New German Trade Secrets Act Enacted

With the release of Federal Law Gazette dated 25 April 2019, the new Trade Secrets Protection Act (Gesetz zum Schutz von Geschäftsgeheimnissen – GeschGehG) came into force in Germany. The Act implements the EU Trade Secrets Directive (EU 2016/943) with a delay of nearly one year after the expiry of the time-limit for transposition the Directive into national law. The reasons for this delay were, inter alia, significant political controversy between the German political parties upon the scope of protection with regard to whistleblowers, employees and journalists.The necessity for the transposition of this European law into domestic law was a good opportunity for the German legislator to comprehensively reorganise the German system of trade secret protection. Previously, the protection of trade and business secrets had been provided for in several areas of law: tort, criminal and unfair competition law, without a comprehensive and coherent approach. Now, following implementation of the Directive, there is only one code to protect trade secrets, containing civil, as well as criminal law provisions. Read more

Challenges for the Consumer sector – transformative technology

HSF's Consumer sector team (including Joel Smith, Victoria Horsey, Sarah Burke and Rachel Montagnon, from our IP group) have just a feature article published in June's PLC Magazine on Challenges in the Consumer Sector.This is the first in a series of three articles examining the current issues facing the sector.The article examines the impact of transformative technology and looks in particular at AI, AR & VR (including IP aspects), data commercialisation, Internet of Things, contextual commerce, data privacy, cyber security, targeted advertising, and on-line infringement of IP rights.For more on these and other issues affecting the Consumer sector see our Future of Consumer hub. Read more

Data Assets – Protecting and Driving Value in a Digital Age

Faced with the exponential rise of data as an asset class in its own right, organisations are now taking a fresh look at the data that are available or accessible to them and the ways in which the value of those data can be safeguarded, unlocked and maximised. Data have become a strategic and valuable asset for many organisations but protecting and exploiting that asset is not always simple.Our feature article, published in May's edition of PLC Magazine and linked in this post, considers data as an asset, how intellectual property rights can be employed to protect data, how data can be used effectively and how to minimise associated legal risks. Read more

Political agreement reached on controversial EU Digital Copyright Directive: A fair and balanced result?

Following a turbulent course of lengthy negotiations and delays, political agreement was finally reached by the European Commission, European Parliament and the Council of the EU on the revised proposal of the EU Copyright Directive (the “Directive“) earlier this month. The final consolidated text was made available on 20 February 2019. The Commission first adopted … Read more

Herbert Smith Freehills’ Brexit Legal Guide updated – comparison of IP and pharma provisions in the draft Withdrawal Agreement versus the No Deal provisions promised by the UK Government

See the updated IP section of the revised Herbert Smith Freehills Brexit Legal Guide which reviews the IP and pharma elements of the draft Withdrawal Agreement endorsed by the EU Council on 25 November 2018 and the no deal provisions as set out by the UK Government in its technical notices and draft SIs issued towards … Read more