As ipcopymark has already reported, this week David Willetts has proposed amendments to Clause 13 of the Intellectual Property Bill that are, in IPcopy’s view, a step in the right direction. Hot on the heels of David Willetts’ amendments, Iain Wright has now put forward further amendments. A tracked copy of the proposed changes to Clause 13 is below, with Willetts’ proposals in red, and Wright’s proposals in blue.
Wright’s proposals are an interesting bunch. They expand on the notion that the copying must be deliberate, and bring in a criteria a person commits an offence if he knows that the acts committed would infringe the registered design, or is reckless as to whether they infringe the registered design. However, the proposed amendment to subsection 5 removes the defence that the design right was not infringed, replacing it with the criteria that the defendant reasonably believed that the registered design was not infringed. IPcopy’s view is that it would far preferable to keep both of these defences. There is also a puzzling addition of a new subsection 7A which defines the term ‘design right’ as including an unregistered Community design. Since the term ‘design right’ does not actually appear in this section it is unclear to IPcopy what this new subsection would add. If you have any thoughts, please let us know!
Also worth noting are Wright’s proposed additions to Clause 1 (that within 12 months the Secretary of State will undertake a review as to how these provisions have advanced the design industry in the UK), and Clause 8 (that within 6 months the Secretary of State will report on plans to publicise the law changes with the objective of educating holders of design rights), and a proposed new Section of the Patents Act that would introduce a “Director General of Intellectual Property Rights” with responsibility for, amongst other things, promoting the creation of new IP and educating consumers as to the importance and nature of IP rights.
So far, Austria is the only state to have ratified the UPC Agreement, with the remaining UPC countries being slow to take the second spot on the ratification podium. But unconfirmed rumours (with thanks to Michael Carter of Wragge & Co for the heads-up) are now circulating that Malta may have ratified the UPC Agreement.
An article in the Malta Independent explains that the Agreement was discussed in the Maltese parliament, and states that “PN MP Jason Azzopardi said that he had signed the ratification on behalf of a PN-led government.”
A delve into the Maltese Parliament’s website reveals that yesterday’s proceedings (21 January 2014) included a debate on Motion 78 -Agreement on a Unified Patent Court – Presented by the Parliamentary Secretary for Justice. Among the text of the motion (thanks Google tranlsate – my Maltese just isn’t what it used to be) is the statement that “Malta has now passed the ratification process , to be carried out in accordance with article 3 of the Act on Ratification Treaties ( Cap 304 ) Authorizing the Maltese Parliament to ratify the Agreement ( Patent Court Industrial unified ) Unified Patent Court ( UPC ) which was signed on 19 February 2013“.
We haven’t been able to confirm the ratification just yet, but all signs indicate that Malta has indeed ratified the Agreement and taken the number 2 spot…
Emily Weal 22 January 2014
Malta, Spain and Virgin v Zodiac: Why ignoring the Malta problem will delegate the decision to the EPO
There has been a resurgence of Virgin v Zodiac in IP news recently, owing to a UK Court of Appeal Decision that upheld Mr Justice Floyd’s High Court decision in full (see, for example, Amerikat’s IPKat article here, and an Article in The Lawyer here [with which IPcopy heartily disagrees]).
Virgin v Zodiac was, of course, very important in overturning the Unilin principal relating to awards of damages. However, another important issue was caught up in this case, which is now catching the eyes of IP reporters, and which has some surprising relevance to Unified Patent Court matters: the UK patent that was the subject of this litigation should never have existed, and only came into being as a result of a procedural error made by the EPO’s Examining Division. Specifically, the Examining Division failed to notice that the Applicant had explicitly asked that the UK not be designated when the European application had been filed, and had erroneously given the application a European designation. (more…)
IPcopy will be taking a Christmas hiatus while we all eat too much food and watch Doctor Who, so you will all have to make do without us for a week or two. In case anyone finds themselves in need of an IP-fix over the Christmas period, we’ll leave something to keep you entertained.
And what could possibly be more festive than a good Christmassy invention? Well – twelve Christmasy inventions set to music, that’s what!
All together now: On the first day of Christmas my patent attorney gave to me…
It’s Movember folks! The time of year when gentlemen around the world cultivate facial topiary to raise money for excellent causes. And so that they can look dashing, of course.
IPCopy is celebrating Movember with a run-down of our favourite moustache-related patents. Why some of these products are no longer available for purchase in a gentleman’s fashion establishment near you is a total mystery…
As a lover of all things food-related, I was surprised this week to hear of a tasty baked good that hadn’t yet made it onto my radar – and a tasty baked good that has come to the world’s attention as the subject of an IP dispute, no less! What more could a girl ask for? Readers will probably already be aware of the ‘Duffin’ – the donut-muffin hybrid that has been made and gradually popularised by Bea’s of Bloomsbury since 2011, and that is now the subject of a trade mark registration by a company that supplies Starbucks (boo hiss taxes etc, etc).
Now, I’m no trade mark attorney – patents are more my bag – so if a contentious issue like this stumbled across my path, I’d be hailing down one of my esteemed trade mark colleagues to untangle it. But as it happens, I’ve spent most of this week committing as much trade mark law as possible to memory in preparation for professional exams, and this real-life example has served as excellent revision fodder.
A few basics of trademark law shed a lot of light onto this situation, and the real legal situation is rather different from the picture that might appear at first sight. Could big-bad Starbucks really stop Bea’s bakery, and others, from using the name Duffin? Well, purely as a self-training exercise, here’s my personal take on the situation.
[Update 2 March 2014: According to a number of newspaper reports on 28 February 2014 the High Court decision discussed in the post below has been overturned by the Court of Appeal. Update: 4 March 2014: the Court of Appeal decision is out and IPcopy’s follow up post can be found here]
Anyone who has passed through an airport recently will be familiar with the now infamous Trunki: the ingenious child’s ride-on suitcase that, I’m reliably informed, makes travelling
marginally less traumatic almost bearable fun for all the family. Trunkis, sold by Magmatic Ltd, first rose to fame on the UK TV show Dragons’ Den, when the Dragons foolishly let the chance for a slice of the Trunki pie slip through their fingers. Unhampered by this rejection, Trunkis have taken the world by storm, and Magmatic have, to put it bluntly, made a Trunki load of cash out of them.
PMS, a plastics manufacturing company, noticed the success of the Trunki and saw a gap in the market for a discount version. Their product, the “Kiddee Case” sought to fill this gap. Magmatic claimed for infringement of its Community Registered Design Right, its UK Unregistered Design Right, and its copyright in the trunki case and it accessories. The cases found themselves before the Hon. Mr Justice Arnold earlier this year, and the judgement includes some particularly interesting conclusions. [A side-by-side comparison of the CRD, Trunki and Kiddee case can be seen here]
The full Judgement can be found here, and is a relatively accessible read, but IPCopy is here to guide you through the important questions decided by the Hon. Mr Justice Arnold. So, keep your hands and arms inside the vehicle at all times, hold on tightly to the curly antennae in front of you, and let us tug you along through the highlights of the case…
Last week, ipcopymark and ipcopyemily ventured out of the open plan, into the late summer sunshine, and headed towards Bristows’ offices for the ‘UPC Rules of Procedure Consultation Event for Stakeholders’, jointly hosted by Bristows LLP, the IPO, CIPA and the IP Federation. What unfolded was a thoroughly interesting two hours of discussion, explanation, comment and debate. The level of knowledge of the UPC among the audience was remarkably high, and it was clear that everyone in the auditorium was highly invested in the eventual content of the Rules of Procedure.
The event was chaired by Bobby Mukherjee from the IP Federation; Neil Feinson from the IPO, who is a member of the Preparatory Committee, also spoke, and the discussion panel consisted of Lord Justice Floyd, Kevin Mooney of Simmons and Simmons (both members of the Drafting Committee that has been preparing the draft of the Rules of Procedure), Alan Johnson of Bristows and Richard Vary of Nokia. A recording of the event can be found here.
Seven topics of particular interest were discussed, and below is a brief summary of the issues and commentary on each. But before we turn to these seven topics. IPCopy would like to offer some brief musings of its own on why all of this matters… (more…)
Around this time last year, decision G1/10 of the Enlarged Board of Appeal was published by the EPO, and over at IPCopy, we’re paying it a little re-visit. ‘Why ever is that?’ I hear you cry! Well, I’m so glad you asked. Separate opposition proceedings relating to the patent in question were in progress when G1/10 was issued; the oral proceedings were scheduled for this month, and an interesting decision was due to be made, so IPCopy took a little look at the EP patents register to see what happened. (more…)
Unified Patent Court News: European Commission Adopts Proposal for Amendment to Brussels I Regulation
Breaking news from IPCopy (with a shout-out to the eagle-eyed Giles Parsons of Browne Jacobson for the heads-up): The European Commission has adopted the Proposal for a Regulation amending Regulation No 1215/2012 (the ‘Brussels I’ regulation). This amendment has been eagerly anticipated by Unitary Patent spotters, and is necessary to bring the Agreement on the Unified Patent Court into effect.