Total Documents: 212


A week in the life (of an in-house patent attorney)

Document No: PUB 21A/21 Posted: 22 December 2021
With apologies to Samuel Pepys and Helen Fielding, the extract below is fictional and intended to capture the variety and challenge of life working as part of an in-house IP department.


Early start today – I’m meeting with a project team to discuss their latest developments. We filed a priority patent application last year and are now reviewing recently generated data to determine claim scope before foreign filing. We spend a fascinating couple of hours digging into the results and technology, it’s a highly competitive area so I think there may be filings from third parties, we need to be careful to maintain priority and I draw some timelines for the project team to try to explain why that matters. The project team also has some creative thoughts around names for the technology.  

Diversity and Inclusion

Document No: PUB 21B/21 Posted: 22 December 2021
The Question of improving diversity and inclusion in the UK's IP profession remains a key commit­ment of this organisation. Last year we planted a flag committing the IP Federation to do more in this area, and now we are making good on that commitment. Last year in The IP Federation Review we pointed to the dangers of the Covid-19 pandemic worsening accessibility to the IP profession and having an adverse impact on the number of available jobs. The likelihood was that this would particularly affect black, Asian and ethnic minority people who were suffering more from the impact of the pandemic and who are disproportionately over-represented in the poorer communities.  

The IP Federation’s activities

Document No: PUB 21C/21 Posted: 22 December 2021

The IP Federation’s campaigns

The IP Federa­tion has invested considerable time and resource in 2021 in support of its aim of improving the intellectual property (IP) framework to meet the needs of innovative industry. Here are some of our key successes.

The Unified Patent Court

Document No: PUB 21D/21 Posted: 22 December 2021
In last year’s IP Federation Review, it was reported that, despite 2020 being a turbulent year for the Unified Patent Court (UPC), progress appeared to have been made. This year, a much more positive statement can be made. Progress has definitely been made, with the Preparatory Committee estimating that the UPC will start operations around mid-2022. Whilst that may be a little optimistic, next year’s Review may be published as the doors of the UPC are finally opening.  

IP Federation archive made available to the public

Document No: PUB 21E/21 Posted: 22 December 2021
Legal scholars, business historians, and others now have access to a wealth of previously unavailable material showing how business reacted to and lobbied on IP law from 1920 to 1989. Until recently, the archive of the IP Federation was stored in a warehouse in Chatham, save for a few items retained in the IP Federation office. Operating under the IP Federation’s document retention and destruction policy, Council deemed the archive as suitable for donation to a scholarly library subject to a “30-year rule”. As a result, since mid-2021, this material has been publicly available in the Weston Library in Oxford, which houses the “special collections” of the Bodleian, the main research library of the University. Legal scholars and business historians have access to a wealth of material from the foundation of the Federation in 1920 up to the end of 1989.  

The SPC Year in Review – Politics rather than Litigation

Document No: PUB 21F/21 Posted: 22 December 2021
There have been no Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) referrals decided this year. The main activity on supplementary protection certificates (SPC) has been political with changes considered on a European Union level as part of the pharmaceutical legislation review and the much vaunted appearance of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) on the horizon at the end of the year.  

Patent Harmonisation Activities

Document No: PUB 21G/21 Posted: 22 December 2021

1.                   Introduction

There have been two main areas of activity concerning attempts to harmonise and improve the patent system in 2021: Substantive patent law harmonisation (SPLH) in conjunction with the B+ group of WIPO nations and procedural harmonisation before the IP5 group of Patent Offices.

The IP Federation working with the EPO in 2021

Document No: PUB 21H/21 Posted: 22 December 2021
Over the last 12 months the European Patent Office (EPO) has accelerated its digital transformation consistent with its Strategic Plan 2023. It is fair to say that the EPO is now a primarily digital workspace at every level of the organisation. This increased digitalisation has presented new opportunities for engagement, collaboration and communication without the obstacle of geography. The IP Federation has embraced this opportunity and continues to work closely with the EPO at many levels to bring the user perspective to EPO initiatives as they emerge and develop.  

International Trade and Intellectual Property

Document No: PUB 21I/21 Posted: 22 December 2021

A Vision in support of the UK Government’s Trade Strategy

With the world on the cusp of a 4th Industrial Revolution promising emerging technologies such as Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, quantum computing, AI and genomics, it is critical to get the IP aspects of trade deals right. In view of the speed of progress, any obstacles to innovation and IP will damage the UK’s economy for decades. The profound global challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic make successful outcomes from trade negotiations even more important.  

Exhaustion – phew!

Document No: PUB 21J/21 Posted: 22 December 2021

The UK’s future regime for the exhaustion of intellectual property rights

It is an old joke, and a truism, in the IP community that thinking through the exhaustion of intellectual property rights (IPRs) is, well, exhausting. This is because the subject itself is so complex, the implications so far-reaching, and perspectives so diverse, that analysis and discussion can too easily descend down a metaphorical rabbit hole. It is unsurprising, then, that considering and responding in August 2021 to the UK government’s consultation on the UK’s future regime for the exhaustion of IPRs took up a great deal of time, thought and energy.
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