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Common soft IP related mistakes made by SMEs

mistake

Photo by DTL at morguefile.com

IP value and risk

Risk is the chance of something going wrong, and the danger that damage or loss will occur. By its very nature, there are both rewards and risks associated with IP. For anyone involved in IP, then IP related risks are part of working life.

However many ignore the risks associated with IP or only react when the risk has materialised, which is most times too late. Also, many of the IP related risks that companies face are due to their own lack of awareness or proper understanding of IP, and/or their own actions or lack of actions.

Soft IP

There are multiple forms of IP such as patents, trademarks, copyright, etc. etc.

The term ‘soft IP’ is sometimes used to refer to trademarks, copyright, and domain names, in contrast to ‘hard IP’, which is sometimes used to refer to patents.

I accept that use of this phrase is controversial among some IP practitioners, and that the term soft IP may mean slightly different things from one IP practitioner to another

This paper focuses on soft IP and in particular on trademarks, domain names and social media handles, and some of the common mistakes made by SMEs as far as these forms of IP are concerned. (more…)

IP in the UK after the Brexit Referendum

GB+EU flagOn 23 June 2016 the UK public voted in favour of the UK leaving the EU (commonly referred to as ‘Brexit’). If and when the UK formally starts the exit procedure, there will be at least a two-year negotiation period before the exit itself occurs. So, any changes won’t be implemented for some time yet.

Any UK national IP rights will be unaffected by Brexit. Some EU IP rights that have effect in the UK will be affected to different extents. Crucially, no IP rights will be lost as a result of Brexit, although some transitional measures are inevitable.

IPcopy takes a look at the key impact Brexit will have on IP, and what you should be considering now. (more…)

High Court quashes private copying exception

MontyPythonIn October 2014, new legislation came into effect that legalised format shifting (e.g. CD-ripping or e-book conversion etc.) for private non-commercial use. However, a High Court judgement before Mr Justice Green issued last week quashed the Statutory Instrument used to bring in the legislation. This means that ripping music and films you own is illegal, again.

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Spot The Difference…. How do you Deal with Copying?

neon sign copy MGD©In the previous “general introduction to IP” article, we discussed various different intellectual property or “IP” rights. This time, we are examining two of these rights in more detail, the two rights invoked most commonly when encountering instances of copying of products, packaging or promotional materials: Copyright and Design Right. As noted before, these articles are designed as (brief) primers to highlight some particular elements of the subject area.

Subsistence

Copyright will subsist in the tangible expressions of your ideas and creativity. Examples of copyright works are paintings, photographs, sound or film recordings, drawings and written works, such as the scripts appearing on your product packaging or websites. Copyright does not apply to single names or titles. (more…)

London Tech Week 2015 – Free IP clinics: Inventions, branding & design protection advice

LTW PartOfBanner_720x90px (more…)

General Election 2015: What do the parties say about IP? (IP – Hit or miss?)

SONY DSCStill on the fence about the general election? Well, fear not as IPcopy is here to give you a run down on the most important policy area of them all. Yes, it’s time to look at what the parties have got to say about Intellectual Property.

Rather than subject ourselves to having to read the manifestos of the various parties (we’re not masochists you know), IPcopy has located PDF copies of the manifestos for the Conservatives, Labour, the Liberal Democrats, UKIP, Plaid Cymru, the Green Party and the SNP and has performed a word search for any of the following terms: patent, trade mark (or trademark), design (IP related design references only), copyright, intellectual property.

So, here we go…. (more…)

Are You Protecting Your Most Valuable Assets? An Introduction to Intellectual Property

IP imageOver the next couple of weeks, IPcopy will be republishing some general introduction to IP articles that we prepared to present some topics, facts and issues from the area of intellectual property law for people who have had little or no contact with intellectual property. The articles are designed as (brief) primers to highlight some particular elements of the subject area.

Intellectual property (IP) can sometimes be overlooked. Intellectual assets are not tangible and, as such, can be difficult to value. Often, they are not taken into consideration properly when assessing the worth of a business. However, these assets can be the most important to a business, contributing significantly to its goodwill and reputation, and need to be protected properly. (more…)

UKIPO report on 3D printing lacks dimension

3D printExcitement around 3D printing waned somewhat in 2014 from its meteoric rise in late 2013. Nonetheless, lawmakers and policymakers have been keeping an eye on this disruptive technology, leading to a UK Intellectual Property Office-commissioned report entitled A Legal and Empirical Study into the Intellectual Property Implications of 3D Printing, for which the executive summary was recently published.

The report is actually a wrapper for two separate studies. These were jointly carried out by the Centre for Intellectual Property Policy & Management (CIPPM) at Bournemouth University and Econolyst Ltd, a consultancy specialising in 3D printing.

The first study comprised an analysis of how copyright law may be may be affected by the emergence of 3D scanning, and the creation and modification of digital design files. Additionally, it reviewed file-sharing websites including MakerBot’s Thingiverse, Autodesk’s 123D and GrabCad which are dedicated to computer-aided design (CAD) to provide a view on the types of print products available, their price, popularity and usage licences.

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Copyright Works in Photographs: Photographing Buildings

the_shard

Moody Shard Shot

At a recent training seminar a colleague from Keltie and I presented an overview of patents, trade marks, designs and copyright to an audience of in-house lawyers. As I’m a patent attorney and my colleague is a trade mark attorney we were ready for any questions that could be thrown at us from the fields of patents, designs and trade marks. Copyright, not so much maybe. We obviously had the basics covered and knew the details of some recent cases like Meltwater. However, anything slightly off track could have the potential to cause problems.

Nothing like that would happen, would it? Enter Sod’s Law and a question about taking photographs of a building…. (more…)

Copyright and The Art of Leadership

Unicorn (not by George Bush)

Unicorn (not by George Bush)

Today on IPcopy we have a guest post from Tom Lingard of Stevens & Bolton LLP.

It’s always nice to have a hobby to keep you busy in retirement; perhaps never more so than when the job from which you have retired is Leader of the Free World. This was presumably former US President George W. Bush’s thinking when he took up painting, but whereas the artwork of most amateur painters will never be seen by anyone other than immediate family, one of the unique benefits of being an ex-President is having a 14,000 sq. ft. exhibition space at your eponymous Presidential Center in which to exhibit them. However, instead of earnest criticism about the obvious influence of early 20th century Fauvism and Post-Impressionist era Gauguin on Mr Bush’s portraits of various world leaders (including Tony Blair, Angela Merkel, Hamid Karzai, Vladimir Putin and the Dalai Lama), the pictures have attracted attention for the striking similarity they bear to photographs that appear at the top of the search results when the leaders’ names are put into search engines. So has Mr Bush inadvertently walked into a legal minefield?

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