Talking Shop February 2019

Welcome to the February 2019 edition of our Retail & Consumer monthly news round-up

This newsletter focuses on key news and updates for retail and consumer-facing businesses around the world.

At the end of the newsletter, you can also find details of some of our upcoming events, which we think might be of interest to you and your team.

Please get in touch, or visit our webpage for more information about Bird & Bird's Retail & Consumer Group.

In this newsletter:

Consumer Law

Influencing the influencers: Singapore

Last month, the United Kingdom's competition watchdog released its latest guidelines for social media influencers. The guidelines elucidate the application of existing consumer protection laws and industry rules on advertising to the sphere of social media influencers. In light of the UK's recent efforts to fortify consumer protections in the context of social media marketing, how do the existing Singapore Guidelines hold up against their UK counterpart? And what can we do to improve the Singapore Guidelines?

Read more >


Belgian Competition Authority imposes €98,000 fine for maximum rebates

On 29 January 2019, the Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) imposed a €98,000 fine on HM Products, a wholesale distributor of infrared cabins, for imposing maximum rebates on its retailers.
The BCA found that HM Products only admitted retailers to its distribution network if they accepted to comply with the maximum-rebate policy. In addition, HM Products was found to monitor compliance with the policy throughout the distribution relation and to threaten to rescind the distribution contract in case a retailer granted higher rebates to end-customers.

Read more >


Key takeaways from the Government's "Good Work Plan"

Following Matthew Taylor's 2017 review of Modern Working Practices, the UK Government has provided further detail on its plans to reform and "future proof" the areas of domestic employment law which it perceives as unfit for purpose in the context of a rapidly changing labour market.

Read more >

Uber drivers hold "worker" status

Uber drivers have been found to be workers, and not independent contractors, by the Court of Appeal in a decision held by a majority of two. Despite express contractual terms to the contrary, the Court of Appeal found that the reality of the commercial relationship between Uber and its drivers was such that the drivers provide the skilled labour force which enables Uber to deliver its services to passengers.

Read more >


Implementation of PSD2 in The Netherlands

the Dutch Senate approved the legislative proposal transposing the second Payment Services Directive (Directive 2015/2366 – PSD2) into Dutch law on 4 December 2018. At that time, it was expected that the effective date of this legislation would be 1 January 2019 (acknowledging that the draft decree implementation PSD2 (dealing with changes in lower regulation) was still pending at that time).

However, this took somewhat longer, in anticipation of the advice from the Council of State (Raad van State) on the the draft decree implementation PSD2. 

Read more >

Intellectual Property

The Spanish Congress approves the new Intellectual Property Act

The amendment which modifies the existing Intellectual Property Act has been approved and currently is underway to publication in the Spanish Official Bulletin (BOE) to come into force, once these amendments are approved by the Senate  procedure (with the exception of the modification to the first additional disposition, paragraph 1).

Read more >

The phenomenon of "legal fakes": a Supreme contradiction?

In December 2018, Samsung Electronics held a product launch conference in China, where it announced a collaboration with the popular street wear brand "Supreme". The announcement made headlines across the world, but not quite for the right reasons.

Read more >

Trade marks: registrability of geographic names and descriptive terms

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that a trade mark registration must be refused for a sign which designated the facilities in which the product was produced and included a geographical name.

Read more >

Trade marks: colour marks and series marks

The Court of Appeal has held that where the language of the description of a trade mark extended to cases where the colour purple was applied  to the whole visible surface of the packaging of goods, as well as to cases where purple is the predominant colour applied,  this did not define a sign within the meaning of section 1(1) of the Trade Marks Act 1994 (1994 Act) and was invalid (Société des Produits Nestlé SA v Cadbury UK Ltd [2013] EWCA Civ 1174).

Read more >

Product Compliance

The new UKCA mark to mirror the CE marking in a no-deal Brexit

The UK government has published details of the new UK product marking to mirror the CE mark for certain products to be placed on the market in the UK in the event of a 'no deal' Brexit on 29 March 2019.

Read more >

Events and Activities


Advance Series: Nurturing Innovation in the UK
5 March, London

Brexit: How it will affect your EU trade marks and design rights
5 March, Dubai

English Contract Law for European Retail & Consumer businesses
28 March, Amsterdam*

*The Amsterdam Contract Law seminar is part of a series we will be running across Europe for Retail & Consumer businesses. Please get in touch if you would like to register interest for any of the upcoming dates:

17 April, Paris
8 May, Milan
9 May, Rome
28 May, Madrid
13 June, Copenhagen
17 September, Helsinki

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