Talking Shop September 2018

By Mark Abell


Welcome to the September 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, Advertising and Marketing

The ECJ rules that all post-contract telephone numbers for consumers must be basic rate numbers

Article 21 of the Consumer Rights Directive (2011/83/EU) (the "CRD") states that each member state must ensure that "where the trader operates a telephone line for the purpose of contacting him by telephone in relation to the contract concluded, the consumer, when contacting the trader is not bound to pay more than the basic rate". Article 21 of the CRD was implemented in the UK under Regulation 41 of the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 (SI 2013/3134) (the "CCRs").

Read more >

Influencer marketing and endorsements: food for thought in light of recent initiatives by the Italian authorities

On 6 August 2018 the Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) announced a second moral suasion action towards influencers, bloggers and, more in general, so called "influencer marketing". The AGCM clearly felt the need to continue and extend its monitoring activity, taking note of a phenomenon which, although of common knowledge, still presents uncertainties and issues in practice.

Read more >

Cybersecurity and Data Protection

New Spanish Regulation on cybersecurity

Last September 8, 2018 the Royal Decree-law 12/2018, on security of networks and information systems, which transposes Directive (EU) 2016/1148 of 6 July 2016 concerning the measures for a high common level of security of network and information systems across the Union (commonly known as "NIS Directive"), was published in the Spanish Official Gazette.

Read more >

Belgium implements the General Data Protection Regulation: new Privacy Act published and in force

On September 5, 2018, the much-anticipated Belgian Privacy Act ("BPA" or the "Act") implementing the GDPR and repealing the Privacy Act of 1992 was published in the Belgian Official Gazette. The Act entered into force that same day. The BPA also implements Directive (EU) 2016/680, which relates to personal data processing by authorities in police and criminal matters.

Read more >


Trade Secrets Directive now implemented in Belgium

On 24 August 2018, the Belgian Act of 30 July 2018 on the Protection of Trade Secrets ('Act on Trade Secrets') entered into force. This Act implements the EU Directive 2016/943, which aims to harmonise and enhance the levels of protection for various types of trade secrets across all member states.

Read more >

Environment and Energy

The move to update WEEE classification

EU member states had until 15 August to update waste classification rules under the WEEE Directive. Joanna Ketteley explains what has changed and how the UK plans to implement the amendments.

Read more >

Collaborative offsite PPA structures for renewable energy buyers

Bird & Bird and Schneider Electric Energy & Sustainability Services (ESS), a leading renewable energy practice, have partnered to develop this research paper on Corporate PPAs.

The report aims to be an educational resource for global renewable energy buyers of all sizes, looking to access offsite PPA structures. In this paper, we will introduce the fundamental concepts of PPAs, examine the opportunities and challenges presented by collaborative smaller sized or aggregated transactions, and provide practical recommendations for buyers interested in pursuing these types of PPA structures.

Read more >

Intellectual Property

Changes to the Trade Marks Act

On 14 January 2019, the Trade Marks Regulation 2018 (SI 2018/825), implementing the Trade Marks Directive (EU) 2015/2436 (the "Directive") and amending the Trade Marks Act and the Trade Mark Rules 2008, will come into force. A consultation on the draft SI took place earlier this year and CIPA's trade marks committee submitted a response. The Government adopted many of the comments made by CIPA and others.

Katharine Stephens reports on the changes to the Trade Marks Act 1994, highlighting the key issues for practitioners.

Read more >

Trade marks: validity and infringement in the context of abbreviations

The Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC) has held that the trade mark LNDR was valid in relation to clothing, and was infringed by the use of the sign LDNR in relation to identical goods.

Read more >

Trade marks: refusal of discontinuance of infringement to avoid revocation

The High Court has refused an application to discontinue a trade mark infringement claim and held that four EU trade marks (EUTMs) and five UK registered marks were either liable to revocation or non-use or invalid on relative grounds.

Read more >


All restaurants in Saudi Arabia to display ingredients and calories by 31 December 2018

Although it may be common to see calorie and nutritional information on display/order boards in fast food restaurants in Europe and the United States, this is not yet common in the Middle East, although this may be changing soon.

Read more >


Dutch tax plan 2019: what will change in Dutch tax law?

On Budget Day, September 18, 2018, the Dutch government released the 2019 Budget, which includes the proposals for amendments to the Dutch tax laws (i.e. the 2019 Dutch tax plan). In the upcoming months the proposed amendments will be discussed in Dutch Parliament. Most proposals are aimed to enter into force as of January 1, 2019.

Read more >

Corporate criminal offences in the UK for failure to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion

Since 30 September 2017, the UK has introduced two new criminal offences which create strict liability for companies if they failed to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion.

A company can now be held criminally responsible if it does not put in place reasonable procedures to prevent its associated persons (employees, agents or any other person who performs services for or on their behalf) from facilitating tax evasion.

Read more >

Events and Activities


Celebrating Black History Month: the past, the present and a vision for the future
3 October, London

Trade Secrets Seminar: Dealing with trade secrets issues in Belgium under the new law
5 October, Brussels

First For Disputes Conference Singapore
9 October, Singapore

Annual TechLaw Day
9 October, London

AI's transformation of the Travel industry: legal friend or foe?
9 October, Webinar

First for Disputes Conference Hong Kong
11 October, Hong Kong

Annual IP Seminar
29 November, London

Hot Topics

Geo-blocking Regulation

As of 3 December 2018, the EU Geo-blocking Regulation will apply. The regulation is relevant for all traders offering their goods or services to EU end-users (B2C and B2B) in the EU, regardless of whether the trader is established in the EU or in a third country (i.e. a non-EU Member State).Traders established in third countries who are operating in the EU are in principle also subject to this Regulation.

Bird & Bird's guide to the new regulation provides you with a 6-step plan to help your organisation prepare for this new legislation. It summarises the key obligations that the new law will bring for organisations selling to EU-customers and highlights the most important actions to take in order to ensure compliance. Download our 6-step guide and watch our video here.

Trade Secrets

Your Trade Secrets are valuable assets. Their misuse results in unfair competition and stifles innovation, particularly in sectors that rely on technological advances. Our International Trade Secrets Group works closely with clients to protect their confidential data, through both preventative measures and enforcement action.

The Trade Secrets Directive came into force on 9 June 2018. Keep up to date with how Member States are progressing with implementation using our Trade Secrets Directive Tracker.

Our News

Our Corporate team in Madrid has advised the gourmet burger group, Bacoa, on the sale of 100% of its business to the publicly traded Polish restaurant operator, AmRest.

Bird & Bird has opened a representative office in San Francisco, our first office in the USA.

Our Brussels team participates in EU Cybersecurity project THREAT-ARREST, and EU GDPR project DEFeND.

Bird & Bird launches Public Affairs practice in Brussels with the appointment of Francine Cunningham as Senior Public Affairs Manager.