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Comptroller visits EPO

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Jane Lambert
In a press release published yesterday, the European Patent Office announced a visit by Tim Moss, the Comptroller-General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks, and Sean Dennehey to the European Patent Office (see Meeting with UK Intellectual Property Office highlights role of patents in supporting innovation26 March 2018).  According to the press release, the Comptroller and Mr Dennehey met the EPO President Benoît Battistelli.
The Comptroller and President discussed recent developments in IPO, including the EPO annual report, bilateral co-operation and preparations for setting up the new unitary patent system. The EPO Vice-President updated the British delegation on such topics as search and examination, digital systems, the EPO's quality management system, and European and international co-operation.  Apparently, "a new and ambitious strategy for the UK IPO, a key element of which is to draw upon the knowledge and experience of others" was mentioned but the…

Bradford Healthcare Accelerator Programme comes to an End

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Jane Lambert

In Northern Max - a new Healthcare Accelerator in Bradford 12 Jan 2018 IP Yorkshire, I reported the launch of a 4 month accelerator programme for new healthcare businesses at the Digital Exchange in Bradford's Little Germany district.  That programme will come to an end on 29 March 2018 and, according to the participants in the programme whom I have met, it has been very successful.

On 22 March 2018 the accelerator held a demo day in which those participants presented their businesses to the public.  I attended the event and discussed what happened in NorthernMAX Demo Day25 March 2018.

Those who want to learn more about business accelerators can find links to other articles and materials at Accelerator Resources26 March 2018 NIPC Law.  They can also call me on 020 7404 5252 during office hours or send me a message through my contact form.

The Trade Secrets (Enforcement, etc.) Regulations 2018 Consultation

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Jane Lambert

As I noted in The Trade Secrets Directive7 July 2016 NIPC Law, Directive (EU) 2016/943 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 June 2016 on the protection of undisclosed know-how and business information (trade secrets) against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure has to be transposed into national law by 9 June 2018. The Intellectual Property Office has published draft regulations that appear in Annex A of a consultation document on draft regulations concerning draft secrets.  These regulations are likely ti be called "The Trade Secrets (Enforcement, etc.) Regulations 2018."

A news story dated 19 Feb 2018 explains that the government is canvassing views on those draft regulations and has posed the following questions:

"Q1. Do you agree that regulations 2 and 3 implement effectively the definitions in the Directive?
Q2. What are your views on the rules set out in regulations 4 – 9?
Q3. Do you agree that regulation 10 provides the app…

My Contribution to the Discussion on the Implications of Brexit at Queen Mary University London on Monday 12 Feb 2018

Is British Ratification of the UPC Agreement even relevant now?

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Jane Lambert

Weather permitting, I shall give a talk to Queen Mary University of London Centre for Commercial Law Studies at 67-69 Lincoln's Inn Fields entitled What if anything can be salvaged from the UPC Agreement? in their Implications of Brexit on Intellectual Property Law which is due to take place between 18:00 and 20:00 tonight. I say "weather permitting" because I woke this morning to a thick covering of snow which I am about to attempt to clear from my drive and my neighbours are already working to clear from our lane.  I mentioned this seminar in Implications of Brexit on IP Law19 Jan 2018 and my views on the topic in What if anything can be salvaged from the UPC Agreement?26 Jan 2018 NIPC Law.

My choice of topic is particularly apposite today because Alan Johnson, a partner of Bristows, reported on Friday that almost all the steps had been taken to enable the British government to deposit an instrument of ratification (see Johnson UK legislation now ready for…

Portability Regulation Consultation

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Jane Lambert

Regulation (EU) 2017/1128 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 June 2017 on cross-border portability of online content services in the internal market is known as "the Portability Regulation." It a sensible piece of legislation that should enable subscribers to online services to continue to receive the content that they have paid for when visiting another member state.  
The reason for the Regulation is that copyright is territorial. A subscriber in the UK is licensed to receive content under the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 but not under the legislation of any other member state. 
As it was made by the Council and European Parliament the Regulation will come into force automatically on 20 March 2018 pursuant to art 11 (2).  However, as it will affect existing legislation and it will need to be enforced.  To make provision for this Regulation the Intellectual Property Office has published a draft statutory instrument to be known as The P…

"No Invention left behind" - WIPO's Inventor Assistance Programme gathers Pace

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Jane Lambert

Hardly a week goes by without a request for help from an inventor, entrepreneur or other innovator in Africa, Asia or Latin America as well as my own or some other advanced country. Obtaining legal protection for a brand, design, technology or work of art or literature is difficult enough even in the UK. In a less developed country it is so much harder.  Usually, all I can do when I get such a request is to direct the enquirer to his or her national intellectual property office, a local patent or trade mark attorney or lawyer or, occasionally, an inventor's club.

The reason why those enquirers seek my help is that legal protection for a product or service is a prerequisite for market success.  Without it countless ideas that could improve the human condition lie unused.  That is obviously bad for the creator or innovator whose life could have been transformed  had he or she taken the product or service to market  but it is also bad for the rest…