On 28 January 2020, the European Patent Office (EPO) published its reasons for two recent decisions refusing two European patent applications in which a machine named DABUS—”a type of connectionist artificial intelligence”—was designated as the inventor. The applicant had argued that the machine should be recognized as the inventor and that he, as the owner of the machine, was an assignee of any IP rights created by his machine.
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Responding to a written question put to the UK Parliament on 21 January 2020, Government Minister Chris Skidmore stated that the UK has no plans to implement the controversial new EU Copyright Directive following the UK’s exit from the European Union. Entering into force in June 2019, EU countries have been given until June 2021

Brexit is finally here. The United Kingdom leaves the European Union on 31 January 2020. The EU and the UK will now enter a transition period which is scheduled to last until 31 December 2020. During this time, the UK will continue to abide by the EU laws, be subject to the rulings of EU courts, and contribute to the EU budget. Hence, the status quo will essentially remain unchanged during the transition period. The aim of the transition period is to provide enough time for the final wave of negotiations between the UK and EU to
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In addition to obvious examples of original art such as paintings, music and poetry, copyright protection can, inter alia, also extend to nonfictional literature such as technical reports and expert opinions. In several cases, the District Court and the Higher District Court of Cologne as well as the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) confirmed that even scientific expert opinions or military mission reports which merely reproduce facts or findings can be subject to copyright protection.
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On 1 October 2019, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled on a number of questions which, inter alia, relate to the validity of consent to cookies “by way of a pre-checked checkbox” (Case C 673/17). Although the questions referred to the CJEU primarily related to provisions of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive (2002/58/EG), the CJEU stated that the questions  must be answered also in regard to the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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