COVID-19: Pressure Points: A Catalyst for Collaboration (Global)

As COVID-19 infiltrates every aspect of our daily lives and the world races to respond and to address the pandemic, there is a consistent theme which offers all of us hope. Collaboration. To combat the outbreak, we have seen the emergence of large numbers of companies joining to pool their resources and to cross-share their valuable know-how. Read more

UK Government disables domain names and social media accounts involved in selling fake or unauthorised COVID-19 products

On Saturday (4 April 2020) the UK Government issued a press release on how the medicines and medical devices regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), is investigating the increasing number of bogus medical products being sold through unauthorised websites claiming to treat or prevent COVID-19 cases of fake or unlicensed COVID-19 medical … Read more

COVID Counterfeits – combating counterfeiting, product replacement, misleading advertising and cyber crime in the current crisis

Whilst as a global community we have witnessed extreme acts of kindness, compassion and camaraderie since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, regrettably, some have sought to exploit the crisis. From sales of counterfeits, mis-substitution of products and misleading advertising, to reverse engineering and cyber attacks, intellectual property (IP) rights holders are amongst the many … Read more

CJEU finds Amazon not liable for direct infringement by unwittingly stocking infringing goods being sold through its website

In a decision published today, the Court of Justice of the European Union has found that Amazon is not liable for unwittingly stocking trade mark infringing goods by third-party sellers (Coty v Amazon C-567/18). The decision means a rejection of the concept of extending liability of platforms, such as Amazon, for direct trade mark infringement … Read more

Herbert Smith Freehills’ IP Podcasts – Episode 4: Comparative Advertising

Advertising that makes a comparison with another party’s products or services needs to be considered carefully. In episode 4 of our IP podcast series, Joel Smith and Victoria Horsey provide a short summary of the laws which apply and review the options for challenging misleading and unlawful adverts in the UK. Listen and subscribe here: … Read more

Update on IP rights in the UK during the Brexit transition period and beyond

The UK has left the EU, but for IP rights in the UK everything is very much the same for the duration of the transition period (currently ending at 23.00 on 31 December 2020) during which the UK continues to be treated as part of the EU from the point of view of EU legislation. At the end of transition, the UK Government will provide replacement rights for what were previously EU-wide rights that were current at the end of transition, but all is not as straightforward as that might sound. Read more

OPEN INNOVATION & COLLABORATION: Triggering and managing innovation and collaboration & the IP, data and competition issues involved

Open Innovation: Forging innovation and collaboration In the first of a two-part series on open innovation, we explore how organisations can manage and benefit from the changing nature of innovation and collaboration. Open Innovation: IP, data and competition issues In part two, we look deeper into some specific issues that arise in the context of … Read more

Brexit & IP – status quo for the transition period; changes to come post-transition

From 23.00 on 31 January 2020, the UK will no longer a member state of the EU, although it will be treated as such for the duration of the transition period. From an IP point of view, the status quo will be maintained during the transition period (currently until the end of December 2020). Here we look at how the Withdrawal Agreement acts to preserve IP rights in the UK which were previously based on EU rights, and what changes are anticipated post-transition, as well as the aspirations of the Political Declaration. Read more

CJEU Decision in SkyKick offers relief to trade mark owners

The CJEU has today handed down a crucial decision as it seeks to provide clarification on important questions about the extent of the monopoly businesses can obtain legitimately through the registration of a trade mark. The CJEU held that a registered trade mark cannot be declared wholly or partly invalid as a result of a lack of clarity and precision of the terms used to designate the goods and services covered by that registration. Further, whilst invalidity on the ground of bad faith may be triggered where an applicant registers a mark without any intention to use it in relation to specified goods and services, bad faith will only be established in exceptional circumstances. This outcome is very helpful to existing trade mark proprietors and favours the existing status quo of the trade mark system. Read more