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US eBulletin: patents, data protection and gender stereotypes

12 December 2017

Welcome to the winter edition of our US eBulletin, where we take a look at patent infringement, data protection, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and gender stereotyping.

UK Supreme Court broadens scope of patent infringement for ‘equivalents’

The UK is one of the key jurisdictions for patent disputes in Europe and its specialist patents judges are highly experienced. So it may be hard to believe that key concepts of patent infringement in the UK, under our Patents Act 1977, are still being worked out. But in Actavis –v- Eli Lilly, Lord Neuberger, giving one of his last judgments before retirement from the Supreme Court, has overturned established principles, making the English Patents Court more attractive for claimants.

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New Data Protection Bill – Statement of Intent

Details of the new Data Protection Bill were announced on 7 August 2017, which it is promised will replicate in domestic law the entirety of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), due to take effect on 25 May 2018.

The Government promises the Bill will “strengthen individuals’ rights” to control their personal information and “protect people’s privacy”, notably providing a “right to be forgotten” for users which will allow them to request social media companies to delete stale information, especially those posted by a child, subject to “very narrow exemptions.” All of this is already contained in the GDPR so there are no surprises here.

While the proposals promise to mirror the GDPR fully, there is some important insight into the Government’s intentions regarding the derogations permitted under the GDPR which are to be included in the new Bill.

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Gender stereotyping report published

Adverts depicting mothers being left to clean up a family mess alone or hapless men failing to perform household tasks are soon to be confined to the past following the publication of the Advertising Standard Authority’s (ASA) report on gender stereotyping.

In ‘Depictions, Perceptions and Harm,’ the ASA examines gender stereotyping across several areas, and provides evidence that by reinforcing harmful stereotypes, advertising can negatively affect how people see themselves and others, and affect people’s life choices.

The report recommends that a ‘tougher line’ should be taken on all types of gender stereotyping in ads, and paves the way for new regulations dealing with the issue to come into force by 2018.

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Strengthening our Family law offering with new team hire

We’re delighted to have expanded our Family law team, who joined our existing team in April.

Partners Catherine Bedford, Nicholas Westley and Mark Irving, together with their associates, have significantly enhanced the Firm’s existing Family team and further strengthened our Private Capital offering.

Catherine, who founded the Family group at Lee & Thompson, has recently been ranked in the ‘Top 10 Family Lawyers’ by Spears. She heads up the enlarged Family team at Harbottle & Lewis.

The team will continue to offer a premium service for individuals experiencing issues arising from relationship breakdown and relating to the care of children.

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Proud sponsors of Indielab 2018

We’re proud to be sponsoring Indielab, an annual business-growth programme for independent TV production companies, for a second year running.

The programme will offer 15 up-and-coming production companies a tailored consulting process designed by the sector for the sector. It is crafted to provide cross-sector support, with each indie receiving specialist training from more than 50 industry leaders. Then, if relevant, the participating companies are put forward to pitch to a network of industry investors.

Partners Colin Howes and Sarah Lazarides will share their in-depth industry knowledge as part of the high-level briefing sessions.

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Contact

For further information on the content of this newsletter, please contact Neil Adleman, Jonathan Berger, Colin Howes or Andy Millmore.

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