To The Point: Technology & Digitalisation - Technology - Republik City News

Welcome to the June edition of Schoenherr’s to the
point: technology & digitalisation

We are excited to present a selection of legal developments in
the area of technology & digitalisation in the wider CEE

Michael Woller

Editorial preface

Hot water instead of toxic substances. Bags that can’t be
stolen. Phosphorus that can be “recycled”. “Waste
pieces” with a cult character. Beer with “rhythm &
beat”. Austrian Patent Office President Mariana Karepova was
delighted to announce the truly innovative ideas and solutions
nominated for the Austrian “Staatspreis Patent”, a state prize awarded
for trendsetting inventions and trademarks. The winners in the
“cleverest invention”, “most creative brand”
and “most human patent” categories will be awarded in
November 2020, and Schoenherr partner Guido Kucsko will be a member
of the jury again.

These nominations serve as proof that we live in a time of
constant innovation and that our society is driven by new
technological solutions, strongly interlinking intellectual
property (IP), innovation and technology. IP aims at driving
innovation, innovation drives technology and technology drives
modern society. Read our monthly update on innovative legal topics
across all areas of technology and digitalisation.

Michael Woller and Marie Hornyik

WIPO PROOF: Launch of new online service to create trusted
tamper-proof evidence through timestamps

Companies spend a lot of time and money creating, innovating and
protecting their intellectual property. When the protection fails
due to unavailable or insufficient evidence, the frustration is
understandably high.

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has
therefore launched its new global online service WIPO PROOF, a
“time stamp” service confirming that a certain document
existed at a certain point of time. Read more on our blog!

Daria Rutecka

New IP courts in Poland

As of 1 July 2020, matters related to the protection of
intellectual property in Poland will be dealt with by newly
established specialised IP courts. These will operate as
departments within regional courts in Warsaw, Gdansk, Lublin and
Poznan, and will consist of experts and specialists within the
broadly understood IP area. The powers and role of patent attorneys
in the proceedings will be increased. The new court structure will
also include the “technical” court in Warsaw, exclusively
competent in matters related to new technologies, software,
inventions and any aspects involving complicated technical and
technological matters. As a rule, the cumulation of highly complex
technological cases in one court should create an opportunity for
such cases to be decided more quickly.

Veronika Wolfbauer and Maximilian Trautinger

The cookie monster vs. the law – now live on

Cookie banners have become a common sight for internet users in
Europe. Recently the first cookie banners also appeared on Austrian
TV screens. This is a side effect of the hybrid broad-cast
broadband TV (“HbbTV”) standard, which merges classical
television with the internet. HbbTV uses common web technologies
like cookies for usage analytics and targeted advertising. Art. 5
(3) ePD therefore applies and viewers must be informed and, where
necessary, asked for their consent. But is this enough to guarantee
viewers’ privacy? Visit our blog to learn more!

Veronika Wolfbauer

Data sharing is caring? An interoperability solution for
COVID tracing apps

On 16 June 2020, the EU Commission announced an agreement of the
Member States on an interoperability solution for mobile tracing
and warning apps. With the summer travel season on the horizon, the
EU Commission is striving to create technical prerequisites for the
COVID tracing apps to ensure they will work across borders.

On 16 June 2020, the EU Commission announced an agreement of the
Member States on an interoperability solution for mobile tracing
and warning apps (press release).

With the summer travel season on the horizon, the EU Commission
is striving to create technical prerequisites for the COVID tracing
apps to ensure they will work across borders. In other words, the
Member States have agreed on technical standards for the necessary
information exchange between what are currently just national
contact tracing apps.

Most of the tracing apps applied in the Member States already
use a decentralised architecture. This means that the randomly
assigned identifiers of users that were tracked in someone’s
environment will only be stored on the device itself for a limited
period and will be checked by the device against the identifiers of
users report-ed to be infected. The agreed standards for
interoperability build on this decentralised architecture. As soon
as this solution is deployed, the “national” apps will
also work when a user travels to another EU country (so long as
this country also pro-vides a decentralised COVID tracing app).

The EU Commission is doing its best to address compliance and
privacy concerns, e.g. by ensuring high encryption standards, the
GDPR’s principles of “privacy by design”, data
minimisation, access and storage limitations, and emphasising that
such technology can only be used if it is voluntary and properly

But there is still plenty of criticism. Can an individual ever
fully assess the privacy impact when using technology that traces
health data? If not, how can you provide valid consent? The
upcoming summer months will show the acceptance rate among
Europeans. In any case, the EU Commission will set up the gateway
service to enable the international data exchange in due time.

Thomas Kulnigg and Maximilian Nutz

Start-up investment in times of crisis

Investing in start-ups in times of crisis can lead to huge gains
or total loss. Thomas Kulnigg and Maximilian Nutz discussed the
opportunities and risks that start-ups and investors are currently
facing in an interview with (German only). Their
conclusion: It is difficult to estimate right now how the start-up
sector will evolve. Some companies will not survive, but a few
others will emerge from the crisis stronger. Read the interview at:
Start-up investment in times of crisis.

Thomas Kulnigg

New COVID-19 start-up programme

The Austrian government recently announced that it will support
Austrian start-ups with an additional EUR 450m of subsidies. In
relation to that, it also announced the introduction of a new
company form: the “Austrian limited”. The new company
form was part of the Government Programme 2020-2024. According to a
recent press article, the new company form
will require share capital of only EUR 10,000 (compared to EUR
35,000 for a traditional limited liability company). The process of
establishment will be quick and without a lot of bureaucracy, i.e.
it will be done digitally, and the process of issuing shares to
employees and investors will also become easier, although no
details have been announced yet. It remains to be seen whether the
new company form will boost the Austrian start-up scene or whether
founders will steer clear of it to avoid being branded as
entrepreneurs that cannot afford a “proper company”.

Günther Leissler and Thomas Kulnigg

AI, machine learning and big data in AustriaIn a
recent publication, Günther Leissler and Thomas Kulnigg
discuss trends in the areas of AI, machine learning and big data in
Austria. The publication was issued by Global Legal Insights and
can be read here.

Jurij Lampic

Thoughts on smart contracts regulation

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the migration of human
activities into the digital environment. It has also given added
impetus to legislative changes in the wider area of electronic
transacting, including smart contracts.
Legislators the world over – including in Slovenia
– are looking into appropriate regulatory responses to this
technology. Jurij Lampic provides some thoughts on the aspects of
smart contracts regulation which seem worth considering during the
legislative process, including – crucially – whether smart
contracts require additional regulation at all. A condensed version
of this article in Slovenian language first appeared in Pravna
praksa legal weekly and can be read here (subscription required). The English
original is published on our technology and digitalisation blog.

Eva Bajáková and Ivana

How to avoid cyberthreats when working

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Czech data protection
authority, i.e. the Office for Personal Data Protection (the
“Office”), published a list of ways to avoid cyberthreats
while working remotely. As it seems home office will remain popular
even after the anti-coronavirus measures have been relaxed, it is
worth summarising the Office’s basic IT security
recommendations. Although most of the rules are intended for
employees, employers should also read them to check that at least
basic IT security measures have been adopted in their organisation.
Visit our blog to learn more!

The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.

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