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E-Signature Consultation

Under the Law Commissions Act 1965 , the Law Commission is required to submit programmes of law reform to the Lord Chancellor. The latest topics put forward for consideration include a review of the use of 'e-signatures'. These are becoming increasingly...

Copyright Claim Success Does Not Necessarily Mean Victory

When a man copied part of a photograph (showing the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas's head) from a website, he probably had the commonly held (but incorrect) view that because the picture was visible on the Internet, reproduction of it would not constitute a breach...

EU Trade Mark Reforms

On 1 October, changes came into effect across the European Union which broaden the range of things for which trade mark protection can be given. It is no longer necessary for a trade mark to be in visible form. Trade marks can now include sounds, smells or...

EU Proposes Steady as She Goes on IP Rights

In a knowledge-based economy, the protection of intellectual property is often of existential importance to businesses. With Brexit impending, the protection of such rights across Europe has come into focus and the European Union has come up with its ideas...

X Marks the Spot in IP Battle

Trade marks are jealously protected by their owners. A recent case shows how even seemingly uncontroversial trade marks can be found to infringe existing trade marks and proves the need for care in such circumstances. The case involved tyre giants...

Use It or Lose It

Having a trade mark is all well and good, but a recent case should serve as a reminder that failing to use trade marks may lead to them being lost. The case involved a trade mark for a cigarette brand which was registered to a tobacco company in the USA. ...

Do You Know Who Actually Owns the Patents You Depend On?

A great many companies depend on patents for their profitability, and doubts over ownership of intellectual property (IP) rights can put their very survival in jeopardy. This point was illustrated in a case that concerned a number of patents in respect of...

Court Robust in Protection of Motor Giant Trade Mark

Motor giant BMW, challenging a decision over the use of its trade mark with which it disagreed, has won its appeal in the Court of Appeal . The dispute was over the use of BMW trade marks by a small London garage business, Technosport, which repairs and...

Place Name Trade Mark Prevents Confusion

Newspapers periodically contain stories about the restrictions on use of terms that are geographically well known, for example the restriction on the use of the word 'Champagne' to describe sparkling wine. In addition to geographical restrictions, proper...

Shape Change Not Inventive

For a patent to be valid, it is not sufficient that it is simply something new. There has to be an inventive step over the 'prior art', so that the item or process for which the patent is sought is not an obvious development. This test is at the heart of...
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