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The UK and UPC: is the UK trying to have its cake and eat it?

GB+EU flagIs the UK serious about ratifying the UPC Agreement?

Last week the UK announced at an EU Competitiveness Council meeting that it was proceeding with preparations to ratify the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA). This announcement was greeted with some surprise but seemed to be generally viewed as “a good thing”: the unitary patent system could get back on track, the UK and Germany could ratify the agreement and we might see the first unitary patents rolling off the production line some time in the back half of 2017.

There was, however, some cynicism expressed online with some commentators pointing out that the official announcement is, when you really look at it, pretty light on actual detail1.

Now, I’m not one to shy away from a good healthy dose of cynicism but I thought the announcement was actually heralding the restarting of the ratification process. However, I’ve recently heard some background to the announcement which has made me wonder – “Is the UK trying to have its cake and eat it?” (more…)

UK to continue with the Unitary Patent System despite Brexit Referendum result

IMG_8533-1The UK is to continue participation in the unitary patent system by ratifying the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement.

Following rumours that have been circulating since last week, the UK confirmed yesterday, at an EU Competitiveness Council meeting, that it will continue with its preparations for ratification of the Unified Patent Court Agreement. This announcement seemingly gets the unitary patent system back on track and a start date at some point during 2017 once again seems a possibility.

The full announcement from the UK government can be found here and is also reproduced at the end of this post. In this post, IPcopy takes a closer look at what was said, what needs to happen next and then speculates what might happen post-Brexit. (more…)

USPTO – Software patent eligibility update

USThe USPTO issued a new memo to patent examiners on the subject of software patent eligibility on 2 November 2016 following recent precedential decisions in McRo Inc v Bandai Namco Games America and BASCOM Global Internet Services v AT&T Mobility in the Federal Circuit. A further recent precedential, decision Amdocs (Israel) Ltd v Openet Telecom, will be the subject of a further memo. As always the USPTO has updated its subject matter eligibility page on its website. (more…)

Shining a light under Europe’s patent troll bridge

Troll_Bridge_by_BlazeTwoeThe European Commission’s science and knowledge service, the Joint Research Centre (JRC) carries out research with the aim of providing independent scientific advice and support to EU policies. The JRC has released a Science for Policy Report that looks at “Patent Assertion Entities in Europe”. (more…)

Australian Patent Law Developments

PA106741Keltie recently welcomed Australian Patent Attorney Peter Treloar from Shelston IP to London and Peter was kind enough to provide a presentation on Australian Patent Law Developments. The following is an overview of developments in “Raising the Bar”, Business Method patents and Innovation patents in Australia. (more…)

IPcopy’s Top 10 Halloween Patents

halloween-cover-photo

Credit: Meigsinh via Morguefile

Halloween is nearly upon us and falls this year on a Monday which means that we have a whole weekend of trick or treaters to look forward to. Whatever wee beasties you find out looking for sweets this weekend, it’s likely they’ll pale into comparison in the horror stakes to Ed Balls on Strictly. After last week’s TV Gold moment in “that lift”, I shudder to think what’s in store for us next.

The dancing abilities of an ex politician aren’t what we’re here for though and this Halloween IPcopy has 10 wicked and ghoulish patents for you…. (more…)

EPO Guidelines – November 2016 Update

epologoA new version of the EPO Guidelines for Examination will come into effect on 1 November 2016 and is already available on the EPO website. We’ve taken a quick peek through the changes (which can be displayed by toggling the “show modifications” button in the upper right portion of the screen) and discuss some of the updates below.

Patent attorneys who work on cases concerning computer-implemented inventions will be interested in the new sections added to Part G which provide a number of examples of applying the problem-solution approach to these types of invention. (more…)

Brexit: Labour’s 170 Questions for the Government

brexit-1481028_1920The Labour Party released a set of 170 Brexit related questions last week to cover each day between 13 October 2016 and the Article 50 notification deadline announced by the Prime Minister at the Conservative Party conference, 31 March 2017.

IPcopy took a quick look at the questions to see whether any were IP themed ones and, if there were any such questions, how far down the list these came.

We found references to the unitary patent system and also to geographical indications. (more…)

Trade secrets versus patents

secretTrade secrets were the subject of one of the sessions at the recent Mischon de Reya “Patents: A Year in Review” seminar where Martyne Hann took the audience on a whistlestop tour of trade secrets, including recent developments in the US and Europe, and the interplay between patents and trade marks. (more…)

Make America Great Again: The Trade Mark

trumpWhilst perusing a book of Trump quotes while buying a greetings card recently, I noted that one of his statements was directed toward an IP issue, namely his campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again”, and how he’d trademarked the saying.

Given that a favourite pastime of the US media seems to be fact checking everything Trump and Clinton say, IPcopy took a gander at the USPTO trade mark register to find out. (more…)