Before deciding to patent an invention, it is important to understand the procedures and costs that can be involved. This note sets out the typical process together with estimates of the likely costs. Of course, the most appropriate procedure and actual costs can vary significantly from case to case and we can advise specifically on the best approach for you.
With very few exceptions around the world, a patent will be invalid if an invention is disclosed publicly before a patent application is filed. Non-confidential disclosures of your invention to family, friends, suppliers, customers or anybody else must not be made before an application is filed.
If one posed to most EUIPO practitioners the question: ‘what do Champagne, sherry, chocolate, yoghurt and rice have in common?’ they may not have a clue. The answer is they have all been protected under the English law of extended passing off.
Using passing off as a way of opposing a later trade mark has had something of a chequered history during the time the UK has been part of the EUIPO system. The use of extended passing off brings with it a further dimension in that the owner of the goodwill is one of many, who claims that there has been some damage as a result of a misrepresentation.
However, the Indo European Foods decision has turned a corner on the understanding of this form of protection and reliance on it.
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