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Excitement 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.
Update (10 December 2014)
According to the website of the Council of the European Union, Malta deposited its instrument of ratification on 9 December 2014 to become the sixth country to complete its ratification formalities. Malta joins Denmark, Belgium, Sweden, France and Austria as one of the six countries who have completed their ratification processes.
Now that Malta has joined the “ratification” group it means that the “Malta Problem”, which is discussed in depth here, will kick in once the unitary patent system is up and running. In a nutshell, no European patent application filed before 1 March 2007, and which is still pending, will be eligible to become a unitary patent (assuming it grants after the unitary patent system goes live).
Recent unitary patent themed seminars have given the impression that additional UPC ratifications in 2014 were unexpected so this news is something of a surprise. However, we had heard suggestions back in January this year that Malta might have ratified. If the news story we picked up on earlier in the year was correct then presumably Malta delayed depositing its instrument of ratification for nearly a year for some reason.
IPcopy’s ratification infographic has been updated to reflect the news from Malta (for an answer to the question “What’s up with this infographic?“, please see the bottom of the post!”).
The Oxford Dictionary definition of the role of a paralegal is “a person trained in subsidiary legal matters but not fully qualified as a lawyer” – an interesting definition that is interpreted in many different ways in both the UK and US.
It also provided a stimulating topic for discussion at ITMA’s July and August roundtable discussions for Trade Mark Administrators. ITMA President Chris McLeod opened proceedings by addressing the audience and giving his interpretation of the role of a paralegal and how this varied from firm to firm. To highlight this point, the later discussions were focused around the role of a paralegal in-house, in a law firm and in a Trade Mark Attorney business. (more…)
The Intellectual Property Act 2014 received Royal Assent on 14 May 2014 and makes a number of changes to intellectual property (IP) law in the UK. The provisions of the Intellectual Property Act start to come into force from 1 October 2014. In this post we take a look at the UKIPO’s Patents Opinions Service. (more…)
[Update 19.5.2014: the Intellectual Property Act 2014 has now appeared on the legislation.gov.uk website and can be accessed here]
The Intellectual Property Bill left the “ping pong” stage last month after the House of Lords approved the amendments made to the Bill by the House of Commons. Yesterday evening, the IP Bill received Royal Assent to pass into law as the Intellectual Property Act 2014 (House of Lords Hansard; Parliament (Intellectual Property Act 2014)).
As noted on the Department for Business Innovation and Skills website it is expected that some measures within the Act will come into force in October 2014, with all the measures being implemented by late 2015. (more…)
Last week, the government published the “final Exceptions to Copyright” regulations for consideration by parliament. The draft regulations propose changes that modernise UK copyright law in light of recommendations in the Hargreaves Review completed in 2011 (the same review that formed the basis of the Intellectual Property Bill currently in ping pong).
The proposed legislation comes in the form of five draft Statutory Instruments that would amend the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA) and covers Personal Copies for Private Use, Quotation and Parody, Disability, Public Administration and Research, Education, Libraries and Archives. The draft regulations will be debated in both Houses of Parliament and, if approved, they will come into force on 1 June 2014. (more…)
The Report Stage and the third reading of the Intellectual Property Bill took place on 12 March. After some significant discussion time over the last few weeks on all the provisions within the Bill, the IP Bill leaves the Commons with amendments to Clause 3 (Qualification criteria for Unregistered design right) and Clause 13 (the criminal offence for copying a registered design) only. A full list of the Commons Amendments can be found here and marked up versions of the two clauses in question are below.
Since the Commons has made amendments to the Bill, the Lords needs to have another look and (i) agree to the amendments; (ii) disagree with the amendments; or (iii) propose an alternative. When a Bill passes back between the two Houses it is referred to as “ping pong” (or whiff whaff if you prefer….). When the exact wording has been agreed by the two Houses then the Bill will be ready for royal assent. Whiff whaff is currently scheduled for 2 April 2014.
We have taken a quick look at the changes made by the Commons to the Bill down below.
Following IPcopy’s post last week regarding the amendment to divisional deadline rules, ipcopymark reached out to the UK Intellectual Property Office to seek clarification over why the rule was being changed and whether the new rule will change any procedures at the UKIPO going forward.
The response from the UKIPO confirmed that there is not intended to be any change to the practice of filing divisional applications at the UKIPO. However, it was confirmed that incoming Rule 19 is being introduced to address a perceived flaw in the drafting of the current Rule 19 in which it could be argued that the two-month divisional period would be reset following the issuance of every communication under Section 18(4) Patents Act 1977. Whether or not you interpret current Rule 19 in this way, the incoming Rule 19 closes this potential loophole.