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IP Yorkshire
October 2008
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Dear {First_Name},

Ever since June 1997 we have published newsletters on developments on intellectual property, technology, media, entertainment and competition law to law firms, patent and trade mark attorneys, central and local governments, business support agencies, angels, VCs and other investors, start-ups, SME and other businesses, entrepreneurs, inventors, innovators and creative individuals everywhere.

Because we tried to provide something for everyone our newsletters were very long, expensive to produce and hence not always read.

Better technology and market analysis have allowed us to tailor our publications to suit individual readers. This email has been produced primarily for lawyers practising in Yorkshire and Humberside and we hope that we have got the balance right for you. If not, or if you have anything else to tell us, please let us know by completing the feedback form.

With best wishes

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Jane Lambert
Head of Chambers

"A Little Knowledge is a Dangerous Thing" Peter Prescott QC

Peter Prescott's Judgment in Oxonica v Neuftec

This dispute arose from an ambiguity in a technology licence.

The issue was whether royalties were payable on a product that the licensee had second sourced that arguably fell outside the plain words the licence.

Under the licence, royalties were due on sales of a "Licensed Product", but  "Licensed Product" was defined as "any product, process or use falling within the scope of claims in the Licensed Application or Licensed Patent."

The product that the licensee had second sourced fell within the scope of the claims of the patent application but not those of the granted patent.

The ambiguity appeared to have arisen because the draftsman had not anticipated that that might happen. In the deputy judge's view that was because he or she did not fully understand patent law.

Commenting on the drafting of the agreement, Mr Prescott said:

"The more I read the document, the more I think: 'A little learning is a dangerous thing'. It contains a number of malapropisms: they cause me to believe that the draftsman was not very familiar with patent practice and terminology. It conveys an impression that he was not always clear in his own mind about what he was doing and, when not clear, allowed his word processor to do his thinking for him."

The judge decided the case the case in favour of the licensor by construing "Licensed Products" as meaning "things falling within the scope of claims of the Licensed Application or Licensed Patent as the context may require". Having regard to the context he held that "Licensed Products" referred to products falling within the claims in the application as filed. That definition was wide enough to catch the second sourced product.

For more information see my blog post "The Dangers of Precedents - Oxonica Energy v Neuftec"  which links to Peter Prescott's judgment. 


CPD Training

We still have 3 places for the IP Law Foundation Course at Gumption Centres, Bradford on 2 Oct 2008 between 14:00 and 17:00. We have now received SRA accreditation for the course and can award 2½ hours CPD points. At £25 + VAT, what a bargain. If you want to book, please complete the online booking form or call 0870 990 5081 immediately to secure your place.

Over the next 12 months we shall offer foundation courses in Yorkshire on IPR enforcement and dispute resolution and protecting investment in

  • branding, 
  • functional and decorative design, 
  • technology and 
  • creative works.

We also plan intermediate workshops in the North later in the year on

  • Conducting Pre-Action Negotiations in IP cases covering threats actions, search orders, freezing injunctions and other pre-emptive remedies and the Code of Practice for pre-action conduct in IP disputes;
  • Brand Protection: UK, Community and Madrid trade mark applications, registered and registered Community designs, passing off, geographical indications and domain names; and
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution of IP Disputes: UDRP, Nominet and Czech Court of Arbitration proceedings, advisory UK IP Office opinions on validity and infringement of patents, mediation in the UK IP Office and the WIPO and much more.

Since the UK and other national governments appear to be throwing their weight behind the European Patent Litigation Agreement we are planning a major seminar on the practice and procedure of the court just as soon as it shows signs of becoming a reality.

Contact us on 0870 990 5081  or through our website if you want to register your interest in any of those courses.


IP Clinics

If you have a client who needs advice on any aspect of intellectual property or technology law but he or she does not want, or can't afford, to instruct you to go to patent counsel or research the point yourself you could do worse than book that client on one of our IP clinics.

These are pro bono advice sessions at which clients get up to 30 minutes with me or some other specialist IP lawyer or patent or trade mark attorney. Information about what happens at those clinics appears on our website.

So far, we hold one 2-hour clinic a month at Barnsley, Bradford, Halifax and Huddersfield and you will find details of the October clinics on our IP Yorkshire blog.

We hope shortly to extend the service to other towns in Yorkshire but as I can't cover any more towns personally I shall need some volunteer helpers. Clinics are a good source of work and connections. If you are a specialist IP practitioner and would like to help in your area, please get in touch with me on 0870 990 5081  or through our website.


Inventors' Clubs

Something else you might like to suggest to such a client is to attend a meeting of the Leeds or Sheffield Inventors' Club.

These usually take the form of a talk by a guest speaker and networking with other inventors, investors and professional advisors over tea and biscuits. The Sheffield Club meets on the first Monday of every month at the Sheffield Central Library in Surrey Street between 18:00 and 20:00 and the Leeds Club on the third Wednesday at the Leeds Central Library in Calverley Street between 18:00 and 20:00.

The speaker at Sheffield on 6 October 2008 will be Manish Sethis of the Sethi Expert Group. The title of his talk is "India: To be a Guru know the Mantra!" It will focus on manufacturing outsourcing  for inventors and SME in India.

The speaker at Leeds on 15 October 2008 will be Barbara Greaves of YABA (Yorkshire Association of Business Angels). She will talk about angel investment in start-ups and other SME.

You will also be very welcome at these events.


New Appointments

A new Director-General has been appointed to head the WIPO (the UN agency for intellectual property. He is Australian Francis Gurry who happens to be someone I know. You can read my appreciation in my IP/IT Update blog.

Mr Justice Richard Davis is to take over from Mr Justice Patten as Vice-Chancellor of the County Palatine of Lancaster on Wednesday, 1 October 2008. The Vice-Chancellor is head of the Chancery Division in the North of England and since IP is assigned to the Chancery Division that places him in charge of IP litigation in our region.

Richard Arnold QC of 11 South Square was elevated to the Chancery Division on 11 Sep 2008. As an IP practitioner he will certainly take the IP list and can no doubt expect to be assigned to the Patents Court.

Finally, Peter Holland is the new International Policy Director at the UK Intellectual Property Office


Other Peoples' Events

IP related events taking place this month in Yorkshire that you may want to attend include:

1- 2 Oct Business Yorkshire: Exhibitions and seminars spread over 2 days at Doncaster race course 

6 October 18:45 - 20:00 British Computer Society, West Yorkshire: Talk by Dr. Mark Baldwin, "The Code Breakers, Enigma, Bletchley Park and the Battle of the Atlantic", The Met, King Street, Leeds, LS1 2HQ 

7 Oct 10:00 - 12:00 Open Coffee, Leeds: Networking event - new media and software developers looking for partners and investors, NTI, Old Broadcasting House, 148 Woodhouse Lane, Leeds, LS2 9EN

8 Oct 10:00 - 12:00 Open Coffee, Huddersfield, Networking event - new media and software developers looking for partners and investors, Cafe Ollo, Media Centre 7 Northumberland Street, Huddersfield, HD1 1RL

14 Oct 09:30 - 17:15 MBL Seminars Richard Morgan, "Intellectual Property Rights in Software" (Charge £380 + VAT).

16 Oct 10:00 - 12:00 Open Coffee, Bradford Networking event - new media and software developers looking for partners and investors, Yo Yo Restaurant, Saltaire, Bradford, BD18 3SW

21 Oct 08:30 - 16:30 Medical Innovation Forum Seminars and exhibition. Harrogate International Centre, (Charge £445 + VAT).

If you have any events that you would like us to publish in this newsletter, please call ne on 0870 990 5081 or contact me or through our website


Recent Cases You should Know About

Copyright
Lucasfilm Ltd and Others v Ainsworth and Another [2008] EWHC 1878 (Ch) (31 July 2008) 

Data Protection
Common Services Agency v Scottish Information Commissioner (Scotland)[2008] UKHL 47 (9 July 2008) 

Patents
Oxonica Energy Ltd v Neuftec Ltd[2008] EWHC 2127 (5 Sep 2008)
Conor Medsystems Inc v Angiotech Pharmaceuticals Inc and Others[2008] UKHL 49 (9 July 2008) 

Telecommunications
Vodafone Ltd v Office of Communications[2008] CAT 22 (18 Sep 2008)

Trade Marks 
Case T116/06 Oakley v OHIM [2008] EUECJ T-116/06

US
Egyptian Goddress Inc v Adi Torkiya CAFC 22 Sep 2008

Our mission is to bring high quality intellectual property services within reach of the start-ups, snall businesses and creative and innovative indviduals who often need them most but can usually afford them least. left2.jpg


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