We reported back in September that the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) set out a call for views on Artificial Intelligence (AI) to understand the implications AI might have for Intellectual Property (IP) policy. The UKIPO set out questions relating to each of: patents, copyright, designs, trade marks, and trade secrets. In the government’s words, the aim of the call for views was to understand the relationship between AI and IP. It did not seek to consider the impact of concepts such as AI superintelligence, or an AI as a legal entity. The call for views indicated a willingness to listen, and it was hoped that this would be beneficial for patentees, as well as the AI industry as a whole.
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.
So, it’s finally happening. At 11pm (UK time) tonight, 31 January 2020, the UK is leaving the EU – whether or not Big Ben bongs to ring out the changes. And what changes will there be on the IP front? The short answer, in the short term, is: absolutely none. EU law will continue to operate in the UK during the transition period, exactly as it currently does. The transition period will be from 1 February 2020 – 31 December 2020 unless an extension is obtained, which the Prime Minister has promised will not happen. The IP system will therefore continue as it currently does in the UK and the EU until at least the end of this year, without any disruption or changes.
“Possibly the least poetic reason to ever make some art” – Banksy and the Gross Domestic Product Store
October 2019 saw the opening (and closing) of graffiti artist Banksy’s pop–up shop, Gross Domestic Product, in Croydon. According to the artist, the main motivation behind the opening of the store was, “possibly the least poetic reason to ever make some art” – a trade mark dispute.
The UK Government released several notices setting out the UK’s position on how existing IP rights will be treated in the event of a “No Deal” exit from the European Union.