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Innovation & Entrepreneurship START! Challenge hosted by the Imperial College Business School’s Entrepreneurship Hub

imperialIPcopy welcomes Monica Patel back to the blog today with a report on the recent I&E START! Challenge Final 2016 at Imperial College’s Business School in which three finalists pitched their business to a panel of investors and competed for a £10,000 prize.

As I walked into the room, I couldn’t help but feel like I was entering the Dragons’ Den (despite the fact that I was in a brightly-coloured lecture theatre at Imperial College’s Business School). Sat behind the three “Dragons”, I had front row seats to the final round of the I&E START! Challenge, hosted by Imperial College Business School’s Entrepreneurship Hub.

The top three teams of the competition, whittled down from a total of eight teams, were each about to deliver their pitch to a panel of judges. Evaluated on market opportunity, product feasibility and plans for growth, the winning team was to be presented with a prize of £10,000 to further develop their business venture. (more…)

Cure is the New Disease – Poisonous divisionals, red-shirts and plums

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Watch out for the Gorn (Photo by Ladyheart at Morguefile.com)

“They’re dead, Jim.”

Like the red-shirted crewman in the original series of Star Trek*, the poisonous divisional has apparently breathed its last, though in this case in the comfortable home (for the time being) of the Boards of Appeal in the Isar building of the EPO, rather than a few miles outside of Los Angeles at the Vasquez Rocks where pretty much every episode of Star Trek appears to have been partially filmed.

In this case, the fatal weapon was not a phaser, but a blunt instrument of similar vintage – FICPI Memorandum C (M/48/I) of the travaux préparatoires to the EPC 1973.  The analysis of partial priority in this document was used heavily by the Enlarged Board in G1/15 (see 5.2.1 in particular) to indicate how partial priority was embedded in the European patent system, and how it allowed a resounding “No” to be given to the first question referred to the Enlarged Board of Appeal, repeated in all its tongue-tripping elegance below: (more…)

Unitary Patent Package – The Ratification Game (Italy completes its ratification formalities)

EU shirt2Update (13 February 2017)

According to the website of the Council of the European Union, Italy has now deposited its instrument of ratification (on 10 February 2017) to become the 12th country to complete its ratification formalities. Italy joins the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Finland, Portugal, Luxembourg, Malta, Denmark, Belgium, Sweden, France and Austria as one of the twelve countries who have completed their ratification processes.

The unitary patent system requires 13 countries to ratify, including the UK, France and Germany. Although the EU Referendum in the UK threw the timescale into doubt, the Preparatory Committee recently confirmed that the target date for the unitary patent system to go live is December 2017.

There are now enough countries to have ratified the unified patent court agreement that the system will come into effect if just the UK and Germany complete their own ratification procedures.

Now that Italy has completed all of the formalities we have updated our ratification infographic (for an answer to the question “What’s up with this infographic?“, please see the bottom of the post!”).

ratification-feb-2017

(more…)

UPC update – February 2017

IMG_8533-1IPcopy recently attended two events that discussed updates to the Unitary patent and Unified Patent Court: CIPA’s “The UPC: Where we are and Why” and the Westminster Legal Policy Forum’s “The future for the UK’s patent framework”.

The CIPA event included presentations from Kevin Mooney (Simmons & Simmons and Chairman of the Drafting Committee of the Rules of Procedure of the UPC), Dr Laura Starrs (UK Intellectual Property Office) and Tony Rollins (CIPA President) and the WLPF event included contributions from Kevin Mooney, Tim Frain (Nokia), Tony Rollins, Matt McBrien (BAE Systems) and Margot Fröhlinger (EPO).

IPcopy has summarised some of the points below. (more…)

Euratom, the CJEU, Brexit and the UPC

brexit-1481028_1920IPcopy is finding it difficult to reconcile the UK Government’s various announcements regarding the CJEU with continued participation in the unitary patent scheme.

As discussed in an earlier post we suggested that the Government was going to argue that continued participation in the unitary patent scheme was OK, despite the presence of the CJEU within the unified patent court structure, because domestic patent law would be unaffected by the limited influence the CJEU would have over UPC decisions.

Last week it became clear from the explanatory notes  accompanying the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill (the “Article 50 bill”) that the Government was intending on pulling out of the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) as well as the EU. (more…)

Gowling WLG – Patent Seminar 2017

elephant

Elephant in the Room

Various IPCopiers were present last week for the annual patent seminar at Gowling WLG, helmed by the inimitable Gordon Harris.

Alex Brodie opened with some potentially unsettling statistics.  Although the numbers of decisions, decisions per court, number per subject matter and type of action were almost identical between 2015 and 2016, the ‘win’ (valid/infringed, valid (at least in part) and infringed) vs. loss stats differed markedly:  (more…)

New UPC Implementation Timetable and further UK ratification progress

IMG_8533-0Following the Brexit vote last June progress on bringing the unitary patent system into operation ground to a halt. The last few weeks however have seen a resumption of activities which was confirmed last week when the Unfied Patent Court Preparatory Committee website posted a new timetable for the UPC Agreement to come into force and the Court to open.

All things being equal the Preparatory Committee sees the Court becoming operational in December 2017. Keeping its end of the bargain, for now, the UK also took the next step in its own ratification process. (more…)

The 12 point Brexit plan and the CJEU – can the UK be part of the UPC post-Brexit?

IMG_8533Can the UK continue with the UPC post-Brexit? IPcopy suggests a tentative way forward.

After months of soundbites we finally heard the “plan” for Brexit this week when the Prime Minister gave a speech at Lancaster House that detailed a 12 point plan for leaving the EU (Full transcript here).

Objective 2 of this action plan related to the control of our own laws and leaving the jurisdiction of the CJEU (see extract from the transcript in footnote below1). This in turn lead several commentators to speculate that this would block the UK’s participation in the unitary patent scheme post-Brexit since, under the UPCA, questions relating to the interpretation of EU law can be referred from the UPC to the CJEU.

How, in light of this link between the CJEU/UPC and the PM’s statement, could the UK continue participation in the UPC?

The simplest answer to the above question is that post-Brexit the UK will have to leave the UPC and unitary patent. However, this is seemingly at odds with statements made recently by Jo Johnson (see our article from earlier this week) where it was suggested that the UK has a great interest in being part of the UPC and that our continued participation will be part of the Brexit negotiations.

So, IPcopy wondered if there was a way of reconciling this apparent conflict such that the UK could stay part of the UPC.  (more…)

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…)