Posts

Showing posts from 2017

Bell sounds but is anyone listening - Recommendations for the Future of the British Life Sciences Industry

Image
Jane Lambert

The life sciences industry makes a lot of work for my branch of the legal services industry so when Professor Sir John Bell, the Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford, delivered a report to the government on a strategy for life sciences, we were full of anticipation.  The life sciences industry was one of a handful of sectors that were identified as engines of growth in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy's green paper, Building our Industrial Strategy, earlier this year (see page 97) and Sir John's work was specifically welcomed in that consultation document (see pages 102 and 105).

Sir John has now delivered his report, Life Sciences Industrial Strategy – A report to the Government from the life sciences sector, at the Institute of Translational Medicine of the University of Birmingham in the presence of Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State for Business and Jeremy Hunt MP, Secretary of State for Health (see the University's press releas…

IPR Helpdesk: Case Study on IP Strategy

Image
Jane Lambert

Last week I answered the following question from Will Roebuck, one of my readers: "What do start-up entrepreneurs need to look for in a good IP lawyer?" I replied:

"Probably the most useful professional adviser will be one who can help you to use IP to meet your business objectives. That is known as "IP strategy" which the American lawyer Jackie Hutter described as the combination of business acumen with IP knowledge to provide business focused advice (see Hutter What is an IP Strategist? IP Asset Maximizer Blog)."

My article elicited a number of comments including this one from Julian Potter of WP Thomson:

"hi Jane, I am interested in the idea that IP strategists are a new type of adviser. It is certainly the case that in recent years one has seen a number of individuals and organisations refers to themselves as IP strategists, that seemingly being their only skill in some instances. However, identifying IP and formulating it within a cl…

What do Start-up Entrepreneurs need to look for in a Good IP Lawyer?

Image
Jane Lambert

In response to my article on patent revocation, Will Roebuck wrote:

"Thanks for posting Jane - given that we want to attract more (and probably much younger) business entrepreneurs into UK, post Brexit (particularly in the Northern Powerhouse region) what's your recommended advice for choosing the best patent/IP legal expert? What do start-up entrepreneurs need to look for in a good IP lawyer?"

Here is my reply.  Will, this is for you.

The first thing to say is that intellectual property is far too important to be left to IP lawyers and patent and trade mark attorneys. IP should be on the curriculum of every business school in the country. Every entrepreneur, investor, business owner and manager should know how the law protects his or her brands, designs,technology and creative output and how to leverage such protection for the benefit of his or her business.

If you do not already have such knowledge and experience, there are a number of crash courses like t…

Cambridge IP Law Summer School

Image

Before going to China get your Tackle in Order here first

Image
Jane Lambert

The IPO has published details of the China IP Roadshow 2017 when our IP attaché, Tom Duke, will tour Scotland and the North of England between 18 and 20 Sept. My chambers are assisting with the Yorkshire leg of his tour and I can tell you that there have been a lot of enquiries and we are already into double figures with the bookings. If you want to attend the Leeds event call my clerk Steve on 020 7404 5252 or send him an email without delay.

Most British businesses do very well in China but things can go wrong sometimes. When they do, they can have repercussions here. That is where I come in.  Here are some of the problems that occasionally arise:
The British trade mark of a company that applies to register that mark in China is opposed, invalidated or revoked;A company that imports goods from China for distribution in the UK finds that its supplier has no or insufficient legal protection for those goods here;A British distributor that imports goods made to its order in C…

IP Rights in China

Image
Jane Lambert
Some homework for those who are coming to hear our IP attaché, Tom Duke, speak about Succeeding in China - How to mitigate IP risk in Barnsley, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London or Manchester this September.

The Intellectual Property Office has produced a very helpful guide entitled Intellectual property rights in China.  A quick read of this guide before he speaks will enable you to make the most of Mr Duke's talk, especially if you are new to the subject.

Although our law differs from China's in detail the basic concepts are the same because China is a member of many of the same international agreements to which we belong. Thus patents protect new inventions. trade marks brands, copyrights literary and artistic works and so on. But there are some rights in Chima that do not exist in our law such as utility models and vice versa. Also, they can enforce IP rights through administrative measures as well as by civil litigation.

For many years technology t…

My Contribution to Helen Tse's "Doing Business After Brexit"

Image
Doing Business After Brexit A Practical Guide to the Legal ChangesBy:Helen Tse

Jane Lambert

Yesterday the Rt Hon David Davis MP introduced the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill into the House of Commons and his Department announced a flurry of position papers and guidance on the Bill. On the same day, The Commission's Taskforce on Art 50 Negotiations published an even bigger pile of position papers ranging from atomic energy to parallel imports. There could not be a better time for the publication of Doing Business After Brexit, a practical but comprehensive guide to the legal changes edited by Helen Tse.

The book consists of 13 chapters covering every area of law covering everything from Commercial Contracts to Tax. I have contributed the chapter on Intellectual Property and Data Protection.  I have written it in the way that I write this blog, with the business owner or manager very much in mind. On 29 March 2019, a massive corpus of legislation and case law will cease to be part …

UPC Ratification Update: July 2017

Image
Jane Lambert


In my June UPC Ratification Update 5 June 2017 I wrote:

"There is every chance that the Court will open its doors before the end of this year."

Famous last words! Two days later the UPC Preparatory Committee wrote that "the previously announced target date for the entry into operation of the UPC, envisaged for December 2017, cannot be maintained" (seeUPC – Timetable Update – June 20177 June 2017 UPC website).

For once it is not out fault. Even though we are negotiating terms for exiting the European Union (see Brexit Briefing June 201730 June 2017 NIPC News) we remain on course to ratify the UPC Agreement well before we go. The last legislative hurdle is the ratification of the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities of the Unified Patent Court and that will be done by The Unified Patent Court (Immunities and Privileges) Order 2017 a draft of which has been laid before Parliament together with an explanatory memorandum.

The holdup seems to have been caus…

Brexit Briefing June 2017

Image
Standard YouTube Licence

Jane Lambert


A lot has happened since my last Brexit briefing in January 2017:

HMG has published its white papers on exiting from, and new partnership with, the European Union and its "great repeal bill";The Prime Minister sought unsuccessfully to take advantage of a massive lead in the opinion polls to increase her parliamentary majority in order to strengthen her hand in the Brexit negotiations;Negotiations have commenced between the British government and the EU and terms of reference have been agreed;The Commission's Art 50 Task Force has created a very useful microsite on the Brexit negotiations with some very useful publications including position papers on ongoing judicial and administrative procedures and  Judicial Cooperation in Civil and Commercial Matters;The Queen's speech has survived an amendment requiring the UK to remain in the customs union and single market but not without a substantial rebellion on the Labour benches and the …

Mrs. May is right - sometimes a bad deal really is worse than no deal

Image
Jane Lambert

It is hard not to feel a little bit sorry for Mr Ray Dorset, the lead singer of Mungo Jerry, whose case I discussed yesterday in Music and Entertainment Law: Music Contracts - Editions Musicales Alpha S.A.R.L. v Universal Music Publishing Ltd and Others28 June 2017 NIPC Law. Mr Dorset wrote the words of the hit song Alright, Alright, Alrightfromwhich he might reasonably have expected a shed load of money as it reached number 3 in the charts. Instead, he has been ordered to pay £33,600 plus costs to a company run by a former business associate of his former manager.  It could have been even worse for Mr Dorset as a claim by that company against him for breach of contract might well have succeeded.

So how did he find himself in that position?  Well, his first problem was that he tried to record a song without first getting the permission of the company that owned the copyright in the music to do so.  It should have been easy enough to obtain that permission. The tune had al…

What is the Midlands Engine and how does it affect IP?

Image
Jane Lambert

I have started a Midlands Engine resource page in NIPC East Midlands that is similar to the Northern Powerhouse resource page in IP Northwest.  The term is used in relation to a set of initiatives that were announced by Philip Hammond MP, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in The Midlands Engine Strategyon 9 March 2017. There is also a Midlands Engine Partnership with a website and a number of publications.

As to the relevance to IP, I wrote:

"The support of enterprise and innovation should result in the creation of more inventions and other intellectual assets as well as funding for development and marketing. Licences will be required to deploy technologies that will improve connectivity and raise productivity."

I have begun a short bibliography which includes my article on The Midlands Engineof 7 Dec 2015 NIPC East Midlands.

Call me on +44 (0)20 7404 5252 or send me a message on my contact form for further information,

Buying Intellectual Property from an Administrator

Image
Jane Lambert

In Brantano - IP and Insolvency23 June 2017 NIPC East Midlands, I noted that the administrators of Brantano Retail Ltd., which once ran a nationwide chain of shoe shops, had instructed Metis Partners to market the company's trade marks and other intellectual property rights together with various legally protectable intellectual assets. Bids for those rights and assets have to be submitted by 12:00 on 30 June 2017 which does not leave much time for taking legal and other professional advice. Yet such advice will ve required if the bid is to be anything more than guesswork and further advice will be required on the negotiation and drawing up of any assignments and other agreements should a bid be accepted.

For further information call me on 020 7404 5252 during office hours or send me a message through my contact form.

Opinion Former: Why you should choose the UK

Image
The politics.co website has just published an article entitled Intellectual Property: why you should choose the UKwith a brilliant video on behalf of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys, the Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys, The British Association of the International Federation of Intellectual Property Attorneys, the Intellectual Property Lawyers Association and the Law Society.
It makes several excellent points about our international connections, our commercial strengths, the quality of our counsel, litigators and patent and trade mark attorneys, the speed and thoroughness of our courts and our mother tongue.
Wishing all my readers a great weekend.

Arbitration News

Image
Jane Lambert

I should like to congratulate my colleague, Caroline Kenny QC, on her election as President of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in Australia (see Top QC elected President of Australian global arbitration body30 May 2017). Caroline is one of several distinguished international tenants of 4-5 Gray's Inn Square.

We have a distinguished team of arbitrators and mediators based in the United Kingdom of which I am one.  I specialize in resolving intellectual property and technology disputes and am a member of the WIPO's panel of neutrals. I am also on the IPO's list of mediation providers.

Finally, the London branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators is holding a seminar on ADR and film disputes at the offices of Herbert Smith Freehills at Exchange House, Primrose Street, London EC2A 2EG between 18:00 and 20:00 this evening. The speakers will be Edward Cullen QC, Andrew Hildebrand, Alan Watts and Daniel Djanogly and the meeting will be chaired by James F…

My Interest in the Gulf Cooperation Countries

Image
Jane Lambert

The blockade of Qatar by three of its partners in the Gulf Cooperation Council which I discussed in How will the Blockade of Qatar affect IP Law in the GCC Countries? 7 June NIPC Gulf reminds us that those countries have always been important to the United Kingdom. We sell a lot of goods am services to them and they supply us with oil and gas.  We have invested heavily in their economies and they have invested in ours. Those countries would have become even more important to us in that they would have been looking to us and other advanced countries to help them develop new industries and technologies for when the oil runs out and we would have been looking to do more business with them after Brexit.

Because of the importance of this region to the UK, I started some years ago the NIPC Gulf blog which follows legal developments in the region that are likely to affect this country and vice versa.  As I emphasize in the blog;s About page, NIPC Gulf is not a blog on comparativ…

Unified Patent Court: Ratification Update:

Image
Jane Lambert

Art 89 (1) of the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court provides that the Agreement will come into force on the 1st day of the 4th month after the deposit with the Commission of the 13th instrument of ratification or accession including deposits of such instruments by France, Germany and the United Kingdom.
According to the Council website, 12 states have deposited instruments of ratification. The last of these was Italy which deposited its instrument on on 12 Feb 2017.  Italy's ratification is particularly significant for two reasons. The first is that it had opposed the unitary patent in C-274/11 - Spain and Italy v Commission and others[2013] EUECJ C-274/11 on the grounds that the implementing legislation was incompatible with EU law. The second reason why Italy's participation is significant is that it will be entitled to host one of the sections of the Central Division of the Court of First Instance should the UK be obliged to withdraw from the UPC in 2019.

Desp…

IP in China and Hong Kong: Our Man in China

Image
Jane Lambert

An important part of my work is connected with China. Hardly surprising given the size of its population, territory and GDP and increasing importance in science, technology and the arts. I am often asked to draft or review distribution, joint venture, licensing, manufacturing or other agreements for British businesses that wish to supply, invest in, or import from, China and, increasingly, for Chinese businesses that wish to supply or invest in us.

Yesterday I received an email from Tom Duke who is Her Majesty's IP Attaché to China and Hong Kong advising me of his work.  He wrote:

"My team and I support over 200 British companies a year with IP issues in China. We help companies of all sizes navigate the Chinese IP system, helping to improve their IP outcomes. We publish a regular China IP Newsletter (here) and a series of business factsheets (here). In addition to company support, I also run the UK’s bilateral policy programmes on IP with various Chinese governme…