Articles and monographs : 185 Documents


Patent Law Harmonisation Review

Document No: PUB 20M/22 Posted: 06 March 2023
This review, as in previous years, is concerned with progress on procedural patent law harmonisation at the IP5 Offices and discussions on substantive patent law harmonisation (SPLH) taking place before the B+ group of developed countries.

Procedural Patent Law Harmonisation

A virtual meeting between the Heads of the IP5 Offices and industry was held on 8 June 2022 and jointly chaired by the EPO and BusinessEurope. It was the 10th anniversary of such meetings. The meeting was split into two: a celebration of 10 years of the Offices working with industry (with an update of recent achievements) and a strategic topic: “sustainability”. There were short videos on both topics prepared by the EPO.

Privilege on intellectual property law advice and patent attorneys and levelling up?

Document No: PUB 20N/22 Posted: 06 March 2023

Introduction and who gets legal advice privilege

In common law jurisdictions legal advice privilege is generally afforded to communications between a lawyer and their client. In the UK the right to legal professional privilege is a general rule of our common law that communications between a lawyer and their client should be privileged from disclosure. The underlying principle is that legal advice privilege is in the public interest and a person should be able to make full and free disclosures to their legal advisors, even where such disclosures could be adverse to their interests were they made to a third party.

“The Great Reformation”

Document No: PUB 20O/22 Posted: 06 March 2023
The 2022 IPReg consultation on proposals for changes to regulatory arrangements The Intellectual Property Advisory Board (IPReg) was set up in 2010 by the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) and the Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (CITMA) to be the independent regulatory body for both patent attorney and trade mark attorney professionals in the UK. In early 2022, IPReg opened a consultation on significant and wide-ranging proposals to change the regulatory framework for regulated attorneys. The IP Federation submitted a response on 17 March, and the consultation closed on 31 March 2022. IPReg later reported that they received a further 35 written responses from individual attorneys, firms, representative bodies such as CIPA and CITMA, as well as the Legal Services Consumer Panel. IPReg also published a response to the consultation and an updated version of their impact assessment on their website.

The IP Federation and the IP Minister(s)

Document No: PUB 20P/22 Posted: 06 March 2023
This is not the original opening line of this piece. Just a week before this article’s deadline, it started, “By the time you read this there may be a new IP Minister”. Fast forward a week or so, and there was a new Prime Minister. Jacob Rees-Mogg, the former Business Secretary in whose department an IP Minister worked, had just resigned. His IP Minister, Dean Russell, was in the post for only 6 weeks. New Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had yet to appoint a Minister for IP. As if that wasn’t enough, between then and publication of this IP Federation Review, a new Department for Science, Innovation and Technology has been established as part of a wider departmental and ministerial reorganisation. It is there, not in the new Business and Trade Department, that responsibility for IP now resides. Which brings me back to my original sentence. By the time you read this there may be a new IP Minister.

The National Security and Investment Act 2021

Document No: PUB 20Q/22 Posted: 06 March 2023
The National Security and Investment Act 2021 (“NSI Act”) came fully into force on 4 January 2022, setting up a new regime for UK government scrutiny of acquisitions and investments. The NSI Act applies retrospectively to transactions from 12 November 2020. The NSI Act is intended to modernise UK Government’s powers to investigate and intervene in investments, mergers and acquisitions and other deals to protect national security as a foreign-direct investment (FDI) regime, while applying to UK and non-UK acquirers alike. It replaces the national security element of the Enterprise Act 2002. The regime is a hybrid mandatory and voluntary notification regime, supported by call-in powers on national security grounds.

The TRIPS Waiver

Document No: PUB 20R/22 Posted: 06 March 2023
The snappily named Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (or TRIPS for short as the full name hardly trips off the tongue) is a World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement badged as “the most comprehensive multilateral agreement on intellectual property to date”. It was signed in 1994 and is a “minimum standards” agreement which sets a baseline for IP protection; Members are able to provide more comprehensive protection if they wish and under certain circumstances flexibilities to the minimum standards are permitted. This agreement made headlines across the world in 2021 following proposals first tabled by India and South Africa at the WTO that a waiver should be agreed enabling Members to have more flexibility than currently allowed under TRIPS in respect of vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19. I finished my 2021 article on this matter with the following words: It remains to be seen whether next year’s IP Federation Review article is talking about the impact of the introduction of a waiver or not – watch this space!”

Without a broad text and data mining exception, the UK cannot succeed in its ambition to be an AI superpower (or even keep up with the rest of the world)

Document No: PUB 20S/22 Posted: 06 March 2023
In June of 2022, the UK Government responded to the AI and IP consultation (“Consultation”) and announced plans to implement a broad text and data mining (TDM) exception, including for commercial purposes. The response also assured that “rightsholders will still have safeguards to protect their content”. This announcement came after a lengthy and thorough engagement process via the AI and IP call for views (“Call for views”) and the subsequent Consultation. No one can accuse the government of not giving this issue careful consideration.

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.
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