IP Offices around the world have announced special measures to take account of likely business disruption, not only to their own operations but also to those of their customers, from the Coronavirus outbreak. Here we summarise the measures of the EUIPO, EPO, WIPO, UKIPO and IPOI.
If you feel that your ability to respond to an IP deadline is affected by the Coronavirus situation then please contact your normal IP representative who will be able to advise on the options that may be available. It is important to note that the various IP Offices are applying different special measures and the extent of such special measures may not be immediately be apparent. Please also note that the special measures across the various IP Offices mentioned below are changing constantly so please check with your representative for the latest news.
Dear Friends and Colleagues
With regard to the developing situation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, we would like to reassure our clients that we remain fully operational and are able to deliver the same quality of service as you would expect under more normal circumstances, including full continuity of our client-specific teams where applicable. Our infrastructure allows all our staff to work seamlessly from home and nearly all our staff are now doing so. Only a handful of volunteer staff remain in each of our offices in London, Cambridge, Galway and Cirencester to oversee the transition to full home working and they are closely observing government advice regarding social distancing. (more…)
Wouldn’t it be nice to have some free money to spend on evaluation of your company’s intellectual property?
Well, I’m pleased to tell you that with the generous support of the UK Intellectual Property Office, this is exactly what is on offer.
The scheme in question is called the IP Audits Plus service. It gives those company’s that apply, and are selected, access to a fund of £3,000 (inc. VAT) to spend on evaluation of the company’s IP position (only £500 of which is funded by the company). The money can be spent with a qualified patent or trade mark attorney of the company’s choosing to conduct an Audit of the firm’s IP assets and provide a report. (more…)
Comedian Joe Lycett has legally changed his name by deed poll to Hugo Boss, in a protest against the German fashion brand’s apparent aggressive approach to enforcing its rights in the BOSS trade marks. The Comedian Formerly Known As Lycett’s actions appear to have been sparked by a legal battle between Hugo Boss and a Welsh brewery, called Boss Brewing, who were forced to change the name of their beers from ‘Boss Black’ and ‘Boss Boss’ to ‘Boss Brewing Black’ and ‘Bossy Bossy’. (more…)
The EPO will increase its fees with effect from 1 April 2020, with an increase of around 4% for most fees. The 4% increase is fairly consistent across the board with the notable exception that the EPO appeal fee for non-SMEs*, will increase by from €2255 to €2705, representing an increase of €450 or 20%.
Most fees are associated with particular payment deadline. The fee you pay is dictated by the EPO’s fee schedule** on the day of payment, rather than the fee schedule on the day of the deadline. This means that even if a relevant deadline falls on or after 1 April, you may be able to pay the fee early, on or before the 31 March, to take advantage of the current, lower fee rate. (more…)
The unitary patent project and the Unified Patent Court have been limping along in recent years ever since the result of the UK referendum on EU membership and the filing of the German constitutional court challenge against the UPC legislation.
This blog has been less than positive (1, 2) about the prospect of either the UK staying in the system or even the outlook for the project as a whole and yesterday it became clear that, contrary to previous slightly more positive murmurings from the UK Government, the UK has now decided it will not be moving forward in the Unified Patent Court system. Despite the lack of an official announcement the news seemed to pop up online and in IPcopy’s messages from a number of different sources yesterday and IAM Magazine later reported that the Prime Minister’s Office confirmed that the UK would not be participating in the UPC system. (more…)
They say that history repeats itself. But while it may have taken 30 odd years for your parent’s oversized denim jackets to come back in fashion it appears that the EQE/CIPA exam venue issue comes around on a far shorter timescale.
It was only three years ago, for EQE 2017, that a number of candidates were told that they had not secured their preferred venue in the UK and were instead being allocated to Munich.
Now, IPcopy is aware of at least two candidates (one pre-EQE and one main EQE) who have just discovered, only a few weeks before the exams, that they have not been allocated seating in Walsall but in Munich. (more…)
For many years there has been little or no guidance as to what might constitute “outstanding benefit” for the purposes of section 40(1) Patents Act 1977 (“PA 1977”), since no claim made under this section had ever been successful. All that changed in the late 2000s when the High Court awarded Kelly and Chui £1.5 million for their patented invention “Myoview”: Kelly and Chiu v GE Healthcare Ltd.  EWHC 181 (Pat) (“Kelly”). In the Kelly case, the patent was found to be of “outstanding benefit” for a number of reasons, not least because, without it, the company Amersham International plc. – for whom Kelly and Chui worked when the invention was made – would have been in significant financial difficulty but for the patent. Evidence was presented that the total sales of “Myoview” over a five year period had been in the region of £1 billion, and Floyd J assessed that the benefit to the employer from these sales was no less than £50 million. It was perhaps not difficult to reach a conclusion of “outstanding benefit” in the Kelly case given these facts. However, a seemingly very high bar had been set for any future claimants. (more…)
The CJEU judgement in the case of Sky v Skykick (C-371/18), issued on 29th January 2020, addresses some fundamental aspects of trade mark law. Most significantly, it finds that the inclusion of broad terms within a specification can be considered bad faith if there is no intention to use but insufficient clarity and precision within a specification is not in itself a ground for invalidity. (more…)