Weekend Whimsies

EPO President to visit London

UNION’s dinners are becoming famous for their mix of good spirit and great speakers and they have surpassed themselves this time with their next dinner on 6th April 2016 featuring EPO President Benoit Battistelli himself.  In his first public appearances in the UK for a long time, the President will be speaking on the topic “The EPO: Current and future role” and we’re looking forward to a fascinating evening, hosted by UNION President Gwilym Roberts who comments “this is a fantastic opportunity to show Mr Battistelli some British hospitality and hear a little more about future plans for the EPO in an informal and mellow environment”.  Full details and tickets can be obtained from EventBrite at  https://union-ip-battistelli.eventbrite.co.uk .

AIPPI Israel Conference

Following the success of the previous convention held in November 2013, the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI) and AIPPI-Israel are pleased to once again to host The 2nd International Convention on The Economy of Innovation.

March 21-22, 2016, David Intercontinental Hotel, Tel-Aviv, Israel
March 20, 2016, Pre-conference "Start-Up Nation tour"

The conference is being organized by the Israeli chapter of AIPPI, in collaboration with and as a joint effort of various organizations, all having significant footprints in the IP world: WIPO, the Law Faculty of the Hebrew University, the Israel Patent Office, the Israel Ministry of Justice, the Israel Ministry of Trade, the Israeli Patent Attorney Association, MIT forum of innovation and many more.

The event addresses both practical and theoretical issues relating to Patents, Brands & Trademarks, Designs, Copyrights (and other rights...), in parallel break-out sessions to allow guests to pick-and-choose their topics of interest.

Opportunity To Study International Copyright Law in Amsterdam this Summer

The University of Amsterdam’s Institute for Information law announces the seventeenth IViR Summer Course on International Copyright law from July 4-8, 2016. The course will focus on recent developments and broader trends in copyright law. The face of copyright law changes continuously, mostly due to the constant evolution of the digital networked environment and the legislative initiatives at the international and European level. The lectures are given by internationally renowned scholars, including those of the Institute for Information law, and practitioners who all share years of academic and practical experience in the field of international copyright law.

The course is aimed at private sector lawyers, government officials, NGO staff, academics, PhD students and others involved in questions of copyright law.  The course will be held in a historic canal house and will employ a seminar format that allows a deeper examination of the subject than is possible at most professional conferences.  Enrollment is limited to 25 participants. Additional information — including a list of faculty members, the course programme and a link for online registration — is available at http://www.ivir.nl/courses/icl. For questions, contact course organizer Stef van Gompel (informationlaw@uva.nl).

Course location: De Rode Hoed, Keizersgracht 102, Amsterdam

Consultation on Proposed Changes to Patent Rules

The UK IPO has announced a consultation on proposed changes to the Patents Rules.  The deadline for responding is 22 April 2016.  The proposals are

i. Introducing a notification of intention to grant, thereby removing the need for applicants to foreshadow divisional applications.
ii. Prohibiting the use of omnibus claims except where absolutely essential.
iii. Clarifying the period for making a request for reinstatement of a patent application.
iv. Allowing extensions to the period for filing an address for service.
v. Relaxing the formal requirements for drawings to allow applicants to provide shaded drawings and photographs.
vi. Removing the requirement for patent proprietors to notify the IPO each year of the address for receipt of the renewal reminder.
vii. Clarifying the period for making amendments to international applications upon their entry to the UK national phase.
viii. Clarifying the requirements concerning changes of names and addresses.
ix. Correcting the drafting of the rule concerning advertising amendments made during infringement and revocation proceedings.
x. Removing the requirement for triplicate copies of international applications to be filed when using the IPO as a receiving office for such applications.
xi. Removing the requirement for duplicate copies of Patents Form 51 to be filed when notifying the IPO of the appointment or change of agent.

News from IPO attachés

The IPKat has also heard news of the IPO overseas attachés, based in China, Brazil, South East Asia, and India.  According to a press release from the IPO:

Overseas attachés from the UK’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO) have helped to protect £440 million worth of British intellectual property across the globe.
New figures released today point to the outstanding work of the IPO’s attachés – based in China, Brazil, South East Asia, and India – who have now advised more than 14,000 UK businesses operating overseas. The attachés are also helping to promote respect for intellectual property in both emerging and established economies, encouraging cooperation and mutual respect for IP rights.
In the past year alone, the attachés, who help businesses navigate and understand local IP regimes abroad, have advised on IP rights worth in excess of £47 million and have held one-on-one meetings with more than 200 businesses.
Minister for IP, Baroness Neville-Rolfe, revealed these latest statistics to a British business audience at the CBI, a key partner of the IPO in promoting British business interests. 

Weekend Whimsies Weekend Whimsies Reviewed by Darren Smyth on Saturday, March 12, 2016 Rating: 5


  1. Is anyone else concerned that he IP attachés (who do not appear to be professionally qualified or regulated IP attorneys) are apparently advising on British IP? And how did they put a value of £440 million on it anyway? And how did they 'help protect' the IP (presumably they are not qualified to register IP applications in their host jurisdictions either)? Lots of questions here...

  2. I do wonder if the IPO's funding of the IP attachés is lawful. An article in CIPA last year (March 2015 p 117) observed that "It is in any event contrary to European law as established by the CJEU to charge more for the provision of an administrative service that the actual cost.", and virtually all the IPO's income prima facie derives from the provision of administrative services.

    Treasury guidelines for trading funds warn that deliberately setting a budget that exceeds the cost of providing a service could be considered to be illegal hidden taxation.

    As IP attachés are prima facie not "operations of the office" in the terms of the IPO's trading fund order, it is difficult to see why they should be funded by those who are paying fees to the IPO for the provision of the statutory services that the IPO provides.


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