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    New Rules for Genetic Researchers
    16th October 2014
    12 October 2014 saw the Nagoya Protocol coming into force. Intended to ensure the fair sharing of genetic resources between users and providers, the convention requires that there is a Prior Informed Consent (PIC) of the “country of origin” and also Mutually Agreed Terms (MAT) for use of the benefits arising from that access. The Protocol requires all research on genetic resources to have both the PIC and also the MAT from the “country of...
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    Rubik’s cube – a 3D Trade Mark!
    4th December 2014
    The EU General Court has upheld the decision of OHIM’s Board of Appeal  to reject an action filed by Simba Toys GmbH & Co to invalidate a Community Trade Registration for a 3D (shape) mark shown as in respect of three-dimensional puzzles. The Court found that the mark as shown above did not consist exclusively of the shape of goods which is necessary to achieve a technical effect. Rather, the Court noted that the shape, by itself, could not show rotational ability...
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    Biotech Patent update on human embryos
    23rd December 2014
    The EU Court of Justice held on 18 December 2014 that a non-fertilised human ovum is not regarded as a human embryo unless it has an inherent capacity to develop into a human being. The fact that the ovum had been parthenogenetically-activated and had commenced a process of development was insufficient for it to be caught by the EU Biotech Directive and hence excluded from patentability. The decision overturns the part of the Brüstle judgement (C34/10) of 18...
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    New US Patent Office Guidelines
    5th January 2015
    The USPTO has issued new Guidelines for US Examiners to use in order to determine whether an invention is patent eligible (i.e. is of a type which is not barred from being patentable). These Guidelines are effective from 16 December 2014 and address concerns raised following the US PTO’s change in practice (subsequent to recent biotech Supreme Court patent decisions) which effectively denied patentability to almost any claim including a natural product. In the new Guidelines, a 2-step analysis is conducted. First,...
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    IP Insurance: Is it worth the money?
    26th January 2015
    Intellectual Property is central to protecting the ideas, creativity and brands. But many businesses fail to take action to protect such valuable assets. Their reason? There’s no point, we wouldn’t be able to afford a court action to stop an infringer anyway. But there is a solution – IP Insurance. Like any insurance, you pay a premium to hedge against the possibility that you might – one day – need to cover a large expense, such...
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    The Nagoya Protocol
    16th March 2015
    Nagoya – What every UK Biotech company should know The Nagoya Protocol is here to stay and its requirements will fundamentally affect biotech research in the UK. Arising as part of the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity, with aims and objectives that are laudatory, in practice Nagoya may be emerging as a very heavy sledge hammer to crush a very puny nut. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) intended to put an end to ‘biopiracy’,...
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    Can a biscuit be a trade mark?
    4th September 2015
    Do you only ever think of trade marks being words or pictures? Actually the possibilities are much, much wider. Essentially a trade mark is any “sign” capable of distinguishing your goods or services from those of any other trader. So, for instance, a trade mark can include a shape. With over 1 billion Kit Kats being sold every year, Nestlé has applied to register the 3D shape of its famous 4 fingered bar as a...
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    Patent Strategies – Some Thoughts
    8th October 2015
    An area of IP that is too often overlooked is that of IP strategy. A company with some level of IP – and every company does have some! – should invest a little time in thinking through their IP strategy. Otherwise the likelihood is that the decisions regarding IP are made without sufficient regard to what the realistic objectives are. I say “realistic” because whilst worldwide coverage may be eminently desirable, is it achievable given the costs? Or...
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    BREXIT and IP. How will the outcome effect YOUR business?
    16th June 2016
    With just one week left to go, the BREXIT referendum is nearly upon us, but have you given any thought to how a BREXIT might affect the IP of your business? The UK IP system is currently highly integrated with EU legislation, and UK businesses can currently enjoy EU-wide protection for both trade marks and designs via the EU IPO so a BREXIT could have a significant effect on your current IP. Here are 5 consequences...
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    Crocs Put Their Foot In It.
    4th September 2018
    One of the biggest mistakes, often made by small starts-ups working on a limited budget, is to disclose their product before securing the appropriate IP protection. Usually this is in the heady rush and excitement of getting the product to market. But it is still essential to think about IP first. Recently the US-based shoe manufacturer, Crocs, Inc., has experienced every business’ worst nightmare. Despite their success, with sales exceeding 300 million clogs globally,...