Copyright & Levies
Document No: PUB 20D/12
In December 2011, the Government published proposals for implementing a number of the recommendations relating to copyright which it had accepted in its August 2011 response to the Hargreaves Review of IP and Growth. Simultaneously Baroness Wilcox, the IP minister at the time, launched a Government consultation seeking views on these proposals.
European Patent Office (EPO) Update
Document No: PUB 20E/12
Users welcomed a slowing of the pace of amendment of the European Patent Convention (EPC) itself, as the EPO digests the ramifications of previous changes. This did not mean that the EPO rested on its laurels in 2012 and in other areas it was active in ways that users welcome, such as the innovations in the area of machine translations.
EU Patent Reform
Document No: PUB 20F/12
In 2012, the Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court (UPC) dossier has been among the Federation’s highest priorities, with major developments notwithstanding the breakdown of negotiations at the Competitiveness Council meeting in Warsaw in December 2011 over the location of the Central Division of the UPC.
IP Federation biographies
Document No: PUB 20G/12
Dr Bobby Mukherjee is a qualified UK and European Patent Attorney with over 16 years’ experience of IP work gained in private practice and at BAE Systems plc. He is currently the Chief Counsel – IP & Technology Law, BAE Systems. He has represented his current employer on the Patents Committee and Council of the IP Federation for some of those years.
Revision of the rules for the assessment of licensing agreements for the transfer of technology
Document No: PUB 20H/12
On 6 December 2011, the European Commission launched a public consultation for the revision of the current framework for the assessment of technology transfer agreements, including the Technology Transfer Block Exemption Regulation (TTBER) and its corresponding Notice, scheduled to expire in April 2014.
Patent Box – The Basics
Document No: PUB 20I/12
If you pay UK corporation tax and develop your own products but still haven’t taken a look at the Patent Box, you really should. From April 2013, companies which satisfy specific criteria will be able to claim an additional deduction against their taxable profits, effectively taking the tax rate applied to a proportion of their profits down to 10%. There will be some companies for whom the new Patent Box will make no difference at all but, equally, there will be some for whom it will offer a relatively easy way of reducing their tax burden.
Document No: PUB 20J/12
Patent marking is an often neglected aspect of patent law, but in recent years has come into the spotlight. Most countries, including the UK, have a provision that damages from infringement can be awarded where an infringer has copied a product only where said infringer is put on notice of the existence of a patent right by virtue of the patent number being applied to (i.e. ‘marked’ on) the product (cf Section 62 (1) of the UK Patents Act).
Update on “plain” (more accurately, “standardised”) packaging
Document No: PUB 20K/12
This trade mark issue has received much attention in the Press, although it is not one on which the Federation has taken a position.
The damage to health caused by smoking is of concern to governments. It is obviously quite impractical for most governments to ban tobacco products (a point of legal consequence discussed below). However, governments do interfere with the way tobacco products are marketed to the general public in the hope of reducing consumption. In England, supermarkets no longer display the packets of tobacco products openly; they are behind a screen, so that customers have to know what to ask for. And in many countries, the packets bear health warnings, some including shocking medical pictures.
Patent Enforcement – Portugal enacts law mandating arbitration for pharmaceutical patent disputes
Document No: PUB 20L/12
In December 2011 the Portuguese government enacted Decree Law 62/2011 which for the first time moved certain IP disputes, in particular patent disputes, in the pharmaceutical sector away from the Jurisdiction of the court and mandated that they are handled exclusively through arbitration. The reasoning underlying this controversial and unprecedented change is clearly political but has not been unambiguously expressed. It has been implied that it is linked to austerity measures in Portugal and indeed a Memorandum of Understanding on Specific Economic Policy Conditionality was concluded between Portugal and the Troika (European Commission, IMF and ECB) in May 2011. However, whilst the Memorandum of Understanding contained a section on the Portuguese Judicial system and mentioned arbitration within the context of alternative dispute resolution as a way to facilitate resolution of backlog cases and out of court settlement, there was no mention of its mandatory use, or any contemplation of its use in IP law, and certainly not in a specific sector. The only reference to IP in the Memorandum of Understanding was to make a speciality court on IP fully operational by Q1 2012. What is plain, however, is that the specific IP disputes selected by the Law to be handled in arbitration are the critical innovator vs generics disputes that effectively govern when a generic copycat medicine can legally be commercialised in Portugal.
Reform of the UK Designs Legal Framework
Document No: PUB 20M/12
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