Animated Advice



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Jane Lambert

The Intellectual Property Office has recently uploaded a series of videos to its YouTube channel which are very short but also very useful. The primer is IP Basics: What is Intellectual Property and it is followed by films on copyrights. designs, patents and trade marks. Although they have been uploaded for some time they do not seem to have been watched by many people which is a pity because they are a lot better than the advice one can expect from most invention promotion companies or even some lawyers and, of course, they are free. The above video on IP BASICS: Is Intellectual Property important to my business? has received only 970 views since the 27 Nov 2015 and a large number of those will have have been made by me. I hope this article may attract more viewers for these films.

Good though the IPO animations are there are some that have been produced by other organizations that I like even better such as "Patents" by the WIPO and Indecopi (the Peruvian intellectual property office) with funding from South Korea.

There are some animations that could do with improvement.  The video on enforcement IP BASICS: Someone is using my IP is a case in point.  It correctly recommends taking legal advice promptly but goes on to suggest "an IP lawyer or solicitor". It would have been better to have specified "a barrister or solicitor specializing in IP or a patent or trade mark agent or attorney." Not every solicitor is comfortable or competent to advice on IP and patent and trade mark agents do not usually describe themselves as "IP lawyers".

It implies that "litigation", "mediation" or "settlement out of court" as alternatives which they are not. Negotiation and mediation succeed only because of the threat of litigation. It continues that most types of IP cases are suitable for mediation which is only partially true because mediation needs consent and a measure of co-operation from the opposing parties. The film fails to mention that a party that requires an interim injunction has to apply promptly and while it mentions the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court it says nothing about that court's small claims track.

However, there is only so much that can be said in a couple of minutes and it may be that further films on those subjects are planned. I shall certainly be incorporating these materials into my talks and writings and I hope that they will contribute to making IP more accessible to the general public. PS. The CIPA has just tweeted Good point folks!

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