Everyone knows that one of the first things you do once you’ve bought a house or a car is to get it insured, and there are many different options available to allow you to do so. But what about your intellectual property rights? Is it a good idea to insure those as well, and how would you go about doing it?
Since the result of the UK’s referendum on the EU there has been much discussion about what will happen to the unitary patent system in the period before Brexit and also once Brexit has occurred.
Prior to the EU Referendum, many articles that discussed Brexit (including on this blog) referenced the CJEU Opinion 1/09 as the basis for saying that only EU Member States could take part in the UPC Agreement. Following the EU Referendum however a number of commentators posted articles that presented potential mechanisms for the UK’s continued participation in the unitary patent project (UPP).
The future prospects for the UPC and the unitary patent project as a whole have looked somewhat uncertain following the Referendum.
Last week, an opinion (herein the “UPC Opinion”) by Richard Gordon QC and Tom Pascoe of Brick Court Chambers was published which considers the UK, Brexit and the UPP in great detail. Can the UK continue to be a part of the UPP? The short answer seems to be “yes, but…” and further detail on the opinion and the issues discussed is summarised below. (more…)
Unitary Patent Package – The Ratification Game (The Netherlands completes its ratification formalities)
Update (15 September 2016)
According to the website of the Council of the European Union, the Netherlands has now deposited its instrument of ratification (on 14 September 2016) to become the 11th country to complete its ratification formalities. The Netherlands joins Bulgaria, Finland, Portugal, Luxembourg, Malta, Denmark, Belgium, Sweden, France and Austria as one of the eleven countries who have completed their ratification processes.
The unitary patent system requires 13 countries to ratify, including the UK, France and Germany. The target date for the unitary patent system was May 2017 but the result of the EU Referendum in the UK has thrown the timescale into doubt.
There are now enough countries to have ratified the the unified patent court agreement that the system will come into effect if just the UK and Germany complete their own ratification procedures. If the UK (and Germany) were to do this then it would open up a question about what will happen to the UK once Brexit happens. If the UK decides not to ratify the UPC agreement then the system will be on pause until either Brexit occurs or the various unitary patent agreements can be re-negotiated to remove the problems caused by the results of the UK’s EU Referendum from the equation.
Now that the Netherlands 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!”).
The kids are back at school, Starbucks has started selling pumpkin spice lattes and, despite the hottest September day for over 50 years predicted today, the nights are beginning to close in. Yes, summer 2016 is coming to a close.
It has been an unusual summer this year. Back in May we had a number of large sporting events to look forward to: the Rio Olympics/Paralympics, where Team GB covered/is covering itself in glory and Euro 2016, where England contrived to get knocked out by a team with a dentist-manager.
But Summer 2016 wasn’t satisfied with just some sporting events for news and the last two months have been filled with so much news it’s been hard to keep track. Sometimes it’s felt like the News Gods have just said: “Sod it, I can’t wait for this news to happen slowly anymore. Let’s put on the Big Box Set of News and just binge watch the whole thing this summer.”
And so we’ve had: a departing UK Prime Minister; a Conservative Party leadership contest; a new Prime Minister; what felt like more Shadow Ministers than there were actually Labour MPs; Corbyn staying, staying, sitting on the floor but still staying; Farage preparing his concession speech before going on to win more friends in the EU Parliament; blue on blue action and through it all the ongoing leap into the unknown that is Brexit.
What follows, just in case you missed us over the last few weeks, is a summary of IPcopy’s posts since we took back control…. (more…)
Earlier this year the UKIPO ran a consultation on proposed changes to the Patents Rules. The government is now bringing the proposed changes into force with some adjustments following comments received. The reasons behind the changes are to increase the flexibility of processes, to bring more legal certainty and to reduce administrative burdens.
IPcopy is returning to the subject of the moment today and taking another look at Intellectual Property and Brexit. Just over a month ago we posted our first “Myths and Misconceptions” post with the aim of highlighting any Brexit related commentary in the area of IP that presented a misleading take on the possible changes to the IP world following Brexit.
Today’s article picks up on a comment made about the future of the unitary patent system. IPcopy has highlighted the section of the article we had a slight issue with below. (more…)
It’s been just over two months since the UK decided to take back control and, as the summer parliament recess comes to an end, IPcopy thought it would be a good time to take stock of where things stand.
The process of Brexit has been split between three Ministers – the Three Brexiteers of Johnson, Fox and Davis – which has already resulted in some turf wars. David Davis, heading up the Department for Exiting the European Union, has raised some eyebrows by claiming that the UK could do one-to-one trade deals with individual member states of the EU (it can’t) and that he wants to negotiate a trading area 10 times the size of the EU which sounds impressive until you realise that that would actually be 1.5 times bigger than the economy of the entire planet Earth1. (more…)
What is UK design right?
UK unregistered design right (also referred to as UK design right) covers the shape or configuration of an object, but does not protect surface decoration. It is an automatic right, meaning that no registration is required.
To be protected by UK design right, a design must be original. This means that the designer must have designed the design independently and the design must not be “commonplace” in the design field in question. “Commonplace” means that the design must not be widely known in the design field in question in the UK, the EU or any one of a number of other qualifying countries mentioned below. (more…)
The case study:
In very general terms, a case study is an account of an activity, event or problem that contains a real or hypothetical situation and includes the complexities one would encounter in the workplace.
This particular case study involves an innovative company headquartered in Europe but with operations in a dozen countries around the world. It employs approximately 2,600 people worldwide. It is a market leader in its particular sector.
The Legal & IP function of this company is relatively small in size with a total headcount of seven people, some located at corporate headquarters in Europe and the others located in the USA. The function is however supported by a number of external Legal & IP Firms.
This case study focuses on the activities of this company in the area of trade secret asset management. (more…)
Regulation (EU) No. 608/2013, which concerns the enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), has been in force since January 2014, replacing the previous Council Regulation (EC) No. 1383/2003. The aim of the 2013 legislation is to simplify and clarify the procedure and existing system.
Importantly, the new Regulation extends the scope of IPR covered by Customs enforcement to:
- trade marks
- trade names
- design rights
- utility models
- devices designed, produced or adapted for the purpose of enabling or facilitating the circumvention of technological measures
- supplementary protection certificates for medical products or for plant protection
- plant variety rights
- topography of a semi conductor
- geographical indications