Knowledge Notes

UK Knowledge Collection | UK confirms new digital regulation, employment issues in a downturn, and AI and net zero

Published on 25th Nov 2022

Welcome to this week's Knowledge Collection - a round-up of the latest insights and events from Osborne Clarke

Amid the headline announcements in the UK chancellor's autumn statement came confirmation that the government will introduce legislation to increase protection for digital consumers from fake reviews and "subscription traps" and to tackle anti-competitive practices. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will be given new powers, with the Digital Markets Unit likely to be put on a statutory footing. The new legislation will allow the unit to impose conduct requirements on firms that it designates as having "strategic market status". The measures follow similar initiatives in the EU (with its Digital Markets Act coming into force on 1 November).

The autumn statement and the current challenging economic climate also have a number of implications for employers, including the impact on employee wellbeing programmes and the risks around certain cost-saving measures. The prospect of a serious economic downturn is a concern for all businesses, and companies providing workforce solutions are likely to be particularly affected by hiring freezes and reduced revenues. We look at the employee incentives that can be utilised to manage the risk of key staff leaving in unsettled times.

The position for brand owners seeking to challenge EU trade marks has become uncertain following a surprising decision by the EU's General Court, that conflicts with earlier cases on the effect of Brexit on marks filed before the end of the transition period. This latest decision means that UK evidence – even if it preceded Brexit – is not admissible in EU Intellectual Property Office proceedings. It is hoped that the Court of Justice of the EU will provide clarity as appeals on earlier cases reach it.

Next week, our compliance webinar series examines the impact of Brexit on the UK regulatory framework surrounding medical devices, and our webinar on UK business immigration focuses on how to prepare for sponsor licence audits.

With the COP27 conference concluded, we assess the relationship between artificial intelligence (AI) and net zero and how AI can help businesses achieve energy efficiency. Our webinar in December considers the direction of travel for the regulation of connected devices and the Internet of Things, and the impact of the increasing compliance burden on developers.


Insights

General Court finds UK evidence not admissible post-Brexit in EUIPO proceedings

A recent decision by the EU General Court concluded that the requirements for challenging an EUTM must be satisfied at both its filing date and at the time of the EUIPO decision (contrary to recent, previous General Court decisions).

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How the interface between AI and net zero is shaping up in the UK and beyond

How can businesses resolve the tension between using AI to promote more efficient use of energy and AI's high energy usage?

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UK Employment Law Coffee Break

This week's edition of our update for employers looks in detail at the autumn statement, a recent Scottish case on redundancy selection criteria, and more.

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Incentive arrangements can help keep and attract staff in a UK downturn

Is now a good moment for workforce solutions companies to reconsider employee incentives as a recession looms?

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UK to legislate to empower Digital Markets Unit and to protect consumers

A bill is expected to be introduced in this parliamentary session, that ends in May 2023. The measures follow similar changes in the EU, with its New Deal for Consumers and Digital Markets Act.

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Events 

Eating Compliance for Breakfast | Healthcare products: what they are, how to place them on the UK market and how is the law changing?

29 November | 09:00-09:30

Many businesses are venturing into healthcare products for the first time. This webinar examines what the post-Brexit regulatory framework surrounding medical devices is, how products can be placed on the UK market, what the future regulatory system might look like and whether further divergence from the EU regime should be expected.

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UKVI sponsor licence audits: how to remain compliant

30 November | 09:30–10:30

Sponsor licence audits by the UK Visas and Immigration team are on the rise. What are the duties and responsibilities associated with being a licenced sponsor? We discuss the importance of compliance and the cost of getting it wrong.

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Eating Compliance for Breakfast | Internet of Things regulation

1 December | 09:00-09:30

The discussion will focus on connected devices and the internet of things, current regulation, how specific legislation and regulator guidance are being introduced and the increasing compliance burdens on developers.

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Pensions Coffee Break: looking ahead to 2023

1 December | 11:00-11:30

The webinar will look at important actions for trustees in 2023 and give a case law update.

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Look Back, Face Forward® 2022/23

7 December | 09:00-12:00

Our annual look at the present and future of advertising law returns, including coverage of the top ten marketing cases, essential marketing control changes of 2022, and what is in store for 2023 and beyond – with a keynote presentation addressing the CMA's priorities for the year ahead.

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* This article is current as of the date of its publication and does not necessarily reflect the present state of the law or relevant regulation.

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