Industry News and Articles

Is it possible to enforce a cannabis patent?

The market for cannabis-derived products has expanded rapidly in recent years due to the legalisation of some cannabis products in several countries. As discussed in my previous article , patent filings for cannabis/cannabinoid-related inventions have also...

Don't Banksy On It...

It has recently been reported in the national press that the anonymous artist, Banksy, is engaged in a trade mark dispute with a greetings card company, Full Colour Black. The artist is quoted to have claimed, among other things, that the company was...

Cannabis and IP - is the UK falling behind?

Attitudes towards the use of cannabis, both recreationally and therapeutically, have shifted significantly in recent years. Recreational cannabis was legalised in Canada at the end of 2018. In the US recreational cannabis is now legal in 10 states and...

Kim Kardashian vs. Missguided trade mark use

Kim Kardashian will no doubt be pleased to have been awarded $2.7 million in damages, in a court case against the fashion brand Missguided. In addition to damages, and an award of costs for Kardashian’s attorneys’ fees, an injunction was also...

Three strikes for Adidas' three stripes

Over 5 years ago, Adidas successfully registered its three stripes as a trade mark in the EU in relation to clothing, footwear and headgear. Shortly after the mark was registered, a Belgian footwear company named Shoe Branding Europe successfully applied to...

Imminent Changes to Canadian Trade Mark Law

As reported in our article of 30 November 2018 , changes to the Canadian Trade-marks Act 1985 will shortly enter into force on 17 June 2019 . The key changes are summarised below. Declarations of Use and Filing Bases Following the changes, an...

Diagnostic methods: Did the US Supreme Court ignore a discovery?

In recent years, it has become increasingly difficult to obtain and enforce patents in the US directed to methods of diagnosis, particularly where the diagnostic method is based on detecting or measuring a naturally-occurring biomarker. This is a result of...

Apple and Qualcomm end smartphone litigation with surprise settlement

In a surprise development, Apple and Qualcomm have settled their billion dollar smartphone litigation cases worldwide.  The litigation, which started in 2017, centred on an Apple complaint that Qualcomm were charging Apple a disproportionate amount for...

EPO appeal proceedings: get all your grounds in early

Over the last few years, the EPO Boards of Appeal have become more strict regarding the late filing of new facts, evidence or requests. The Boards are expected to become even more strict when the new Rules of Procedure of the Board of Appeal enter into...

Double patenting at the EPO - the Enlarged Board takes a second look

The EPO’s practice on double patenting has been rather settled over the past decade.  As indicated in the EPO’s Guidelines for Examination , two or more applications of the same effective date filed by the same applicant may proceed to...

Celebrity baby trade marks - keeping up with the Kardashian kids

The Kardashian/Jenner family have made millions by commodifying their personal lives and turning themselves into powerhouse brands. It should therefore come as little surprise that the younger generation of the family are seemingly being primed to follow in...

The difference between trade marks, patents, copyright and designs

The term intellectual property (IP) refers to a variety of different types of legal rights. It can be quite confusing for business owners to know what IP rights they have, or what rights they should be seeking. To make matters worse, terminology is often...

German constitutional challenge against UPCA to be decided in 2019?

Once again, the German Federal Constitutional Court (BVerfG) has listed the "Constitutional Complaint" against German ratification of the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA) on the cases to be decided for the coming year . Followers of this...

Is this the end of SPC protection for second medical indications in Europe?

IP practice around Europe is at its most inconsistent when it comes to Supplementary Protection Certificate (SPC) protection for second and further medical indication inventions. A recent Opinion of the Advocate General at the CJEU may point to a pending...

Is this the end of SPC protection for second medical indications in Europe?

IP practice around Europe is at its most inconsistent when it comes to Supplementary Protection Certificate (SPC) protection for second and further medical indication inventions.  A recent Opinion of the Advocate General at the CJEU may point to a...

Patent Challenges in the Pharma Industry

It was great to share pharmaceutical patenting insights with the panel and our audience at the “Patent Challenges in the Pharma Industry” session of yesterday’s Innovation & IP Forum in Paris. There were so many interesting topics...

Is a higher purity of a known material patentable?

In what may come as a welcome departure from existing practice, an EPO board of appeal in decision T1085/13 has clarified the conditions under which patents can be granted for known compounds at higher grades of purity. A leading case concerning purity of...

It's a McLoss for McDonald's

In a decision that may come as somewhat of a surprise to lovers of McDonald’s Big Mac sandwich, the EUIPO cancellation division has recently opted to cancel McDonald’s EU trade mark (EUTM) registration for Big Mac , on the grounds that this...

Brexit Update - Trade Marks and Designs

Following the UK Parliament’s recent rejection of the Prime Minister’s draft Withdrawal Agreement, the uncertainty over Brexit continues.  With the clock ticking down to 29th March and no sign of an alternative agreement being accepted by...

Plants are patentable after all: EPO Appeal Board rejects Rule 28(2)

In a surprising turn of events, on 5 December 2018 a Technical Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office (EPO) decided that plants which are the products of essentially biological processes are not excluded from patentability. The decision (T 1063/18)...

Are second medical use patents still worthwhile in light of Warner-Lambert Supreme Court decision

On 14 September 2018 the UK Supreme Court unanimously opined that the marketing of generic pregabalin by Actavis would not have been an infringement of Warner-Lambert's claims directed to a further medical use of pregabalin, namely for the treatment of...

Changes to Canadian Trade Mark Law - Timing is Money

As anyone who has sought trade mark protection in Canada will know, the process can be significantly more laborious and time consuming than in many other jurisdictions, not least because of the need to identify, in respect of every term in the specification,...

Brand Protection in a Global Market

“ From little acorns do mighty oaks grow ”. So sayeth the proverb and start-up companies should take note because even today’s largest brands had humble beginnings.  I recently had the privilege of attending Brighton & Hove...

The X Factor Name Game

I begin with an admission: I am hopelessly addicted to the long-running UK talent show  The X Factor . Every year, I tell myself that I won’t watch it and every year without fail I find myself sucked in once again. This year has been no...

Can I lose my trade mark?

Congratulations! You've successfully made it through the trade mark application procedure, and your trade mark has been officially registered. This certainly feels like a conclusion, but it isn't the end of the story. For instance, here are five...