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Collaboration and the role of AI in the fight against COVID-19

virus-4937553_1920These days, with the UK and many other countries around the world in lockdown, and much of the news and social media output directed towards reporting updates of the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be easy to focus only on the negative, scary and often depressing aspects of the current global situation. However, whilst such aspects are of course important and not to be trivialised, this author has found that taking a step back and looking at some of the positives that have also arisen from this situation has certainly helped to put things in perspective and has been good for her mental wellbeing.

In particular, those stories relating to the largely unprecedented (except perhaps in similar times of global hardship in the past) degree of cooperation and collaboration at many levels of society in an effort to beat the virus do provide some welcome relief. This author would like to share a few examples that, as an ex-astrophysicist and current patent attorney specialising in software inventions, have been of particular interest. (more…)

COVID-19 – Effects on Intellectual Property (IP)

virus-4937553_1920IP Offices around the world have announced special measures to take account of likely business disruption, not only to their own operations but also to those of their customers, from the Coronavirus outbreak. Here we summarise the measures of the EUIPO, EPO, WIPO, UKIPO and IPOI.

If you feel that your ability to respond to an IP deadline is affected by the Coronavirus situation then please contact your normal IP representative who will be able to advise on the options that may be available. It is important to note that the various IP Offices are applying different special measures and the extent of such special measures may not be immediately be apparent. Please also note that the special measures across the various IP Offices mentioned below are changing constantly so please check with your representative for the latest news.

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Business as usual at Keltie during COVID-19 special measures

virus-4937553_1920Dear Friends and Colleagues

With regard to the developing situation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, we would like to reassure our clients that we remain fully operational and are able to deliver the same quality of service as you would expect under more normal circumstances, including full continuity of our client-specific teams where applicable. Our infrastructure allows all our staff to work seamlessly from home and nearly all our staff are now doing so. Only a handful of volunteer staff remain in each of our offices in London, Cambridge, Galway and Cirencester to oversee the transition to full home working and they are closely observing government advice regarding social distancing. (more…)

IP Audits

audit-2823174_1920Wouldn’t it be nice to have some free money to spend on evaluation of your company’s intellectual property?

Well, I’m pleased to tell you that with the generous support of the UK Intellectual Property Office, this is exactly what is on offer.

The scheme in question is called the IP Audits Plus service. It gives those company’s that apply, and are selected, access to a fund of £3,000 (inc. VAT) to spend on evaluation of the company’s IP position (only £500 of which is funded by the company). The money can be spent with a qualified patent or trade mark attorney of the company’s choosing to conduct an Audit of the firm’s IP assets and provide a report. (more…)

Joe’s called himself Hugo Boss but will Boss Lycett?

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Photo by wax115 at Morguefile.com

Comedian Joe Lycett has legally changed his name by deed poll to Hugo Boss, in a protest against the German fashion brand’s apparent aggressive approach to enforcing its rights in the BOSS trade marks. The Comedian Formerly Known As Lycett’s actions appear to have been sparked by a legal battle between Hugo Boss and a Welsh brewery, called Boss Brewing, who were forced to change the name of their beers from ‘Boss Black’ and ‘Boss Boss’ to ‘Boss Brewing Black’ and ‘Bossy Bossy’. (more…)

The General Election, IP and R&D – a look at the manifestos for #GE2019

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Image by John Mounsey from Pixabay

It’s General Election time. Again.

Even though the UK has been through four major votes since 2014 (Scottish Referendum in 2014, General Election in 2015, EU Referendum in 2016, General Election in 2017) the Powers That Be were clearly spooked by the lack of an opportunity for the UK electorate to vote on something major in 2018 and so are bringing us General Election 3: It’s Brexmas Time (There’s No Need to be Afraid).

The main parties might want you to believe that the election is about the chance to ruin our relationship with our main trading partners even further or the ability to nationalise anything that moves but we all really know where the main policy action is. Yes, it’s time to see what the parties have to say about IP.

IPcopy has therefore taken one for the team and has waded through the manifestos for the Conservatives, Labour, the Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru, the Green Party and the SNP  (and also the Brexit Party’s “Contract with the People”) to see what they have to say about: patents, trade marks, designs (IP related design references), copyright, the unitary patent and unified patent court. We’ve also had a look to see what’s been said about research and development.

So, ready? Here we go…. (more…)

No Deal Brexit, Boris and IP

brexit-1481028_640Following Boris Johnson becoming the Prime Minister of the UK last month, and given his desire to leave the EU by the 31 October 2019 deadline with or without a deal, we have highlighted the UK government’s plans for trade marks, designs and patents in the event of a “No Deal” Brexit in more detail.

It is noted that in the event of a “No Deal” Brexit, the UK will leave the EU without any transition period and the “switch-over” date for IP, referred to as “Exit Day” below, will be 31 October 2019 (unless there are further extensions) (more…)

Roy Scott obituary

Roy Scott 1968-2019 (2)

When a teenage Roy Scott reported for his first day at the Ministry of Defence back in 1987, he was allocated to a department doing something he’d never heard of – called ‘IP’. Luckily for IP, Roy caught the bug and took his first steps in a profession on which he was to have a profound influence. For Roy wasn’t just a consummate professional: he devoted himself to shaping the IP community too.

After a couple of years with the MoD, Roy moved into private practice with Lloyd Wise. Next, he joined Jenkins before moving to Field Fisher and then Nabarro, where he led sizeable IP support teams. From there, Roy brought his outstanding experience to Keltie in 2003, where he rose to become the firm’s Senior Paralegal.

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A sad announcement from Keltie – Roy Scott 1968 – 2019

Roy Scott 1968-2019 (2)It is with great sadness that we have to announce that our dear friend and colleague, Roy Scott, passed away on 21 June following a long battle with illness.

It is an incredibly sad time for us at Keltie who have had the pleasure of Roy’s company for more than sixteen years. He was our Senior Paralegal and brought vast experience, in so many imaginative ways, to our paralegal team and to us all. Keltie would simply not be the place it is now without Roy’s overwhelming contribution and infectious charisma. He was also renowned for his contributions to the profession as a whole and inspired so many through his lectures and training, both internally at Keltie and externally through CITMA, CIPA and TMAP.

Roy was an incredible man with an amazing spark and the most joyous and upbeat character which shone through always, even in more recent and difficult days. He is completely irreplaceable to us, as a friend and colleague, and we will miss him dearly. Our thoughts and prayers are with Roy’s family especially at this very sad time.

Brexit and IP – updated overview

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This article is an updated version of a previous Brexit related article which takes into account the UK’s revised date for leaving the EU.

Following an extension agreed by EU leaders back in April, the UK is now expected to leave the European Union on 31 October 2019. The UK’s departure from the EU may have an effect on your Intellectual Property Rights. This article is designed to briefly set out those potential changes.

“Exit Day”

There is a key ‘switch-over’ date for IP, which is referred to here as “Exit Day”. The exact date of Exit Day will be different depending on the manner in which the UK leaves the EU.

In the event of a “No Deal” Brexit, where a Withdrawal Agreement has not been agreed by both sides, the UK will leave the EU without any transition period and Exit Day will be the end of the Article 50 period. Currently the end of the Article 50 period is 31 October 2019, though this date could potentially be extended again if there is still no agreement by that date.

If the Withdrawal Agreement is agreed by the EU and ratified by the UK, this provides for a transition period during which the UK will no longer be part of the EU, but will still be bound by EU rules. In this scenario ‘Exit Day’ is the end of this transition period (the end of December 2020 at least though potentially this date could also be extended).

References to “Exit Day” below should therefore be read as encompassing either the “No Deal” exit day or the exit date at the end of the transition period.

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