Three-quarters of UK’s tech workers willing to move overseas for their career

Three-quarters of UK’s tech workers willing to move overseas for their career

A new study has found that 75 per cent of UK tech workers could be tempted to move abroad if they were offered better opportunities.

The figure compares with 61 per cent of non-tech workers who said they who would be willing to head overseas, according to the survey conducted by Totaljobs.

The report said that London is ranked as one of the top locations globally for tech workers, however, the rest of the UK is far less attractive as a proposition for most workers.

Topping the list of attributes that attracts employees in the tech sector is a healthy work-life balance, followed by good relationships with their peers.

Pay is only ranked in fifth place in the order of importance, according to UK tech workers who responded to the survey.

Alexandra Sydney, Group Marketing Director at Totaljobs, said: “This research has identified that tech workers across the world, particularly those in the UK, know what they’re looking for and aren’t afraid to move countries to find it.

“The UK technology sector is growing 2.5 times faster than the overall economy and is worth nearly £184 billion of the UK’s GDP. This means that there’s an onus on employers to increase employee attraction and retention to ensure the UK has enough tech talent to cope with demand.”

“Any company keen to attract tech talent in the UK should look to create a workplace that encourages a positive and productive outlook; key demands for the UK workforce. By fostering a good work-life balance, alongside an open, friendly culture, employers can ensure that they retain skilled digital workers.”

This study, Decoding Digital Talent, saw 27,000 people polled in 180 countries with expert-level knowledge in such skills as programming and web development, mobile application development, artificial intelligence, and robotics and engineering.

Julian Cox, Head of Employment at iLaw, said: “Employers and HR professionals across the UK will already be aware of the challenge of attracting and keeping talented employees, particularly in the tech sector.

“It is interesting to note that remuneration packages, whilst important, are not the primary consideration, with ‘work-life balance’ yet again being cited as a key aspect when considering a job offer.

“The right to request flexible working is now enshrined in law and many companies now proactively provide this – along with home working – as an option to their employees, whilst successfully balancing the needs and objectives of the business.

“Having in place a clear policy on flexible working arrangements, set out in your employee handbook, not only provides clarity for employees but can help with both recruitment and retention levels.

For help and advice on all aspects of employment law, including the drafting employee contracts and handbooks, please contact us.

Designer make-up brand wins IP legal action against Aldi look-a-like

Designer make-up brand wins IP legal action against Aldi look-a-like

Whilst it is often said that imitation is the highest form of flattery, when it comes to intellectual property, the opposite is very much the case.

A corporate brand, together with its various copyright, designs and patents, will invariably be the key differentiator that sets a product apart from its competitors. It also acts as a signpost for consumers who know and trust a particular brand and pick up on visual designs when selecting a particular product from a plethora of similar options in a crowded retail environment.

The issue of look-a-like products which intentionally use visual branding to closely position themselves to more expensive well-known brands, is becoming a particular issue.

Most recently, designer make-up brand, Charlotte Tilbury, has successfully taken legal action against low-cost supermarket, Aldi.

British make-up expert Charlotte Tilbury, who reputedly counts the Duchess of Sussex, Amal Clooney and Sienna Miller amongst her A-list clients, has a cult following, with one of her eponymous make-up company’s most popular lines – the ‘Filmstar Bronze and Glow’ palette – retailing at £49.

Understandably, her legal team took a dim view of Aldi’s attempts to rip off the product’s design, which was then offered at a knock-down price of just £6.99 across its chain of supermarkets.

One of the key aspects of the case centered on the starburst ray-effect design which was embossed into the powder.

Deputy Master Linwood was asked to consider whether copyright could exist in a powder design, which would disappear following use of the product.

The court concluded that even though the powder design was ephemeral in nature, copyright protection in the powder design would not be affected or removed – since “the powders are a three-dimensional reproduction of the two-dimensional object, namely the [design] drawing”.

Deputy Master Linwood was also asked to consider the notion of ‘originality’ in the claimant’s design, given that the starburst logo were inspired by earlier art deco designs.

The court concluded that even though the main creators of the Works had drawn inspiration from art deco, and whilst the elements – when considered individually – were generic, the Works as a whole were original due to an absence of ‘slavish copying’. Thus, copyright protection would subsist.

In his judgment, Deputy Master Linwood ruled that the similarities were substantial, from a quantitative as well as a qualitative perspective and that copyright infringement was therefore established.

Alex Hall, a senior solicitor in iLaw’s litigation team who regularly deals with IP disputes, said: “The key lesson resulting from this case is that a non-permanent ‘highest work’ (in this case the imprinted starburst design on the make-up powder) can still be treated as a ‘work’ and afforded copyright protection. Similar examples of copyrighted designs in non-permanent works include ice sculptures and wedding cakes.

“Although not widely reported on, it is also worth noting that at least some of the design work was carried out on behalf of the client, by an agency, without a written agreement.

“This, in effect, meant that it was a live issue before the Court as to whether the Claimant actually owned the copyright, as the legal interest in copyright cannot be assigned other than in writing (s.90(3) of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988).

“In the event, this was largely cleared up by the claimant and the design agency entering into two deeds of assignment shortly before and during the course of proceedings, but it could have caused problems for the claimant if the agency had not been cooperative.”

If you would like help or advice with any issues relating to intellectual property matters, please contact us.

International legal network co-founded by iLaw grows by more than a third

International legal network co-founded by iLaw grows by more than a third

One of the world’s fastest-growing legal networks, the International Commercial Law Alliance (ICLA) has grown by more than a third in the last year.

The group, which was co-founded in 2006 by iLaw and top 50 Dutch firm, DVAN, brings together commercial law firms from around the world to enhance services for clients.

Members of the closely interconnected group are celebrating the success of their network after welcoming 14 new members – expanding the group’s international reach to new regions, such as China.

The ICLA’s primary goal, beyond its own global expansion, is to enable clients to receive first-class legal advice to their clients in whatever jurisdiction is required.

When selecting new member firms, the ICLA looks beyond their reputation and expertise to ensure they are committed to the highest client care standards.

These standards are enshrined in the group’s written constitution, which all members must adhere to, ensuring that clients receive only the best advice and services.

Mark Culbert, Managing Partner of iLaw and a leading figure within the ICLA, said: “Growing recognition of the ICLA around the world and the standards that it sets is proving to be very attractive to law firms that are looking to provide clients with multi-jurisdictional expertise.

“As a group we work together on a wide range of complex legal issues for our clients, supporting fellow members by providing specific legal advice and support on local matters.

“By working together in this way, we can offer unrivalled levels of service in a much more cost-effective and efficient package.”

The ICLA is made up of 40 law firms located in 30 different countries, including the USA, Germany, Thailand, Russia, Switzerland and Brazil. It is anticipated that ICLA will see further growth in the years ahead, as more and more legal firms look to provide advice to their globalised client base.

You can find out more about the work of the ICLA here.

Cryptocurrency and Blockchain disputes to be highlighted at top legal tech event

Cryptocurrency and Blockchain disputes to be highlighted at top legal tech event

Some of the UK’s leading experts on disputes in the Cryptocurrency and Blockchain industries are to hold a masterclass in Central London in September.

The Society for Computers and Law (SCL) is hosting a one-day special event for those interested in Cryptocurrency and Blockchain industries, which will cover the legal basis for raising disputes.

The event will be co-chaired by iLaw’s Senior Associate, Allan Murray and Sarah Compani, Legal Counsel for cryptocurrency exchange, Bitfinex.

Other speakers at the event, due to take place on Tuesday 24 September, include Chris Wray, Legal Counsel for Mattereum; David McIlwaine, a Partner at Pinsent Masons and barristers Matthew Lavy and David Quest QC.

The event will be divided into four sessions and will cover challenges for the Cryptocurrency and Blockchain sector, an overview of legal issues and likely causes of action and the UK Jurisdiction Taskforce’s legal statement regarding crypto-assets and other Blockchain technology and its impact on English Law.

Speaking ahead of the event, Allan Murray said: “Disputes surrounding Cryptocurrency and Blockchain are on the rise as more and more people begin to use and value what the technology can offer.

“However, unlike more tangible products or services, resolving disputes around Crypto-assets can be much more complex. This event is aimed at helping businesses and other professionals make sense of the current legislative framework so they can resolve disputes effectively.”

Tickets for the event cost £125 plus VAT for SCL members or £195 plus VAT for non-members. To find out more about the event and book your place, please click here.