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When sharing your trade secrets with others, just remember that NDAs are like confetti

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Image: pixabay.com

No longer the neglected step-child of IP:

Trade secrets have been the neglected step-child of IP but that situation is fast changing. There are various forces at play helping to increase the importance of trade secrets.

Firstly, the law is changing.

·       The Defend Trade Secrets Act passed in the USA in May 2016

·       The EU Directive on Trade Secrets is enacted by member state on 9 June 2018

·       China explicitly included trade secrets in its 2018 revisions to the Anti Unfair Competition Law

Changes in the eligibility requirements and enforcement mechanisms of patent laws around the world, but especially those in the US – and especially as they relate to software and business methods, make trade secrets an attractive mechanism to protect a company’s competitive advantages. (more…)

Excluded Subject Matter – Two Recent Case Law Rulings

Image from pixabay.com

In the UK, section 1(2) of the Patents Act (which is set out at the bottom of this post) sets out certain categories of invention that are not patentable. These categories of invention are generally referred to as excluded subject matter. The assessment of patentability under section 1(2) is based on the judgment of the Aerotel Ltd v Telco Holdings Ltd and Macrossan’s Application case at the Court of Appeal. This judgment approved a four-step test for deciding on whether an invention is patentable.

Two relatively recent case rulings that relate to the above-mentioned subsections of the act are: the “Google Inc.” case (BL O/364/17), and the “Accipiter Radar Technologies Inc.” case (BL O/390/17), which were heard in August 2017. Both cases are noteworthy as they were respectively refused and accepted, and so offer insight to the type of inventions that are considered by the UK courts to be patentable and non-patentable in view sub-sections (c) and (d) of Section 1(2) of the Patents Act. (more…)

Top 5 tips for protecting trade secrets

spy-camera-1702973_1280With the new EU Trade Secrets Directive coming into force in June 2018, Dr Chris Hayes of Lewis Silkin details his top 5 tips for protecting trade secrets. (more…)

Is it time to bury the UPC yet?

IMG_8533-1Just before Christmas, the Preparatory Committee for the Unified Patent Court (UPC) published an online article, looking ahead into this new year. Optimistic as usual, the committee expressed to be “hopeful the New Year will bring closure to [its] endeavours and the Unified Patent Court will become a reality”. Some words were spent on the delay caused by the challenges to the German ratification of the Agreement at the German Federal Constitutional Court (GFCC), but most of the article was meant to inform the future users of the unified patent system about the provisional application of the Agreement in the months before the Court will actually start. The article included no words on Brexit and the as yet unclear future relation between the EU and the UK. (more…)

Spinning out without falling over

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[pixabay.com]

When a spin-out company is successful the results can be spectacular. In 2014 Zynga Inc acquired NaturalMotion, a leading games and technology company from Oxford University Innovation whose game titles include Dawn of Titans and CSR Racing, for more than US $527 million.

University spin-outs are growing with companies such as Applied Graphene Materials and PureLiFi hitting mainstream news. In the UK, spin-out programs are centered on university campuses and supported by two key government initiatives, the Enterprise Fund and University Challenge Scheme. The UK has the highest number of spin-out support programmes in Europe, with the main players being Oxford and Cambridge University. As well as benefiting universities, businesses and investors, the success of spin-outs is making an impact on regional and economic development too. On the back of this success more and more universities and investors are looking into possibility of spin-outs of their own.  (more…)

New Year’s resolutions, IP and Fitness

Leaving the overindulgence of the Christmas period and entering into the New Year of 2018, we will inevitably see an abrupt shift from yuletide-themed adverts to January clearance sales, and with it the traditional bombardment of reminders to buy sofas at half of the (alleged) recommended retail price, prompts to start putting down instalments on that dream summer holiday and, of course, the fitness and/or health-themed myriad of adverts that boisterously tell us to “start afresh” this New Year.  (more…)

ADEC “steals” ANC colours

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ADEC logo

Today on IPcopy we have a guest post from Tyrone Walker of Moore Attorneys on the subject of political party logos in South Africa. This post has been reproduced with the permission of the author. 

The African Democratic Change (“ADEC”) party was officially launched on 1 December 2017 in South Africa. A representation of its logo is depicted right. (more…)

The CITMA Paralegal Seminar ‘Madrid Protocol: tips and tricks – what paralegals need to know’

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(l-r: Roy Scott; Jonathan Clegg; Sharon Fleet; Melanie Oliver; Daniel Smart)

Following her Majesty the Queen’s approval of the ITMA’s Royal Charter and the news that the Trade Mark Administrators had in turn undergone a rebrand and become CITMA Paralegals, Keltie LLP were delighted to host the first CITMA Paralegal seminar on 27th October 2017 at their London office.

The seminar was chaired by Roy Scott from Keltie LLP, who in turn introduced the guest speakers: Sharon Fleet and Melanie Oliver (UKIPO), Jonathan Clegg (Cleveland Scott York) and Daniel Smart (Colman + Smart). (more…)

Pepsi Twist vs Lemon Twist

soft-2262307_640Today on IPcopy we have a guest post from Tyrone Walker of Moore Attorneys on the subject of a soft drink trade mark battle in South Africa. This post has been reproduced with the permission of the author. 

The soft drink battle of “PEPSI TWIST” versus “LEMON TWIST” continued in South Africa in the Supreme Court of Appeal.

In 2006, PepsiCo had applied for the registration of the trade mark “PEPSI TWIST”. Atlantic Industries (“Atlantic”), a wholly owned subsidiary of The Coca-Cola Company had opposed these trade mark applications. The basis of Atlantic’s opposition was that “PEPSI TWIST” was confusingly similar to their current trade marks  “TWIST”, “LEMON TWIST” and “DIET TWIST”. PepsiCo responded with a counter action by applying for the expungement (“removal”) of Atlantic’s marks. (more…)

Top 5 Tips to help spot Misleading Invoices

DSC03616-BOur first article on misleading invoices was published in 2013. Four years on this issue is still unfortunately of relevance to all IP right holders who need to be aware of invoices received from unfamiliar companies. (more…)