Intellectual Property News
JUMP INTO THE PATENT BOX - October 2012
Starting next year companies that exploit an invention covered by a granted UK patent will be able to claim a 10% rate of corporation tax. The reduced tax rate is applicable to sales which take place anywhere in the world and is calculated on the value of the whole product which incorporates a patented invention (excluding any packaging). More information shortly - watch this space.
INCREASE IN PATENT OFFICE FEES - March 2010
A number of UK IPO fees will increase substantially on 6 April 2010. The normal search fee increases by £50 and the Examination fee by £30. A new £50 fee is introduced for recording change of ownership of a patent. The most significant increase relates to patent maintenance fees. The increase ranges from £20 for the 5th year to a staggering £200 increase for the final year.
ANOTHER LOGO FOR THE UK INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OFFICE - November 2008
The UK IP Office has changed its logo yet again. This is a decided improvement on the previous version introduced less than two years ago, although one cannot help but wonder about the cost of this exercise at a time when most businesses are struggling to cover basic running costs.
CHANGES TO TRADE MARK OPPOSITION PERIOD - October 2008
The period for filing opposition to new trade mark applications advertised in the on-line Trade Marks Journal has previously been three months. Applications advertised after 1 October 2008 can only be opposed within TWO months, although the period may be extended by a further ONE month upon application by anyone considering opposition. Retrospective extensions of the two month period cannot be given. Furthermore, opposition can only be filed during the additional one month period by a party which requested an extension.
EUROPEAN TRANSLATION COSTS REDUCED - February 2008
The cost of bringing European patents into force will be significantly reduced from 1 May 2008, when national translation requirements will be abolished in a number of countries. Following grant of a patent under the European Patent Convention (EPC) it will no longer be necessary to file a translation in any country in which the national language is English, French or German. Countries having a different national language (e.g. Sweden) can designate one of the three main languages for filing the translation, but a translation of the Claims must still be filed in the national language.
NORWAY JOINS EPC - January 2008
European (EPC) patent applications filed from 1 January 2008 can now include Norway. Although Norway is not a member of the European Union it is still a significant country, and the option of obtaining patents via the European Patent Convention will be seen as a very welcome development. It should be noted that European applications filed before 1 January will not cover Norway. Furthermore, if Norway is designated in a PCT application filed before 1 January a Norwegian patent can still only be obtained via the national route.
UK TRADE MARK EXAMINATION TO CHANGE - July 2007
On 1 October 2007 the basis of trade mark examination in the UK will undergo a significant change. At present the Trade Marks Registry objects to a new trade mark if a confusingly similar mark already exists, but under the new system the Office will no longer raise any objection. It will be up to the proprietors of existing marks to oppose new applications which appear to conflict. [Read our article on Trade Mark Examination]
THE PATENT OFFICE IS NO MORE - April 2007
The name of The Patent Office is known and respected throughout the world, but on 2 April 2007 The Patent Office officially ceased to exist. The organisation now operates under the slick and catchy title of the "UK Intellectual Property Office".
The activities of The Patent Office have always covered other areas of intellectual property through the work of The Trade Marks Registry and The Designs Registry, and nobody can argue with the logic of operating under a more accurate umbrella title. Nevertheless, the official designation no longer reflects the main activity of the Office, namely the granting of patents, and in a reorganisation which was widely publicised as being motivated by a desire to "avoid confusion" some might think it curious that the Office chose to abolish the old name altogether.
The new name doesn't roll off the tongue in the same way as the old title, and if only for reasons of brevity, it seems likely that users will continue to refer to it unofficially as The Patent Office for some time to come.
EU COMMISSION DROPS "PETTY PATENT" PROPOSAL - November 2005
The EU Commission has finally abandoned its plan for an EU utility model. The proposal has been blocked by the Council of Ministers since it was approved by the European Parliament in 1999.
COMMUNITY DESIGN COMMENCES - April 2003
The examination and registration of Community Designs commenced at the beginning of April 2003. It is now possible to obtain a single design registration covering the whole of the European Union (EU) at a relatively low cost. To find out more follow the "EU Designs" link on the left.
SUCCESS FOR CRASKE & Co. IN NATIONAL PATENT DISPUTE - December 2002
Craske & Co. has won a significant victory in a national patent dispute involving the Home Office. Read more details.
STAMP DUTY ABOLISHED - 21 March 2000
The payment of stamp duty on intellectual property transfers made after 28 March 2000 has been abolished in the Budget. This is welcome news for patentees (and their professional representatives). The fact that transfers previously attracted stamp duty similar to house sales was often overlooked, resulting in considerable headaches and delays, not to mention a potential liability for non-payment penalties.
REGISTERED DESIGN SEARCH ABOLISHED - 19 August 1999
The UK Designs Registry no longer conducts a novelty search for new design applications. For some time the Registry has only rejected designs if they are virtually identical to an existing registration. It is now more important than ever to conduct a search before filing a design application.
GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCES SUPPORT FOR INNOVATION - 9 March 1999 (updated 25 March 1999)
In his budget speech the Chancellor announced increased Government assistance for companies undertaking research and development. Preliminary details indicate that the assistance will be by way of tax relief for "direct labour costs and consumables". This suggests that patent costs may NOT be eligible for relief.
UK OFFICIAL FEES REDUCED - 12 August 1998
Certain Official fees will be reduced from 1 October 1998. For patent owners the most significant reductions are probably in maintenance fees. The first fee (for the fifth year of the patent) has been reduced by £60 and fees for the remaining years fall by between £20 and £50. Trade mark and Design fees have also been reduced. There is a substantial reduction in renewal fee for multiple class trade marks (£50 for the first class and £150 for EACH additional class).
ROLLS ROYCE TRADE MARK - 28 July 1998
BMW has reportedly paid £40m for the Rolls Royce trade marks. Volkswagen had previously purchased the Rolls Royce business WITHOUT the famous trade marks. This results in the curious situation that VW can manufacture the distinctive cars but they cannot sell them under the Rolls Royce badge, whereas BMW have the trade marks without the famous cars. It will be interesting to see how both businesses develop.
UK COURTS DECIDE AGAINST TRAFFICKING IN DOMAIN NAMES - 10 July 1998
A large UK store brought action in the High Court against a company which registered the names of famous businesses as domain names and then offered to sell them at a high price. Granting an injunction against the defendants, the Court decided that the action amounted to trade mark infringement. The decision also clarifies the definition of trade mark infringement since it confirms that use of a mark "in the course of trade" is broader than simply using a mark to sell goods or services. Have you registered your business name as a trade mark?
THE EUROPEAN DESIGNS DIRECTIVE - 19 March 1998
Renewed moves are being made to harmonise design legislation throughout the EU. It is likely that the level of eye appeal presently required in the UK will be relaxed. In addition, the present UK position that spare parts (e.g. car body panels) do not constitute registrable articles in their own right, is likely to be changed. However, there is a controversial clause that people will be permitted to supply components intended to keep a larger article in good repair, and since this looked like hindering the legislation there is a proposal that member states will be able to opt out of this provision.
UK TO GET "PETTY PATENTS" - 11 February 1998
On 16 December 1997 the EU Commission adopted a proposal which could result in utility model protection being available in the UK by the end of 1999. This should provide a cheaper way of protecting mechanical devices, although utility model protection will not be available for processes, or chemical or biological materials. As with standard patents, there will be a requirement for worldwide novelty, but a lower level of inventiveness will suffice. The device will merely require a practical advantage over existing products. There will be no compulsory examination for validity, and although this might sound attractive it will inevitably result in many invalid registrations. We believe that an official novelty search should be a minimum requirement to ensure that utility models gain respect. The term of protection will be for six years, renewable for two further two-year terms.
EPC AND PCT FEES REDUCED FOR UK APPLICANTS - January 1998
From the beginning of 1998, many of the fees for European Patent Convention and International (PCT) patent applications have been reduced. This comes on top of a reduction in the European application fees during 1997, with postponement of the designation fees until after publication of the search report.
© Craske & Co., 1998 - 2008
Last updated: 18 October 2012