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Patents for the Summer Holidays

Motorised ice cream cone

Summer is here which can mean only one thing. It’s time to give you a run down of the weird and wacky intersection of the vacation industry and the patent system! (more…)

CIPA Seminar: How will the unitary patent affect your patent strategy? – Episode 4

IMG_8533-1Episode 4 of the CIPA series on the unitary patent system looked at factors that might impact an applicant’s patent strategy. This entry into the CIPA UPC series covered some similar ground to the first three seminars and so we’ve tried to represent the main points in the table below. This session was notable for the extended Q&A session (which IPcopy personally enjoyed) which, in our view, suggested that there may still be some misunderstandings over how the unitary patent system will work in practice. Some of the themes from the Q&A are also discussed below along with a few other titbits of information.

The speaker, Dave Croston of Withers & Rogers, pointed out that the webinar would not be an algorithm that you could plug factors into in order to develop a patent strategy. Neither would it be an exhaustive look at all strategy based points. Rather the seminar aimed to provide a headline look at a number of the issues. (more…)

UPC: UK/DE Ratification update and new version of CMS expected soon

DDZiBDkXYAAgvPY (1)We’ve had some developments of sorts over the last week as far as ratification progress for the UK and Germany is concerned. A new version of the Case Management System for the UPC is also expected to arrive shortly. (more…)

Further delays for the Unitary patent system

IMG_8533The Unified Patent Court website announced last week that the target date for the entry into force of the UPC is going to be delayed (the date being targeted was 1 December 2017).

As noted in the announcement the entry into force date was subject to a number of factors such as completing the required number of national ratification procedures and getting enough countries to participate in the Protocol on Provisional Application. A new timetable is expected to be published soon. (more…)

CIPA Seminar: UP and UPC series: Episode 3 (The UPC Landscape – what will it look like?)

IMG_8533The third in CIPA’s unitary patent seminar series was delivered by Vicki Salmon. This webinar provided a detailed look at the whole unitary patent system, the current patent landscape in Europe and the differences between the two. (more…)

UPC Case Management System – a look at version 0.38

IMG_8533A couple of weeks ago IPcopy took a look at the Case Management System of the Unified Patent Court. Mere minutes after posting our article it was pointed out to us that the CMS had been updated! That update took the CMS to version 0.37.6. Having taken a look through v0.37.6, and wary that the CMS could be updated again, we prepared an update on the changes.

It turns out, however, that our wariness was not misplaced since a further update on the CMS has been released. The current version level is 0.38. How long this might last is anyone’s guess but there are hints that further functionality is planned (see below).

This post will therefore provide an overview of where we are now. Some of the updates discussed below appeared in v0.37.6 and some appeared in v0.38. We’ve pointed out where some things have changed between v0.37.6 and v0.38.

Unlike the apps which update on my smartphone the latest release of the CMS platform has not yet been accompanied by a helpful “What’s New” summary (an email containing fairly basic update information followed some days after the v0.36.7 update but so far nothing for v0.38).

So, we’ve imagined what it might look like if the CMS was an app in the App Store and tried to put a What’s New summary together for you (Note: as in our previous post this article is only looking at the opt-out part of the CMS. If you’ve seen any interesting issues elsewhere in the CMS then please let us know in the comments section).

IPcopy’s comments on the changes are in [italics]. (more…)

Did the “inventor” of the fidget spinner really miss out on a fortune?

SpinnerFidget devices are everywhere. My own kids have somehow acquired at least two variants including the fidget cube and the fidget spinner. Recently the explosion in popularity of these toys has been accompanied by a series of news articles (The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The New York Times) focusing on the inventor of the spinner,  Catherine A. Hettinger, a small time inventor who, as the story goes, missed out on a huge payday because she couldn’t afford the renewal fee on her patent for the spinner toy.

This story seems to have caught the imagination of the public (or at least the press) with its story of the lone inventor who was cut off from the success that followed.

Only, it seems to IPcopy that this story is misleading, “fake news” to use the terminology of the moment, since the patent arguably doesn’t cover the fidget spinner device and would not have lasted this long under any circumstances…. (more…)

CIPA Seminar: Getting Practical with European Patents & the UPC – Episode 2

IMG_8533-1Last week IPcopy watched the second webinar in the CIPA UP/UPC series “Getting Practical with European Patents & the UPC – Episode 2 – managing the knowns and the unknowns of the ‘opt-out’” which was presented again by Pippa Allen. IPcopy’s post on the first webinar can be found here.

The subject of the second webinar was the opt-out and the presentation covered the legal basis for the opt-out as well as the pros and cons of opting a classically validated European patent out of the competence of the Unified Patent Court (UPC).

Opting out a classical EP patent from the UPC is seen as essentially preserving the status quo as far as a patent owner is concerned since an opted out EP patent is regarded as no longer being within the competence of the UPC. Assessments of the UPC may therefore tend to play up the risk of central revocation without providing much in the way of a counter point of view.

The second CIPA webinar however looked to provide a more balanced assessment of the UPC and also of the option of requesting unitary effect for EP patents that grant after the unitary patent system comes into force. (more…)

Two Keltie events for London Tech Week 2017

LTW_728x90London Tech Week, a week long festival of events in London showcasing the best of tech, returns this summer (12-16 June) and Keltie is again taking part with two separate events.

1)  Surviving the Valley of Death – and having a good business afterwards

On 13th June Keltie will be co-hosting a seminar focusing on the legal, IP and finance challenges facing start-up companies. We’re delighted to be presenting this seminar with experts from Moore Blatch (legal service provider to the tech sector), Newable (startup business advice)  and Seraphim Capital (a UK based venture capital firm). Our seminar listing (see link below) has full details of the event including how to book and firm and speaker biographies.

Link to Seminar listing

 2)  Intellectual Property Clinics: protecting your inventions, branding and designs

We will also be running a series of IP clinics again which are the perfect opportunity for start-ups and entrepreneurs wanting to discuss the protection of their inventions, trade marks and designs.

Each clinic session lasts 45 minutes. Our clinic listing (see below) has full details including how to book (Note: booking essential). IP clinics are available anytime from now until 16th June.

Link to IP Clinics listing

A look at the Case Management System of the Unified Patent Court

IMG_8533[Update: a week, as probably no-one has said before, is a long time in UPC CMS development…

Since posting the article below I’ve realised1 that the CMS has been updated(!), one of the more obvious changes being that the opt-out section of the CMS has had a bit of a revamp. Some of the issues below are still valid concerns but the overall process looks a little different now. We’ll be reviewing the changes and will report back shortly.]

Although the entry into force date of the unitary patent system is uncertain the official line is still that the Unified Patent Court is on track to open its doors. The suggested start date of 1 December 2017 is almost certainly unachievable now that the UK has called a General Election but a go live date around Spring 2018 seems doable.

In light of the “business is usual” message from the Powers That BeTM attention is turning towards the mechanics of working with the UPC. CIPA has recently started its Getting Practical series of webinars and a future session is earmarked for a practical walkthrough of the Case Management System (CMS) that we’re all going to need to get to grips with.

IPcopy recently sat down to play around with the CMS and has some observations on the system. It is our understanding that the whole system has been developed pretty quickly and a lot of progress has been made in a short space of time which is pretty remarkable. That being said, from IPcopy’s point of view, there are still a number of issues that can be improved upon. We’ve only been looking at a subset of the features of the CMS, namely the opt-out process, so we’re not sure whether the issues below extend across the rest of the system. (more…)