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Johnson and Johnson provide path to UK’s ratification of the UPC Agreement

IMG_8533Jo Johnson, the Minister for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, last week picked up responsibility for Intellectual Property (from Baroness Lucy Neville-Rolfe who has moved to a Treasury role). On Wednesday last week Mr Johnson appeared with Jenny Dibden (Director of Science & Research at BEIS) and Sean Dennehey (Acting CEO at UKIPO) at a House of Commons Science and Technology Committee session (video of the event can be found here).

The session was quite wide ranging with questions about the Government’s Industry Strategy Challenge fund, the state of innovation in the UK, the opportunities for collaboration between business and universities and the role of the UKIPO in assisting the public in protecting their inventions and IP.

The main event though, as far as IPcopy was concerned, was the exchange between Derek Thomas MP and Jo Johnson MP about the Unified Patent Court. (more…)

Brexit – a golden opportunity to move your IP work to the UK

brexit-1481028_1920In this post IPcopy argues that the Brexit vote represents a golden opportunity for IP rights holders outside the EU to send patent, trade mark and design work to the UK as a weakened pound makes the high quality IP services on offer in the UK more value for money than ever before. (more…)

IPcopy: Top 10 IP posts in 2016

Every year you make me wear this. Santa better bring me a bone this time....[Photo by ellierhu at Morguefile.com]

Every year you make me wear this. Santa better bring me a bone this time….[Photo by ellierhu at Morguefile.com]

It’s that time of year again when, despite your best efforts, possibly the worst music ever created in human history drills itself into your brain and you find yourself humming such “classic” lines as:

So here it is Merry Christmas
Everybody’s having fun
Look to the future now
It’s only just begun.

Based on what happened this year I can only hope Slade are wrong when they say that “it’s only just begun” – Brexit, the US elections, Ed Balls making it to Blackpool – the shocks have come thick and fast this year and I was rather hoping 2017 might be a little…boring.

So, what does next year have in store? Who knows …. but IPcopy notes that the effects, if any, of the unexpected outcomes of the Referendum and the US Election probably won’t really start to bite until 2017….Merry Christmas everyone!

In the rest of the post below we take a quick look back IPcopy’s Top 10 IP related posts from 2016. Before we do that however I’d like to remember in a small tribute two members of the Keltie family that are sadly not with us this Christmas, David Keltie and Lindsey Gordon-Thomas. David of course set up the firm I am part of just over 28 years ago and succeeded in his desire to “create something amazing”. Lindsey worked in our accounts department and was, like David, one of the nicest, happiest and most positive guys you could ever meet. David and Lindsey both possessed an infectious laugh and wherever they are right now I’m certain it’s buzzing. David, Lindsey, it was my pleasure to have known you both.
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UK signs Protocol on Privileges and Immunities (Unified Patent Court update)

IMG_8533-1My post last week covered the steps remaining for the UK to ratify the UPC Agreement. Number 1 in that list was signature by the UK of the Protocol on Priviliges and Immunities. Also mentioned in point 1 of the list was the expectation that the UK government’s regular email updates of the process would also recommence.

IPcopy is pleased to note that both  items were crossed off the list last Thursday when an email from the IPO arrived that confirmed the UK had signed the Protocol in Brussels on 14 December. Additionally the email noted that the preparations for laying the necessary legislation have started up again.

IPcopy understands that a number of people in the UPC Taskforce were reassigned following the Referendum result. A new project team has been put together to deliver the ratification work including Liz Coleman (Lead), Dr Laura Stars (Policy Lead), Jonathan England (Operations Manager Aldgate Tower) and Helen Treharne (Communications).

Further updates are expected from the IPO in the New Year but the next Executive Group meeting of the Preparatory Committee is scheduled for 11 January.

Mark Richardson 20 December 2016

Cyberattackers and IP – Deloitte webcast

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Photo by clarita at Morguefile.com

IPcopy happened upon this slide pack on LinkedIn from Deloitte relating to cyberattackers and IP (Valuing and guarding prized business assets). The slides capture the poll responses of nearly 3000 professionals from the banking, tech, investment management, travel, insurance and retail sectors.

Over 10% of the participants reported a cyber theft within the last 12 months with employees regarded as the most likely group to attempt such a cyber theft (c. 20% of the vote). IPcopy noted with a slightly raised eyebrow that “nation states” attracted 10% of the “potential adversary” vote, though given the suggestions that the recent US election was hacked by a nation state, perhaps we shouldn’t be surprise….  (more…)

The UK’s path to ratifying the UPC Agreement 

IMG_8533-0As we reported a couple of weeks ago, the UK announced at the EU Competitiveness Meeting in November that it would be continuing with its preparations for ratifying the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement.

In an article last week I noted that I was unsure of the steps the UK would need to take to ratify. Since then however I have very kindly been walked through the remaining steps of the ratification process in a conversation with Dr Laura Starrs at the UKIPO.

Following this conversation IPcopy understands the process as follows (Note: any errors or omissions in what follows are my fault alone!):

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Brexit and the Supremes

brexit-1481028_1920The UK held a referendum five months ago on whether it should remain a member of the European Union. One simple question was asked: Should the UK remain a member of the EU or leave the EU?

I know this because the question was written on my ballot paper – see below

ballot1

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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…)