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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.
That was the premise behind this seminar, in which two experienced examiners from the UK IPO, Stuart Purdy and Andrew Hole, offered the opportunity for attorneys to see patent examination from an examiner’s perspective, in a friendly and accessible manner. (more…)
Around this time last year, decision G1/10 of the Enlarged Board of Appeal was published by the EPO, and over at IPCopy, we’re paying it a little re-visit. ‘Why ever is that?’ I hear you cry! Well, I’m so glad you asked. Separate opposition proceedings relating to the patent in question were in progress when G1/10 was issued; the oral proceedings were scheduled for this month, and an interesting decision was due to be made, so IPCopy took a little look at the EP patents register to see what happened. (more…)
[Update (12.8.13) - Austria has apparently deposited its instrument of ratification. The Info graphic and State of Play text below have been updated.]
As discussed in our Q&A post on the unitary patent package, the unified patent court agreement requires 13 or more participating member states to ratify the agreement before the unitary patent system can get up and running. Furthermore, three of those 13 member states need to be France, Germany and the United Kingdom.
We will be following the ratification process here on IPcopy but thought we’d try and do so via the medium of football and info graphics.
So, without further ado here’s the process of ratification re-imagined in the form of a (wildly stretched) football analogy. The European team “UPP United” (Unitary Patent Package) are at the ground for their match against the Rest of the World (an aim of the unitary patent system is to make the European patent system more competitive compared to the systems in the US and Japan). This being a slightly inaccurate analogy the European team will comprise 13 players (instead of the usual 11) and will form up in a 5-5-2 formation! The info graphic is below and more notes are further down the post. We hope you enjoy.
Unified Patent Court News: European Commission Adopts Proposal for Amendment to Brussels I Regulation
Breaking news from IPCopy (with a shout-out to the eagle-eyed Giles Parsons of Browne Jacobson for the heads-up): The European Commission has adopted the Proposal for a Regulation amending Regulation No 1215/2012 (the ‘Brussels I’ regulation). This amendment has been eagerly anticipated by Unitary Patent spotters, and is necessary to bring the Agreement on the Unified Patent Court into effect.
Administration Process at the EPO is not the sexiest of IP subjects, this IPCopy writer will admit. But when that process affects your wallet (or your client’s wallet), it becomes a bit more interesting.
The EPO is finally increasing the transparency of the process for the refund of Search and Examination fees, and IPCopy is pleased to have seen it! Here’s a quick look at what the problem has been until recently, and the ‘technical and administrative solution’ that the EPO has now implemented.
In the fifth part of a series on the Intellectual Property Bill, IPCopy summarises the proposals relating to the Freedom of Information Act plus some other remaining odds & sods that haven’t been covered in the earlier posts. [Note: this post looks at the IP Bill as originally published. We will revisit the IP Bill at a later date to look at amendments introduced in its passage through Parliament.]
In the fourth part of a series on the Intellectual Property Bill, IPCopy summarises the proposals affecting registered design rights and registered Community designs. [This post looks at the IP Bill as originally published. We will revisit the IP Bill at a later date to look at amendments introduced in its passage through Parliament.]
Clauses 5 through 13 of the Intellectual Property Bill relate to Registered Community design or Registered Designs. (more…)