United Kingdom IP Development

Patent
For patent application, the applicant must provide a patent specification, containing a description of the invention, claims defining it, and often drawings illustrating it. The description must be in English, and no added subject-matter can be incorporated after the application is filed. In addition, the applicant has to provide a less-than-150-word abstract of the invention.
Procedures for Patent Application:
 
a. Application filing: Submit the patent application form and patent specification to UKIPO. Payment of the application fee and the search fee can be deferred for up to a year.
 
b. Preliminary examination and search: A Preliminary Examination Report will be issued with any formal requirements necessary to be corrected and with a search report.
 
c. Initial publication: Shortly after 18 months from the application date, the UKIPO publishes the specification, irrespective of whether it discloses and invention which meets the requirements for patentability or not.
 
d. Substantive examination: The applicant must file a request for substantive examination within 6 months after publication. The UKIPO will then examine the case and may raise objections, for example that the invention was obvious, but by amendment it may be possible to overcome them in some cases and secure a patent eventually.
 
The application may be filed online, and many of the subsequent procedures can also be carried out online.
 
Once granted the patent can remain in force for 20 years from the filing date, provided that renewal fees are paid for the fifth year and thereafter annually.
 
Marking of patented articles, as a notice to the public, may now be done by marking the product with a web address, instead of the patent number and country of the patent.
 
The New Intellectual Property Act prepares for a major change in the European Patent Law. In the coming years, Europe will set up a Unified Patent Law Institute (Unified patent court-UPC). The New Intellectual Property Act allows the UK to implement the agreement successfully after the UPC Agreement (not earlier than the second half of 2015). UPC A division of the central court will be located in London, so that British patent judges may play an important role in the early development phase of the UPC legal system. The UPC Agreement, if effective, requires the approval of at least 13 Member States, including the United Kingdom, France and Germany. The UPC Agreement has been ratified by five Member States, but many other Member States, such as the United Kingdom, have retained the approval of the UPC agreement for 2015 years.
 
Another change in the New Intellectual Property Act is to make it more convenient to mark a product's patent. The product is no longer required to list all the patent numbers contained in the product to indicate the patent protection obtained by the product. Instead, you can provide a free-access link to a Web page that lists all the patent numbers for that product. This small change will simplify the labeling requirements for complex technology products. A patent mark is very important in the recovery of compensation and can prove that a third party is known or should be aware of the existence of the patent and therefore does not belong to an "unwitting infringer". However, it is important to keep Web links updated to the latest state. In many EU countries, including the United Kingdom, it is a criminal offence not to claim that a product has a patent (counterfeit).
 
The new Act also stipulates that the UK IP office will provide a non-binding opinion service that allows parties preparing to initiate patent proceedings to assess the success rate of the lawsuit in more ways. It should be noted that although this service is helpful to small and medium-sized enterprises, the quality and consistency of the opinion is not stable, and since the "opinion" is not legal advice, it is not binding on any IP office or court (including the UK Intellectual Property Office). Moreover, the opinion will become part of the public record and may in future be detrimental to the claims raised in the lawsuit. However, for some small business activities, the opinion can still provide a reference for decision-making.
 
The new Act extends the definition of "research" in patent infringement exemption to drug assessment activities, which will benefit institutions in life sciences-related fields, so that research and development units are exempt from prosecution in such cases.
 
Only unregistered designs that do not fall under the "usual design" are protected. The Intellectual Property Act clearly stipulates that the "customary design" assessment is defined as "habitual design" in any country, including the European Union, and not only in the United Kingdom (as previously argued).
 
Registered Designs
 
It is possible to file for a registered design and most applications are now filed online. The representations, which may be drawings or photographs, can be uploaded. The fees may be paid online, and the registration usually emerges within a few weeks. It is possible to defer publication of the design by paying an extra fee. No search is carried out by the UKIPO to see if the design is new or original.
 
The Period of validity for a registered design patent is 5 years from the filing date, which may be extended for another four 5-year periods, giving a total life of 25 years.
 
The New Intellectual Property Act provides for criminal liability for infringement of the UK and EU registered designs. Under the new regulations, in the course of business, it is a criminal offence to intentionally reproduce the registered design and produce products of the same or only minor difference with the design without the permission of the right holder. It is also a criminal offence to sell, import, export or otherwise implement the above products. The premise of a conviction includes the necessity of intentional duplication in the knowledge that the design has been registered. The criminal penalty for this offence is a fine or a maximum of 10 years in prison. This amendment enables the United Kingdom to unify the legal liability for infringement of designs with the relevant provisions of trademarks and copyrights. the provisions of civil law also have some notable changes. For example, ignorance is no longer an absolute defence against the UK or EU registered designs. Under the new law, an unsuspecting infringer is also obliged to assume liability for the specific amount calculated in accordance with the tort proceeds.
Unregistered designs The old law stipulates that the principal is the first right holder of the design entrusted to the completion of the designs. According to the new law, designs commissioned after October 1, 2014 are the first rights holders of the design.
The amendment agrees to the attribution of the unregistered designs to the corresponding provisions of the copyright.
The new law adds an exemption system, and the use of designs for personal use, experimentation, or teaching is not a violation of the British unregistered Design Rights Act.
The new law also simplifies the scope of protection for unregistered design rights, eliminating the need to include a design "all aspects"-although the scope of protection can still encompass the whole of complex products.
only unregistered designs that do not fall under the "usual design" are protected. The Intellectual Property Act clearly stipulates that the "customary design" assessment is defined as "habitual design" in any country, including the European Union, and not only in the United Kingdom (as previously argued).
 
Trademarks
UK registration and protection are governed by the Trade Marks Act 1994, with the registration procedure operated by the Trade Marks Directorate of the UKIPO. Any company or individual of any nationality can apply for registration in the UK. Registration in the UK only gives protection in the UK itself.
In the UK, applicants for trademark registration must submit an official application and pay a filing fee of 200 pounds (170 pounds if you file online) if the goods or services for which registration is sought fall into just one class.
There is an additional fee of 50 pounds for each extra class needed. The Office will examine the application within 2 months of the filing date, and send an examination report to the applicant. This may list earlier marks which might conflict.
Even if there are possible conflicts with any existing registered trademark, the Office publishes details of the application in the online Trade Marks Journal, so if any of the earlier mark owners want to object they can do so provided they do so within the two month period (can be extended to three) following publication. An opposition by the owner of an existing registered trademark can be fast-tracked and take only a few months to resolve. If there is no opposition, the time from start to registration is only a few months.
Once registered the registration remains in force for 10 years from the filing date; this may be extended by paying renewal fees every 10 years, costing 200 pounds if the goods or services fall in just one class plus an extra 50 pounds for each further class. Renewal can be done online, and can be done in the 6 months before the registration expires or up to 6 months afterwards if a late renewal fee is also paid.
Copyright
The 1709 Act of Anne has been succeeded by many further copyright acts over the three centuries since then, and copyright is now governed by the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988, which has been amended several times in detail since then.
The Glowers Review of Intellectual Property in 2006 suggested that Copyright Law needed to be more closely adapted to the development of the Internet, and subsequent changes have covered the position regarding online downloading of audio and audiovisual works. The 1988 Act also provides protection for "unregistered designs", a sort of three-dimensional copyright protection, which can be used to prevent copying of certain designs for up to 11 years from when articles made to that design are first marketed. The term of copyright protection for literary and artistic works is usually the lifetime of the author or originator plus 70 years after his (her) death. The UK has a "Crown Copyright" provision which means that the copyright in works created by government departments or directly under their instruction and control, such as legal provisions and patent specifications, is owned by the Crown.
Different from that of most civil law countries, the copyright law in the UK stipulates that the first owner of copyright in works done for an employer is usually the employer, but in the case of other works made for hire, e.g. under contract, the actual author may be the first owner of the copyright, and if the person commissioning the work wants to own it there must be an assignment in writing.
The current Copyright Act contains provisions for the protection of moral rights.Disputes on collective licensing of copyright are usually referred to the Copyright Tribunal for settlement, which is an independent agency set up in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
 
With respect to copyright, the UK has enacted provisions, following an EU directive, to cover "orphan works," so that such works can be exploited better and more widely.The Copyright law also provides protection for Performers Rights.
 
Regional Arrangements As the UK is a member state of the EU, protection for Trade Marks and Registered Designs may be secured by using the services of the EUIPO (formerly the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market - Trade Marks and Designs) located in Alicante, Spain. Registrations secured via that Office are deemed of equal effect to registrations obtained via the UKIPO.




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