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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Enforcing Intellectual Property Rights

The Law Society has published guidance for UK solicitors covering changes to Intellectual Property (IP) Law indicating the potential for chaos and confusion for broadcasters and media outlets should the UK leave the EU on a ‘no deal’ basis. As yet another unintended consequence of crashing out of the EU with no deal, broadcasters may have to get full copyright permission for every EU country that they broadcast to, rather than the current situation whereby they only need copyright permission from the country they are broadcasting from.

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Following May’s hugely successful royal wedding in which US actress Meghan Markle married Prince Harry, sixth in the line of succession to the British throne, a row has broken out over the design of Markle’s dress.

A recent decision by the European court of justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg means that the four finger Kit Kat chocolate and biscuit bar is set to lose its protected trademark status, opening up the likelihood of ‘copy-cat Kit Kat’s’ from rival manufacturers. The ECJ’s advocate general advised judges to throw out manufacturer Nestle’s appeal, and whilst the advocate generals advice is not binding, it’s very likely that it will be followed.

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A recent announced by the IPO (the UK Intellectual Property Office) as confirmed that the UK has now finalised and ratified an agreement that will make it easier for the owners of intellectual property to register designs in multiple jurisdictions and territories, and for them to take appropriate legal action if required to protect such designs.

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At a recent trial at California’s Federal court, internet sensation, inspiration for hundred’s of memes and merchandise success story Grumpy Cat has successfully sued a US coffee company over a breach in the agreed terms of image rights and usage.

Grumpy Cat – most famous for her permanently unhappy but comically doleful expression – was awarded $710,000 (equivalent to £500,000) in compensation, along with a nominal $1 for breach of contract against US coffee company Grenade.

As the UK moves steadily closer to March 2019’s formal exit from the European Union, it is important that businesses across all sectors and of all sizes understand the impact that Brexit may have on their intellectual property and trademarks, and to make necessary changes now to help mitigate against possible legal action and litigation in future. SME’s (Small and Medium size Entities) make up over 98% of the UK’s 5.7m private sector businesses, employing over 16m people and representing £1.9 trillion in turnover p/a. The main issues for SME’s to consider and address in the run-up to Brexit from an IP and trademark perspective include:

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Over the years here at Advantage Litigation Solutions, we have looked at many claims and counter claims involving patents and patent infringements. With the increasing importance of intellectual property and brand identity in our globalised business world, effective legal protection of a patent is extremely important.

Recent data compiled by law firm RPC sheds an interesting light on the claims trends in the High Court. The data, covering the 12 months up till 31st march 2017, shows that the most frequent claimants using the High Court were from the Music and Professional Football sectors.

Fizzy drink giant Coca-Cola has recently been allowed to proceed with its EU trade mark application by the EU Intellectual Property Office (the EUIPO). This is the latest stage in a series of legal challenges against Mitico, a Syrian company that also produces soft drinks, mainly for the domestic and Middle-Eastern markets.

The Brexit effect – looming problems with patent and intellectual property law

German intellectual property lawyer Ingve Stjerna has succeeded in a court action which effectively puts the European patent regime on hold, having described the UK’s desire to remain a member of the new system – the Unified Patent Court (UPC) - as ‘astonishing’.

The highest UK court – namely the UK Supreme Court – has reaffirmed the territorial nature of 'goodwill' in relation to 'passing off ' actions.

A Passing off action is a common law method of intellectual property enforcement that can be used to prevent the unauthorised use of a mark, which is similar to another's registered or unregistered trademark.

Starbucks and PCCW, who provide internet TV services in Hong Kong under the name NOW TV, were unhappy when SKY announced a plan to launch their own internet TV service of the same name.

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Apple have been fine circa £350 million for three patents relating to iTunes - the media player, library and mobile device management application.

Subject to an appeal, which is likely, the iTunes creators will now have to pay $530 million (£342 million) to Smartflash after a Texas jury concluded that Apple copied Smartflash’s patent (at least in part) and should pay for damages for such wrongdoing.

The UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) Patent Opinions Service has been in place since 2005 to offer opinions on the validity of patents, and whether any patent infringes UK and EP(UK) patents. Opinions cost £200 and are non-binding in nature, but can assist in dispute resolution prior to litigation. But where litigation is unavoidable, opinions from the Patent Opinions Service can still be useful in helping parties in their case.

However, as of 1 October 2014, the UKIPO has had the power to revoke a patent of its own initiative, if the Patent Opinions Service finds it is not new and/or inventive, where previously it would be up to a third party to begin revocation proceedings, which can be costly and time consuming.

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has recently handed down its full opinion in Case C-201/13 Deckmyn, and in doing so has not only defined what constitutes a parody, but has also given copyright owners the right to demand their material be disassociated with a work of parody in certain circumstances.

On 1st October a new Intellectual Property Act, that seeks to strengthen intellectual property protection for businesses across the United Kingdom, comes into force.

The Intellectual Property Act 2014 was deemed necessary and subsequently drafted following the 2011 Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property and Growth, which found the UK’s intellectual property (IP) laws currently in place to be inadequate and inaccessible to small and medium sized businesses (SMEs).

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