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Excluded Subject Matter – Two Recent Case Law Rulings

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In the UK, section 1(2) of the Patents Act (which is set out at the bottom of this post) sets out certain categories of invention that are not patentable. These categories of invention are generally referred to as excluded subject matter. The assessment of patentability under section 1(2) is based on the judgment of the Aerotel Ltd v Telco Holdings Ltd and Macrossan’s Application case at the Court of Appeal. This judgment approved a four-step test for deciding on whether an invention is patentable.

Two relatively recent case rulings that relate to the above-mentioned subsections of the act are: the “Google Inc.” case (BL O/364/17), and the “Accipiter Radar Technologies Inc.” case (BL O/390/17), which were heard in August 2017. Both cases are noteworthy as they were respectively refused and accepted, and so offer insight to the type of inventions that are considered by the UK courts to be patentable and non-patentable in view sub-sections (c) and (d) of Section 1(2) of the Patents Act. (more…)

Consultation on the Implementation of the Trade Mark Directive 2015

ConsultationThe UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) has launched a consultation on changes to UK trade mark law in light of the amendments to trade mark law arising from the Trade Mark Directive 2015. The document includes a draft statutory instrument (SI) and discussion of some issues of particular interest. The UKIPO is seeking views from businesses, trade mark attorneys and other stakeholders on how these changes should be implemented. The consultation period will run for 8 weeks, until 16 April 2018. (more…)

UKIPO Consultation – Industrial Strategy: Intellectual Property call for views

ConsultationThe UK Intellectual Property Office has issued a consultation calling for views on “maximising the incentives of the Intellectual Property system to stimulate collaborative innovation and licensing opportunities”. The consultation, “Industrial Strategy: Intellectual Property Call for Views [PDF]” closes on 15 November 2017.

The consultation forms part of the government’s plans for an “ambitious new industrial strategy” and asks the question what can the government do to encourage innovators to do more collaboration and commercialisation and to stimulate knowledge exchange and follow-on innovation. (more…)

UKIPO consultation on new fees for patent applications

ConsultationThe UKIPO is currently running a consultation on proposed changes to patent fees. The fee structure is being reviewed as the Government has made a manifesto commitment to make the UK the best place in Europe to patent new ideas [IPcopy note – this consultation was opened a few days prior to the Prime Minister calling the General Election]. To support this, the IPO is investing in electronic services and increased examination capacity and therefore is considering an increase to their fees. (more…)

UKIPO Issues Design Guidance following Trunki at the Supreme Court

Trunki-not trunkiThe UK design sector is extremely important to the UK with the Design Council’s Design Report of 2015 suggesting that the UK’s design economy generated over £70 billion in gross value added (GVA). The ability to protect intellectual property is vital and for the design sector the registered design right is a crucial available means of protection.

The recent Trunki decision at the UK Supreme Court made headlines recently with some designers fearing that the decision would cause uncertainty within the design industry (see, for example, “this decision will create chaos and confusion”; the “blow to Britain’s design community”; and, “this plunges design law into an abyss”). (more…)

UKIPO Consultation: Proposed Changes to the Patents Rules

ConsultationThe UKIPO has released a consultation on proposed changes to the Patents Rules. The deadline for making comments is 22 April 2016 (at 11:45pm). Eleven different changes are proposed which range from the helpful (providing a notice of intention to grant) to the nerdier end (removing the need to paper forms in triplicate) of the spectrum.

A summary of the various changes is provided below. The proposed changes are geared towards simplifying aspects of the patents legislation and should reduce the burdens on businesses and the IPO. (more…)

UK Registered Design Fees – Consultation

Design figureThe UKIPO is currently running a consultation that proposes changes in registered design fees. According to the consultation page on the UK Gov website the consultation arises from the development of a new digital design service for design customers. The new design service is expected to streamline the registration and renewal process with an associated reduction in operation costs. The government needs (wants?) to pass on these cost savings to the customer, hence the consultation. The proposed changes would significantly reduce application and renewal fees for UK registered designs. (more…)

Misleading invoices – IP Scammers

DSC03616-BWe are delighted to report that there has been some good news in the fight against companies/individuals issuing misleading invoices which appear to be from the UK Intellectual Property Office (UK IPO) (previous IPcopy articles can be found here).

In this regard, a company trading as Intellectual Property Agency Ltd (IPA) and its director Mr Harri Mattias Jonasson were found liable for trade mark infringement and passing off and ordered to pay £500,000 plus legal costs to the UK IPO. (more…)

Keystone vs Keystone

Trade Mark Application No. 2655215

Trade Mark Application No. 2655215

The following article is a review of case O/135/15 at the UKIPO.

Background

Keystone IEA Limited (the Opponent) opposed Keystone Wealth Management Limited’s (the Applicant) Trade Mark Application No. 2655215 for “mortgage & protection advice, financial services” in Class 36 on the basis of Section 5(2)(b) of the Trade Marks Act 1994 (similar to an earlier mark for identical/similar services, resulting in a likelihood of confusion). The Opponent relied upon its Trade Mark Registration No. 2641172 covering “estate agents” in Class 36.

The Applicant responded stating that the services were sufficiently distinguishable, meaning there was no likelihood of confusion.

No further submissions were filed and a decision was made on the papers. (more…)

Unitary patent: Responses to the UK’s call for evidence

IMG_8533-1Back in the summer last year the UKIPO ran a consultation looking at the implementation of the unitary patent and unified patent court into UK law. Although the UKIPO is still processing the comments, a summary of the various responses received has been published (see here). (more…)