Welcome to the July 2015 edition of ContractAlert, in which we:
- preview the Consumer Rights Act 2015; and
- highlight recent changes to our software contract templates.
Incoming legislation: the Consumer Rights Act 2015
The Consumer Rights Act 2015 will bring significant changes to UK consumer protection laws.
The Act has two main effects:
- it consolidates existing consumer protection legislation, such as the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 and the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008; and
- it revises and updates the substantive laws relating to B2C contracts, adding specific protection for digital content.
The Act has been designed to operate in harmony with the distance and doorstep selling laws, which were reworked last year by the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013.
The core provisions of the Act are expected to come into force on 1 October 2015.
All businesses providing goods, services or digital content to consumers should be reviewing their legal documentation and contracting procedures to ensure they comply with the new laws. We will be updating all relevant SEQ templates to reflect the new laws during September.
Recent court decisions
Recent months have seen a handful of judgments relating to intellectual property rights that will be of particular interested to companies that do business online.
- The Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) has ruled that national courts considering copyright infringement claims should only award damages in respect of their own jurisdiction.
- The CJEU has also ruled that the advertising for sale of a copyright work may infringe the distribution rights in that work.
- The UK Supreme Court has ruled that a business may not sue for the tort of passing off unless the business has UK customers.
- The UK High Court has reportedly permitted a claimant to serve proceedings via Instagram.
SEQ document updates
Over the past couple of months, we have updated the following template documents on Website Contracts.
- SaaS contracts
- Software development contracts
- Software licences
- Software support contracts
- Software maintenance contracts
- Software developer packs
If you purchased any of these documents in the last 12 months, you are entitled to a copy of the updated version. If you would like a copy, please let us know.