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IPcopy is an intellectual property related news site covering a wide variety of IP related news and issues. We will also take the odd lighthearted look at IP. Feel free to contact us via the details on the About Us page.

Unless stated otherwise, the contributors to IPcopy (the “IPcopy writers”) are patent and trade mark attorneys or patent and trade mark assistants at Keltie LLP or are network attorneys at K2 IP Limited. Guest contributors will be identified.

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Archive

Brexit and IP – updated overview

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This article is an updated version of a previous Brexit related article which takes into account the UK’s revised date for leaving the EU.

Following an extension agreed by EU leaders back in April, the UK is now expected to leave the European Union on 31 October 2019. The UK’s departure from the EU may have an effect on your Intellectual Property Rights. This article is designed to briefly set out those potential changes.

“Exit Day”

There is a key ‘switch-over’ date for IP, which is referred to here as “Exit Day”. The exact date of Exit Day will be different depending on the manner in which the UK leaves the EU.

In the event of a “No Deal” Brexit, where a Withdrawal Agreement has not been agreed by both sides, the UK will leave the EU without any transition period and Exit Day will be the end of the Article 50 period. Currently the end of the Article 50 period is 31 October 2019, though this date could potentially be extended again if there is still no agreement by that date.

If the Withdrawal Agreement is agreed by the EU and ratified by the UK, this provides for a transition period during which the UK will no longer be part of the EU, but will still be bound by EU rules. In this scenario ‘Exit Day’ is the end of this transition period (the end of December 2020 at least though potentially this date could also be extended).

References to “Exit Day” below should therefore be read as encompassing either the “No Deal” exit day or the exit date at the end of the transition period.

(more…)

Patent Amendment in the US and Europe

us-europe flagThis article compares amendment of patent applications before the USPTO and the European Patent Office (EPO), focussing on the differences in law and practice between these jurisdictions.  Adaptation of a PCT application for regional phase entry in each jurisdiction is also discussed.  References are made to the EPO Guidelines, which is the main source for European Patent Office practice.  Some guidance is also provided on differences between claim interpretation in Europe and the US. (more…)

Misleading Invoices: The Brexit Edition

brexit-1481028_1920In April 2019, the EU agreed a second delay to the UK’s departure from the EU and set a new departure date of 31 October 2019. Following EU leaders’ talks about the new Brexit delay, President Donald Tusk told the UK: “Please don’t waste this time”.

A couple of months on from Tusk’s press conference the UK appears to be doing everything it can to ignore that request as we watch the Conservative Party continue to tear itself apart by holding a leadership contest and the Labour Party leader continue the party’s policy of constructive ambiguity as far as its Brexit policy is concerned.

Although the UK political parties and most of the country seem to be gripped by an ongoing Brexit paralysis (#JustMakeItStop), one group of people have been quick off the mark hoping to cash in on the uncertainty around Brexit.

Yes, misleading IP related invoices are back and this time the companies sending the “invoices” are hoping to persuade their recipients into parting with their hard earned cash by paying for totally unnecessary UK trade mark and design registrations. (more…)

When Harry met Selfridges

cocktailA name is not reason for confusion

In a decision of the UKIPO (O/219/18, HARRY GORDON’S BAR and HARRY GORDONS (Opposition), 5th April 2018), the IPO found in favour of retailer Selfridges, allowing the registration of its trade mark applications for HARRY GORDON’S BAR and HARRY GORDONS.

In May 2013, Selfridges applied for the above trade marks covering classes 29, 30, 32, 33 and 43 for goods including alcohol and services for providing drinks.

In August 2013, Harry’s New York Bar filed a notice of opposition against all of the goods and services in both applications. The Opponent argued that the use of the name HARRY in Selfridges’ trade marks resulted in similarities with its earlier marks HARRY’S, HARRY’S BAR and HARRY’S NEW YORK BAR, which it claims were first used in Paris in 1911.

The Opponent submitted that its bars can be found in luxury hotels that would be visited by the same sort of people who frequent Selfridges’ store on London’s Oxford Street. Therefore, use of the mark in such a prestigious establishment would “ride on the coat tails” of its existing reputation.

Selfridges rejected these claims, stating that its bar was named after the retailer’s founder, Harry Gordon Selfridge, and inspired by the popular TV series, Mr Selfridge, about his life. (more…)

Mental health – How to help in the workplace?

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Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay

People often say that they have no idea what to say or how they can help me when I’m in the grips of mental illness. They want to be able to help, but have no idea how to go about it. There is no doubt that it is a difficult and incredibly personal topic, especially to be discussing at work. However with poor mental health being one of the main reasons for people taking time off work it is not something that can be ignored, particularly if we are aiming for workplaces in which staff are happy and in which everyone can thrive.

A lot of the conversation currently seems to focus on what people with mental illness can do in order to get help or to improve their condition. I believe that some of the pressure that currently rests on the mentally ill to adequately explain themselves should be lifted. In my opinion, the best way that you can help co-workers struggling with mental illness is to educate yourself about what they’re dealing with in order to truly empathise and to thereby create a working environment free of shame and stigma.

We are seeing workplaces implement more mental health related policies, which is clearly a very good thing! There has been more of a focus put on the ways in which we work, implementing more flexible hours and training mental health first aiders to name a few. These steps forward are obviously incredibly important, but here I am instead choosing to focus on what we can all do on a personal level in order to make a difference. Change does not just come from workplace policy, but in the way we interact with each other on a daily basis.

Below I have laid out what are, in my opinion, the most important and helpful things you can do in order to support people who are experiencing ill mental health. (more…)

IP Developments in China – Trade Mark Focus

china-2306580_1920Almost as many trade mark applications are filed in China as in the rest of the World combined.  According to recently published WIPO statistics, Chinese trade mark applications accounted for 46.3% of all global trade mark filing activity in 2017 (a staggering 5.74 million Chinese trade mark applications were filed over the course of that year). The next busiest office was the US which accounted for 5% of global filings.

With so many applications being filed, it is no surprise that some are being filed dishonestly.  In fact, brand piracy in China is a serious problem and has been for some time. The “first-to-file” trade mark system in operation there has led to trade mark squatters registering trade marks which are copies or imitations of well-known or up-and-coming brands before the rightful owner is able to do so, thus blocking the rightful owners’ ability to register or even use its mark in China.  This issue is discussed at greater length in our previous blog post here.

In recognition of this issue, the Chinese trade mark authorities recently announced a number of draft provisions aimed at tackling dishonest trade mark applications.  I have summarised some of the key proposals below: (more…)

London Tech Week 2019 – IP Clinics

Intellectual Property Clinics: protecting your inventions, branding and designs

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Keltie will once again be taking part in London Tech Week which this year runs from 10th to 14th June by running free Intellectual Property Clinics throughout the week. (more…)

Easter Innovations

easter-3100341_1920Disaster has struck with the Easter bunny lost in the world of IP, days away from Easter Sunday. Luckily, he’s left a few clues with his Easter related designs and inventions to lead us to his hiding spot. (more…)

Panini Cheapskates

football-2697623_1920To many people the Premier League has become a money-hungry juggernaut.  Kick-off times are regularly shifted to suit the demands of television broadcasters from around the world, sometimes at very short notice, with seemingly little or no consideration shown towards the fans planning on actually attending the games live.  Many of the top clubs continue to raise prices at alarming rates despite the seemingly ever increasing sums of money that they receive for broadcasting rights and other commercial deals (stadium naming rights, anyone?).

In a move that is likely to reinforce the notion that the top clubs are money making machines with no sense of humour, Manchester United recently ordered Alex and Sian Pratchett, known as the Panini Cheapskates, to drop any references to Manchester United from the tongue-in-cheek stickers that they produce on the basis that they infringed the club’s IP rights. (more…)

Brexit and Patents

Further to our Brexit videos on designs and trade marks. Here’s IPcopy’s video summary of the impact of Brexit on patents.

4 April 2019

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