The Unified Patent Court (UPC) – another step forward – provisional application period close to commencing

Germany's deposit of its ratification of the UPC protocol on provisional application on 27 September, 2021, and suggestions that Slovenia and Austria may also ratify shortly, mean that the provisional application period during which the practical arrangements for the UPC will be put in place, which this protocol (once sufficiently ratified) will usher in, now looks likely to commence before the end of 2021 and possibly even as soon as October. If so, the UPC could start to function fully from mid-2022, as has been suggested by the UPC Preparatory Committee. Read more

Sky kicks trade mark bad faith claims back into the box as Court of Appeal allows its appeal in Sky v SkyKick

The Court of Appeal of England and Wales has granted Sky's appeal from the High Court decision that had held that some of its trade mark registrations were applied for in part in bad faith. The Court of Appeal found that it was not bad faith not to have an intention on application to use a mark for everything that could fall within a specification term (here "computer software"), nor was there a requirement to demonstrate a commercial strategy for using every type of good or service that could fall within a general description. The decision reaffirms that bad faith will only be found in exceptional circumstances, which were ultimately not found in this case. Read more

UK IPO Consultation on the UK’s future exhaustion of IP rights regime

The UK Intellectual Property Office has published a consultation on the UK's exhaustion of intellectual property rights regime and what changes might be appropriate post-Brexit, including how such changes should be implemented. The consultation runs for 12 weeks until 31 August 2021. Here we outline the principles behind the different types of exhaustion regime, and summarise the options proposed by the consultation, highlighting the issues associated with each. Read more

EU Action Plan on IP – the challenge ahead

Herbert Smith Freehills' European IP team have had a feature article on the EU's IP Action Plan published in the April edition of PLC Magazine – see EU Action Plan on IP – the challenge ahead here. The article looks at the current challenges for the EU in relation to IP, its key focus areas and plans for future regulation and legislation, including: • The Unified Patent Court (UPC) • Supplementary Protection Certificates (SPCs) • Compulsory licensing • Standard Essential Patents (SEPs) • AI and emerging technologies • Counterfeiting • Designs • Geographical Indications • Data • The Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe Read more

Enforcement of intellectual property rights across online platforms

Considering how to enforce your IP rights online and make maximum use of the take-down procedures? Read Victoria Horsey, Joanna Silver and Sabesh Asokan’s practical tips in their practice notes, recently updated and published in Practical Law: • Enforcement of intellectual property rights across online platforms: injunctions A checklist on the circumstances in which a … Read more

The Trade and Cooperation Agreement and its impact on IP, Pharma and Medical Devices

The final Brexit agreement, the Trade and Cooperation Agreement was agreed between the UK and the EU on 24 December 2020. Within this agreement are provisions that set out the standards expected to be recognised (mutually) between the EU and the UK in relation to intellectual property (including SPCs and trade secrets). There are some provisions concerning pharmaceutical regulation and product standards, but overall there is a lack of mutual recognition, with the consequence that, for both pharmaceuticals and medical devices, there are now effectively two separate regimes for the EU and the UK. Read more

The Rise of Influencer Marketing: Lunch, listen and question

The rise and convergence of social media, short form content and e-commerce has fuelled a boom in influencer marketing both in a B2C and B2B context. This has made it possible for brands to target their products and advertisements to specific consumers or businesses and consumer or business segments in a way that is more … Read more

Real Estate Guide to IP

In conjunction with our Real Estate division, the Herbert Smith Freehills London IP group has published a guide to the intellectual property issues that can arise in relation to real estate. It can be the case that sites or buildings are purchased without necessarily considering fully whether the underlying intellectual property assets are being transferred and what future access or control the new owner may need, or the vendor wish to retain. Read more