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Mental health – How to help in the workplace?

mental-health-2019924_1920

Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay

People often say that they have no idea what to say or how they can help me when I’m in the grips of mental illness. They want to be able to help, but have no idea how to go about it. There is no doubt that it is a difficult and incredibly personal topic, especially to be discussing at work. However with poor mental health being one of the main reasons for people taking time off work it is not something that can be ignored, particularly if we are aiming for workplaces in which staff are happy and in which everyone can thrive.

A lot of the conversation currently seems to focus on what people with mental illness can do in order to get help or to improve their condition. I believe that some of the pressure that currently rests on the mentally ill to adequately explain themselves should be lifted. In my opinion, the best way that you can help co-workers struggling with mental illness is to educate yourself about what they’re dealing with in order to truly empathise and to thereby create a working environment free of shame and stigma.

We are seeing workplaces implement more mental health related policies, which is clearly a very good thing! There has been more of a focus put on the ways in which we work, implementing more flexible hours and training mental health first aiders to name a few. These steps forward are obviously incredibly important, but here I am instead choosing to focus on what we can all do on a personal level in order to make a difference. Change does not just come from workplace policy, but in the way we interact with each other on a daily basis.

Below I have laid out what are, in my opinion, the most important and helpful things you can do in order to support people who are experiencing ill mental health. (more…)

IP Developments in China – Trade Mark Focus

china-2306580_1920Almost as many trade mark applications are filed in China as in the rest of the World combined.  According to recently published WIPO statistics, Chinese trade mark applications accounted for 46.3% of all global trade mark filing activity in 2017 (a staggering 5.74 million Chinese trade mark applications were filed over the course of that year). The next busiest office was the US which accounted for 5% of global filings.

With so many applications being filed, it is no surprise that some are being filed dishonestly.  In fact, brand piracy in China is a serious problem and has been for some time. The “first-to-file” trade mark system in operation there has led to trade mark squatters registering trade marks which are copies or imitations of well-known or up-and-coming brands before the rightful owner is able to do so, thus blocking the rightful owners’ ability to register or even use its mark in China.  This issue is discussed at greater length in our previous blog post here.

In recognition of this issue, the Chinese trade mark authorities recently announced a number of draft provisions aimed at tackling dishonest trade mark applications.  I have summarised some of the key proposals below: (more…)

Easter Innovations

easter-3100341_1920Disaster has struck with the Easter bunny lost in the world of IP, days away from Easter Sunday. Luckily, he’s left a few clues with his Easter related designs and inventions to lead us to his hiding spot. (more…)

Panini Cheapskates

football-2697623_1920To many people the Premier League has become a money-hungry juggernaut.  Kick-off times are regularly shifted to suit the demands of television broadcasters from around the world, sometimes at very short notice, with seemingly little or no consideration shown towards the fans planning on actually attending the games live.  Many of the top clubs continue to raise prices at alarming rates despite the seemingly ever increasing sums of money that they receive for broadcasting rights and other commercial deals (stadium naming rights, anyone?).

In a move that is likely to reinforce the notion that the top clubs are money making machines with no sense of humour, Manchester United recently ordered Alex and Sian Pratchett, known as the Panini Cheapskates, to drop any references to Manchester United from the tongue-in-cheek stickers that they produce on the basis that they infringed the club’s IP rights. (more…)

Brexit and Designs

Yesterday we posted a video detailing the impact of Brexit on trade marks. Here’s our post looking at designs.

2 April 2019

Brexit and Trade Marks

The Brexit process rumbles on. Here’s IPcopy’s video summary of the impact of Brexit on EU trade marks. Note: subtitles are available for this video.

Watch out for further videos this week covering the impact of Brexit on designs and patents.

1 April 2019

Brexit and IP – an overview

brexit-1481028_1920The UK is shortly expected to leave the European Union, which may have an effect on your Intellectual Property Rights. This article is designed to briefly set out those potential changes. (more…)

Lá Fhéile Pádraig

As we approach our national holiday we can’t help but feel patriotic. Here we take a look at what the good people from the Emerald Isle have contributed to the world over the years and more importantly how intellectual property has played its part. There are plenty of impressive technical advancements that originated in Ireland including the induction coil, the submarine, the hypodermic syringe, the binaural stethoscope…We could go on and on, but we understand you have plenty of other priorities for the weekend so we’ll keep it snappy with our top 5 intellectual property related contributions that play a pivotal role in the everyday life of the Irish individual. (more…)

Phenomenal Females – Inventors that the world should know about

microscopeIn light of International Women’s Day, we would like to pay tribute to some incredible inventors throughout history, who just happen to be women.

Shockingly, although 46% of the UK workforce is female, only 15.5% of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) workforce are women, with only 8% female engineering professionals. One possible reason for this is the lack of awareness of female role models in STEM occupations.

Here we present our list of female inventors we think the world should know about. (more…)

EPO Strategic Plan 2023 Consultation

EPO4The European Patent Office (EPO) is seeking input for its Strategic Plan 2023. This project aims to set the vision of the EPO for 2019–2023. The consultation will run from 23 January to 15 March. The results of the consultation will then be presented to the Administrative Council in June 2019.

All EPO stakeholders may participate in this consultation. The EPO imagine this could include: applicants (both individual and corporate), patent attorneys, law firms, national patent offices, governmental and non-governmental organisations, and universities. If you deal with the EPO and want your opinions known; this is your opportunity. (more…)