The Unified Patent Court (UPC) – another step forward – provisional application period close to commencing

Germany's deposit of its ratification of the UPC protocol on provisional application on 27 September, 2021, and suggestions that Slovenia and Austria may also ratify shortly, mean that the provisional application period during which the practical arrangements for the UPC will be put in place, which this protocol (once sufficiently ratified) will usher in, now looks likely to commence before the end of 2021 and possibly even as soon as October. If so, the UPC could start to function fully from mid-2022, as has been suggested by the UPC Preparatory Committee. Read more

Revolution or evolution? Tech Disputes podcast series – Episode 3: Software audit disputes and data licensing disputes

In episode 3 of our Tech Disputes podcast series Revolution or evolution?, we take a look at software audit disputes and data licensing disputes and the way in which these disputes can unfold, including the different approaches and levers each side can look to employ in a contentious audit situation. We also look at the practical steps customers can take in order to avoid over deployment risks in the first place, both at the contracting stage, and during the contract life cycle. Read more

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

The Unwired Planet case – a year on

Last year the UK Supreme Court upheld Mr Justice Birss’ now famous decision in the Unwired Planet case. The Supreme Court’s decision has cemented the UK’s position as a key jurisdiction for FRAND disputes to be decided and opened the door for many more such cases to be heard in the UK. In an article … 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

UK IPO Consultation on the UK’s future exhaustion of IP rights regime

The UK Intellectual Property Office has published a consultation on the UK's exhaustion of intellectual property rights regime and what changes might be appropriate post-Brexit, including how such changes should be implemented. The consultation runs for 12 weeks until 31 August 2021. Here we outline the principles behind the different types of exhaustion regime, and summarise the options proposed by the consultation, highlighting the issues associated with each. 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

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