 December 2020. Within this agreement are provisions that set out the standards expected to be recognised (mutually) between the EU and the UK in relation to intellectual property (including SPCs and trade secrets). There are some provisions concerning pharmaceutical regulation and product standards, but overall there is a lack of mutual recognition, with the consequence that, for both pharmaceuticals and medical devices, there are now effectively two separate regimes for the EU and the UK. Read more