The UK Intellectual Property Office (UK IPO) has announced several temporary fee changes in relation to patents, supplementary protection certificates (SPCs), trade marks and registered designs. In an effort to support applicants and proprietors facing disruption due to COVID-19, the temporary fee changes waive or significantly reduce certain late payment fees, fees for obtaining extensions, and fees for reinstating or restoring lost rights. The following temporary fee changes will apply between 30 July 2020 and 31 March 2021:
Insights: IP news
Concise guide to Brexit and intellectual property
Brexit and intellectual property – a guide
Brexit and intellectual property – FAQs in detail
The UK has taken a further and more definitive step towards the end of its involvement in the Unitary Patent (UP) project. A written statement by Amanda Solloway (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Minister for Science, Research and Innovation) was tabled in the House of Commons on 20th July 2020 indicating that, by means of a Note Verbale, the UK had withdrawn its ratification of the Agreement on the Unified Patent Court (UPC). By withdrawing its ratification, the UK has clarified once and for all its status in respect of the Agreement. Amanda Solloway’s statement suggests that, by doing so, the UK has intended to facilitate an orderly entry into force of the Agreement for the other States involved.
Artificial intelligence is increasingly an important tool in industry. Not just in computer science but in almost all fields of industry. And where an AI innovation provides a benefit to users, many would like to protect it with a patent. The European Patent Office (EPO) recognises this. In 2017 the EPO published a study on the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ that identified AI as a key enabling technology. As we reported previously, the EPO has held a conference discussing the patentability of AI. And the EPO has recently announced that their Berlin branch is to become a centre of expertise in AI. So it is worth looking at how AI inventions can be patented in Europe.
Manchester United FC has initiated trade mark infringement proceedings in the High Court against SEGA Publishing Europe Limited, the European arm of the Japanese video-game brand, and Sports Interactive Limited, producers of the video game Football Manager®. The game Football Manager® has been around since 1992 and is a hugely successful football management simulation video game. Players can manage their own virtual equivalents of real life clubs, controlling everything from pre-season transfers to the tactics on the pitch.
In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have seen a large amount of government backed funding made available in the UK to promote UK based innovation. In particular, various schemes, competitions, grants and loans have been announced with the aim of helping UK SMEs involved in technology and R&D grow as the Covid-19 disruption dies down. We have reported on a number of these recently. An area that is important for achieving this aim, but is perhaps at risk of being overlooked during this period of widespread disruption and uncertainty, is intellectual property.