Intellectual Property Update - February 2017

In this update our IP team members highlight key recent IP issues including the importance of controlling rights in one's name and the controversial question of when an employee inventor may claim a payment in addition to his salary.

We also provide, among other things, a round-up of copyright developments in 2016 and the low-down on the five most common IP mistakes to avoid.

On the patent side the most dramatic development since our last update is probably the UK government's surprise announcement that it will ratify the Unified Patent Court: we consider the next steps for patent owners.

Contact our experts for further advice

Charlotte Tillett, Tom Lingard
  1. Employee inventor compensation - can an employer be 'too big to pay'?

    If a UK-based employee makes an invention in the course of his or her duties as an employee the invention usually belongs to the employer, who is entitled to apply to patent the invention anywhere in the world.  However, the employee inventor may claim... Read more
  2. Social media - beware copyright ownership

    Tom Collins, IP associate, and Grace McNulty-Brown, trainee solicitor, consider the steps companies can take to protect their interest in social media connections and content.

    Read the article - published in the HRDirector, December 2016. Reproduced with permission

  3. Whose name is it anyway?

    The English law of passing off is very business-oriented.  It does not generally enable a person to protect a reputation in a name unless the name is associated with a business. It is important, however, for the individual to ensure that rights in their... Read more
  4. Advocate General advises CJEU to rule that The Pirate Bay makes acts of 'communication to the public'

    On 8 February 2017, Advocate General Szpunar issued his opinion in Stitching Brein v Ziggo BV and another (Case C-610/15). This concerned a reference from the Dutch court as to whether The Pirate Bay, a peer-to-peer file sharing website,... Read more
  5. Copyright round-up 2016

    Tom Lingard, Head of Intellectual Property, and IP associates Henry Milas and Tom Collins provide a whistle-stop tour of the important copyright developments in 2016, including the legality of hyperlinking, potential risks for retailers who provide free WiFi, identifying online infringers and whether eight-second clips of cricket broadcasts on a mobile app infringe.

    Read the article - published in Intellectual Property Magazine

  6. The Unified Patent Court is back on track - are you ready for opt-out?

    Following the UK’s surprise decision last year to ratify the Unified Patent Court Agreement, the new court is now scheduled to open its doors for business at the end of 2017. This means that patent owners must again consider which patents they... Read more
  7. Humira: the English Court of Appeal approves the 'Arrow declaration' as a legitimate tool

    In a case involving the best-selling Humira anti-inflammatory product, the English Court of Appeal has confirmed, in principle, that the court has discretion to grant an ‘Arrow’ declaration in cases where a patentee is shielding the subject... Read more
  8. The top 5 IP mistakes growing businesses make, and how to avoid them

    Every entrepreneur looks back and thinks about what they might have done differently in the early days. Mistakes happen, and often they are a valuable part of the learning curve, a rite of passage to success. However, making the wrong decisions around your... Read more
  9. Wicked leaks: what legal weaponry is available to fight game launch hacks?

    Stevens & Bolton's Grace McNulty-Brown advises devs on how to protect their project's secrets ahead of release - and what to do if leaks do occur. The run-up to a game's release is packed full of excitement and anticipation. Often fans will... Read more
  10. To brand or not to brand - stadium naming rights

    IP associate, Tom Collins, discusses the increasing trend towards football clubs monetising stadium naming rights.

    Read the article - published in Football and Stadium Management

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