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.
Retail sales have been steadily shifting online since web browsers were first created in the 1990s. Data from the UK’s Office for National Statistics shows us that “Internet sales as a percentage of total retail sales” increased from 6.8% in February 2010, to 11.7% in February 2015, to 19.1% in February 2020. With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing the UK into various stages of lockdown since March 2020, internet sales ballooned to a record 36.2% of all retail sales in November 2020.
The UK has now left the EU, following a transition period that ended on 31 December 2020. In contrast to the position in a number of industries, the position in relation to IP rights has been relatively smooth. The UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) has created and entered into its database the comparable rights based on EU trade mark and design registrations which were all in place as of Exit Day. The Office is continuing to work on comparable rights created from EU designations filed via the Madrid or Hague systems and appears to be making good progress. The UKIPO should be commended for this, particularly in view of the current working conditions.
The rules governing address for service for intellectual property rights in the United Kingdom will change after the UK exits the European Union on 1 January 2020. Subject to legislative implementation, which is expected this week, from 1 January 2021 the UKIPO will no longer accept addresses in the EEA as a valid address for service. As a result, any party wishing to file an application for a trade mark, patent or registered design will need to appoint an address for service within the UK, Gibraltar or the Channel Islands.
There has been a lot of discussion in recent years around how the patent system can be applied to, and indeed may need to be adapted in light of, artificial intelligence and related technologies. Indeed, our previous blogs have covered everything from the basics of AI patentability to whether AI can be designated as an inventor. There are also a number of reports and ongoing reviews into the subject, with most of the attention focused on how the patent system can help AI. However, a report from the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) has turned that question around, and asked how AI can help the patent system.
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:
Reddie & Grose’s Brighton-based trade mark attorneys report on the most recent football team trade mark application to catch the headlines. Brighton and Hove Albion FC (‘BHAFC’) have caused a bit of a stir in the press and among some of their fans by applying to register ALBION and THE ALBION as UK trade marks. The concern is that BHAFC have unjustly laid claim to an ancient name for the British Isles and that this move will cause problems for the many local businesses that also use the word ALBION. We love seeing the mainstream press pay attention to trade mark applications, but in this case fans need not worry about BHAFC overstepping the mark with their trade mark protection.
New UK trade mark applications for BLACK LIVES MATTER and I CAN’T BREATHE spark outrage – and they have now been withdrawn
Following the killing of US citizen George Floyd by the police, thousands have joined protesters all over the world to march with the Black Lives Matter organised movement, which protests against racial injustice and police brutality against the black community.In the wake of these events, a Manchester businessman by the name of George Demetriou filed an UK trade mark application for the mark “Black Lives Matter” (in various fonts as a series of four marks in one application). This application covers Class 25 for a variety of clothing goods. Full details of this application can be seen on the Intellectual Property Office website. Mr Demetriou also filed a UK trade mark application for the mark “I can’t breathe”, (again in a variety of fonts as a series of three marks in one application). These are the words that were spoken by George Floyd before he was killed, and is an expression that has been used by multiple black victims of police brutality. This application covers, amongst other goods, Class 14 for charity bracelets, Class 25 for a variety of clothing, and Class 36 for fundraising services.