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Proposed UK legislation to legalise CD ripping (and other changes to copyright law)

Image from Wikipedia. User: Hellisp

Rip. Mix. Burn. Microwave? *

Last week, the government published the “final Exceptions to Copyright” regulations for consideration by parliament. The draft regulations propose changes that modernise UK copyright law in light of recommendations in the Hargreaves Review completed in 2011 (the same review that formed the basis of the Intellectual Property Bill currently in ping pong).

The proposed legislation comes in the form of five draft Statutory Instruments that would amend the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA) and covers Personal Copies for Private UseQuotation and ParodyDisabilityPublic Administration and Research, Education, Libraries and Archives. The draft regulations will be debated in both Houses of Parliament and, if approved, they will come into force on 1 June 2014. (more…)

House of Commons & House of Lords organise game of Ping Pong (Intellectual Property Bill)

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Inter-House Ping Pong

The Report Stage and the third reading of the Intellectual Property Bill took place on 12 March. After some significant discussion time over the last few weeks on all the provisions within the Bill, the IP Bill leaves the Commons with amendments to Clause 3 (Qualification criteria for Unregistered design right) and Clause 13 (the criminal offence for copying a registered design) only. A full list of the Commons Amendments can be found here and marked up versions of the two clauses in question are below.

Since the Commons has made amendments to the Bill, the Lords needs to have another look and (i) agree to the amendments; (ii) disagree with the amendments; or (iii) propose an alternative. When a Bill passes back between the two Houses it is referred to as “ping pong” (or whiff whaff if you prefer….). When the exact wording has been agreed by the two Houses then the Bill will be ready for royal assent. Whiff whaff is currently scheduled for 2 April 2014.

We have taken a quick look at the changes made by the Commons to the Bill down below.

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Much Ado About UK Divisional Deadline Rules (Clarification from the UKIPO)

UKIPOlogoFollowing IPcopy’s post last week regarding the amendment to divisional deadline rules, ipcopymark reached out to the UK Intellectual Property Office to seek clarification over why the rule was being changed and whether the new rule will change any procedures at the UKIPO going forward.

The response from the UKIPO confirmed that there is not intended to be any change to the practice of filing divisional applications at the UKIPO. However, it was confirmed that incoming Rule 19 is being introduced to address a perceived flaw in the drafting of the current Rule 19 in which it could be argued that the two-month divisional period would be reset following the issuance of every communication under Section 18(4) Patents Act 1977. Whether or not you interpret current Rule 19 in this way, the incoming Rule 19 closes this potential loophole.

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UK Changes Divisional Deadline Rules [Updated]

Lord Younger signed the SI on 8 March

Lord Younger signed the SI on 8 March

As mentioned on Monday by IPKat, the rules regarding time limits for filing divisional patent applications from UK applications are being changed.

Under the current system, if a notice of compliance under Section 18(4) Patents Act 1977 is received, the applicant would have two months within which to file any divisionals. The two month period is being maintain under the amended rule, however, there will be an additional requirement to meet. Namely, that the parent must not have received any objections in an examination report.

This means that if the parent was found to meet the requirements for grant after more than one examination, there would be no opportunity to file divisionals once the notice of compliance is received.

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What became of the Trunki? Magmatic v PMS at appeal

Trunki-not trunkiBack 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…

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IP Federation position on unregistered designs and the IP Bill

Parliamentary copyright images are reproduced with the permission of Parliament

Parliamentary copyright images are reproduced with the permission of Parliament

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…)

IP in the Space Sector

RocketDespite 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).

Prompted by such giant leaps for space-faring mankind, and along with the likes of World IP Review and IPKat, we’ve been pondering some idiosyncrasies in IP in the space sector.

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Intellectual Property Bill – Bill amended in Public Bill Committee

Parliamentary copyright images are reproduced with the permission of Parliament

Parliamentary copyright images are reproduced with the permission of Parliament

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…)

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes!…to the UK patent attorney qualifying exams.

IPRegMost 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*.

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From Star Wars to New Order: the House of Commons discuss the IP Bill

Parliamentary copyright images are reproduced with the permission of Parliament

Parliamentary copyright images are reproduced with the permission of Parliament

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).

The transcript of the session can be found at the following links – (Part I [see column 38] and Part II) – and we’ve highlighted some of the more interesting parts below. (more…)

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