• The threshold for similarity is low
Once every 4 years the FIFA Football World Cup (or soccer for our American readers) comes around and incites an unnatural sense of optimism in England supporters around the world that this could be our year. While this is always an event that somewhat brings the people of the country together, some may say the repetitive upsurge of optimism before each World Cup is misplaced. On the eve of the World Cup which marks the 13th tournament and 52 years since the first (and only) World Cup victory of the three lions, it is worth noting that England’s national team have won just 6 matches in the knockout stages of any major international tournament since the 1966 World Cup Victory.
Optimism or pessimism aside, there is always the possibility of a World Cup upset, football is a simple game where anything can happen, as Sepp Herberger (Coach of the 1954 World Cup winning West Germany team) famously once said; “The ball is round, and the game lasts 90 minutes”. (more…)
The CIPA seminar series relating to the unitary patent and Unified Patent Court resumed last week with the session “Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court for Attorneys”. This session, which was presented by Julia Gwilt, took a look at the ways in which the unitary patent system may impact the way that European Patent Attorneys will need to work.
The session provided a quick overview of the unitary patent system and then took a closer look at the procedure before the EPO (when requesting unitary effect) and the procedure before the Unified Patent Court (when requesting or withdrawing an opt-out).
We won’t cover the basics of the unitary patent system again here and readers wanting a quick recap of the system are invited to check out IPcopy’s report on the first CIPA seminar on this subject which can be found here. (more…)
Keltie was pleased to host Tian-ying Zhao and Wang Yanping from IntellecPro. They gave the Keltie Trade Mark team a very interesting seminar on trade mark protection in China. I have summarised 5 important points to bear in mind when filing trade marks in China. (more…)
On 26 April 2018, World IP Day, the UK surprised more than a few people by ratifying the UPC Agreement and in the process taking the total number of countries who have ratified the agreement to 16. The UK press release that accompanied this announcement stated “Our ratification brings the international court one step closer to reality”.
Since the ratification process only requires 13 member states, including France, Germany and the UK, to ratify then it might appear to some that German ratification is the only remaining obstacle to the unitary patent system going live.
However, IPcopy suggests that it is still too soon to be able to say if and when the system will come into force. (more…)
London Tech Week, the week long festival showcasing the best of tech and innovation, returns again this year between 11th and 17th June and Keltie will be taking part with the following two free events: (more…)
A judgement issued by the EU General Court on 26 April 2018 ended opposition proceedings started in 2011 over Lionel Messi’s application to register the mark MESSI + Logo as a EU Trade Mark. The Barcelona striker can finally see his surname registered. The full judgement is available in French or Spanish here.
Messi already owned a number of EU Trade Mark Registrations, in particular, for his full name LIONEL MESSI (EUTM Reg. 6353131), for LE0 MESS1 (stylised) (EUTM Reg. No. 9118852) and for his signature (EUTM Reg. Nos. 6353296 and 10394476), but the trade mark application in issue (EUTM Appl. No. 10181154) was just for the surname MESSI combined with a Logo (see the blog image at the top of this post). (more…)
The EU-UK draft withdrawal agreement was republished recently to show which sections have been agreed and which sections require further discussions. The agreement has been helpfully colour coded into green sections (agreed provisions, technical legal revisions only) and yellow sections (policy agreement, drafting changes required). Sections that are left white represent terms proposed by the EU where negotiations are still required.
The draft withdrawal agreement contains a provision for a transitional period (Article 121) which will run from the UK’s official exit from the EU (on 29 March 2019) until the end of 2020.
A summary of the provisions that relate to intellectual property (IP) is provided below. It is noted that the articles of the withdrawal agreement that relate to IP (Articles 50-57) contain a mixture of green and white sections. The “green” provisions that have, in principle, been agreed are: (more…)
In June 2016 the UK voted to leave the European Union, raising many questions around EU Trade Marks and Community Designs, as well as representation rights before the EUIPO.
Keltie’s “United in Europe” video below highlights our response to Brexit.
Keltie LLP 3 May 2018
If you want to be a European Patent Attorney who can represent clients before the European Patent Office, you first have to pass an exam. The European Qualification Examination, also known as the EQE, is well-known for its low pass rate. Only one in three candidates passes the full four paper exam in one year. After three years, another third of all candidates is still struggling with at least one of the papers.
In 2009, acknowledging that the low pass rate may be problematic, the exam committee came up with a counterintuitive idea. They added another hurdle. Since 2012, before you are allowed to appear at the real exam, you first have to pass a pre-exam. 10 legal questions, 10 claim analysis questions, 4 statements per question that have to be judged TRUE or FALSE, and a complex marking scheme to score all answers on a scale of 0-100. Only if you score 70 marks or more (50 before 2014), you are allowed to sit the main exam next year.
Since before the first pre-exam, there has been a lot of criticism on both the concept and the execution of this added challenge. Law is not maths. It is not easy to come up with 80 legal question that can only be answered with TRUE or FALSE and are challenging as well as unambiguous. In 2014, 2015 and 2016, successful appeals at the EPO Boards of Appeal led to 56 candidates being allowed into the main exam although having scored less than 70 marks for their pre-exams. This year, two statements were considered so ambiguous that every answer was accepted to be correct. IP Kat wrote an article about it. In the comments, candidates, former candidates and other anonymous contributors complained about the exam and the exam committee and questioned the usefulness and fairness of the pre-exam. On the DeltaPatents blog, similar comments are to be found in even greater numbers.
But most of these negative comments and opinions are based on emotions, often of candidates who just went through the stress and hard labour that are commonly associated with sitting the exam. For a better informed opinion about the pre-exam, it may be useful to have a look at the numbers. For the pre-exam to be a useful tool, two important statements have to be judged TRUE. (more…)