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16 October 202318 minute read

Brussels IP and Tech Update – October 2023

After the summer break, this October edition brings a lot of exciting news on recent legislative changes, regulatory updates, events and publications in the fields of technology, IP and data protection.

We are also pleased to announce the publication of our 2023 Cloud Computing Guide, our Global Guide to Loot Boxes in Video Gaming and our new Navigating Trade Secrets and the Law series.


Featured insights

Discover our AI App: The smartest way to stay up to date with the EU AI Act

DLA Piper proudly announces the launch of its dedicated EU AI Act app. Are you a legal advisor or a decision-maker wondering about the details and scope of the EU AI Act? Are you a Public Affairs or IT professional, or a journalist needing to stay up to date with the latest developments in AI? Then our app is made for you. Consult, compare, bookmark, and download articles of the EU AI Act. Turn on notifications to tune in to the latest news on AI from across our DLA Piper offices, including legislative amendments, articles about the legal implications of the AI Act, information about global legislative developments, blog posts discussing new perspectives as well as podcasts. Available in all app stores and on our website.


Navigating trade secrets and the law

Trade secrets and confidential information are valuable business assets. But when it comes to protecting them, they’re often overlooked in favour of other forms of intellectual property such as patents and trademarks, which are easier to manage because they’re registered rights.

Further to our 2023 Trade Secrets Guide, in collaboration with Chambers and Partners, we created the series Navigating Trade Secrets and the law, in which we look at how to identify, monitor and protect trade secrets within a business. Read the series here.

We’ll also soon be launching our Trade Secrets Scorebox, which allows you to assess the trade secret protection in your organisation. Stay tuned and get in touch with your usual DLA Piper contact for further help on this topic.

Staying ahead of the new AI Act

On 14 September, DLA Piper’s Brussels office organised a special event aimed at providing practical tips to help companies with the legal issues around the use of AI in their organisations, as well as providing tools to help navigate the new AI Act. During the event, DLA Piper lawyers from different practice groups looked beyond the buzz and discussed how companies can practically approach the challenges of using AI in organisations. If you have any questions regarding AI or the implications of the AI Act for your organisation, reach out to your usual DLA Piper contact.

Read our AI Governance Report

DLA Piper published its AI Governance Report, balancing policy, compliance and commercial value. This report cuts through AI hype and hysteria to offer a practical perspective on AI governance, strategies, challenges and risks. These insights are based on original research among 600 leaders in a wide range of organisations across the globe. We asked about what they’re already doing in relation to AI, what they’re planning to do and what concerns still need to be addressed. Read the Report here.

One step closer to the Belgian implementation of the DSA: Designating a Digital Service Coordinator

The Belgian Institute for Postal Services and Telecommunications (BIPT) may soon be officially designated as the Digital Service Coordinator under the Digital Services Act (DSA). The BIPT itself as State Secretary for Digitalisation Mathieu Michel have confirmed this. The designation still needs political approval but, in all likelihood, the BIPT will help coordinate the implementation of the DSA including appointing trusted flaggers and overseeing what is (not) considered disinformation.

The BIPT has said the DSA is particularly complex and that it has yet to get properly acquainted with the legislation. Either way, this development marks a significant next step in the implementation of the new legislation, which will become fully enforceable in spring 2024.

Stay tuned for updates.

Digital Markets Act: Commission designates six gatekeepers

The EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) allows the European Commission to designate digital platforms as “gatekeepers”, if they provide an important gateway between businesses and consumers in relation to core platform services. The Commission has now designated six gatekeepers: Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, ByteDance, Meta and Microsoft. The six gatekeepers will have six months to ensure full compliance with the DMA obligations for each of their designated core platform services. Read the Commission’s press release here.

Data Governance Act: Now applicable

The EU’s Data Governance Act (DGA) was created to increase trust in data sharing, strengthen mechanisms to increase data availability and overcome technical obstacles to reusing data, and to support the set-up and development of common European data spaces in strategic domains. The DGA entered into force on 23 June 2022 and, following a 15-month grace period, became applicable on 24 September 2023.

Get in touch with your usual DLA Piper contact to assess the impact on your organisation.

Unified Patent Court

Don’t miss any update on the newly formed Unified Patent Court (UPC) on the dedicated UPC website, including the last post on the key takeaways from the first oral hearing under the new regime. Read our posts on the UPC on social media regarding protective letters and opt-in/op-out. Reach out to your usual DLA Piper contact if you have any questions about this topic.

Adequacy decision for EU-US data flows

On 10 July 2023, the European Commission adopted its long-awaited adequacy decision for the EU-US Data Privacy Framework (DPF). The DPF replaces the Privacy Shield Framework (Privacy Shield) which was invalidated by the Schrems II decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in July 2020. Effective immediately, the new adequacy decision allows personal data to flow from the European Economic Area (EEA) to DPF-certified US companies without the need for additional data protection safeguards. For more information, read our blogpost here.

Data protection litigation in Belgium

Following a ruling of the Constitutional Court that third parties adversely affected by a decision of the Data Protection Authority should have the right to appeal the decision, the Belgian legislator has prepared a bill to amend the Act on the establishment of the Data Protection Authority. Read details in the update of our previous blogpost written on this topic here.

Read the Future of Boards report with the Cambridge Institute of Sustainability Leadership (CISL)

DLA Piper, as winner of the FT Innovative Lawyer Awards Europe 2023, collaborated with the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) on the Future of Boards Report. Climate change, biodiversity collapse and social concerns all have the potential to disrupt the way we do business. Boards are operating in a complex, ambiguous and unstable environment. This report provides insights into this new operating context. The report identifies 22 trends that are challenging boards and the businesses they lead. Get the report here.

New global guide: Loot box regulation

Lurking within the digital realm of video games, loot boxes are tantalizing troves of chance. They offer players an assortment of rewards that will either embellish their virtual avatar or dramatically reshape the gaming landscape by unlocking hidden content or enhancing their in-game prowess. For several years now, loot boxes have been under the scrutiny of regulatory authorities to check compliance with gambling and consumer protection laws.

With DLA Piper colleagues from multiple jurisdictions, we created a guide to help our clients through this dynamic regulatory terrain, ensuring they’re informed and confident in their gaming endeavours. The guide is available here.

ChIPs Network European Summit

On 21 September 2023, we hosted the Third Annual ChIPs Network European Summit in our offices in Brussels. The event delved into important issues such as the new reform packages of the European Commission affecting the life sciences, tech and IOT industries, identifying the key levers in the developments that will positively (and negatively) affect business and what the future of equity and inclusion in health and technology looks like. It was great connecting with our ChIPster sisters, active in technology, law and policy. ChIPs is a global community that aims to advance and connect women in technology, law and policy. Learn more about them on their website and reach out to us if you want to become a member!

Summer school on sustainability, IP and greenwashing

On 5 July 2023, we hosted a diverse group of students from various parts of Europe in our Brussels office for our seminar on sustainability, IP and greenwashing for the 6th edition of the ELSA Antwerp Summer School. Get in touch with your usual DLA Piper contact if you’d like to receive further information on this topic.


Valuable resources

Navigating Trade Secrets and the Law

Our Navigating Trade Secrets and the Law series gives insightful information and practical advice on how to identify, monitor and protect your most valuable information. The series is available here.

We’ll soon be launching our Trade Secrets Scorebox, for you to assess the trade secret protection in you organisation.

Stay tuned for more!

Cloud Computing Guide

DLA Piper Belgium published its 2023 Cloud Computing Guide in collaboration with Lexology Getting the Deal Through. The guide provides a clear overview on the cloud computing law and practice in Belgium. Reach out to your usual DLA Piper contact if you’re interested in this guide.

A Global Guide to Loot Boxes in Video Gaming

With DLA Piper colleagues from multiple jurisdictions, we created a guide to help our clients through the dynamic regulatory terrain of loot boxes in video gaming, ensuring they are informed and confident in their gaming endeavours. Get the guide here.


We’d like to hear from you

Do you have a question about intellectual property, technology or data protection or a topic you’d like us to address in this IP and Tech Update series? Email us and we’ll look into it.

We look forward to receiving your requests and feedback.