The Brexit and Patent Law: What You Need to Know

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Now that some time has passed since the Brexit vote, some of the ways in which the vote is likely to impact British patent law are becoming clearer. Here is a quick summary of some of the primary concerns.

The UK Patents Act of 1977

The Brexit will not have direct impact the UK Patents Act of 1977, as that is a national patent statute, even though it was enacted after the UK joined the EU in 1973. The portions of the Patent Act creating the Unitary Patent of the EU are administrative, and not substantive. However, Supplementary Protection Certificates (SPC), a creation of the EU, would no longer exist in their current form. Additionally, the compulsory licensing laws created by the EU would no longer exist in the UK. It is possible that British pharmaceutical companies will press for a replacement SPC statute, as they benefit from it. It is less likely that there will be a strong push for new compulsory license laws in the UK. Continue reading this entry

$3 Million Spoliation Sanction Despite Company’s Litigation Hold

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Manufacturers involved in litigation must properly preserve electronically-stored information (“ESI”) or potentially face daunting sanctions. A recent antitrust case, however, demonstrates that lessons—multi-million dollar lessons—remain to be learned about how to satisfy the duty to preserve evidence. The Delaware federal court clearly delivered this message by imposing a $3 million sanction, plus associated fees and costs, for a company’s failure to stop a senior executive from deleting potentially responsive ESI. Continue reading this entry

Drone Regulations: Federal vs. State

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In early 2016 a group of well-meaning Wisconsin legislators introduced legislation designed to allow local municipalities to regulate the use of drones in their given communities and to create a penalty enhancer for crimes committed when using a drone. Our Wisconsin Public Affairs team was hired by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) to engage with legislators and forestall any action at the state level in favor of federal regulation. As explained below, federal regulation, rather than at the state or local level, may be better for manufacturers. Continue reading this entry

Potential Issues for Employers After Brexit (With No Clear Answers Yet)

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The voters in Great Britain caught the world off guard by voting to leave the European Union (EU) after over 40 years of membership. However, after the vote, the questions immediately started. Leaving the EU is governed by a treaty and terms of the “Brexit” will be negotiated between Great Britain and the EU in the next two years. Some of these terms are likely to have significant impacts on the British and European labor force, which employers will need to monitor and take steps to address. Continue reading this entry

Employee Error Accounts for Most Security Breaches

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A recent study by a well-known information security company captures one of the most common information security fallacies: that information security is a technology problem. Most manufacturers, along with many other businesses, view mitigating information security risks as falling squarely in the purview of their information technology department. However, this study reports that human error actually accounted for nearly two-thirds of security compromises, far exceeding causes like insecure websites and hacking. While technological measures (e.g., anti-virus software, access controls, firewalls, and intrusion detection systems) are clearly important, their effectiveness pales in comparison to the benefits gained by effective security awareness training. Continue reading this entry