Regulatory reform for software-based consumer health products – new regulations provide clarity but can they keep up with the technology?

Mobile health apps and devices are everywhere (“mHealth”), with Australians now the biggest consumers of health apps per capita. The TGA recently released a suite of reforms on software-based medical devices and consumer health products to better address this area. But what are the impacts on developers, and will the regulations be “future proof” as … 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

Change ahead? UKIPO publishes outcome of AI consultation and considers legislative reform

In September 2020 we reported that the UK Intellectual Property Office (‘UKIPO’) had launched a call for views on the relationship between artificial intelligence (‘AI’) and intellectual property rights. The outcome of that consultation has now been published. We summarise the key takeaways below. Key findings The majority of respondents agreed that: the law in … 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

Challenges to German ratification of the UPC Agreement trigger delay but possibly not for long

After the German Parliament's upper house, the Bundesrat, passed the legislation to allow Germany to ratify the UPC Agreement (UPCA), there have been two challenges filed before the German Constitutional Court.  As a result, according to information from the Federal President’s office, he has been asked to delay his signature, which is required in order for the legislation to enter into force. This time the challenges include interim injunction applications, but we expect that if these are rejected, Germany will deposit its ratification of the Protocol on Provisional Application of the UPCA and not await the full decision. Read more