NIPC News Roundup - 27 Oct 2017

Jane Lambert

Since my last News Roundupon 12 Oct 2017 I have written about copyright in photographs and television gameshow formats. the construction of patent licence terms and the English courts' jurisdiction to hear applications for declarations of non-infringement. I have also discussed the second reading of the Data Protection Bill in the House of Lords and the Irish High Court's referral to the Court of Justice of the European Union of the question of whether standard contract terms for the transfer of data overseas comply with EU law. I have continued to monitor the Brexit negotiations and discussed a joint letter from the British government and the Commission on our future relationship with the World Trade Organization. I attended the annual meeting of the WIPO domain name dispute resolution panellists and wrote about it in NIPC Branding. I discussed an IPO consultation on how to encourage inventors to do more commercialization and collaboration. I mentioned Manchester…

NIPC News Update - 12 Oct 2017

Jane Lambert

In this Update, I discuss my article on FRAND. the article 50 negotiations with the remaining 27 EU member states. Silicon Roundabout, accessing free IP advice in Yorkshire and my presentation on copyright in photographs in Liverpool yesterday.


Ever since the Statute of Monopolies 1623, the law has tried to balance the interests of consumers with those of inventors. The current manifestation of this balancing exercise occurs where an industry standard requires the use of patented inventions. Obviously, patentees expect and are entitled to be rewarded for their ingenuity but if consumers are to benefit fully from advantages in technology all manufacturers must be allowed to use the patented inventions. The question then arises on what terms and in particular at what rates should such inventions be licensed? The answer from courts around the world is "on terms that are fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory commonly abbreviated to "FRAND".

Ah, but what i…

Free IP Training for Businesses: "When is it OK to reuse other people's photos or other content?" Liverpool 11 Oct 2017

Jane Lambert

Whenever I get a lot of enquiries on the same topic from a particular location I offer a talk on the subject.  I have recently had a lot of enquiries from Liverpool and the North West on "When is it OK to reuse other people's photos or other content?"

The issue can arise in many ways. Sometimes a copyright owner complains that copies of his photos appear on someone else's website without his permission and he wants to know what he can do about it. Other times, I find myself counselling a business owner who has received a bruising letter before claim demanding eye-watering sums of money by way of compensation and legal costs and far-reaching undertakings.

Before the launch of the small claims track of the small claims track of the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court in 2012, the question was often academic because the costs of copyright infringement litigation greatly exceeded the damages that were likely to be awarded. What has made it a live issue is…

NIPC News Roundup 4 Oct 2017


Despite Mrs May's conciliatory speech in Florence, the two sides in the withdrawal agreement negotiations seem to be no closer on the one issue that matters, namely, how can the British government's commitments to such an agreement be guaranteed if the UK will not accept the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice after March 2019 (see Jane Lambert Brexit Briefing - September 20173 Oct 2017 NIPC Brexit).

Despite her warm words, Mrs May reaffirms that no deal is better than a bad deal and, of course, she is right. But the same is true for the 27 states that remain in the EU. A deal that does not guarantee Britain's commitments to the withdrawal agreement to the same extent as they would be bound would be a bad deal for them.  They cannot be expected to agree to it. That is why the European Parliament overwhelmingly concluded that insufficient progress had been made in the withdrawal agreement talks to enable the negotiators to move on to trade (see the European Parliame…

NIPC News Roundup 3 Oct 2017

Business and Property Courts

The Business and Property Courts in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Leeds, Manchester and London went live yesterday. I discussed them in Launch of a Judicial Superhighwayon 12 July 2014 in IP North West and The Leeds Business and Property Courtson 12 July 2017 in IP Yorkshire. On 27 Sept 2017, the Judiciary issued a new 14-page advisory note which I mentioned inBetter than the M4 - "The Judicial Superhighway" 2 Oct 2017.
Relevance This topic affects IP practitioners and owners as well as litigation lawyers throughout the UK, particularly those in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Leeds and Manchester.

Commonwealth Games

Birmingham has been chosen as the UK's candidate city to host the Commonwealth Grounds. Like all other major sporting events, the Games will rely on sponsorship, broadcasting and licensing revenues but, unlike the Olympics, there is nothing like the Nairobi Treaty or Olympic association rights to protect the Games' branding. In I…

NIPC News Roundup - 30 Sept 2017

IP Valuation

Article Hidden Value - A Study of the UK Valuation Market30 Sep 2017

The announcement of the appointment of Metis Partners to market Barratts' intellectual property occurred a few days after the publication of Martin Brassell and Jackie Maguire's study of the British IP valuation industry. The study was commissioned by the IPO to help it understand why businesses do not value their IP rights more often. The authors do not address that question directly but rather preliminary questions on the size of the market and the scope for its expansion. It is an interesting and useful enquiry accompanied by an even more useful and interesting appendix on methodology. The report prompted my own thoughts on valuation and whether it is useful. While agreeing that it can be useful I point out that it is not fully developed and that there is a lot of muddled thinking as to how IP works, I can understand businesses' reluctance to use it. However, that should change as the firms…

"Hidden Value: a Study of the UK IP Valuation Market"

Jane Lambert

The appointment of Metis Partners to market the intellectual property of W. Barratt & Co. Ltd. which I mentioned in IP Yorkshire yesterday (see Bradford Footwear Distributor's Intellectual Property Sale29 Sept 2017 IP Yorks) occurred a few days after the publication of Hidden Value: A study of the UK IP Valuation Marketby the Intelectual Property Office.

This was a report by Martin Brassell and Jackie Maguire which was commissioned by the IPO to understand why companies do not consider the hidden financial value of their intangible assets and particularly intellectual property on a more routine basis. The research does not appear to answer that question directly but rather a number of preliminary questions:-
Who are the main suppliers of IP valuation services and how they operate?Why businesses seek IP valuation services?Whether there are any barriers to the development of a market for valuation services? andIf so, how to overcome those barriers? The authors found …