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IPcopy: Top 10 IP posts in 2016

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Every year you make me wear this. Santa better bring me a bone this time....[Photo by ellierhu at Morguefile.com]

Every year you make me wear this. Santa better bring me a bone this time….[Photo by ellierhu at Morguefile.com]

It’s that time of year again when, despite your best efforts, possibly the worst music ever created in human history drills itself into your brain and you find yourself humming such “classic” lines as:

So here it is Merry Christmas
Everybody’s having fun
Look to the future now
It’s only just begun.

Based on what happened this year I can only hope Slade are wrong when they say that “it’s only just begun” – Brexit, the US elections, Ed Balls making it to Blackpool – the shocks have come thick and fast this year and I was rather hoping 2017 might be a little…boring.

So, what does next year have in store? Who knows …. but IPcopy notes that the effects, if any, of the unexpected outcomes of the Referendum and the US Election probably won’t really start to bite until 2017….Merry Christmas everyone!

In the rest of the post below we take a quick look back IPcopy’s Top 10 IP related posts from 2016. Before we do that however I’d like to remember in a small tribute two members of the Keltie family that are sadly not with us this Christmas, David Keltie and Lindsey Gordon-Thomas. David of course set up the firm I am part of just over 28 years ago and succeeded in his desire to “create something amazing”. Lindsey worked in our accounts department and was, like David, one of the nicest, happiest and most positive guys you could ever meet. David and Lindsey both possessed an infectious laugh and wherever they are right now I’m certain it’s buzzing. David, Lindsey, it was my pleasure to have known you both.

And now, on with the recap of 2016 from the point of view of IPcopy…

1. IP in the UK after the Brexit Referendum – unsurprisingly given its potential impact on IP rights our top IP post this year is this summary, posted the day after the referendum, of the effects of the referendum.

2. New to IP? Here’s 10 facts about Intellectual Property. A blast from the past, this post was published back in August 2014 and provides a high level introduction to some general IP concepts for those new to the subject. It’s presence here is also a listicle within a listicle – which is all very Inception-y.

3. The proposal to delete the requirement of graphical representation of a trade mark registered in the European Union. Another old post, this one from January 2014, that highlights changes in the Trade Mark directive

4. Unitary Patent & the Brexit Brake. Oh, little did we know what was coming….published before the Referendum, IPcopy tried in this post to reduce the potential impact of Brexit on the unitary patent system into a flowchart.

As we’ve seen subsequently Brexit is both simple (“Brexit means Brexit”) but also pretty complicated when you look at it more closely (see Brexit and the Uncertainty Principle Conundrum (UPC) which discusses an opinion by Richard Gordon QC and Tom Pascoe of Brick Court Chambers that looks at the UK, Brexit and the UPP in great detail).

5. EPO Prosecution delays and the European Convention on Human Rights. This article looked at a case which had seen an excessive delay in prosecution at the EPO. Includes a handy timeline that links the patent prosecution history to past UK Number 1’s, the incumbent Prime Minister and the average UK house price….

6. “Pretty bad to very very bad” – Brexit and the UPC discussed at the CIPA Symposium. A pre-Referendum summary of the potential impacts of Brexit on the unitary patent system. Interesting now in light of the UK’s recent announcement on ratification of the UPC Agreement and also the UPC opinion referenced above.

7. Brexit – IP Myths and Misconceptions. The Referendum result was followed by an electronic deluge of communications setting out the impact of the referendum vote on the world of IP. In most cases these communications amounted essentially to “Nothing changes yet or for at least 2 years and we don’t really know what will happen after that”. However, in some cases these communications contained pretty extreme interpretations of the post-Brexit IP landscape. As it says in the post, the second misconception “is a doozy”

8. The UK and UPC: is the UK trying to have its cake and eat it? A pretty recent post here where IPcopy tries to work out if the UK is playing a crafty one with its recent announcement about continuing preparations for ratification of the UPC Agreement.

9. Did Theresa May just end UK participation in the UPC? Post Brexit referendum result but pre-UK UPC ratification announcement, this post wonders how UPC participation by the UK sits with the PM’s position on the CJEU.

10. Disappearing Brands – but what becomes of the trade marks? The oldest post in the list is from 2013 and looks at what happens to trade marks when a brand gets into trouble or gets sold.

Everyone here at IPcopy would like to wish our readers a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Unless something notable happens on the unitary patent system in the next week or so, we’ll see you early in 2017.

Mark Richardson 22 December 2016

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