News

Hindles sponsors IMNS technology showcase

We are delighted to sponsor ‘Detecting new technologies’ – a technology showcase which will be hosted by Edinburgh University’s Institute for Integrated Micro and Nano Systems (IMNS) on November 16th.

The showcase will introduce the newest technologies being developed at the IMNS, and give an overview of current trends through a series of presentations given by academics and researchers. It provides an ideal opportunity for attendees to learn about technical developments relevant to their business strategy. Attendees will get the opportunity to learn more about the processing capabilities of the Scottish Microelectronics Centre via lab tours, and to provide input on technical challenges via the Wall of Ideas. There is also the opportunity for networking at the post-showcase dinner buffet.

Alistair Hindle comments: “We are happy to be able to support the pioneering work of the IMNS. Events like these are a great platform for entrepreneurs, investors and academics to come together and share their expertise. We have a proven track record in working with Universities and entrepreneurs to protect cutting-edge developments, and we make sure that we are up-to-date with technical advances”.

Click here for more information and to register for the showcase.

This entry was posted in Company News.

Impact of Brexit on IP

The Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA), the professional body representing patent attorneys in the UK, has published a guide to the potential impact of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union on intellectual property matters. While the possible effects on patents, designs and trade marks have been discussed previously, this guide expands on other IP topics including plant variety rights, trade secrets, copyright, orphan drugs, the Nagoya Protocol and transactions in both IP assets and goods.

As previously considered here, there is much uncertainty as to how the UK’s relationship with the EU will develop and how this may affect existing EU-wide intellectual property rights such as registered Community designs or EU trade marks. However, there should be virtually no effect on patents or patent applications because the European patent system is not part of EU law and there has been no suggestion the UK will leave the unrelated European Patent Convention. The ability to obtain European patents having effect in up to 38 EPC member states (including the UK) through the European Patent Office, and to enforce these rights through national Courts, as well as the opposition procedure before the European Patent Office, will remain unchanged. The main uncertainty in the field of patents relates to the proposed new European Unitary patent and Unified Patent Court, both of which are projects of the EU. It is too soon to say whether a way will be found to adapt these proposals so that they can proceed, either with or without the United Kingdom. There will also be effects on some patent-related rights which are subject to EU law, such as Supplementary Protection Certificates.

This new guidance emphasises that CIPA and the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (ITMA) intend to work with the UK Government to ensure that proprietors of EU trade marks and design rights will not lose protection in the UK after Brexit, and that UK attorneys will continue to be authorised to act before the EU Intellectual Property Office. Nevertheless, CIPA recommends that licences and other agreements relating to existing EU trade mark and design registration portfolios should be reviewed now to flag up any potential issues.

A further issue raised in the guide is that of ‘exhaustion of rights’. ‘Exhaustion of rights’, in this case, refers to the general principle that an EU or Member State intellectual property right may not be enforced in respect of a product which has previously been put on the market in the European Economic Area (EEA) by the rights holder or with his consent. The principle of exhaustion of rights derives from the fact that the EEA forms a single market for goods and services, and essentially restricts a rights holder from objecting to remarketing of products within the EEA if the rights holder himself (or persons authorised by him) previously put those products onto the market in the EEA. There are, however, exceptions to this general principle – for example, with regard to trade marks, the rights holder may still object if there are legitimate reasons for opposition to further commercialisation of the goods, especially where the condition of the goods is changed or impaired after they have been put on the market.

If the UK leaves the EU without joining the EEA or the European Free Trade Agreement, or without negotiating a new bilateral agreement containing similar provisions, the doctrine of exhaustion of rights may cease to apply in the UK. This will of course depend on the outcome of the UK Government’s negotiations with the EU.

Michael Ford

How can we help?
If you have any questions regarding the impact of Brexit on intellectual property rights, please contact your usual attorney at Alistair Hindle Associates or call +44 (0)131 243 0660. Please contact us here and let us know if you would like our updates to be sent direct to your inbox.