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Category: Legal Updates

More Patent Applications from France and Germany than the UK in 2014

A recent study by Thomson Reuters shows that the UK fell significantly behind its major European  competitors, France and Germany, in the number of patents filed in 2014.  Patents originating from Germany numbered over 56,000 during the year, with French companies filing just over 11,500.  By contrast, applicants from the UK filed just 6,619. Patents for German Technology Germany is home to a number of leading technology companies, all of which are investing a significant amount in research and development. …

UK Company Refused ‘Champagne’ Trade Mark for Flooring Products

Ball & Young, a company based in Corby, Northamptonshire, applied to the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) to register the trade mark ‘Cloud 9 Caviar and Champagne Collection’ for flooring products.  The application was refused after an objection from the Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC), which is the trade body representing Champagne producers.   When is ‘Champagne’ a Trade Mark? An opposition hearing was held at the IPO, during which Ball & Young argued that the word ‘Champagne’…

Letter from Intel Forces UK Business to Re-brand

A letter from US-based computer chip giant Intel has forced a small business in the UK to re-brand and spend over £15,000 changing signage and other material.  The challenge came after Intel became aware of Intell Windows, based in Sandwich, Kent, which supplies windows, doors and conservatories to homes in the local area. Name Changed to Intelligent Windows The letter was received by the company at the start of this year.  Intel asked that Intell Windows change its name in…

Stephen Hawking Seeks a Trade Mark Registration for his Name

World-famous physicist, Professor Stephen Hawking, has applied to the UK Intellectual Property Office for trade mark protection for his name.  Professor Hawking is Director of Research at the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Theoretical Cosmology, but the application has been filed in his own name. Trade Mark for Goods, Services and Charitable Fundraising Like all trade mark applicants, Professor Hawking has specified the type of goods and services which he would like the trade mark to cover.  These include scientific…

Will EPO Unitary Patent Price SMEs out of the IP Market?

Intellectual Property professionals and businesses alike have been waiting to see what the European Patent Office (EPO) will propose in terms of costs for the future European Unitary Patent. Now, a report by the president of the EPO, entitled Proposals for the level of renewal fees for European patents with a unitary effect has been published and sent to the EPO’s supervisory body for comment.* Possible Unitary Patent Fee Structures It is thought that the report contains two possible fee…

UK Patent Granted for Flood Defence Improvements

Two inventors from the UK have been granted a patent for an innovative food defence system.  The Oasis™ Flood Protection System has been designed for easy manufacture and installation and, its inventors say, will change the way people use flood defences around the world. A New Approach to Flood Protection The inventors involved are Eamonn Lee-Barrett and Chris Lee and together they have formed a company to sell their flood defence system – Masika Flood Protection Ltd.  The patent grant…

UK Government to Introduce Plain Packaging for Tobacco Products

The UK government has passed legislation enforcing the introduction of plain packaging for cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco.  The plain packaging requirement will come into force in May 2016 after the House of Lords followed the Commons and backed the measure. From May next year, in addition to the health warning, the packaging of cigarette and hand-rolling tobacco must be a uniform brown colour and include only a brand name in a standard size grey typeface. Opposition and the Implications for…

UK Top for Intellectual Property Enforcement

An index compiled by the US Chamber of Commerce Global Intellectual Property (IP) Center has place the UK at number one for IP enforcement. This result is a reflection of the UK’s strong IP legislation which, in the report, is ranked as second only to the USA’s own laws. The report, which considers a variety of factors in both legislation and enforcement, considered the UK system to be robust, although with areas for improvement, which include software piracy – the…

Young Inventor Receives Funding for Braille Printer

A 13 year-old American boy is thought to be one of the youngest inventors ever to receive funding for an invention.  Computing giant Intel has invested in further development of Shubham Banerjee’s Braille printer, which receives electronic text messages, translates them into Braille and then prints the Braille message by embossing it onto paper. Printer Build from Lego Shubham’s original printer was built from a Mindstorms robotic kit Lego, and used a paper-feed system similar to a till roll to…

Tesco’s Trade Mark Application for Clubcard is Refused

Supermarket chain Tesco has been refused a trade mark registration for the word Clubcard. Tesco applied to the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) in January 2011, for a trade mark registration for Clubcard as the name of its customer loyalty scheme.  The application was refused in December 2013, on the grounds that the word was “devoid of any distinctive character” and was “commonly used by third parties”. Tesco lodged an appeal and which has now been rejected. Trade Mark or…

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