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

    EU Copyright Directive published in the EU Official Journal

    The Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market (the “Directive“) has been published in the EU Official Journal and enters into force on 7 June 2019. Member States then have 24 months, until 7 June 2021, to transpose the Directive into national laws. The Directive was supported by 19 Member States during its vote … 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

    Patent and Pharma Update – April 2019

    Key recent developments in the United Kingdom and Europe relating to patents and the pharmaceutical sector This issue reports on the recent UK Supreme Court decision in the tadalafil case, which foreshadows how English courts will probably respond to issues of obviousness arising from patents directed to dosage regimes going forward. We discuss the Court of Appeal’s … Read more

    The Court of Justice of the European Union holds that Supplementary Protection Certificates cannot be obtained for new formulations of previously approved active ingredients in Abraxis (Case C-443/17)

    In Abraxis Bioscience LLC v the Comptroller General of Patents (Case C-443/17) the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) held that Supplementary Protection Certificates (“SPCs”) cannot be obtained for new formulations of previously approved active ingredients. This limitation on the availability of SPCs will be disappointing to the pharmaceutical industry, which continues to … Read more