Transmitting solar energy generated in space back to Earth has long been the subject of science fiction, first appearing in Isaac Asimov’s 1941 short story, Reason, where solar energy is converted to microwaves by a space station, and beamed back to nearby planets.
Insights: Intellectual Property
Earlier this month WIPO, the World Intellectual Property Organization, released some key facts and figures and a press release relating to the number of patent applications that were filed in 2020 under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). The PCT system allows an applicant to file a single PCT (or “international”) application through which patent protection […]
We attended oral proceedings last month on case T1807/15 and learned that the Board of Appeal would make a referral to the EPO’s Enlarged Board of Appeal on video conference oral proceedings without parties’ consent. We have received a copy of the written interlocutory decision of the Board of Appeal. We now know that a single question has been referred to the Enlarged Board:
£92 million allocated to funding energy storage, floating wind, and sustainable biomass production in the UK
This week, the UK government launched 3 new innovation challenges in the green energy sector, with £92 million allocated in funding. The initiative is part of the government’s £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio to drive forward the next generation of technologies which will help decarbonise the energy sector in the UK. It also forms part of the UK Governments 10 point plan, launched last year, to achieve net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050.
The Paris Agreement on climate change entered into force in November 2016, with a goal of limiting global warming to below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius – compared to pre-industrial levels. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), CO2 emissions from aviation in 2019 equated to around 2.8% of global CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion. So, it’s probably no great surprise that there has been much research in recent years on ways to reduce the carbon footprint of the aviation sector.
On 22nd August 1851, a single schooner from the New York Yacht Club triumphed over half a dozen British yachts in a sailing race around this Isle of Wight. Queen Victoria looked on, and was reportedly not amused with the result. The winning yacht was awarded a silver jug, which became known as the America’s Cup. The ‘Auld Mug’ is the oldest trophy in international sport, and the 36th America’s Cup regatta is due to take place next month. The qualifying rounds are currently being raced off the coast of Auckland, New Zealand, and this patent attorney has been watching the action.
Colours and colour combinations play an important role in branding. In a crowded sector colours have the capacity to function as a powerful visual key, enabling consumers to easily distinguish between different products and brands. Trade mark rights granted for specific colours, or combinations of colours, are, therefore, powerful IP rights. The uncertainty surrounding how similar a colour must be to infringe a colour mark registration works in the favour of the owners of colour trade mark registrations – in extreme cases a colour mark registration may deter competitors from using all shades of that colour on/in relation to the same goods/services. Little surprise then that for some trade mark owners securing registered rights in colour marks has become a key strategic objective.
The CJEU have recently issued a judgment in Case C-456/19, referred from the Swedish Patent and Market Court of Appeal. The case centred on whether a trade mark consisting of colour combinations, intended to be systematically affixed to goods used to deliver the services covered by an application, must depart significantly from the norms and customs of the commercial sector in order for the trade mark to have distinctive character. This is a test which has been applied in relation to 3D trade marks but we have not seen it applied to these type of colour combination marks before.