Welcome to this week's Knowledge Collection

In the autumn, the Digital Services Act will include the first express prohibition ondark patterns in EU law. While the definition is limited to online interfaces, it is broad, being something that deceives, manipulates or otherwise materially distorts a user's ability to make free and informed decisions. Guidance on how this test can be applied in practice is awaited, and what effect this new prohibition will have is unclear, as practices already covered by the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) are carved out.

The European Parliament, through its research service, has begun to consider how to address issues that arise from the developing metaverse. It has held a policy roundtable and published a briefing note on the opportunities and policy risks, acknowledging that the metaverse's scope and impact is not yet known and illustrating the difficulty for legislators of regulating new and evolving technology that may not already be caught by existing legislation.

The UK government has detailed in its Genetic Technology (Precision Breeding) Bill how it aims to depart from EU rules on gene editing plant and animal products. Our Insight considers the intellectual property position, and notes that the planned deregulation has exposed devolution questions as food regulation is a devolved matter.

The importance of ensuring employment contracts accurately reflect the employer's intentions as to the provision of benefits have been highlighted in several recent cases. Our update looks at drafting terms for bonuses and permanent health insurance.

And, with the global hydrogen generation market growing and hydrogen set for an increasing role in Europe's journey to net zero, our webinar series in September explores the legal and regulatory landscape, and the opportunities and challenges presented.