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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…)

UPC: Summer Recess Update

The UK Parliament is now on its summer recess until September which seems like a good time for a brief update on some unitary patent related bits and bobs from the last couple of weeks. (more…)

How Wimbledon secured their colour mark

Wimbledon

Photo courtesy of Roy Scott

In a first for IPcopy, we have a podcast for you today!

Zane Shihab,  partner at Kerman & Co LLP, and Manuela Macchi, partner at Keltie LLP, speak to LawInSport CEO, Sean Cottrell and Editor, Chris Bond about the importance of trade mark registration in sport and take review the merits of Wimbledon’s successful registration of the purple and green colour mark.  (more…)

20 Years on – Hong Kong and the Handover

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Image from pixabay.com

IPcopy is delighted to post the following article from Tim Hancock at Haldanes in Hong Kong in advance of the 20th anniversary of the Hong Kong Handover.

It is hard to believe that 20 years have passed since the event that dominated headlines at the time.  30 June 1997 was the last day that sovereignty in Hong Kong resided in United Kingdom.  1 July 1997 was the first day on which China re-acquired that sovereignty.  Many colonial powers have returned control of their former dominions to the inhabitants.  The situation in Hong Kong, with sovereignty transferred to a different country, was unique.  Portugal then reached a similar arrangement with China in relation to Macau, but that grabbed less attention as the transfer took place on 1 January 2000 (a date on which there was considerable competition for headline news).

I have many vivid memories of the time.  Rain is one such memory – almost as much rain as fell on INTA when it was held in Hong Kong in 2014.  I also remember Chinese troops pouring over the border (only to return the next day – not to be seen again).  Others will have their own memories, but for readers under 35, perhaps a brief history will help place the event in context. (more…)

IP Unjustified Threats Act 2017

WestminsterIn what has been a politically and legislatively busy period, IPcopy notes that the new Intellectual Property (Unjustified Threats) Act 2017 was granted Royal Assent on 27 April 2017. The purpose of this act is, in essence, to prevent groundless threats being issued against a party relating to purported IP rights while harmonising the position across patent, trade mark and design rights. Currently available provisions can expose an IP rights holder with a potentially genuine claim to the risk of becoming a defendant themselves, resulting in the rights holder bearing the burden of proof of infringement. For a claimant who may be financially unable to expose themselves to such a risk, this potentially provided a steep barrier to entry and could lead to genuine grievances being abandoned. It is also acknowledged that, whilst it is necessary to offer a defendant a method of defence against a baseless and aggressive threat, it has the potential to create an overly litigious atmosphere, and disputes which could be solved with discussion are instead hauled in front of the courts.

The reforms presented in the Act aim to remove such deficiencies by more clearly defining what does and does not constitute a ‘threat.’ In addition, provisions are now included which bring trade mark and design legislation into accordance with the position for patents. A summary of the key changes brought into effect with this Act are outlined below. (more…)

Franchising

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Swarovski rank in the top 50 franchises in Europe*

This post provides an overview of the recent seminar: Franchising presented by Jas Cheema of Moore Blatch LLP.

 

The seminar aimed to give an overview of franchising and in particular current trends in franchising growth, importance of developing a brand and demonstrating a proven business model and key issues to be aware of when entering into a franchise agreement. (more…)

UKIPO consultation on new fees for patent applications

ConsultationThe UKIPO is currently running a consultation on proposed changes to patent fees. The fee structure is being reviewed as the Government has made a manifesto commitment to make the UK the best place in Europe to patent new ideas [IPcopy note – this consultation was opened a few days prior to the Prime Minister calling the General Election]. To support this, the IPO is investing in electronic services and increased examination capacity and therefore is considering an increase to their fees. (more…)

Supreme Court Axes Laches: Major Change, But Modest Impact

photo-3rToday on IPcopy we have a summary courtesy of Wolf, Greenfield & Sacks, P.C. of a significant patent decision in the U.S. Supreme Court (SCA Hygiene Products v. First Quality Baby Products, LLC).

Summary

On Tuesday March 21, 2017, the Supreme Court issued a 7-1 decision in SCA Hygiene Products v. First Quality Baby Products, LLC, ruling that laches—the notion that a plaintiff prejudiced a defendant by waiting too long to sue—cannot be invoked as a defense against a claim for patent infringement damages that accrued prior to the date of the suit. Explaining that a laches defense would undermine the Patent Act’s statute of limitations for damages, the Supreme Court relied heavily on its analogous copyright decision from 2014, Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc., to overrule a 6-5 en banc decision from the Federal Circuit.

SCA is a favorable decision for patent owners, but is unlikely to have a profound impact on patent litigation. Laches defenses were always difficult to prove except in the most extreme situations—situations in which the separate doctrine of equitable estoppel remains available. SCA will likely be most significant in cases where the patent owner never actually communicated with the defendant before the suit but instead silently waited a long time to sue, perhaps until sales of an accused product are greatest, significantly prejudicing the defendant in the process (e.g., as a result of significant investments in the accused products or important evidence becoming unavailable). Even in those cases, the defendant may still cite laches as a reason to deny injunctive relief. (more…)