Articles and monographs : 185 Documents


The TRIPS Waiver

Document No: PUB 21N/21 Posted: 22 December 2021
If you work in an industry that uses Intellectual Property of any kind, it’s probable that you have heard of the TRIPS waiver proposals. If you read newspapers or news websites, it’s probable that you have heard of the TRIPS waiver proposals. If you are generally interested in the COVID-19 response and concerned about global access to vaccinations and when the pandemic may be brought under control then it’s also probable that you have heard of the TRIPS waiver proposals! This article aims to explain what TRIPS is, what the waiver proposals are, and the likely timelines for discussion and implementation. It can be a deeply divisive topic and so we will refrain from opinion and restrict ourselves to the facts.

IP Federation biographies 2021–2022

Document No: PUB 21O/21 Posted: 22 December 2021
Sonia Cooper, President Sonia is a UK Chartered Patent Attorney and European patent attorney with over 20 years of practical experience in all aspects of intellectual property, gained both in private practice and in industry. Sonia specialises in the fields of software, artificial intelligence and telecommunications and has a degree in physics from the University of Bristol, a master’s degree in the management of intellectual property from Queen Mary University of London and a graduate diploma in law from the University of Law. Sonia is responsible for IP policy in Europe at Microsoft and works closely with Microsoft Research in Cambridge. She has represented Microsoft on the Council of the IP Federation since 2017 and chairs the IP Federation data & copyright committee. Outside work, Sonia enjoys spending time with family, friends as well as hiking and camping with her Labrador, “Sunny”.  

IP Federation celebrates 100th birthday by fighting COVID-19 and improving social mobility

Document No: PUB 20A/20 Posted: 01 February 2021
In 1920, the Spanish flu was raging its final battle against the world. By the end of 1920, it had infected a third of the world's population (an estimated 500 million people) and killed 50 million. Europe was seeing a rise of far-right radicalized political movements. In August 1920 the Nineteenth Amendment became part of the US Constitution giving women the right to vote, although it would be decades later when that right would be afforded to all women. The boom of economies in the 1920s would soon come to an end, with Black Tuesday leading to the Great Depression. Though many people didn't know it when the Paris Peace Conference ended, another world war was just around the corner. At the same time, the world witnessed great leaps in progress in science, technology and the arts. By the end of the 1920s, the world would benefit from Alexander Fleming's discovery of penicillin, the first liquid-fueled rocket, Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue and Winnie-the-Pooh. And on 23 April 1920, the IP Federation (previously known as the less catchy Trade Marks Patents and Designs Federation) was established.  

International Trade and Intellectual Property

Document No: PUB 20B/20 Posted: 01 February 2021
The UK’s departure from the European Union provides the opportunity for the negotiation of new international free trade agreements with trade partners around the world. In July 2018 the UK Government Department for International Trade (DIT) launched four separate 14-week public consultations on trade negotiations with the US, Australia, and New Zealand, and on potential accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The IP Federation responded to those consultations in October 2018 – IP Federation policy paper PP 6/18. With the subsequent withdrawal of the UK from the European Union (EU) on 31 January 2020, the UK’s focus on securing exciting new trading deals with many nations and regions, including the US, Canada, Japan, the EU, Australia, New Zealand and the CPTPP, has intensified.

Balancing the Unregistered

Document No: PUB 20C/20 Posted: 01 February 2021
Developments in design law Legal developments in the design arena during 2020 have been predominantly related to unregistered rights. The IP Federation has been active in considering these developments and in advocating a fair balance between protecting the rights of a design owner with legal certainty for third parties. The year began with publication by the UK Intellectual Property Office of guidance on changes in design law that will come into effect, following the UK’s departure from the EU, at the end of the transition period on 1 January 2021. This guidance confirmed the intention to create both a Continuing Unregistered Design (CUD) and a Supplementary Registered Design (SUD). The CUD provides continuation of protection in the UK of existing unregistered Community designs (UCD). The SUD provides a new right that mirrors the UCD but which is limited to the UK, both in terms of territory of protection and location of disclosures giving rise to the right.

The IP Federation’s activities

Document No: PUB 20D/20 Posted: 01 February 2021
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 that 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.

Why IP matters

Document No: PUB 20E/20 Posted: 01 February 2021
The term “innovation” is used to describe the process by which ideas are applied to create new or improved products or services, ways of producing them and ways of delivering them. It occurs in and across all sectors of society, from music, literature, design and film in the arts (where it is often referred to as “creation”), through more traditional industrial sectors such as the energy, construction and transportation industries, through “high tech” industries in the digital and medical sectors. The “4th industrial revolution” based on Artificial Intelligence and development of green technologies will affect and be based on innovation across all sectors. Innovation, particularly in developed economies, is key to economic growth and lies at the heart of modern life and businesses. It increases productivity, leads to market growth and creates and supports high-value jobs. It is sustained by a robust and balanced framework of intellectual property (IP) rights. Innovation can involve big breakthroughs which can have significant benefits to society, but these are comparatively rare. More often, and equally valuable, it involves smaller changes, adaptations and improvements to existing products and processes the benefits of which, when viewed in aggregate, at least match those of the breakthroughs.

IP Federation biographies 2020–2021

Document No: PUB 20F/20 Posted: 01 February 2021
Scott Roberts, President Scott is a UK Chartered Patent Attorney and European Patent attorney with 20 years of experience in patents gained in both industry and private practice. Scott joined the patent profession after 10 years’ experience as a software engineer and a period lecturing in computer science. He has worked in-house at both British Telecommunications and IBM specialising in comput­ing and telecommunications technologies. Scott has represented both BT and IBM at the IP Federation since 2008 and chaired the IP Federation patent committee from 2016 to 2019.

SPC developments in the last year

Document No: PUB 20G/20 Posted: 01 February 2021
In the wake of the major changes instituted by the EU creating export and stockpiling waivers during supplementary protection certificate (SPC) term, it was not surprising that Her Majesty's Government generated UK rules to implement this new legislation during the course of the year. In line with the UK’s Brexit amendments to SPC law, to retain basing term calculation on the first marketing authorisation (MA) to issue in the UK or EU/EEA, the EU states were not defined as third countries to which export is permitted under the waiver legislation. At the time of writing no national patent office seems to have received any notification under the waiver. It will be interesting to see if UK generic industry finds the waiver attractive once it comes fully into operation in 2022.

Snippets from the archives – the Federation’s first 100 years

Document No: PUB 20H/20 Posted: 01 February 2021
The Federation had its origin in a committee of industrial companies which from 1913 lobbied the UK government on its planned trade mark legislation. On 23 April 1920, a limited company was incorporated to continue this work, and with a broad remit indicated by its name “Trade Marks Patents and Designs Federation Limited”. Ever since, the Federation’s “Council”, chaired by a “President”, has met approximately monthly so as to allow prompt lobbying in relation to any IP matter that may arise. (The company name was changed by the omission of “Limited” in 1951, and to “IP Federation” in 2014.)
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