• Brexit Update: Intellectual Property after 1 January 2021
    on 21 January 2021 at 8:55

    With the transition period (1 February 2020 to 31 December 2020) having come to an end, the UK Intellectual Property Office has updated its guide concerning changes affecting UK intellectual property (IP) law after leaving the EU IP system. The guide provides an overview of the measures in force from 1 January 2021, summarising the key changes for individual IP rights, and outlining different implications when dealing with representatives and intermediaries. You may access the guide via the link below.

  • IP Statistics: WIPO Releases IP Facts and Figures 2020
    on 21 January 2021 at 8:55

    With the beginning of this New Year, the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) released their latest IP Facts and Figures 2020. The publication gathers global data on intellectual property (IP) applications, to provide an overview on the latest trends with regard to four key industrial property rights. Meant to serve as a quick and straightforward reference guide, WIPO’s IP Facts and Figures 2020 specifically analyses application data on patents, utility models, trademarks and registered industrial designs. Delve into the latest IP statistics and discover who are new emerging players in the vibrant global IP landscape. You may download the full report here.  

  • European Commission Publishes Counterfeit and Piracy Watch List 2020
    on 21 January 2021 at 8:55

    The European Commission has recently published their second Counterfeit and Piracy Watch List. The Watch list names websites, e-commerce platforms, online pharmacies and physical marketplaces outside the EU that are reported to engage in, facilitate or benefit from counterfeiting and piracy. The main objectives of this publication are on the one hand, to encourage operators and intermediaries of these marketplaces to refrain from participating in IP infringing trade, but also to raise awareness among EU citizens on the risk of purchasing counterfeit goods. The list was created in cooperation with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and Europol. Through a public consultation, over 70 brand owners, copyright holders and other organisations reported the illicit activities of several marketplaces from across the globe.  

  • New IP Special: IP in the Fashion Industry
    on 21 January 2021 at 8:55

    Europe is home to some of history’s most important textile and fashion inventions alongside numerous manufacturers, innovators and acclaimed designers, such as Coco Chanel, Giorgio Armani and Christian Dior, just to name a few. Moreover, the EU textile and clothing sector remains an SME-based industry. Companies with less than 50 employees account for over 90% of the workforce and produce almost 60% of the value added. It is vital for these businesses aiming to thrive and succeed in the global and highly competitive fashion market to have a sound IP strategy in place. Our new IP Special spotlights central IP issues in the fashion industry, bringing to you a fact sheet, infographic and animated clip. Take a look!

  • Licence Compatibility Checker: EC’s Joinup Platform Introduces New Tool
    on 21 January 2021 at 8:55

    The European Commission’s Joinup platform has launched a new service: the so called “compatibility checker”. It allows to check compatibility issues between Open Sources licences when you plan to use third party source code in your project. The objective of this functionality is to determine how far and on which licences a work using or combining data or software components licensed under two different licences can be distributed and (if it can be distributed) under which licence(s). Following the Joinup Licensing Assistant that aims to help people to choose the right Open Source licence according to their needs, the compatibility checker is the latest addition to the extensive portfolio of solutions provided by the Joinup team to enable public administrations, businesses and citizens to share and reuse IT solutions and good practices, and facilitate communication and collaboration on IT projects across Europe.    

  • 14th Edition of the ICC Intellectual Property Roadmap Published
    on 21 January 2021 at 8:55

    The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has published the latest edition of its Intellectual Property (IP) Roadmap – a comprehensive guide and overview of the key intellectual property issues faced by business professionals, policymakers, and legal experts. The latest edition of the IP Roadmap covers emerging IP issues, including artificial intelligence, sustainable innovation and persistent threats posed by piracy and counterfeiting to business operations. The Roadmap explains how, since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, disrupted supply chains, supply shortages and demand surges have aggravated existing piracy and counterfeiting. As the world continues to recover and build back better from the COVID-19, the Roadmap highlights the vital need for collaboration between the private sector and government to address IP issues in the future. Launched during the November meeting of the ICC Commission on Intellectual Property, the ICC IP Roadmap 2020 received contributions from over 100 IP experts from around the world and will be translated into several languages to ensure accessibility for business communities everywhere. The latest edition of the IP Roadmap was launched in the presence of ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO and World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Director-General Daren Tang.

  • EPO Study: Innovation in Smart Connected Objects on the Rise
    on 21 January 2021 at 8:55

    A study recently published by the European Patent Office (EPO) shows that innovation in fourth industrial revolution (4IR) technologies has accelerated significantly worldwide. Between 2010 and 2018, global patent filings for these technologies, which concern smart connected objects and span the Internet of Things, big data, 5G, and artificial intelligence (AI), grew at an average annual rate of almost 20% – nearly five times faster than the average of all technology fields. The study, entitled Patents and the Fourth Industrial Revolution – the global technology trends enabling the data-driven economy, looks at all international patent families (IPFs) related to 4IR worldwide between 2000 and 2018. Each of these represents a high-value invention for which patent applications have been filed at two or more patent offices globally. The study finds that nearly 40 000 new IPFs were filed for these technologies in 2018 alone. This means they accounted for more than 10% of all patenting activity worldwide that year. In terms of technology fields, the study finds that innovation has risen most sharply in the areas of connectivity and data management. With nearly 14 000 IPFs in 2018 and annual growth of 26.7% since 2010, connectivity, which covers protocols, short and long range communication, is the largest of all the 4IR technology fields analysed. This impressive rise has been largely driven by the development of 5G, which will support the massive deployment of 4IR technologies. Data management, which encompasses all technologies aiming at exploiting data, from their creation, processing and analysis to feedback execution, has posted average annual growth of 22.5% since 2010, and in 2018 accounted for more than 11 000 IPFs.

  • Article: Principles for a Single European Market for Innovation
    on 21 January 2021 at 8:55

    A recent article published on Science Business summarises a statement read on behalf of EU Research Commissioner Mariya Gabriel at the European Innovation Summit held online this week. According to the article, Mariya Gabriel has outlined her ideas for the creation of a European Innovation Area (EIA), saying it should be decentralised and empower all innovators and entrepreneurs to realise their full potential, wherever they are in Europe. EIA must be based on the five main principles of an effective local innovation system, Gabriel said in a statement read on her behalf at the European Innovation Summit being held online this week. It must form networks and facilitate communication between different stakeholders and start-ups. The ecosystem must ensure transparent, equal access to funding across Europe, and be designed to increase female participation. Start-ups must be able to easily submit tenders to any public authority in the EU. Regulation allowing this is already in place, but there are not see enough examples of entrepreneurs taking advantage of it. EIA must enable matchmaking opportunities between start-ups and larger established companies. EIA should have strong local innovator associations with connections to other stakeholders and authorities. These measures need to be adopted on a European level to tackle the fragmentation of existing European start-up ecosystems. Though many of these are vibrant and successful, they are often disconnected from each other. Today, it is easier for an entrepreneur to contact an investor in Silicon Valley, California than another European region, Gabriel said. The EIA should help change this. “We have a single European single space for researchers. And one for education. But we need to create one for innovators and entrepreneurs,” said Gabriel. An EIA would also create stronger links between education and innovation. The path from research to innovation is well-established. Now, the EU should enable students to form and scale start-ups in Europe without passing through a research lab, Gabriel said.

  • Out Now: World Intellectual Property Indicators Report
    on 21 January 2021 at 8:55

    The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has published a new report revealing that worldwide trademark and industrial design-creation activity rose in 2019 even as the number of global patent applications dipped slightly on weaker demand in IP powerhouse China. Furthermore, the World Intellectual Property Indicators (WIPI) report showed that trademark and industrial design filing activity increased by 5.9% and 1.3% respectively. A 3% decline in global patent applications, the first fall in a decade, was driven by a drop in filings by Chinese residents. Excluding China, global patent filings rose 2.3%. The annual WIPI report collects and analyses IP data from some 150 national and regional offices to inform policy makers, business leaders, investors, academics and others seeking macro trends in innovation and creativity. The WIPI’s 2019 figures, which pre-date the COVID-19 pandemic, underline the long-building growth in demand for the intellectual property tools that incentivise an increasingly global and digital-focused economy, said WIPO Director General Daren Tang. “The robust use of intellectual property tools shows high levels of innovation and creativity at the end of 2019, just at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mr. Tang. “The pandemic has accelerated long-building trends by fostering the adoption of new technologies and accelerating the digitisation of everyday life. Because IP is so connected to technology, innovation and digitalisation, IP will become even more important to a greater number of countries in the post-COVID world.”

  • German Bundestag Approves Ratification Bill on the Unified Patent Court Agreement
    on 21 January 2021 at 8:55

    On 26 November 2020, the German Bundestag adopted with the necessary qualified majority the draft ratification bill including the consent to the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPCA). The European Patent Office (EPO) is ready to register the first Unitary Patents. For Unitary Patents to become available, the UPCA has to enter into force which requires the ratification by 13 of the 25 participating EU Member States, including France, Germany and Italy. In Germany, the UPC bill will now be submitted to the German upper house (Bundesrat) for approval later this year. Once the German ratification procedure is complete, it’s anticipated that the final preparatory steps could be taken to set up the Unitary Patent Court in 2021. The UPC could then start its work in 2022. The Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court are the building blocks of the so-called Unitary Patent package which will supplement and strengthen the existing centralised European patent granting system. They will offer users a cost-effective option for patent protection and dispute settlement across Europe. Unitary Patents will make it possible to get uniform patent protection in up to 25 EU Member States by submitting a single request to the EPO, making the procedure simpler and more cost effective for applicants. The UPC will be an international court with jurisdiction for patents granted by the EPO. This specialised court will make the Europe-wide enforcement of patents a reality, offer greater legal certainty and reduce litigation costs. The Court is based on an international treaty, the UPCA.