Articles

Articles

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When does an employee own inventions? High Court clarifies the changing nature of "normal duties"

The Intellectual Property Enterprise Court, part of the High Court, recently gave guidance on the circumstances in which an employee will own patentable ideas created during their employment. [i] This is a key issue for businesses wishing to prevent...

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Misapplication of positive action principles in recruitment may cause direct discrimination

A white, male, heterosexual applicant has won his tribunal claim for direct discrimination against Cheshire Police because they had taken unjustified positive action in preferring applicants with protected characteristics. Positive Action UK equality...

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Company decision making: avoiding slips and trips

Shareholders in private limited companies commonly take decisions by written resolution rather than at a meeting.  On its face, a written resolution is a simple and convenient method of shareholder decision making.  The written resolution is passed...

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ECJ rules employers must accurately measure daily working time

The European Court of Justice has ruled that, in order to comply with EU legislation, member states must require employers to establish systems enabling workers’ daily working time to be measured. This goes far beyond current obligations on employers...

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Decision to withdraw offer of overseas posting did not amount to disability discrimination

In the recent case of Owen v AMEC Foster Wheeler Energy , the Court of Appeal held that an employer’s decision to withdraw the offer of an overseas posting on medical grounds did not amount to disability discrimination.   Background Mr Owen...

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Removal of Swedish Derogation from 6 April 2020

From 6 April 2020, the Swedish derogation (under which agencies can currently avoid paying agency workers the same rate of pay as comparable permanent workers, provided the workers are paid between assignments) will be abolished. This means that all agency...

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What happens to arrears of equal pay on an employer's insolvency?

In the case of Graysons Restaurants Ltd v Jones and others the Court of Appeal held that a claim for equal pay, which had not been determined when the employer became insolvent, could constitute “arrears of pay”, allowing the Claimants to claim...

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No discrimination in Paying Only Statutory Shared Parental Pay

Employers frequently pay enhanced maternity pay as part of their employee benefit package. However, it is not uncommon for employers to pay only statutory minimum Shared Parental Pay (ShPP). A debate arose as to whether an employer who pays enhanced...

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I want my LTV: fluctuating asset values and their impact on the loan to value financial covenant in real estate finance transactions

Many borrowers are or may be finding themselves in dire straits because of downward pressure on operating profit, reduced rental income streams and/or declining asset values. This may be particularly acute for borrowers who have financed real estate assets,...

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Prochlorperazine - the latest CMA competition development

On the 23 May 2019 the CMA issued a ‘Statement of Objections’ to four pharmaceutical companies - Alliance Pharmaceuticals, Focus, Lexon and Medreich alleging anti-competitive agreements in breach of competition law.   The CMA alleges that...

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English High Court denies Abbott preliminary injunction for mitral regurgitation device

The assumption in life sciences cases often is that a preliminary injunction pending trial will be granted if the alleged infringer intends to launch ‘at risk’ – i.e. without invalidating the patent first. In this case, however, the patent...

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SPC manufacturing waiver supports generics

EU manufacturers of generics and biosimilars have welcomed a new regulation allowing such products to be manufactured without the consent of the Supplementary Protection Certificate (SPC) holder in some circumstances. The waiver allows manufacture of...

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Just don't do it? European Commission fines Nike 12.5 million euros for restricting cross-border sales of merchandising products

Background Nike, Inc. (“Nike”) is well known for its core business of designing athletic footwear, apparel and sports equipment, which generally feature its name or iconic ‘Swoosh’ mark. However, it is for its role in selling...

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Third Commission fine for Google, this time for allegedly breaching EU competition rules in online advertising

Background In March this year, the European Commission (the “Commission”) fined Google €1.49 billion for allegedly breaching EU competition rules in online advertising. The fine is the third levied against the company following two earlier...

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Bad leaver provisions not unconscionable or a penalty

In the recent case of E Nosworthy v Instinctif Partners Ltd the Employment Appeal Tribunal has highlighted that “bad leaver” provisions that required an employee who voluntarily resigned her employment to forfeit shares and loan notes were not...

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Smaller quoted companies: a practical guide for audit committees from the FRC/ICAEW

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales have published a new guide .  It aims to improve the quality of financial reporting for smaller listed and AIM quoted companies, having identified...

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Interview with Marion Bernard and Ted Wong, The Firmament Group

Over mid-morning coffee at The Wolseley, Jonathan Porteous and Matthew Padian recently interviewed Marion Bernard and Ted Wong of The Firmament Group. Marion has spent time previously working for Barclays Bank plc, 3i plc, NorthStar Ventures and more...

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Objective causal connection required to establish a claim of discrimination arising from disability

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (“EAT”) has confirmed in its decision in iForce Ltd v Wood that a warning issued to a disabled employee because of her refusal to comply with an instruction to move workstations did not constitute discrimination...

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Copyright in designs

A recent opinion by Advocate General Szpunar proposes that full copyright protection should apply to fashion designs and other works of applied art and design, provided that they comply with the – relatively low – standard of originality for...

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Bad faith - you know it's not genuine but how do you prove it?

Two recent cases about trade marks applied for in bad faith illustrate how the courts approach such applications. An application for a UK trade mark may be rejected at the application stage if it is shown to have been made in ‘bad faith’; if...

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Guidance on jurisdiction in online trade mark infringement cases

Joanna Adcock considers a recent opinion by the Advocate General about whether the brand owner can sue in the Member State at which a website is targeted. Advocate General Szpunar has given an opinion in the matter of AMS Neve Ltd & Others –v-...

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Resale of branded products - when can the trade mark owner intervene?

Once a branded product has been put on the European market with the trade mark owner’s consent, EU rules on the free movement of goods kick in to allow the product to circulate freely throughout the European Economic Area without any further consent...

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The Digital Copyright Directive - a short Q&A

What is it and why is it grabbing the headlines? The latest copyright legislation to come out of Brussels – it provoked furious lobbying during its passage through the European Parliament, pitting the interests of content owners against those wishing...

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New UK regulations: transferring personal data from the UK to the US post-Brexit

The Data Protection, Privacy and Electronic Communications (Amendments etc.) (EU Exit) (No. 2) Regulations 2019 (the “Regulations”), concerning the transfer of personal data from the UK to the US under the Privacy Shield in a no-deal Brexit...

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EDPB's draft guidelines: narrow interpretation of the 'contractual legal basis' for processing personal data in relation to online services

The European Data Protection Board (the “EDPB”) has published draft guidelines concerning the scope and application of the contractual legal basis for processing personal data under Article 6(1)(b) of the General Data Protection Regulation (the...

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Company law reform: Changes are on the horizon

On 5 May 2019, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) published a consultation on proposals to reform company law. The proposal covers a wide range of measures which, if implemented, would see significant operational and...

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Cambridge Analytica: court issues guidance on administrators' role, duties and powers

In the recent case of Green v SCL Group Ltd and others [2019] EWHC 954 (Ch) , the High Court considered whether to appoint the incumbent administrators of the Cambridge Analytica companies as liquidators, where objections to their conduct were raised by a...

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Supreme Court finds that routine is the enemy of inventiveness for dosage regimes

It is established that an inventive new dosage regime can merit a patent, and such regimes may be the product of extensive and expensive research. However, as indicated by Lord Justice Jacob in the leading case of Actavis v Merck [i] , in practice most...

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CMA blocks proposed merger between Sainsbury's and Asda

On 25 April, the Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) blocked the proposed merger between J Sainsbury plc (“Sainsbury’s”) and Asda Group Limited (“Asda”). Under the proposed merger announced on 30 April last...

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Welcome clarity provided on data processing in clinical trials

There has been much industry debate around the most appropriate legal basis for the processing of personal data in connection with clinical trials, in light of the GDPR and the Clinical Trials Regulation (CTR).  National ethics committees and regulatory...

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