Showing posts from 2013

Our IP and Technology Dispute Resolution Team

In his Final Report in his Chancery Modernization Review Lord Justice Briggs recommended a closer focus on ADR at case management conferences ("CMC") and, in particular, that "case management should be seen to be directed toward dispute resolution, rather than merely preparation for a full trial which is unlikely to take place." He specifically recommended requirements for parties to address the timing, type of and impediments to ADR in an expanded questionnaire before the first CMC and for the court at the first CMC to give detailed consideration to assisting the parties in the choice and timing of ADR.

Traditionally, ADR has been seen as an alternative to litigation rather than a set of options to facilitate the speedy and cost-effective resolution of a dispute. It is perhaps one of the consequences of the decision in Scott v. Avery, (1856) 5 H.L.Cas. 811. In fact, mediation, early neutral evaluation and all the other methods of dispute resolution including even…

How the Law protects Investment in Technology

I presented the final talk in my introduction to IP on Wednesday.  Like the Introduction and the talks on Branding and Creative Output I focussed on the different ways the law can protect investment in an intellectual asset.

Until recently technology was connected with manufacturing which probably explains why patents protect new products and processes. The European Patent Convention, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, specifically excludes from the definition of patentable inventions programs for computers, methods of doing business and the presentation of information. Yet much of the British economy is now based on those activities.   For that reason I discussed not simply patents and trade secrets but also the different legal tools for protecting investment in software, data analysis, web 2.0 services and so on such as copyright, database right, design right and plant breeders' rights.

You will find my slides here:

How the law protects investment in technol…

Introduction to the Law relating to Creative Output: Copyright, Related Rights and Designs

Jane Lambert

Over the last few months I have been leading a series of seminars on basic intellectual property law. I presented an introduction and overview on 26 June 2013 and you can download the slides and handout from "Introduction to Intellectual Property" on 1 July 2013. On the 25 Sept 2013 I spoke about branding, that is to say passing off, trade mark registration, geographical indications and domain names. You will find my slides and handout at "Introduction to the Law relating to Branding: Passing off, Trade Marks, Geographical Indications and Domain Names" 4 Oct 2013. On the 27 of this month I shall be talking about patents, confidentiality. semiconductor topographies, plant varieties and database right and you can book for that seminar (which is the final in the series) on our Evenrbrite page.

On Wednesday the 30 Oct 2013 I presented a seminar on creative output, that is to say copyright, related rights and designs.  You can download the slides for that p…

Introduction to the Law relating to Branding: Passing off, Trade Marks, Geographical Indications and Domain Names

On the 25 Sept 2013 I led a seminar on the law relating to branding at 4-5 Gray's Inn Square.

This was part of an introductory course on IP law which started with the Introduction to IP Law on 26 June 2913. The slides and notes from that talk can be read and downloaded from my post "Introduction to IP Law" on 1 July 2013.

Although I gave my talk without slides I have produced a set for the benefit of those who were not there and you can read and download them here:
Introduction to brands from Jane Lambert

I also gave each attendee a set of notes and a memory stick which you will find here:

Introduction to the law relating to branding from Jane Lambert

The next talks in the series will be on Creative Output - Copyright and Related Rights which will take place at 4-5 Gray's Inn Square on 30 Oct 2013 between 16:00 and 18:00 and Technology - Patents, Trade Secrets, Design Rights, Plant Varieties etc on 27 Nov 2013 between 16:00 and 18:00 at the same venue.

Those talks …

Microsoft Xbox One: Regulatory puzzles in a converging marketplace

On Thursday, 12 September 2013, the Royal Television Society's Cambridge Conference heard Nancy Tellem, Microsoft's Entertainment & Digital Media President, explain the thinking behind the Microsoft Xbox One console, due for release on 22 November 2013. Xbox One is a "state of the art gaming console, a new generation TV and movie system, and a whole lot more". Gaming, internet browsing, Skype telephony and watching films and television all take place through a single set-top box. Users can rapidly switch between uses or enjoy them simultaneously, using vocal or gestural controls. 

When I asked Nancy Tellem, who started her career as an attorney, where she expected Xbox One to be regulated, and whether as television or video game or both, she engagingly confessed that she "would have to get back to me". 
As the European Commission observed in its April 2013 Green Paper on convergence in audiovisual services, we are experiencing an "on-going transforma…

Visit by Professor Louis Harms

Jane Lambert

One of our most distinguished members is Professor Louis Harms. Professor Harms was until recently the Deputy President of the Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa which is the highest court of that country for all but constitutional matters. He is a distinguished intellectual property lawyer and holds professorships at several universities. His career is summarized in "A Singular Colleague",  an article that appeared in the December 2011 edition of the Advocate published by the South African Bar Council.

Having retired from the South African Supreme Court, Professor Harms practises as an arbitrator and he heads a panel of specialist intellectual property arbitrators and mediators from these chambers which I shall discuss in a future article.  He will be in chambers on the 25 Sept and has kindly offered to give a special lecture entitled "The principle of self-interest rightly understood' to an invited audience.  I shall also review that talk in this…


Jane Lambert

On 15 Aug 2013 Robert Griffiths QC, Samuel Okoronkwo, our senior clerk Stephen Broom and I met Vera Helena de Moraes Dantas and David Benoliel of Noronha Abogados. Noronha Abogados is a Brazilian law firm with offices in seven major cities in Brazil and a further eight in the rest of the world including one in London.  Vera is the resident partner of the London office and she is also an English solicitor. I met Vera when she gave a talk on doing business in Brazil at a conference on business in the Americas organized by the North West branch of UK Trade and Investment at Haydock Park over 10 years ago. Whenever I  have had a client who has required advice on Brazilian law I have sent him off to Vera. Vera in turn provided me with some information on Brazilian law for my presentation on"The Coming Economic Downturn: How it will affect inventors and what they can do" 15 Oct 2008.

The reason why we invited Vera and David to our chambers is that we are all sports fa…

Autumn Talks - Introduction to Branding, Copyright and Related Rights, Patent Law and More

Building on our Introduction to IP seminar on the 26 June 2013 we are holding workshops on:

Branding Law - that is to say trade marks, passing off, geographical indications, domain names on 25 Sept 2013;Creative Output - that is to say copyrights, rights in performances, moral rights and related rights on 30 Oct 2013; andTechnology Law - patents, trade secrets, unregistered designs rights (including semiconductor topographies) and plant varieties on 27 Nov 2013. Each of these workshops will last 90 minutes plus breaks on the last Wednesday of each month between 16:00 and 18:00.   If you attend, you will qualify for CPD points from the SRA or BSB.   These talks will lay a foundation for more advanced workshops on the substantive law, licensing and litigation.   Best of all they will provide an opportunity to meet out new IP, technology and media law team who will attend as many of the talks as possible.
So who should come to these Autumn Talks? Well just about everybody who is not alre…

We can now field a cricket team

A lot of IP law relates to sport. Trade marks, association rights, broadcasting copyrights, patents for sports equipment - you name it  There is some IP in it somewhere. Our chambers have always been strong in sport and one of our stars is Robert Griffiths QC. Not only is he a sports lawyer, he is also a sportsman with a particularly strong interest in cricket.  Imagine my delight yesterday morning when he called me to say that he realized that he was actually an intellectual property lawyer as well as everything else and offered to lead our IP, Technology and Media Law Group.  I shall be adding his details to our blog shortly,

Other new team members with a strong interest in sport include Samuel Okoronkwo who knows all there is to know about football as he is an FA licensed lawyer and agents as well as barrister and Ruhi Sethi who is a long distance runner. Ruhi is a great addition to the team because she has practised as a solicitor and understand clients' needs perfectly..

I a…

Ireland: Data Protection Commissioner loses in Supreme Court over GR

On 3 July 2013 the Irish Supreme Court gave its judgment in the appeal by the Irish Data Protection Commissioner ("DPC") in EMI Records (Ireland) Limited & ors v The Data Protection Commissioner [2013] IESC 34. Although this represents an endorsement of the voluntary graduated response scheme agreed between ISP Eircom and the record labels, the decision was based essentially on technical grounds. It offers an interesting example, however, of the attitude of an authority charged with enforcing data protection laws.
As described in an earlier post, EMI and other record labels had sued Eircom for participating in the infringement of copyright by its Internet access subscribers. The case was settled by a contractual GR scheme, under which an infringing user would on his third notification be suspended from Internet access for one week; after a fourth notification, Eircom would terminate his access agreement. The user was free to find another ISP if he could.
The DPC had taken …

Judicial Review Conference

Our head of chambers (who recently received the accolade of Lawyer of the Weekfrom the Times) and our other silks and specialist practitioners will hold our annual Judicial Review Conference at the offices of the Law Society between 10:00 and 16:00 on the 4 July 2013.

There is a public law dimension to intellectual property. In Lenzing AG's European Patent (UK) [1997] RPC 245 where Mr Justice Jacobs sat as an additional judge of the Queen's Bench Division upon an application for a review of the implementation in England of a decision of the European Patent Office.  More recently, Mr Justice Kenneth Parker determined an application for a judicial review of the Digital Economy Act 2010 on the grounds of incompatibility with EU legislation in British Telecommunications Plc and another (R on the application of) v The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills [2011] EWHC 1021 (Admin) (20 April 2011).

There is a very strong lineup of speakers and an interesting programm…

Introduction to Intellectual Property

On Thursday 26 June 2013 I introduced some 20 lawyers and others to intellectual property law. To be fair some members of my audience knew a great deal about the topic. However, I think they all learned something new.

Instead of talking about the mechanics of IP law we discussed policy.  How IP has to strike a balance between two conflicting public interests::
incentivizing creativity and innovation; whilesafeguarding competition and freedom of trade. This tension between these conflicting public interests has existed since the Statute of Monopolies 1623 and the Statute of Anne 1710 and it is essential to appreciate that tension in order to understand IP law.

As it was not possible to cover everything in the 2 hours available to me each delegate got the following 16 page handout.

This is the first of a series of talks on IP which we shall offer to solicitors and others over the course of the year..

In this series we shall take a more detailed look at patents, copyrights and related ri…

Patent Box

Jane Lambert

The patent box is an important tax concession to encourage investment in research and development which came into effect on 1 April 2013.
Over the last few months we have been running a patent box roadshow with seminars at Leeds and Liverpool
Our next seminar will be in London at the Liverpool embassy on 12 July 2013 and you can book for that event here.
As we are one of the few chambers with expertise in tax as well as intellectual property we are concentrating all our resources on the patent box and research and development credits here.   Just one article and some links and presentations at the moment but it will grow.

UK: Comment is free - and so are private copies

On 7 June 2013 the Government published four short consultation papers, setting out for technical comment the draft statutory wording by which it proposes to implement new exceptions for private copying, parody, quotation and public administration.I should like briefly to discuss the private copying exception.
The consultation paper states that it is the Government’s intention that the exception be available to an individual, not a body corporate; that the individual must have lawfullyacquired the copy from which the further copy is made and on a permanent basis; and that the further copy must be made for the individual’s private use, for non-commercial ends. The Government contends that no compensation should be payable to the right holder, on the basis that its proposal “allows for appropriate compensation to be paid at the point of sale, and ensures the exception will cause minimal harm to copyright owners”.
The Government proposes to insert the following section 28B in the 1988 Act:

Introduction to Intellectual Property Law - 26 June 2013 16:00 - 18:00

Not long ago most commercial practitioners spent a lifetime in the law without ever having to advise on an intellectual property matter or coming anywhere near the Patents Court. It was a specialist field with its own court having its own rules, the judges and practitioners of which spoke an almost impenetrable argot. Most law schools ignored IP except as a specialist option with the result that many practitioners did not have a clue what it was all about. There were horror stories of solicitors receiving writs for writing the same sort of letter before action as they would write in any other case and it was all horribly expensive. Best left to specialist law firms like Bird & Bird and Bristows and the handful of specialist counsel who knew what they were doing.

The internet and programmes like Dragons' Den have changed all that. Clients often with quite small businesses are now coming to you with questions about software licensing and domain names or with piles of ring binde…