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Mapping Enterprise

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Jane Lambert

The State of Small Business: Putting UK entrepreneurs on the map, which was compiled by Nesta (the National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts) in collaboration with The Sage Group Plc, is a data-led guide to the state of small and medium enterprises ("SME") in the UK.  It is accompanied by a website called "The State of Small Business"which provides detailed information about how such businesses are performing and changing in each area. The authors hope that decision-makers will take advantage of the data to understand their local business environments and thereby assist them to drive growth and productivity locally and nationally.

The authors' recommendations to central government and other national policy makers are to:- Know that the productivity puzzle must be solved at a local level,Devolve capacity, not just powers, Hold local authorities and devolved areas to account,Simplify business taxes, Support the development of basic digital…

Lambert to speak at C5 Pharma & Biotech Patent Litigation Conference on 28 Feb 2017

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Jane Lambert

One of the most important cases of 2017 was the Supreme Court's decision in Eli Lilly v Actavis UK Ltd and Others [2017] Bus LR 1731, [2017] UKSC 48.  That case is important for two reasons. First, it re-struck the balance that the law has to strike between the needs of inventors for reasonable protection for their inventions, competitors in the industry for certainty and clarity as to what they can and cannot do and the general the general public for reasonable competition much more favourably to inventors.  Secondly, the Court considered for the first time topics such as the "doctrine of equivalents" and "file wrapper estoppel" that are familiar to US judges and lawyers but not to their colleagues in this country.

I wrote about that case in The Supreme Court's Judgment in Eli Lilly v Actavis UK Ltd and Others: how to understand it and why it is important13 July 2017 NIPC Law. My case note received a lot of hits and favourable comment includin…

Adonis's Departure is not Good News for Regional Development

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Jane Lambert

For those who have never heard of the National Infrastructure Commission, I described it as an executive agency of the Treasury consisting of a chair, a deputy chair and 9 commissioners (see Jane Lambert Partnering for Prosperity: A new deal for the Cambridge- Milton Keynes-Oxford Arc21 Nov 2017 NIPC East), Its purpose is to offer impartial, expert advice and recommendations to the government on economic infrastructure which includes energy, transport, water (drainage sewerage and flood management) and digital communications. Its objectives are to support sustainable economic growth across all regions of the UK and improve competitiveness and the quality of life.

Lord Adonis was the chair of that Commission and his resignation earlier today is not good news for the regions.  That is because they look to the Commission to secure the funding that they need for the improved transport links and the other requirements identified in the Midlands Engine Strategy. the Northern Po…

NIPC News Roundup - 27 Oct 2017

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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

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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.

FRAND

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

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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

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Brexit

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…