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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

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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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Mental health – How to help in the workplace?

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Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay

People often say that they have no idea what to say or how they can help me when I’m in the grips of mental illness. They want to be able to help, but have no idea how to go about it. There is no doubt that it is a difficult and incredibly personal topic, especially to be discussing at work. However with poor mental health being one of the main reasons for people taking time off work it is not something that can be ignored, particularly if we are aiming for workplaces in which staff are happy and in which everyone can thrive.

A lot of the conversation currently seems to focus on what people with mental illness can do in order to get help or to improve their condition. I believe that some of the pressure that currently rests on the mentally ill to adequately explain themselves should be lifted. In my opinion, the best way that you can help co-workers struggling with mental illness is to educate yourself about what they’re dealing with in order to truly empathise and to thereby create a working environment free of shame and stigma.

We are seeing workplaces implement more mental health related policies, which is clearly a very good thing! There has been more of a focus put on the ways in which we work, implementing more flexible hours and training mental health first aiders to name a few. These steps forward are obviously incredibly important, but here I am instead choosing to focus on what we can all do on a personal level in order to make a difference. Change does not just come from workplace policy, but in the way we interact with each other on a daily basis.

Below I have laid out what are, in my opinion, the most important and helpful things you can do in order to support people who are experiencing ill mental health. (more…)

Easter Innovations

easter-3100341_1920Disaster has struck with the Easter bunny lost in the world of IP, days away from Easter Sunday. Luckily, he’s left a few clues with his Easter related designs and inventions to lead us to his hiding spot. (more…)

Brexit delayed: EU offer “If This Then That, Else” extension

brexit-1481028_1920After grilling PM Theresa May for 90 minutes and then holding 8 hours of talks, the EU-27 offered to delay Brexit last night. The PM has accepted this offer which means that the No-Deal cliff edge has moved back from 29 March and Brexit has effectively been delayed slightly. This delay means that the potential impact of Brexit on EU Trade Marks (EUTMs) and Registered Community Designs (RCDs) will also be delayed. (more…)

Lá Fhéile Pádraig

As we approach our national holiday we can’t help but feel patriotic. Here we take a look at what the good people from the Emerald Isle have contributed to the world over the years and more importantly how intellectual property has played its part. There are plenty of impressive technical advancements that originated in Ireland including the induction coil, the submarine, the hypodermic syringe, the binaural stethoscope…We could go on and on, but we understand you have plenty of other priorities for the weekend so we’ll keep it snappy with our top 5 intellectual property related contributions that play a pivotal role in the everyday life of the Irish individual. (more…)

Phenomenal Females – Inventors that the world should know about

microscopeIn light of International Women’s Day, we would like to pay tribute to some incredible inventors throughout history, who just happen to be women.

Shockingly, although 46% of the UK workforce is female, only 15.5% of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) workforce are women, with only 8% female engineering professionals. One possible reason for this is the lack of awareness of female role models in STEM occupations.

Here we present our list of female inventors we think the world should know about. (more…)