26th May 2020
In 2011 the EUIPO launched the “Convergence Programme” in order to improve the alignment of national and EU trade mark systems and to assist with the improvement of practices. The programme was based on regular exchange of information and discussion of issues among the EUIPO, national offices and user associations. On 1 April 2020 the EUIPO published CP9 Common Practice: “Distinctiveness of three-dimensional marks (shape marks) containing verbal and/or figurative elements when the shape is not distinctive in itself”.This sets out a two-step examination process for assessing the distinctive character of such marks.
4th May 2020
These past months have seen unprecedented global upheaval in view of the spread of the Coronavirus through Europe. Fortunately, the European Patent Office (EPO) and the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) have in place procedures to minimise the negative impacts on patent applicants and rights holders. We have been monitoring the situation closely and Pete Sadler provides the details.
30th Apr 2020
The recent decision by a Board of Appeal at the European Patent Office (EPO) has provided some important guidance to the patent world on private and confidential input documents submitted as part of the process of developing a new technical standard. Specifically the decision addresses whether these documents form part of the state of the art for assessing a patent’s novelty and inventive step.
24th Apr 2020
The British Standards Institute, sponsored by Innovate UK, has recently published a free to download PAS 440:2020 Responsible Innovation – Guide. The guide aims to provide comprehensive direction for companies on best practice for innovators. It helps those companies consider the wider implications of their innovation, capture the outcomes of that consideration, and communicate those outcomes to stakeholders.
23rd Apr 2020
26 April 2020 is World Intellectual Property Day. World Intellectual Property Day is an event established by the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) to inspire the public to “learn about the role that intellectual property rights play in encouraging innovation and creativity”. Each annual event has a theme and this year’s theme, focussing on climate change, is “Innovate for a Green Future”.
17th Apr 2020
On 3 March 2020, a company called Cobblestone Lane LLC filed an application in the USA for the mark ARCHEWELL. The application was in respect of a wide range of goods and services, including charitable fundraising and emotional support and counselling services. Taking advantage of the 6 month “priority” period that follows the first filing of a trade mark, further applications were filed in the UK, EU and elsewhere for the same mark and goods/services, claiming the benefit of the original US filing date. So far, so fairly usual. Then on 6 April 2020, the Telegraph newspaper in the UK revealed that the applications had been filed on behalf of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who planned to launch a new non-profit organisation under the name ARCHEWELL.
9th Apr 2020
rocery delivery service Ocado was forced to temporarily suspend parts of its online service last month due to coronavirus (Covid-19). The panic buying induced by the virus resulted in a tenfold increase demand. However, even before this unprecedented surge Ocado has been steadily growing over recent years. A quick Google search shows the impressive growth of Ocado’s share price since its initial public offering. Investment in technology and intellectual property (IP) have played a major role in this growth.
30th Mar 2020
For some time now, it has been known that the Chinese government provides financial incentives to Chinese nationals and Chinese companies that file domestic and foreign patent, utility model, registered design, and trade mark applications. The Chinese government, for example, subsidises official fees and attorney fees, offers tax breaks, provides financial support, and issues rewards for patent and utility model utilisation. The idea of this generous arrangement is to increase the awareness of IP in China and to encourage Chinese innovators to learn how to protect their IP.