By Matt Duncombe

E-commerce is the fastest growing retail market in Europe. Compound annual growth is currently running at around 12 percent per annum, predicted to result in an online retail market worth €233.9 billion (approximately US$262 billion) in 2018. However, the majority of online trade has, to date, been within each state’s own borders. Consumers have generally been more cautious about ordering from states outside their own because of concerns over uncertain consumer protections: how can I be sure I get my goods; what is the delivery charge; what if I need to return?

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By Giulio Coraggio and Kate Lucente

In its February 2015 Report on the Internet of Things (IoT), the FTC estimated that there are now 25 billion connected devices worldwide. Another more conservative report by Gartner estimates there will be 2.9 billion connected devices in the consumer sector this year and 5 billion total, and that total will climb to 25 billion by 2020. Regardless of the accuracy of the numbers, clearly the growth of IoT presents unique challenges because of the sheer variety of “connected devices” – from sprinklers, to fitness trackers, to connected cars – and the data they may collect. It is therefore not surprising that regulators have released privacy and security guidance and frameworks for IoT.

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The EU will soon introduce its new European patent with unitary effect and single Unified Patent Court. To help clients tackle this major change, DLA Piper has launched its Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court microsite, offering step-by-step guidance on what you need to know and how you need to prepare for the new system – the biggest game-changer in European patent law history.

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By James Stewart and Ashley Green

President Obama recently announced that the United States and Cuba would begin talks to reestablish diplomatic relations and partially lift the economic and travel sanctions that have existed between the two nations for over fifty years. While the embargo in general remains in place at this time, it appears that the entrance of U.S. companies into the Cuban market is no longer a remote possibility, but merely a matter of time.  As Cuba slowly begins to open to the U.S., brand owners should take proactive measures to protect their valuable intellectual property in Cuba.  Like many jurisdictions outside of the U.S., trademark rights in Cuba are established and granted to the first party to file a trademark application for a particular mark.  Thus, brands should take advantage of the President’s announcement to consider expanding or obtaining trademark rights in Cuba to fully prepare for possible future expansion. 

Read more about this U.S. policy shift towards Cuba. 

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By Scott W. Pink and Carissa L. Bouwer

DLA Piper’s International Advertising Group has published the Prize Promotions Across the World Handbook which provides an overview of prize promotion laws and regulations across 20 countries.

Prize promotions are an effective and increasingly popular marketing tool used globally for attracting customers. The internet and various social media platforms make this an attractive, cost efficient means of reaching a large, multi-jurisdictional customer base, but it is not without its legal challenges. This Handbook will help companies planning an international contest or sweepstakes to understand the challenges and restrictions the promotion will face in different jurisdictions.

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By Ann K. Ford and Horace Lam 

China’s eagerly anticipated amendments to its trademark law come into force on May 1, 2014. This new legislation aims to modernize the trademark process, strengthen trademark enforcement and make trademark squatting and counterfeiting more difficult. But it can also yield opportunities for trademark hijackers.

Here are the Top 5 steps to take now to protect your trademarks: 

1. Do a trademark audit

The new law makes opposition difficult. It removes the opponent’s right to file a review against the China Trademark Office (CTMO)’s decision in an opposition if the initial opposition does not prevail. China’s application system is a purely first-to-file, unlike in the US. Any gaps in a portfolio could allow hijackers to acquire your marks.

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