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Back in September we reported on the result of the Magmatic v PMS case in which the Trunki faced off against the Kiddee Case at the High Court before the Hon. Mr Justice Arnold. At the High Court, PMS’s Kiddee case was found to infringe Magmatic’s Community Registered Design (CRD) for the Trunki.
However, PMS were given leave to appeal the case, and in January the case was heard in the Appeal Court before Lord Justice Moses, Lady Justice Black and Lord Justice Kitchin. The judgement has just been made available, and reveals that the Appeal Court reversed the High Court’s judgement, and ruled that the Kiddee case did not, in fact, create the same overall impression as Magmatic’s CRD, and so did not infringe. IPcopy takes you for another ride through the suitcase-animal fair…
The Intellectual Property Bill is still awaiting a date for the Report stage in the House of Commons. One of the parts of the Bill that got a lot a discussion time was, of course, Clause 13 which introduces criminal sanctions for the copying of registered designs.
One point of discussion in relation to Clause 13 was its possible expansion to include unregistered design rights. This is something that ACID (Anti-copying in Design) in particular is keen to see happen. IPcopy would prefer that Clause 13 wasn’t in the Intellectual Property Bill at all but the registered design sanctions of the clause appear to be here to stay. However, extending the clause to cover unregistered designs would, in this ipcopywriter’s opinion, be a disaster.
Recently, the IP Federation has issued a policy paper on this issue and they have the following to say on the matter: (more…)
Despite having had an interest in all things extra-terrestrial from an early age, I’ve been regularly dumb-struck by innovations in space-related technology both upstream (things in space or launching them there) and downstream (things down here using technology or data from space). Planet Labs are deploying a constellation of 28 tiny imaging satellites, each costing a fraction of the price of typical commercial satellites, promising near-global, daily imaging. Brokers like Spaceflight Services put these and other small satellites into orbit by squeezing them into the space inside launch vehicles around larger satellites. Terra Recovery image landfill sites from space, to figure out what their robots could mine from them. You can even buy your own satellite launched and ready to do your bidding, evil or otherwise (laser weapons not included).
Last week saw the Committee stage of the Intellectual Property Bill in the House of Commons. A number of transcripts and other documents related to the Committee stage have popped up over the last few days and these are noted below. Of particular interest is this document which helpfully shows the amendments made during Committee in Track Changes format.
It is also interesting to note that four written submissions were received from outside bodies. These submissions were circulated to the MPs appointed to examine the Bill during Committee stage. Submissions were received from: National Union of Journalists (in relation to creators’ rights in the Bill); Universities UK (in relation to Clause 20: Freedom of Information: exemption for research); Dr Dimitris Xenos (in relation to the Unified Patent Court); and Jane Lambert (in relation to Clause 13).
Clause 13 was highlighted by the Committee as one of the more contentious areas of the Bill and virtually got a whole sitting of its own (which is covered in the following transcript). The state of Clause 13 as it exits the Committee stage is reproduced below along with an observation from the discussions in Committee. (more…)
Most readers in the patent profession will be aware that changes are afoot in the way trainee patent attorneys will qualify as Chartered Patent Attorneys (CPAs). The changes are spearheaded by IPReg, the regulatory body for patent and trade mark attorneys, and IPReg has released a consultation document, inviting comments.
The proposed changes affect both the foundation and advanced level exams and are, in short, the abolishment of all the foundation exams, to be replaced with approved taught university courses (currently there is an option between these two routes: as a rough estimate, 20-25% of candidates typically take the foundations route), and the abolishment of Advanced papers P3 (drafting) and P4 (amendment) to be replaced with the equivalent European Qualifying Examination (EQE) papers, or the EQE as a whole (currently, candidates may either sit P3 and P4, or may gain exemption by passing the equivalent EQE papers: many candidates will sit P3 and P4 at least once, even if they ultimately use the exemption for qualification).
As someone who is currently training in this profession, and who, last October, sat three of the exams that would be jettisoned by these changes (two foundation papers and P3), I have some fairly strong feelings on IPReg’s suggestions. They are not positive. I confess that I morph into something of a grumpy old man when the subject comes up in conversation, so this post might get a bit ranty. It’s probably best enjoyed with some kind of rousing, team-building, battle-inducing tune in the background*.
The second reading of the Intellectual Property Bill in the Commons happened last Monday (20/1). It was disappointing that only around 25 people appeared to be present for the reading which took in the television and film watching habits of some members of the House, whether the Prime Minister can identify his Minister for Intellectual Property and plenty of discussion about the inclusion of criminal sanctions for copying of registered designs (Clause 13).
Following the second reading of the Intellectual Property Bill in the House of Commons on Monday (20th January), David Willetts (Con)(Hampshire), the Minister for Universities and Science, has proposed some amendments to the Bill. The proposal includes amendments to Clause 13 that relates to criminal sanctions for copying a registered design.
These amendments on quick review look promising and appear to bring the provision closer into line with the explanatory notes to the Bill. A tracked changes copy of the proposal is below but the amendments basically introduce the fact the design has to be intentionally copied and remove the “substantially to the design” wording.
Seeing as there seems to be little chance of Clause 13 being deleted, the proposed amendments appear to be the next best thing. Hoepfully, the calls from some parties for the prosivions of Clause 13 to be extended to unregistered design rights will be resisted!
[Update: the Committee stage of proceedings has been set for 28th-30th January 2014 - see here]
Today will see the delayed second reading of the Intellectual Property Bill in the House of Commons. We’ve previously highlighted the main provisions of the Bill on IPcopy including our issues with Clause 13 (criminal sanctions for the copying of registered designs).
Clause 13 in its current form doesn’t appear to achieve what its supporters claim it does and I contacted my MP over the weekend in the hope that he will might help secure amendments to the wording of the Bill. A copy of my email is below. Feel free to adapt it if you wish to contact your own MP. You can find your own MP here.
The association Anti Copying in Design (ACID) are of course big supporters of Clause 13 of the IP Bill and actually are pressing for it to be extended to cover unregistered design rights. They are even quoting Churchill today on Twitter in an effort to drum up support for their position. Well, two can play that game! Here’s another Churchill quote that sums up my feelings about Clause 13: “Oh no, no, no!” (more…)
As a lover of all things food-related, I was surprised this week to hear of a tasty baked good that hadn’t yet made it onto my radar – and a tasty baked good that has come to the world’s attention as the subject of an IP dispute, no less! What more could a girl ask for? Readers will probably already be aware of the ‘Duffin’ – the donut-muffin hybrid that has been made and gradually popularised by Bea’s of Bloomsbury since 2011, and that is now the subject of a trade mark registration by a company that supplies Starbucks (boo hiss taxes etc, etc).
Now, I’m no trade mark attorney – patents are more my bag – so if a contentious issue like this stumbled across my path, I’d be hailing down one of my esteemed trade mark colleagues to untangle it. But as it happens, I’ve spent most of this week committing as much trade mark law as possible to memory in preparation for professional exams, and this real-life example has served as excellent revision fodder.
A few basics of trademark law shed a lot of light onto this situation, and the real legal situation is rather different from the picture that might appear at first sight. Could big-bad Starbucks really stop Bea’s bakery, and others, from using the name Duffin? Well, purely as a self-training exercise, here’s my personal take on the situation.