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The UKIPO is currently running a consultation that proposes changes in registered design fees. According to the consultation page on the UK Gov website the consultation arises from the development of a new digital design service for design customers. The new design service is expected to streamline the registration and renewal process with an associated reduction in operation costs. The government needs (wants?) to pass on these cost savings to the customer, hence the consultation. The proposed changes would significantly reduce application and renewal fees for UK registered designs. (more…)
Keltie LLP was pleased to host a workshop for in-house counsel on the topic of designs. The programme kicked off with a refresher by Emily Weal, associate at Keltie, on Registered vs Unregistered designs, followed by a talk from Lynn Schreier, Senior Intellectual Property Counsel at Swarovski, who gave some insights into handling freedom-to-operate in the luxury goods market. The workshop closed with an open forum discussion moderated by Michael Moore, partner at Keltie. (more…)
Over the next couple of weeks, IPcopy will be republishing some general introduction to IP articles that we prepared to present some topics, facts and issues from the area of intellectual property law for people who have had little or no contact with intellectual property. The articles are designed as (brief) primers to highlight some particular elements of the subject area.
Intellectual property (IP) can sometimes be overlooked. Intellectual assets are not tangible and, as such, can be difficult to value. Often, they are not taken into consideration properly when assessing the worth of a business. However, these assets can be the most important to a business, contributing significantly to its goodwill and reputation, and need to be protected properly. (more…)
Last week saw the Committee stage of the Intellectual Property Bill in the House of Commons. A number of transcripts and other documents related to the Committee stage have popped up over the last few days and these are noted below. Of particular interest is this document which helpfully shows the amendments made during Committee in Track Changes format.
It is also interesting to note that four written submissions were received from outside bodies. These submissions were circulated to the MPs appointed to examine the Bill during Committee stage. Submissions were received from: National Union of Journalists (in relation to creators’ rights in the Bill); Universities UK (in relation to Clause 20: Freedom of Information: exemption for research); Dr Dimitris Xenos (in relation to the Unified Patent Court); and Jane Lambert (in relation to Clause 13).
Clause 13 was highlighted by the Committee as one of the more contentious areas of the Bill and virtually got a whole sitting of its own (which is covered in the following transcript). The state of Clause 13 as it exits the Committee stage is reproduced below along with an observation from the discussions in Committee. (more…)
As ipcopymark has already reported, this week David Willetts has proposed amendments to Clause 13 of the Intellectual Property Bill that are, in IPcopy’s view, a step in the right direction. Hot on the heels of David Willetts’ amendments, Iain Wright has now put forward further amendments. A tracked copy of the proposed changes to Clause 13 is below, with Willetts’ proposals in red, and Wright’s proposals in blue.
Wright’s proposals are an interesting bunch. They expand on the notion that the copying must be deliberate, and bring in a criteria a person commits an offence if he knows that the acts committed would infringe the registered design, or is reckless as to whether they infringe the registered design. However, the proposed amendment to subsection 5 removes the defence that the design right was not infringed, replacing it with the criteria that the defendant reasonably believed that the registered design was not infringed. IPcopy’s view is that it would far preferable to keep both of these defences. There is also a puzzling addition of a new subsection 7A which defines the term ‘design right’ as including an unregistered Community design. Since the term ‘design right’ does not actually appear in this section it is unclear to IPcopy what this new subsection would add. If you have any thoughts, please let us know!
Also worth noting are Wright’s proposed additions to Clause 1 (that within 12 months the Secretary of State will undertake a review as to how these provisions have advanced the design industry in the UK), and Clause 8 (that within 6 months the Secretary of State will report on plans to publicise the law changes with the objective of educating holders of design rights), and a proposed new Section of the Patents Act that would introduce a “Director General of Intellectual Property Rights” with responsibility for, amongst other things, promoting the creation of new IP and educating consumers as to the importance and nature of IP rights.
Following the second reading of the Intellectual Property Bill in the House of Commons on Monday (20th January), David Willetts (Con)(Hampshire), the Minister for Universities and Science, has proposed some amendments to the Bill. The proposal includes amendments to Clause 13 that relates to criminal sanctions for copying a registered design.
These amendments on quick review look promising and appear to bring the provision closer into line with the explanatory notes to the Bill. A tracked changes copy of the proposal is below but the amendments basically introduce the fact the design has to be intentionally copied and remove the “substantially to the design” wording.
Seeing as there seems to be little chance of Clause 13 being deleted, the proposed amendments appear to be the next best thing. Hoepfully, the calls from some parties for the prosivions of Clause 13 to be extended to unregistered design rights will be resisted!
[Update: the Committee stage of proceedings has been set for 28th-30th January 2014 – see here]
Last week in the context of Clause 13 of the Intellectual Property Bill we posted some comments on the suitability of a criminal court to hear registered design issues. I mentioned in that earlier post that there were other reasons why we thought the clause should be deleted and some more of these are discussed below.
Remember, if you feel that Clause 13 of the IP Bill should be deleted or amended to restrict its scope then you should lobby your MP. Find your MP here.
Today’s mini rant topic of discussion looks at whether the intent of the legislation has been captured in the Clause as drafted and also looks at the acts of copying and infringement. Finally there are some musings on the how the criminal provisions could be used in practice.
Clause 13 of the Intellectual Property Bill is attracting a fair amount of discussion on both sides of the argument. I thought I’d take a closer look at some of the issues around the clause and what happened before its appearance in the Bill. I must have been in a funny mood when I wrote the post below as its in the style of a totally fictional conversation between a client and his patent attorney. See if you can guess which side of the argument I come down on…… (more…)