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Short snippets of practical, easy-to-implement business advice from Mackrell International legal experts around the world.

Data Masking: A New Tool Against Cyber Crime

James Carnie, data and privacy expert from Clendons in New Zealand, highlights the need for companies to ensure cyber-security plans are continually evolving to keep up with changing technology and increasingly sophisticated criminals. Data masking is an emerging trend being used by financial institutions to stay one step ahead of cyber-criminals. Even if the data is intercepted, it's not usable.

You can find out more in this bite-size clip:

Acceptable Use Policies" for Employees Help Protect Data

James Carnie, data and privacy expert from Clendons in New Zealand, spotlights the need for businesses of all sizes to have an AUP (Acceptable Use Policy) as part of their employment contracts. It only takes one person to click on one link, and your whole business is exposed. An AUP outlines the key issues about the importance of protecting data by avoiding pop-ups, malicious links and suspicious emails. It should be part of the employment agreement, so it is legally binding, making employees aware of these issues and comply with them.

This bite-size clip tells you more:

Company Obligations to Explain Security Protocols

Alex Koskey, data and privacy expert from Tennessee law firm Baker Donelson highlights the increasing obligations on companies for clarity on cyber-security in their annual reporting. Cyber-security issues are becoming a key tenet of every business, with a significant amount of liability attached. Company boards are becoming more attentive to privacy and cyber-security issues, recognizing that there are going to be stronger reporting obligations and greater demand for that information from shareholders in future.

Alex’s bite-size advice is here:

Why you Need a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Policy

Stephanie Sparks, data and privacy expert from Hoge Fenton in California, strongly recommends that businesses have a BYOD or Bring Your Own Device Policy. More and more employees are using their own devices to access company emails and work systems, but that comes with potential risks and businesses need to protect themselves and their employees. Employers need to have a BYOD Policy to ensure that employees understand that they still need to comply with company privacy policies in order to protect the organization.

You can hear Stephanie’s insight here:

Why Train Your Employees on Data Security

Stephanie Sparks, data and privacy expert from Hoge Fenton in California, provides essential business advice on staff training and the need for “penetration testing” of your company’s data network. You can have the most robust IT and security system, but if your employees do not understand the company’s obligations to protect personal data, they can become your weakest link!

You can learn more here:

Keith Heddle

Mackrell International

Reinforcing Mackrell International’s position as the premier legal network for Cannabis, CBD and Hemp advice.

The strength of our Cannabis legal expertise was on show again recently as international lawyers from the UK, Switzerland, Germany and the USA came together on a lively panel to highlight:

CBD & Hemp – International Laws and Domestic Regulatory Quirks.

Involved were:

Ricardo Geada: Mackrell.Solicitors (UK)

Sine Selman, Peyer Partner Rechtsanwälte (Switzerland)

Benjamin Pomerantz, Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey LLP (USA)

Margret Knitter, SKW Schwarz (Germany)

You can watch the video here:

And to find out more about our international Cannabis Practice Group, it’s here:

Keith Heddle

Mackrell International

Winter is coming and so is the Exit Day…National Trademark Rights and Brexit

After the US elections have kept us busy in these last weeks in addition to the ongoing pandemic, one could almost have forgotten that the Brexit is quickly approaching.

Reason enough to ask and answer some important questions for future owners of so-called “comparable” UK national trademark rights (SKW Schwarz already reported on the details).

What should be considered for upcoming renewals?

The national trademarks will take over the respective expiration date of the EU trademarks or international registrations, so that for renewal periods starting from January 1, 2021, the national fees will also be payable to the UK IPO. This applies even in those cases where the renewal fee for the EU trademark (or international registration) has already been paid to the EUIPO or WIPO before the expiry date! If the renewal period for the EU trademark or international registration has already expired in the six months prior to January 1, 2021, a (later) renewal within the grace period, on the other hand, also affects the national trademark, which in this case is automatically renewed.

For renewal periods which are due within the first six months after January 1, 2021, the UK IPO will, despite the expiry of the renewal period, again set a six-month deadline for renewal. These proceedings take into account of the fact that the normal renewal reminder has not been possible in these cases. ** What applies to the use and reputation of trademarks?**

The use of a trademark in the EU which took place before January 1, 2021, is considered to be genuine of the comparable national trademark even if it has not been used in the UK.

Therefore, if the period of use fall within the period prior to January 1, 2021, use in the EU will also be considered. If, on the other hand, the relevant period of use starts only after January 1, 2021, use (also) in the UK must be proven.

If use in the UK is not (and not intended to be) made, there is also the possibility of filing an “opt-out” request. The comparable national law is then treated as if it had never been registered.

What consequences does Brexit have for ongoing proceedings?

Cancellation or revocation proceedings already pending before the EUIPO may also have an effect after the end of the Exit Day: If the EU trademark is declared invalid or revoked after Exit Day, this also applies to the comparable national trademark, provided that the corresponding reasons also exist in the UK. In contrast, proceedings pending before the UK courts will only affect the respective national trademarks from January 1, 2021 onwards. ** Which principle of exhaustion will apply in the future?**

Currently it is to be assumed that further goods can be imported without consent of the right owners into the UK, if exhaustion in the EWR already occurred, since the existing exhaustion rules of the EEA are to be recognized by Great Britain also in the future. Conversely, no exhaustion in the EEA will occur in the future by first placing a marked product on the market in the UK, so that trademark owners can defend themselves against the import of such goods from the UK without their consent.

For more information on this article contact Margret Knitter

The Kanavape Case

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) considers that France’s restrictive position on CBD products is contrary to European Law.

In this article, Frederic Lecomte of Stehlin & Associés and the Cannabis Law Team of Mackrell.Solicitors led by Ricardo Geada, examine the Mackrell International Kanavape case, in the light of the decision handed down on Nov. 19. concerning the distribution of electronic cigarette cartridges containing cannabidiol (CBD) in France.

In the original “Kanavape” French case, the owners of a French company (Catlab SAS) were prosecuted for the illegal marketing of vaping liquid containing CBD oil imported from the Czech Republic, where the hemp plant was grown and where CBD was extracted –using all parts of the hemp plant in accordance with the Czech and the EU regulation.

The CJEU’s decision reminds us in a much-awaited way that the free movement of goods between Member States under Article 34 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) is a fundamental principle that can only be limited by Article 36 of the TFEU.

Link to flyer in English

Link to article in French

Frederic LECOMTE

Stehlin & Associés

Ricardo Geada


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