Articles and monographs : 185 Documents


The UK Intellectual Property Office

Document No: PUB 15/10 Posted: 14 December 2010

2010 saw the arrival of a new Chief Executive and Comptroller-General of the UK Intellectual Property Office, John Alty, who took office early in the year. John Alty has a background in business, regulation and markets, having been most recently the Director General in Fair Markets in the Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills, and before that Director Business Relations and Director Europe in the DTI.


Document No: PUB 14/10 Posted: 14 December 2010
  1. Attorney-client privilege in the UK Courts, especially for patent and trade mark attorneys
  2. Privilege in the proposed European and European Union Patents Court (EEUPC)
  3. Attorney-client privilege in European Commission competition law investigations
  4. Practical implications

New System for Regulation of UK Lawyers including Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys

Document No: PUB 13/10 Posted: 14 December 2010

Following a report by Sir David Clementi in 2004, Parliament enacted the Legal Ser­vices Act 2007 to reform regulation of lawyers. The Act has resulted in the estab­lish­ment of regula­tory bodies independent of professional bodies. Thus the Law Society, the Bar Council, the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys, and the In­sti­tute of Trade Mark Attorneys have each ceased to regulate their respective pro­fes­sions directly. The Act also provides for regulation of private practices con­sisting of different types of lawyer (“LDPs”) and of lawyers and non-lawyers (“ABSs”). 

Most Federation Members have in-house departments of employed patent attorneys and/or trade mark attorneys. The attorneys are now regulated by the Intellectual Property Regu­la­tion Board (“IPReg”), and are bound by IPReg’s Code of Conduct, which came into force in 2010.

Developments in the Patentability of Computer Software and Business Method Inventions

Document No: PUB 12/10 Posted: 21 July 2010

Recent years have seen the patentability of software and business methods hotly debated, and not just in academic circles. With protests in the streets of Munich and over a hundred personal and professional opinions on the subject filed by amicus curiae, there can be little doubt as to the public interest in this evolving and controversial issue. With judicial opinions on developments in the laws of Europe and the United States having been published in 2010, it is timely to explore the perspectives and most significant effects.

Patent Quality

Document No: PUB 11/10 Posted: 14 December 2010

It is a basic requirement of a good patent system that granted patents should be of high quality: i.e., the patents can be presumed valid with a high degree of cer­tainty. Those states and regional groups that provide for search and examina­tion before grant should carry out these procedures to a high standard; while those states that do not examine before grant should be able to rely on the international system (PCT) and/or the work of examining offices to achieve quality.

European Patent Office Single Patent Process (SPP) Programme

Document No: PUB 10/10 Posted: 14 December 2010
The EPO launched the Single Patent Process (SPP) Programme in April 2009 to redesign and improve the patent and business processes of the EPO. The SPP Programme team have car­ried out a detailed analysis of all the current EPO processes and have used this analysis as the basis for proposals to simplify and automate the work. A major feature of SPP will be an electronic dossier for every application and the eventual phasing out of the labour-intensive maintained paper files.

European Qualifying Examination (EQE)

Document No: PUB 9/10 Posted: 20 July 2010

In 2012, the EQE will have its first major change since the first examination in 1979. With effect from 2012 there will be a pre-examination which is designed to act as a filter to reduce the number of candidates sitting the full examination without sufficient preparation. The “main” examination in its new form will be held for the first time in 2013. Candidates must pass the pre-examination before being allowed to sit the main examination. The pre-examination may be taken after two years full-time training.

EU Patent Reform

Document No: PUB 8/10 Posted: 14 December 2010

On 4 December 2009 the Competitiveness Council adopted a package of measures (“Con­clusions on an Enhanced patent system in Europe”) setting the foundation for both an EU-wide patent and a unified patent litigation system (UPLS) in Europe. 

The Council Conclusions are a significant milestone, marking political agreement on key components of both the EU Patent and UPLS projects, and giving the green light for work to continue on both dossiers.

Review of EU Customs Anti-Counterfeiting Regulation

Document No: PUB 7/10 Posted: 14 December 2010

The Commission was instructed by the EU Council in 2008 to consider improve­ments to the current regulation (EC 1383/2003) under which customs authorities suspend goods for import, export or in transit when they appear to be counterfeit or pirated, or to otherwise infringe an IP right. The Council was increasingly con­cerned about the globalisation of counterfeiting, especially of dangerous counter­feit goods, and about the sale of counterfeits over the Internet. The Commission consulted widely during the first half of 2010 and is presently con­sidering the re­sults. The Federation has responded in the past to similar consulta­tions but on this occasion, BUSINESSEUROPE responded on behalf of Europe-wide industry.

Future of Design Law in UK

Document No: PUB 6/10 Posted: 14 December 2010

The Federation and other representative organisations were consulted on the future of UK design law at the Marks and Designs Forum of the UK’s Intellectual Property Office in March 2010. The IPO had noted the overlap of protection be­tween UK and EU rights, and also had raised the possibility of criminal penalties for infringement of registered and unregistered rights.

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