According to recent press reports, the German data protection authorities have agreed on a new way to calculate administrative fines under the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”). The new scoring model, which has not yet been officially published, could make fines of tens of millions of euros a reality in Germany. In contrast to their French and UK counterparts, Germany’s data protection authorities have so far been more restrictive in imposing GDPR fines. Continue Reading German Data Protection Authorities Agree on New GDPR Fining Model

On 29 July 2019, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled on the copyright implications of sampling in music and established criteria as to when sampling falls within the scope of artistic freedom. Sampling is taking a portion of a sound recording and reusing it in a different song. The case was brought before the CJEU following a two-decades-long legal dispute between German electro-pop band Kraftwerk and German producer Moses Pelham. Continue Reading Court of Justice of the EU Rules on Copyright Implications of Sampling in Music

On 2 January 2018, the Standardization Administration of China (“SAC”) released the final draft of “Information Technology – Personal Information Security Specification” (National Standard GB/T 35273-2017) (GB/T 35273-2017 信息安全技 术个人信息安全规范) (“Specification”). The Specification came into effect on 1 May 2018. The Specification sets out the recommended practices on personal information protection. Although the Specification is not legally binding, compliance is expected by the PRC authorities and may be taken into account when assessing a company’s compliance with related laws (e.g. China’s Cybersecurity Law). Continue Reading Safe As Houses – The PRC Issues Revised Draft of the Personal Information Security Specification

In the world of intellectual property rights, there are cracks the law doesn’t reach—areas that do not sit squarely within copyright, patent, or trade secret law. Data is one of those areas. To protect their investments in data, businesses must mortar over the gaps. As part of our Technology Transactions Webinar Series, we will discuss the trowels for the job. The webinar will take place on Tuesday, July 23, 2019, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. EDT. Continue Reading Webinar Series: IP Rights for Data—Mortaring Over the Cracks

In its second statement of intent of the week, on 9 July 2019, the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) announced its intention to fine Marriott International, Inc (“Marriott”) £99.2m under the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) for a personal data breach that occurred in relation to the Starwood guest reservation database system. Continue Reading UK ICO Intends to Fine Marriott over £99m for Personal Data Breach under the GDPR

The revised Trade Mark Law was enacted in 2014 to much fanfare, as it included important new provisions targeting bad faith applications by trade mark hijackers, a recurring problem that has plagued brand owners in China. Unfortunately, in the 5 years since the enactment, the new provisions have done little to reduce trade mark hijacking activity and the onus has remained with brand owners to oppose or invalidate hijacked marks. Continue Reading New Measures to Target Bad Faith Trade Mark Applications in China

The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) today (8 July 2019) announced its intention to fine British Airways (“BA”) £183.39m under the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) for a personal data breach. This is the highest fine issued so far by a European Union data protection supervisory authority for a personal data breach under the GDPR. Continue Reading British Airways Fined over £183m for Personal Data Breach Under the GDPR

On June 24, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the prohibition against registering immoral or scandalous trademarks, holding that the ban against such trademarks violates the First Amendment by discriminating on the basis of viewpoint. In a 6-3 vote, the Justices, in an opinion written by Justice Kagan, explained their decision to invalidate the Lanham Act’s prohibitions on registrations that “[c]onsist of or comprise immoral … scandalous matter” (15 U.S.C. § 1052(a)), stating that “[t]he government may not discriminate against speech based on the ideas or opinions it conveys.” Continue Reading U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down Ban on Immoral or Scandalous Trademark Registrations

On 4 June 2019, the German Federal Court of Justice upheld a ruling by the German Federal Patent Court in which the latter court denied an application for a compulsory license under a patent related to the treatment of cholesterol-related disorders (Case X ZB 2/19). This decision is in line with previous German jurisprudence that has, with a few exceptions, been restrictive to grant compulsory licenses. Continue Reading German Federal Court of Justice Denies Compulsory License on Anti-Cholesterol Drug Patent

After the EU Copyright Directive was passed by the EU Parliament last month (see our original blog post for further details), it was formally approved by the Council of the European Union on April 15, 2019. Nineteen EU member states, including Germany, France and the UK, voted in favor. Six member states – namely Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden – voted against the Directive, while three countries abstained from the vote. Continue Reading Council of the EU Formally Adopts EU Copyright Directive