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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.

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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…)

European patent prosecution – impact of the International Searching Authority (ISA)

EPO4Overview

When entering the European regional phase from the PCT phase the choice of the international searching authority (EPO or non-EPO international searching authority) has an impact on the actions that are required shortly after regional phase entry and also an impact on the fees that are payable. This article provides a high level overview of the main points of difference. (more…)

A sad announcement from Keltie – Roy Scott 1968 – 2019

Roy Scott 1968-2019 (2)It is with great sadness that we have to announce that our dear friend and colleague, Roy Scott, passed away on 21 June following a long battle with illness.

It is an incredibly sad time for us at Keltie who have had the pleasure of Roy’s company for more than sixteen years. He was our Senior Paralegal and brought vast experience, in so many imaginative ways, to our paralegal team and to us all. Keltie would simply not be the place it is now without Roy’s overwhelming contribution and infectious charisma. He was also renowned for his contributions to the profession as a whole and inspired so many through his lectures and training, both internally at Keltie and externally through CITMA, CIPA and TMAP.

Roy was an incredible man with an amazing spark and the most joyous and upbeat character which shone through always, even in more recent and difficult days. He is completely irreplaceable to us, as a friend and colleague, and we will miss him dearly. Our thoughts and prayers are with Roy’s family especially at this very sad time.

Brexit and IP – updated overview

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This article is an updated version of a previous Brexit related article which takes into account the UK’s revised date for leaving the EU.

Following an extension agreed by EU leaders back in April, the UK is now expected to leave the European Union on 31 October 2019. The UK’s departure from the EU may have an effect on your Intellectual Property Rights. This article is designed to briefly set out those potential changes.

“Exit Day”

There is a key ‘switch-over’ date for IP, which is referred to here as “Exit Day”. The exact date of Exit Day will be different depending on the manner in which the UK leaves the EU.

In the event of a “No Deal” Brexit, where a Withdrawal Agreement has not been agreed by both sides, the UK will leave the EU without any transition period and Exit Day will be the end of the Article 50 period. Currently the end of the Article 50 period is 31 October 2019, though this date could potentially be extended again if there is still no agreement by that date.

If the Withdrawal Agreement is agreed by the EU and ratified by the UK, this provides for a transition period during which the UK will no longer be part of the EU, but will still be bound by EU rules. In this scenario ‘Exit Day’ is the end of this transition period (the end of December 2020 at least though potentially this date could also be extended).

References to “Exit Day” below should therefore be read as encompassing either the “No Deal” exit day or the exit date at the end of the transition period.

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Mental health – How to help in the workplace?

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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…)