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Collaboration and the role of AI in the fight against COVID-19

virus-4937553_1920These days, with the UK and many other countries around the world in lockdown, and much of the news and social media output directed towards reporting updates of the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be easy to focus only on the negative, scary and often depressing aspects of the current global situation. However, whilst such aspects are of course important and not to be trivialised, this author has found that taking a step back and looking at some of the positives that have also arisen from this situation has certainly helped to put things in perspective and has been good for her mental wellbeing.

In particular, those stories relating to the largely unprecedented (except perhaps in similar times of global hardship in the past) degree of cooperation and collaboration at many levels of society in an effort to beat the virus do provide some welcome relief. This author would like to share a few examples that, as an ex-astrophysicist and current patent attorney specialising in software inventions, have been of particular interest. (more…)

Business as usual at Keltie during COVID-19 special measures

virus-4937553_1920Dear 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…)

IP Audits

audit-2823174_1920Wouldn’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…)

EQE 2020 -Exam Venue Curse Strikes Again

8d7ac58eacc8cdae5bbc2c629bfcaf28They 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…)

Apples and Oranges – Shanks v Unilever

fruits-1716853_1920Introduction

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. [2009] 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…)

Patents to protect ethical, environmental or socially responsible technologies

ethics-2991600_1920

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

Times are changing fast. Society as a whole is (finally, some would say) moving towards a more moral or ethical standpoint on a whole host of important issues, whether that be climate change, social responsibility or animal welfare. How do patents, seen by some as a legal ‘stick’ to beat ‘the little guy’ with, fit in this uprising trend? Can patent protection ever be part of an ethical or high moral value business model? (more…)

The predictive power of the Pre-EQE

classroom-1910012_1920It’s mid-January. Exam stress is rising. About two months from now, more than 2,000 candidates from close to 40 different countries will take part in either the EQE pre-examination or one or more of the four EQE main exams that are organised by the European Patent Office (EPO). These exams, especially the four main exams, are not easy. Only 2 in 5 candidates manage to pass all papers in their first attempt. Passing these exams is only possible with proper preparation. Following some courses is highly recommended for all papers. Thoroughly studying the (case) law and practicing a large number of old exams is unavoidable. (more…)

No Deal Brexit, Boris and IP

brexit-1481028_640Following Boris Johnson becoming the Prime Minister of the UK last month, and given his desire to leave the EU by the 31 October 2019 deadline with or without a deal, we have highlighted the UK government’s plans for trade marks, designs and patents in the event of a “No Deal” Brexit in more detail.

It is noted that in the event of a “No Deal” Brexit, the UK will leave the EU without any transition period and the “switch-over” date for IP, referred to as “Exit Day” below, will be 31 October 2019 (unless there are further extensions) (more…)

Roy Scott obituary

Roy Scott 1968-2019 (2)

When a teenage Roy Scott reported for his first day at the Ministry of Defence back in 1987, he was allocated to a department doing something he’d never heard of – called ‘IP’. Luckily for IP, Roy caught the bug and took his first steps in a profession on which he was to have a profound influence. For Roy wasn’t just a consummate professional: he devoted himself to shaping the IP community too.

After a couple of years with the MoD, Roy moved into private practice with Lloyd Wise. Next, he joined Jenkins before moving to Field Fisher and then Nabarro, where he led sizeable IP support teams. From there, Roy brought his outstanding experience to Keltie in 2003, where he rose to become the firm’s Senior Paralegal.

(more…)

Canada’s Patent Rules come into force on October 30, 2019

Flag_of_CanadaToday on IPcopy we have a guest post from Wendy Lamson of Perley-Robertson, Hill & McDougal LLP on the subject of national phase entry in Canada. This post has been reproduced with the permission of the author.

The new Patent Rules were published on 10 July 2019 in Canada Gazette, Part II.  The amendments will bring the Canadian Patent Rules into conformity with the Patent Law Treaty and will come into effect on October 30, 2019.

Highlights of some of the more important changes are discussed below.  Notably, certain deadlines will be shortened and the ability to reinstate an abandoned patent application or revive a lapsed patent will become more difficult in certain circumstances. (more…)