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The incredible capabilities of 3D printing – showcased in a dozen patents

From ground-breaking technology that could be straight off Star Trek, to applications that might transform our every-day consumer experience, via a few light-hearted detours: here are a dozen patents to illustrate the diversity of 3D printing applications…


Whose patent is it anyway? (ORoPO)

oropoThe statement: “We just want to look into the ownership of company X’s patents and then maybe assign them over after the deal” seems fairly innocuous. But, anyone who has ever worked through a due diligence exercise or even just been asked to assign a few IP assets from A to B knows that IP ownership can get difficult quickly.

One particular issue is whether it’s possible to trust the public record. Is the IP asset owned by company A or did they assign it away at some point in the past to company C who just hasn’t gotten round to updating the register?

This potential lack of accuracy in patent records is now being addressed by the ORoPO project which is a free and open register of patent ownership. (more…)

IP Hit or Miss? Armageddon – Science Miss but IP Hit?

Image - courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech.

Image – courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech.

One of our readers suggested we take a look at Armageddon. This 1998 action/adventure sci-fi starring Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck has already been established as a science fail (1,2,3) but how accurate are the IP references made in the movie?

For those readers not familiar with Armageddon, the film revolves around an impending asteroid impact on Earth and a plan to drill deep into the asteroid and detonate a large enough nuclear weapon to split the asteroid into two pieces and thus avoid the end of the world. Bruce Willis plays the character Harry Stamper, the best deep-sea oil driller in the world, who is initially brought in to be an advisor to NASA. (more…)

UK Intellectual Property Policy Reform: Newsbites from the Westminster Legal Policy Forum

westminster 2

IPCopy welcomes K2 IP Attorney Adam Brocklehurst for his inaugural blog post, which we hope will be the first of many! Adam was our reporter-on-the-ground at the Westminster Legal Policy Forum on 30 April 2013, and you can enjoy his whistle-stop-tour of the event here.

The Westminster Legal Policy Forum gathered in Whitehall this week for a wide-ranging discussion of hot IP policy and political topics.  IP Copy was there to pick up any interesting tidbits. Headliners were HHJ Birss, Baroness Wilcox, Sean Dennehey, representatives from the European Commision, and various speakers from practice and industry.


IP – Hit or Miss? Why Tony Stark might want to reconsider Pepper Potts as CEO

iron manIn the film Iron Man 2, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) gets into an argument with his friend Lt. Col. James “Rhodey” Rhodes (Don Cheadle) who, after a bout of CGI enhanced fighting, makes off with one of his Iron Man suits.

Shortly after this, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) who is CEO of Stark Industries is seen berating someone on the telephone about the suit that has gone missing. During the call she says the following (as near as I recall):

“Illegal seizure of trademarked property”


“Don’t tell me we have the best patent lawyers in the country and then not pursue this”

So, what’s wrong with these statements? (Other than the fact I picked up on them and thought to write an article about it!).


The unitary patent and contributory infringement – an unforeseen advantage?

EU flagProponents of the unitary patent package have talked long and hard about the benefits they hope it will bring for patentees. The advantages that have been discussed so far have been primarily financial, the grand plan being that reduced translation requirements, a single renewal fee and central litigation will all lead to lower costs in obtaining, maintaining and enforcing your patent.

The ins and outs these financial advantageous, and the wry eyebrows being raised by IP professionals across Europe by way of response, could make for a very long blog post indeed, and we won’t be tackling this one today.

Instead, we have been considering whether the unitary patent might offer an advantage in terms of the actual scope of protection that it provides, specifically with regard to contributory infringement.


UKIPO: Possible low-cost appeal route with an Appointed Person for Patents

UKIPOlogoThe newly be-logoed UK Intellectual Property Office has recently released a Discussion Paper on the possibility of introducing an Appointed Person for Patents at the IPO (I promised ipcopymark I wouldn’t mention that on an initial glance he read this as an Anointed Person for Patents…so you didn’t hear it from me…), and has invited comments from one and all.

Presently, the route of appeal from any decision of the IPO on patents is generally to the Patents Court (part of the High Court, or to the Court of Session in Scotland). If an Appointed Person for Patents is indeed Anointed, this would provide a new low-cost route of Appeal for patent decisions issued by the IPO. The decision of the Appointed Person would be final, and no further appeal to the High Court would be possible. (more…)

Patent applicants in India: beware the section 8 ‘trap’

India has become an attractive and apparently low cost option for patent applicants with global interests, but recent Patent Appeal Board and Court decisions suggest that hard-won patents may be invalidated easily on technicality grounds if patent owners do not meet stringent disclosure obligations during the application procedure.