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
The UKIPO recently set out the government’s strategy over the next four years for tackling intellectual property infringement. The IP Enforcement 2020 policy paper notes that the UK has been recognised as a world leader in IP enforcement but that there are a number of challenges to address and areas to improve upon in order to tackle IP infringement and counterfeiting.
The report opens with a snazzy infographic that provides a summary of IP Enforcement related facts in the UK. The graphic highlights the contribution of the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) (over £33million of IP crime investigated, 69 arrests, £3 million of counterfeit goods seized since PIPCU’s creation) and flags up two IP enforcement operations (Operations Jasper and Pangea). The top 5 countries of origin for IPR-infringing goods are named and shamed (China, Hong Kong, India, Turkey and Pakistan) and some statistics show the UK Border Force has been involved in the detention of goods worth more than £56 million and the UKIPO has provided advice to over 4000 businesses that operate or are planning to operate abroad. (more…)
On 25th May 2016, we were fortunate to welcome Jeremy Holmes, the IP Due Diligence Manager of Imperial Innovations, to Keltie to present a lunchtime talk. This post begins by outlining Jeremy’s background and then delves into what he has learned from his experience in managing IP for Universities and spinouts, finishing off with how commercialisation works at Imperial.
Early career and move to IP
Jeremy’s career began in academia – following an undergraduate degree and PhD in Chemistry at Cambridge University, Jeremy spent two years in Strasbourg working with Nobel Laureate Professor Jean-Marie Lehn. After this, he joined the R&D function of ICI as a research chemist where he worked in a variety of roles including a Royal Society Industrial Fellowship at Edinburgh University and three years in the Netherlands for an ICI subsidiary. In 2000, Jeremy entered the IP profession by training in-house at ICI, AstraZeneca and Reckitt Benckiser and is now a fully qualified UK and European Patent and Design Attorney.
During his 12 years of working as an in-house Patent Attorney he gained a wealth of technology transfer experience which led him to Imperial Innovations where he joined as Patent Attorney and IP Due Diligence Manager just over 4 years ago. Jeremy’s role at Innovations is to manage IP and Patent Searching resources and to ensure that thorough and timely due diligence is carried out on investment opportunities, as well as to act as an in-house consultant on IP issues. This includes managing: the filing of approximately 60 new patent cases a year; the IP of spinouts; and the due diligence activities of the investment funds of Imperial College as well as the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford and University College London.
The changing face of innovation – what are Universities looking for? (more…)
Under current arrangements the EPO refunds 75% of the examination fee after the examining division has assumed responsibility for the case but before substantive examination has actually begun. In order to provide transparency over whether substantive examination has begun the EPO also posts a notice on the EP patents register to let applicants know when substantive examination has started.
As from 1 July 2016 the EPO is going a stage further (see EPO News Item) and is now starting to inform applicants, if operationally possible, at least two months in advance of the date on which it intends to start substantive examination. Any application that is withdrawn, refused or deemed to be withdrawn before such substantive examination has begun will get a full (100%) exam fee refund instead of the previous 75% rate. (more…)
As far as IPcopy is concerned, the level of political debate recently has not risen much beyond playground banter with facts and detailed arguments being sacrificed for soundbites and quotable political mantras such as “Let’s take back control”, “Let’s make Britain/America great again”, “We’re gonna build a wall” etc. It seems politics these days just requires the collective unconsciousness to be exposed to such sayings over a long enough period of time to ensure the votes follow…after all, who needs experts, eh? (more…)
Despite the result of the referendum in the UK, it would appear that technical preparations for the Unified Patent Court are going to continue.
The UK’s ratification of the Unified Patent Court Agreement is a required step in bringing the unitary patent system into play. Without the UK’s participation the remaining members of the project are faced with either waiting for the UK to leave the EU (which appears to be at least 2.5 years away now) or renegotiating the UPC Agreement to remove the UK.
However, in a joint statement from the Chairmen of the UPC Preparatory Committee and the EPO Select Committee dealing with the Unitary Patent it is noted that “it is too early to assess what the impact of this vote [the Referendum] on the Unified Patent Court and the Unitary Patent Protection eventually could be”. The statement ends with the Preparatory and Select Committees stating that “work dedicated to the technical implementation should continue to progress as envisaged.” (more…)
Just a few days ago the UK went to the polls and returned a verdict which shocked the country, Europe and the world. Oh, and wiped $3 trillion off the world stock market.
The following days in Westminster have been (mild understatement follows) somewhat interesting. The UK Prime Minister is on his way out, the Conservative Party is gearing up for a leadership contest, Boris has been betrayed by the Govefather, Jeremy Corbyn has installed a revolving door in his Shadow Cabinet and Nigel Farage went to the EU Parliament to suggest a cardiac surgeon born in a Soviet gulag had never had a real job in his life. (more…)
MIP held its IP in Asia Forum at Le Meriden Piccadilly, London, on 23 June 2016.
The first talk gave an overview of trade mark protection in China. Dr Guan Tang, a senior lecturer at Queen Mary University of London, looked at the academic view. She noted that there are three key dimensions to Chinese trade mark law; (1) the public interest in promoting a socialist market economy, (2) consumer rights, and (3) the rights of the proprietors of trade marks, and that there appears to be a conflict between the requirement of promoting a socialist market economy and protecting right holders. Next on the agenda was a review of the recent revisions to Chinese trade mark law. In this regard, the key points were the speeding up of the examination procedure, extending the scope of protection (sound marks are now registrable), tackling IP squatting and allowing for higher damages and penalties. Whilst it is Dr Tang’s opinion that the current enforcement of trade mark rights in China remains unpredictable and has not significantly improved, the law is now better written such that there is hope for the future provided it is managed correctly. (more…)