Posts

A Small Claims Tribunal for Copyright Cases in the USA

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Jane Lambert

Yesterday I received a phone call from an American lawyer who wanted to learn about the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court's Small Claims Track. The reason she called is that she advises members of the US Congress who have introduced a bill "to establish an alternative dispute resolution program for copyright small claims, and for other purposes." I answered her questions as well as I could and referred her to the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court's website, the IPEC and Small Claims Track guides as well as my own writings on the subject.  I also directed her to Judge Hacon's clerk for further information.

The ADR programme for copyright small claims proposed by the members of Congress is very different from IPEC's Small Claims Track.  It does not appear to be a court as such for a start.  A new section 1401 (1) of Title 17 of the US Code would establish in the U.S. Copyright Office a copyright small claims program to be known as the ‘Co…

"Mille Miglia" Domain Name Dispute

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Jane Lambert

Case No. DRO2018-0012 Automobile Club di Brescia v. Zhao Ke

It is well known that the WIPO's Arbitration and Mediation Centre resolves generic top-level domain name disputes. It also resolves top-level domain name disputes for a number of countries. One of those countries is Romania.
Over the Christmas holidays, I was asked to consider a complaint by the Automobile Club of Brescia against one Zhao Ke in China.  I decided the case on 4 Jan 2019.  Those who are interested in the case will find my decision here.  There was nothing unusual about this case either on the facts or in law but it was my first country code dispute and it concerned the famous Mille Miglia road race between Brescia and Rome and back.
"Mille Miglia" means "1,000 miles" in Italian which was the approximate length of the course.  I suppose the name was chosen for its assonance.  It slips off the tongue far more easily than ""1,600 kilometres" or even   "1.600 c…

No British Regions in the World's Top 10 Science and Technology Hotspots

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Jane Lambert

On 7 Jan 2019, the World Intellectual Property Organization ("WIPO") published a list of The World’s Top 10 Science and Technology Hotspots.  A "hotspot" is essentially a city or region with a leading university and cluster of high tech businesses,  The WIPO ranks these hotspots by the number of scientific papers and international patent applications that originate from the city or region.  For example, from the Tokyo-Yokohama region, which is the world's leading hotspot, there were 141,584 publications and 104,746 patent filings. The University of Tokyo was the leading scientific organization and Mitsubishi Electric the top applicant in that region.

The list is as follows:
#10 San Diego#9 Paris#8 New York#7 Boston-Cambridge, Massachusetts#6 Osaka, Kobe, Kyoto#5 Beijing#4 San Jose-San Francisco#3  Seoul#2 Shenzhen-Hong Kong#1 Tokyo-Yokohama. A longer list appears in Table B Top cluster of economies or cross-border regions within the top 50 in the Gl…

Pharma & Biotech Patent Litigation

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Jane Lambert

For the second year running, I have been invited to address C5's annual conference on Pharma & Biotech Litigation.  That conference will take place at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Amsterdam between 26 and 27 Feb 2019.  Last year I discussed the Supreme Court's decision in  Eli Lilly v Actavis UK Ltd and others [2017] Bus LR 1731, [2017] UKSC 48, [2017] RPC 21 with partners from the Dutch and German offices of DLA.  This year I shall be sharing a platform with Anna P. López Lozano who is head of IP at Esteve in Barcelona on the topic of Maximizing IP Regulatory Rights.  I shall be talking about supplementary protection certificates, a topic that I have recently addressed in the context of Brexit in Patents of there is no Deal3 Oct 2018 NIPC Brexit.

Brexit is one of the key themes of the 2019 conference and there be a pre-conference workshop on the topic on 25 Feb 2019 entitled READY, STEADY, BREXIT: Identifying and Mitigating the Immediate Patent Litigation Risks …

Intellectual Property and Sustainable Packaging and Waste

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Jane Lambert

I have been invited to speak at a half-day workshop on sustainable packaging and waste which will take place at Ty Menai, Parc Menai,near Bangor on Tuesday, 29 Jan 2019 between 09:00 and 13:00.  The event is organized by Cywain and Beacon Biorefining Centre of Excellence.  More information about the event, including a flyer, can be obtained from Beacon's website and places may be reserved using Cywain's online booking form.

The keynote speaker will be Dr Rob Elias, Director of the Biocomposites Centre of Bangor University, He will be followed by speakers from WRAP Wales, Business Wales, the Pontio Centre's FabLab and me.  I will be talking about intellectual property in relation to sustainable management and waste.

Food packaging and waste disposal are increasingly important technologies but they concern other intellectual assets such as branding and design.  In my 30 minutes, I shall set out the full intellectual property toolkit, that is to say, patents, tra…

IP for Commercial Lawyers - 2018 Conference

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I have been invited to speak ar MBL's IP for Commercial Lawyers - 2018 Conference which will take place in London between 09:30 and 17:15 on 27 Nov 2018.  The conference will cover a wide range of topics from basic concepts to the effect of Brexit on IP rights.  My topic is "Patents - What happens after Brexit£ which will address the thorny question of whether there is any chance that the Unified Patent Court will ever open its doors.

As brands, designs and plant varieties can be protected throughout the European Union by EU trade marks, registered and unregistered Community designs and Community plant variety rights and as much of our national trade mark, registered design, copyright, trade secrecy and patent law has been harmonized by EU directives, our withdrawal from the EU will have far-reaching consequences for British businesses which I have charted in my Brexit blog.

Recently the government has published a series of guidance notes to businesses and individuals on how…

Can you keep a Secret? Non-Disclosure Agreements, Trade Secrets, Use, Abuse and the New Law

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Jane Lambert

A recent decision of the Court of Appeal to enforce a non-disclosure agreement ("NDA") by means of an interim injunction has led to a promise by the Prime Minister to review the law relating to such agreements (see Court stops Telegraph publishing 'sexual harassment' story24 Oct 2018 BBC website).

While NDAs,  like any legal instrument can be abused, they are a very useful business tool.   They enable inventors to discuss their inventions with potential collaborators and investors before they are ready to apply for patents.  They prevent the disclosure or use of sensitive commercial information that may have taken years to gather.  They allow business relations to continue between parties to potentially damaging disputes.

Earlier this year the trade secrecy laws of the 28 member states of the European Union including the UK were harmonized by Directive 2016/943.  While the UK already complied with most of the Directive's provisions, the new law has cr…