In-house News Bulletin - October 2014

In-house News Bulletin - October 2014
Welcome to our monthly In-house legal update brought to you by Radius Law and LexisNexis.

In just 15 minutes we’ll keep you abreast of the key legal stories that may affect your business - by video, podcast or downloadable bulletin, whatever suits you best.

We scour the news and select the most relevant news for in-house lawyers to bring this together in one monthly bulletin. What’s more, we highlight the practical implications of the news to your business and what actions you need to consider taking as a result of the changing legislation, regulation or case highlighted.

So, grab a cup of tea, relax and allow us to keep you effortlessly updated with the information that your business can’t afford to miss.

Please note that links through to deeper analysis, guidance and cases are subject to your LexisNexis subscription. For access, please contact your Account Manager or request a free one week trial.



Our top three stories this month:

Intellectual property: Changes to the law from 1 October 2014

The Intellectual Property Act 2014 comes into force from 1 October, making changes to patents and design law.

The most controversial change is the introduction of criminal sanctions for intentionally copying registered designs. Also the sanctions are not limited to those doing the copying but extend to anyone offering, marketing, importing, exporting, using or stocking the design if that person has reason to believe the design has been registered and intentionally copied. If a person including directors or senior managers of a company is found guilty of copying a design, despite knowing or having reason to believe it is registered then a prison sentence of up to ten years and/or a substantial fine is possible.

Another significant shift in the law is that unless it has been agreed otherwise the ownership of UK unregistered designs will belong to the designer rather that the party that has commissioned the design.

For more information, see Is the Intellectual Property Act 2014 unambitious but well-intentioned?.

Copyright: New parody exception introduced

To bring the UK into line with EU copyright law the UK has now introduced a new parody exception into copyright law. The use of this exception is subject to being able to demonstrate that it constitutes fair dealing. So in practice the scope of this exception will be severely limited. Certainly any use for commercial purposes e.g. advertising is unlikely to be permitted. For more information, see Practice Note: Copyright works—permitted acts and defences.

Sentencing guideline on fraud, bribery and money laundering

The sentencing guidelines on fraud, bribery and money laundering offences came into effect on the 1st October 2014.

  • If found guilty, companies now face fines of up to 400% of their illicit profits.
  • The new guideline also places victim impact at the centre of considerations when determining an appropriate sentence. This may mean higher sentences for some offenders compared with the prior guideline, particularly where the financial loss is relatively small but the impact on the victim is high.
  • The Sentencing Council has also broadened how harm is described, so those passing sentence are not restricted in what they take into account.

If you are concerned about compliance with bribery laws in your organisation, see our risk management guide for guidance: In-house lawyers: Risk management: bribery and corruption.

Other stories covered - by video, podcast, downloadable bulletin:

Data Protection:

  • Warning to the legal profession
  • Apps and privacy - developers failing to disclose how they are collating and using data
  • ICO: Updated CCTV practice to be issued in November


  • Updated QCA code

Dispute Resolution:

  • Forcing parties to negotiate a settlement

Advertising & Marketing:

  • Abandoned calls


  • ACAS guidance on bereavement leave
  • Sex discrimination and enhanced paternity pay - the Shuter v Ford Motor Company Limited case
  • Father and partner antenatal rights in the workplace
  • Tribunal powers and equal pay law


  • Contract Regulations


  • Banking reference


  • Wonga case analysis - All change for affordability criteria?



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About the author:
Helen Hart studied in Cardiff and Germany and qualified as a solicitor in 1998 after a training contract at Allen & Overy in London and Frankfurt. She spent over six years working in-house at Centrica plc and Palm Europe Limited focusing mainly on consumer, advertising and data protection law before returning to private practice at Stevens & Bolton where she was an associate in the corporate and commercial team. She worked for a legal publisher between 2008 and 2012 and has also worked in local government library services. Her main areas of expertise are general commercial law, advertising law and consumer law.