New Year’s resolutions for better IP (Brands & IP Newsnotes- issue 4)
08 February 2017
Why stop at making personal resolutions for the New Year when you can make them for your IP too. The start of the year is an excellent time to consider your general IP strategy and even to introduce new practices that will make protecting, using and enforcing your IP that much easier in 2017.
Do an auditBusinesses often don’t know what IP they use or own. An audit aids a business in better understanding where its IP value lies and what aspects require some attention. For example, do you own the code for your website? Did you get an assignment for any work by freelancers?
Form a strategyIt’s easy to spend too much or too little protecting the IP aspects of a business. So don’t go off halfcocked. Decide on a strategy for your IP that includes identifying key assets to protect, the type of (registered) protection that you might seek and how to minimise the impact of disruptive activity (e.g. educating your staff to acts as ‘eyes and ears’;
awareness of and adherence to brand guidelines and measures to combat counterfeiting). Consider the strategy in light of any audit completed.
Update documentsAny template documents you have, including employment contracts, that contain reference to IP should be checked to ensure they are up to date and still suit your business needs.
Keeping records of products sold, services offered, marketing spend and activity, awards won, customer feedback, branding changes etc. will save time and can strengthen your position evidentially in a variety of scenarios from registering rights to defending or enforcing IP. They can assist in maximising the value of a business and helping ready it for a sale. And remember, resolutions should be for life, not just for the New Year.
This article was first published in the Brands & IP newsnotes publication - issue 4
Christmas counterfeits – How did you fare? (Brands & IP Newsnotes - issue 4)08 February 2017
At the end of 2016 the OECD/EUIPO released research suggesting that the total trade in counterfeit and pirated products in the EU amounted to as much as 85 billion Euros in 2013. Luxury goods are top of the list and firmly in the sights of counterfeiters for Christmas. So what was done to tackle the problem for Christmas 2016?
Rubik’s Cubes: In a spin (Brands & IP Newsnotes - issue 4)08 February 2017
Those of us of a certain age will remember the frustration of trying to complete a ‘Rubik’s Cube’. But following the CJEU’s ruling that the trade mark registration for the shape of the famous puzzle is invalid; it is the owner of the original Rubik’s Cube 3D puzzle that will be feeling frustrated.
Unregistered designs: Open and shut case (Brands & IP Newsnotes - issue 4)08 February 2017
In a recent case, Action Storage (a producer of lockers, such as the ones installed in schools) sued G-Force (another producer of lockers) for infringing its design rights in producing a similar product.
Step by step - trade marks in China (Brands & IP Newsnotes - issue 4)08 February 2017
Brand owners will take comfort from a decision of China’s highest Court (the Supreme People’s Court of China) in early December. As part of a long running battle between former basketball star, Michael Jordan, and Chinese sports manufacturing giant, Qiaodan Sports, the former basketball star has finally come out on top – at least in relation to one specific trade mark. Overturning decisions from the lower courts, the Supreme People’s Court revoked a trade mark held by Qiaodan for “Jordan” represented in Chinese characters.
Hacked off? Data breaches abound (Brands & IP Newsnotes - issue 4)08 February 2017
The inevitable rise of the data breach, otherwise known as the ‘hack’, continued unabated in 2016. The UK government reported that two thirds of ‘large’ business (i.e. greater than or equal to 250 employees – regardless of revenue) “experienced a cyber-breach or attack in the past year”.
IP myth busters (Brands & IP Newsnotes - issue 4)08 February 2017
Myth and legend is not just the stuff of Lord of the Rings. There are plenty of ommon misconceptions in intellectual property which are often further exacerbated by statements on the internet and the popularity of TV shows where legal ‘advice’ or commentary may be given. Here are a few of the most common ones we hear and the truth behind them.
UK proceeding with UPC (Brands & IP Newsnotes - issue 4)07 February 2017
The UK government announced that it will proceed with the Unitary Patent and the Unitary Patent Court (“UPC”). This ends months of speculation in the patent community as to what would happen afterthe Brexit vote last June. The UK was a mandatory signatory to the UPC Agreement and there had been concern that the project would stall in light of the UK’s European exit. Only Germany is left to ratify the Agreement and it is expected that the UPC will open in December this year.