Total Documents: 131
Trends and Events is our annual publication in which the Federation reviews its previous year’s activities. It provides an overview of those IP issues which engaged industry during that period and tries to look beyond current issues to identify future areas of interest, activity or controversy.
One of the IP Federation’s chief lobbying tools is its policy papers. These are all available on the website at:
The policy papers on the website represent the views of the innovative and influential companies which are members of the Federation. Members are consulted on their views and opinions and encouraged to debate and explore issues of practice and policy. Only after consensus is achieved are external bodies informed of the collective views of industry via the Federation.
‘Brexit’ poses considerable challenges for intellectual property law and presents uncertainty as to the involvement of the UK, following its exit from the EU, in existing and proposed international regimes involving EU law.
The UK Government has indicated intent to repeal the European Communities Act 1972, which incorporates European Union law into the law of the UK, but nevertheless to preserve the existing body of EU law – the acquis – in the national law.
As in all recent years, the unitary patent and Unified Patent Court (UPC) dossier has been among the Federation’s highest priorities in the last 18 months, 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 continued to move forward smoothly during the first half of 2016, with first Finland, then Bulgaria, joining the list of countries which had ratified, bringing the total to 10 (one mandatory ratifying country, France, plus nine of the required 10 others). Additionally, steady progress was made in a number of other countries, notably including in both the two remaining mandatory ratification countries, the UK and Germany. Other important milestones included adoption of the rules on court fees (including the zero fee for the opt-out) and the handover of the IT system by the UK to the team in Luxembourg. Then came 23 June and the UK’s decision to leave the EU. This was of significance to the UPC project, of course, due to the widely held view that participation in the UPC was strictly limited to EU states.
The IP Federation continually engages with the European Patent Office (EPO) to provide input on consultations relating to implementing regulations, ancillary regulations to the European Patent Convention (EPC) and procedures of the EPO. The Federation maintains ongoing working relationships with EPO representatives including holding meetings with the President and Directors throughout the year.
What do a black cab, a four-fingered chocolate bar and a colourful puzzle have in common? Apart from all being useful when suffering a long Underground delay, the answer is that they concern trade marks for the shape of a product that have been subject to negative decisions in the UK / EU in the last year.
The IP Federation Design and Copyright Committee has been resurrected, following a 10-year hiatus.
The time is right to resurrect the Committee.
It is an important time for design rights in the UK – the uncertainty posed by Brexit is a particular concern for IP Federation members, a significant proportion of which currently rely on Registered Community Designs (RCDs) and Unregistered Community Designs (UCDs) to protect their designs in the UK.
It is hoped that the newly re-formed Committee can continue the good work done by previous incarnations of the Committee.
James Horgan is a qualified UK and European Patent Attorney with nearly 30 years of experience of IP work gained in private practice, Fisons plc and Pfizer Limited. He has represented his employers on both the patent committee and Council of the IP Federation for many of those years. His career has mostly been spent in the pharmaceutical field, obtaining and defending patent protection for new products globally. He gained a first degree in chemistry with biochemistry from Oxford University in 1987, and an LLM in IP litigation from Nottingham Trent University in 2009.
He was President of the IP Federation from 2010 to 2012.
In his spare time, James enjoys spending time with friends and family, walking, cycling and sailing.