Saturday, 14 January 2017
Friday, 18 November 2016
Friday, 14 October 2016
Although the patents making up that bundle are referred to as European Patents, they are effective only in the contracting states which the applicant has designated. In EPO documents, including published versions of the application and the granted patent, the letters "EP" precede the patent's number in much the same way that the letters "GB" would be used internationally to identify a UK patent (although there are better examples). If the patent is then the subject of legal proceedings, it will be referred to as a European Patent (UK).
The popular vote, in which 37.74 per cent of the electorate voted to leave, was advisory only, but this nicety may have been lost on many voters and it certainly does not appear to have had any influence on the government. The process of leaving the European Union requires the UK to give notice under Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon, and will be completed (unless all Member States agree to an extension, which is so unlikely that it can be ignored) two years later. The UK government has announced that it will give such notice by the end of March 2017, so the UK should cease to be a member of the EU on 1 April 2019. Whether the UK or what some of our politicians are pleased to call the "rump" EU will be the April Fools remains to be seen.
In the intellectual property law field, Brexit will not perhaps be quite as disastrous as in other areas. Indeed, repatriating intellectual property law and being able to ignore some idiosyncratic decisions of the Court of Justice could be a major improvement over the present situation. Primary legislation based on directives should survive Brexit unscathed, and secondary legislation under section 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972 which implements EU obligations will, the government promises, be brought under some new statutory authority, so there will be no immediate changes to the law. The powers given under s.2(2) have been useful in that they have obviated a need for Parliamentary time to be found to change the primary legislation on copyright, trade marks and registered designs: in the future copyright law especially might have greater difficulty keeping up with technological change, but we might be spared other changes like the the Trade Marks (Proof of Use, etc.) Regulations 2004 which amended the anti-dilution provisions of the Trade Marks Act 1994 to remove the limitation to the situation where the parties' goods or services were dissimilar.
In two areas Brexit will have a significant impact on intellectual property law. First, owners of EU trade marks and registered designs will have to secure separate rights in the UK: some mechanism for achieving this is likely to be put in place before Brexit actually happens, but in the meantime applicants for EU rights are likely to consider applying for national rights in the UK too. Second, the Unified Patent Court agreement provides specifically that it must be ratified by the three states with the most European Patents in force, namely France, Germany and the United Kingdom, of which the UK might not feel any pressing urgency to take that crucial step.
Monday, 21 September 2015
Saturday, 27 June 2015
'via Blog this'
Friday, 19 June 2015
I included a short definition of "innovation patent" (basically, Australian for "petty patent") in the Dictionary. Now Warwick Rothnie's excellent Patentology blog reveals that the Advisory Council on Intellectual Property has suggested that the law on the subject be repealed.