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Technology & Digital round-up: 15 July 2022

Welcome to our latest round-up of legal and non-legal tech-related news stories. This edition covers service of English court proceedings via token, cryptoasset regulation, online safety, Innovate UK grants, and much more.

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Get in touch with Sally Mewies or Luke Jackson if you have any queries or need advice or assistance.

The legal part…

  • The High Court granted an order allowing service of court proceedings via the transfer of a token on the blockchain. The English court order is second only to a New York court order referred to in the previous edition of the round-up. This significant development further underlines the suitability and attractiveness of English law and jurisdiction for commercial dispute resolution involving digital technologies.
  • See our recent briefing on another key decision, where the High Court granted for the first time an injunction against Persons Unknown in respect of stolen NFTs. This comes after sales of NFTs reached a 12-month low in June suggesting last year’s fervour may be waning.
  • In a recent speech, the Deputy Governor of the Bank of England for Financial Stability set out four key lessons from the recent ‘crypto winter’. They include that technology does not change the underlying risks in economics and finance, and that to be successful and sustainable innovation has to happen within a framework in which risks are managed.
  • The Treasury Committee launched a new inquiry exploring the role of cryptoassets in the UK, as well as the opportunities and risks they bring to consumers and businesses.
  • Meanwhile, provisional agreement has been reached on the European cryptoassets regulation known as MiCA. It’s anticipated that the UK would move to follow such a framework after implementation.
  • The Online Safety Bill, which has been heavily debated, is now on hold until a new Prime Minister is in place. It’s unclear exactly what will happen to the Bill when Parliament returns after the summer.
  • Over in Europe, landmark rules were adopted for a safer, open online environment, in the form of the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act.
  • The Competition and Markets Authority is investigating Amazon over suspected anti-competitive practices affecting sellers on its UK Marketplace.
  • The CMA is also investigating the anticipated acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft.
  • The government published its second review on the effectiveness of the NIS Regulations, introduced in 2018 to improve the security and resilience of essential and digital services.

…and in other news

  • Innovate UK is offering small and micro businesses a share of up to £30 million in grants alongside tailored business support delivered by Innovate UK EDGE. You can apply for up to £50,000 for highly innovative ideas that have a clear route to commercialisation through business growth. The project must focus on how one or more of the following technology areas can enable affordable, adoptable, and investible solutions in net zero and healthcare. They are: advanced materials and manufacturing; AI, digital and advanced computing; bioinformatics and genomics; engineering biology; electronics, photonics and quantum; energy and environment technologies; and robotics and smart machines. The submission window closes on 26 July at 11am. If you are interested in applying and need any assistance, please contact Matthew Lingard.
  • The big tech news story of the past week has been the evolving saga between Twitter and Elon Musk. The company is now suing the Tesla CEO to force him to complete his $44 billion takeover after he announced that he would withdraw his bid.
  • The National Cyber Security Centre published guidance on how organisations can avoid staff burnout during an extended period of heightened cyber threat. See the related blog post on ‘Preparing for the long haul: the cyber threat from Russia’.
  • The NCSC also published guidance to help organisations reduce the likelihood of data exfiltration by malicious insiders.
  • Amazon Prime customers will soon be able to cancel their subscription to the service in just two clicks, vastly simplifying a process previously described as “confusing” and the subject of numerous complaints from consumer groups across the EU.
  • The NHS is trialling the use of drones to deliver chemotherapy drugs to cancer patients on the Isle of Wight and, if successful, may use drones for the delivery of key medicines to other harder-to-reach areas of the UK in the future.
  • Are ‘vibes’ the key commodity of 2022? Seemingly the extremes of the crypto community think so as NFT companies look to fill positions such as “chief vibes officer” and “director of vibes” in a bid to maintain morale during the recent downturn.
  • And finally, this news story discusses how a growing list of big name retailers, and some banks, are buying up virtual real estate to set up shop in the metaverse.

More from Walker Morris

  • Want to watch a previous webinar? Visit our digital academy, home to a library of digital content including webinars, our bite-sized video nuggets and podcasts, including our 60 second videos on what is an NFT and what is a blockchain.
  • Want to learn more from our Technology & Digital experts and be the first to receive important updates, developments and events from the team? Then visit our #WMTechTalk page or sign up for our newsletter, the Technology & Digital round-up here.
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Sally
Mewies

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Luke
Jackson

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