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

Sound Mark Registration Attempt Fizzles Out In EU General Court Appeal

In the first ruling on a sound mark submitted as an audio file (rather than a word description of the sound) the General Court dismissed the appeal from the EUIPO's rejection of the application for lack of distinctiveness whilst also clarifying the criteria for assessing the distinctive character of sound marks and the perception of those marks in general by consumers. Ardagh Metal Beverage Holdings v EUIPO (T-668/19) 7 July 2021. 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

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

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

Trust on a plate: consumer confidence and food safety

Consumer confidence in the origins and safety of the food they purchase and consume is a significant aspect of food brand protection and longevity. Maintaining that confidence involves the use of many different strategies, rights and regulatory controls at national and international level. In Trust on a plate: consumer confidence and food safety, the latest briefing in our Future of Consumer series, contributors Italy, Australia, the UK, China, Indonesia and across the EU cover food trust issues including geographical indications, labelling, supply chain transparency and food crime. Read more

The European Commission considers the future of health in Europe with new Pharmaceutical Strategy and Action Plan on IP

The European Commission has this week published a wide-ranging and ambitious Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe, and an Action Plan on Intellectual Property. Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe The new pharmaceutical strategy for Europe is a key pillar of the European Health Union, which President von der Leyen called for in her 2020 State of the Union … Read more