IP Federation Equal Opportunities Policy 2016
Document No: PUB 1/16
The IP Federation is committed to promoting diversity and to providing equal opportunities for all staff and job applicants. We acknowledge the unique contribution that all individuals can make. We do not discriminate against staff on the basis of their gender, sexual orientation, pregnancy, maternity, paternity, marital or civil partner status, gender reassignment, race, colour, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, disability, age or any other inappropriate or irrelevant criteria or distinction. We aim to create an inclusive working environment in which all individuals are able to fulfil their potential and make use of their skills, free from discrimination or harassment, and in which all decisions are based on merit.
IP Federation annual accounts 31 December 2015
Document No: PUB 21/15
IP Federation accounts 31 December 2015: Director's Report and Unaudited Financial Statements for the year ended 31 December 2015
Consultation by the Legal Services Board on regulation of in-house lawyers
Document No: PUB 20A/15
The Legal Services Act 2007, which followed the Clementi Review, had two main practical effects:
- first, it established regulators for lawyers and the Legal Ombudsman independent of professional bodies for lawyers; and
- secondly (not relevant in the present context), it permitted the creation of private practices consisting of different types of lawyer (“LDPs”) and also consisting of lawyers together with non-lawyers (“ABSs”).
The Federation’s members employ, “in-house”, the following classes of lawyer to do IP work: registered UK patent attorneys, registered UK trade mark attorneys, English solicitors, and English barristers. Sometimes, members employ European patent attorneys lacking national registration; these are not lawyers under the Legal Services Act, but valuably their communications with their clients/employers are privileged on a par with registered UK patent attorneys (Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, Section 280).
Designs in the UK
Document No: PUB 20B/15
In 2014, the Government sought views on proposed changes to the Registered Designs Act 1949. The proposal was that the legislation be amended to provide registered design owners with the option of marking a product with the address of a website which links the product with the relevant registered design numbers as an alternative way of providing notice of the rights. The Government response to this call for evidence was published in August 2015.
The response document provides a summary of what respondents said about the proposal to introduce the option of webmarking for registered design rights. This document provides a summary of the key points raised by respondents and the Government’s commentary on these issues.
Document No: PUB 20C/15
The Federation has engaged with the European Patent Office (EPO) throughout 2015 to provide input on matters relating to implementing and ancillary regulations to the European Patent Convention (EPC) and to procedures of the EPO. The Federation maintains ongoing working relationships with EPO representatives including meetings with the President and Directors throughout the year.
In March 2015 the President of the EPO submitted a Proposal for a structural reform of the EPO Boards of Appeal (BOA) (CA/16/15) prompted by decision R 19/12 of the Enlarged Board of Appeal. The President’s proposal is intended to increase the organisational and managerial autonomy of the BOA, the perception of their independence and also their efficiency. The proposal introduces a new President of the BOA who will not be a Vice President of the EPO and who will have organisational, managerial and budgetary responsibility for the BOA reporting to a new subsidiary committee of the Administrative Council (AC), the Board of Appeal Committee (BOAC). It is proposed that the BOAC will comprise AC members, experienced judges, the President of the EPO and the President of the BOA. The BOAC will monitor efficiency and independence of the BOA while guiding on recruitment of board members. The President further proposed to relocate the BOA to provide geographic separation from the EPO to improve the perception of independence.
EU Patent Reform
Document No: PUB 20D/15
In 2015, as in 2013 and 2014, the unitary patent and Unified Patent Court (UPC) dossier has been among the Federation’s highest priorities, following the long-awaited agreement between the European Parliament and Council in late 2012 which resulted in the unitary patent and language Regulations being adopted in December 2012, and signature of the UPC Agreement on 19 February 2013.
The dossier has continued to move forward during 2015, with new ratifications during the year bringing the total to eight. It now appears possible that the required number of ratifications (13 including the UK and Germany) will be achieved by mid-2016 such that the Preparatory Committee’s revised target date for commencement of the new system (January 2017) is potentially achievable – though spring or summer 2017 seems more likely.
India National Intellectual Property Policy
Document No: PUB 20E/15
The Indian Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has constituted an IPR Think Tank to draft a National Intellectual Property Policy and to advise DIPP on IPR (intellectual property rights) issues. The Indian Government has been consulting on the National Intellectual Property Policy, and the first official draft was released by DIPP on 25 December 2014.
In its response, policy paper 2/15, the IP Federation first observed that the Think Tank notes that an objective of the Draft IPR Policy should be to “guide and enable all creators and inventors to realize their potential for generating, protecting and utilizing IP which would contribute to wealth creation, employment opportunities and business development.” It also aims to “foster predictability, clarity and transparency in the entire IP regime in order to provide a secure and stable climate for stimulating inventions and creations, and augmenting research, trade, technology transfer and investment.”
IP Federation biographies
Document No: PUB 20F/15
Carol is a UK Chartered Patent Attorney; a European Patent Attorney; and also an Associate Member of the Institution of Chemical Engineers. She has over 30 years of experience in patents, having joined the patent profession directly after gaining a degree in Environmental Chemical Engineering from the University of Exeter. Carol has represented Shell on the Council of the IP Federation since 2008, and in the past few years has also served as Chair of the IP Federation patent committee.
Patent Harmonisation – What is happening?
Document No: PUB 20G/15
There are a number of patent harmonisation initiatives ongoing, some driven by the IP5 Offices and some through WIPO and the informal B+ subgroup. Most of these initiatives are concerned with procedural improvements aimed at making the patent prosecution process simpler to the benefit of the offices and users. However, since 2013 there has been a major push towards substantive patent law harmonisation driven by the chair of the Group B+, John Alty.
The Global Dossier (GD) project arose out of work initiated by the Trilateral Offices including that on the Common Application Format (CAF) and Common Citation Document (CCD), with the purpose of agreeing common procedures between the Offices. Both CAF and CCD have subsequently been taken over by the IP5 Heads.
Patents and Standards
Document No: PUB 20H/15
In October 2014, the European Commission began a public consultation on patents and standards. The aim of this consultation was to gather information and views on interplay between standardisation and intellectual property rights (IPR) such as patents. The purpose of the consultation was to allow stakeholders interested in standardisation involving patents to bring to the Commission’s attention their views on:
–how the current framework governing standardisation involving patents performs; and
–how it should evolve to ensure that standardisation remains efficient and adapted to the fast-changing economic and technological environment.
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