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IP YORKSHIREipyorks

Protecting and exploiting brands, design, innovation and creativity in Yorkshire and the Humber

Summer 2011


Dear Colleague,

Happy Yorkshire day!

To mark the day I should like to tell you about some of the things that have been happening in business, branding, design, technology and creative industries across Yorkshire and the Humber.  

Bye-Bye Yorkshire Forward! Hello LEP!

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At its meeting in Bradford on 29 June 2010 the Cabinet announced that it intended to abolish Yorkshire Forward and the other regional development agencies ("RDA") and encourage the development of local enterprise partnerships ("LEP") (see "Local Enterprise Partnerships Begin to Take Shape"). The government gave more details in the white paper "A Strategy for Sustainable Growth" which I discussed in "Government''s Strategy on Growth Published at Last".  

LEP in Yorkshire

I have been monitoring those events in our region.  The first two LEP in Yorkshire were the Leeds and Sheffield City Regions (see "News of Yorkshire LEP"). I announced the appointment of the Leeds board members and the formation of the York and North Yorkshire LEP. I reported the NAMTEC Q & A session for Sheffield City Region LEP  and the regional growth fund road show at York on 1 June 2011.  In "Local Enterprise Partnerships: a Great Resource" I commended Lorna Gibbons''s directory of LEP contacts and other information.   

Bye-Bye Business Link Yorkshire! Hello Mentorsme!

The white paper also proposed running down regional business links while keeping its national website and fostering the development of a new mentoring network (see "Son of Business Link: Cable announces new business mentoring network"). 

Business Link Yorkshire has already begun to contract. Many former local advisers from Business Link Yorkshire have set up their own consultancies and I mentioned some of the best in "Life after Business Link: Innovatenow and Baker & Co.". 
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The mentoring network proposed in the white paper appears to be Mentorsme. co.uk which is run by a consortium of clearing banks. These are my first impressions of this new service.

Why we are interested in all of this

Our livelihood depends on helping businesses to secure and exploit their investment in branding, design, technology and new creative works. Like most other professional advisers and indeed many investors we relied on local Business Link advisers to introduce us to the entrepreneurs who need our help. Also, Yorkshire Forward and Business Link Yorkshire funded many of the services we supplied. 

Now that the RDA and local Business Link services are going we have set up our own regional networks of professionals and have developed links with CDFI and business angels.

A good example of how those networks work is set out in "Accolade for IP Yorkshire in the Flood Report". If we can help you, visit our clinics website.

Funding

In "Where are you going to find funding?" and "Introduction to Funding" I set out the options for short and long term funding for start-ups based on new inventions.   For many small businesses CDFI are a good alternative to banks for working capital and angels are a good source of equity investment. At the last count there were no less than 9 CDFI and 2 angel networks in Yorkshire. I wrote about the angel networks in "Angel Investment in Yorkshire" on 12 July 2011. I also reported Connect Yorkshire''s seminar  "Right Funds 4 You" at Hull on 13 April 2011 which discussed grant funding, private equity and angel investment.  

Equity investment usually requires due diligence, shareholders' agreements, assignments and licences of patents and other intellectual property rights, contracts of employment and advice on tax and pensions. I can do much of that work and introduce colleagues from the Bar and other professions who can help with the rest.   

Investors also need our help  (see "What Business Angels and VCs need to know about IP").

TEDx Bradford

TED stands for technology, entertainment and design. It is a forum for the exchange of ideas on those and other topics in 18 minute presentations at conferences in the USA and Europe.  TEDx events are locally organized events using the TED format.  I attended and reported the first TEDx event in Bradford at the Cubby Broccoli cinema in the National Media Museum - "TEDx Bradford - this is where we live."

TEDx Bradford was organized by Imran Ali.   Imran has also brought us OpenCoffee Leeds, which usually meets on the first Tuesday of the month at the NTI at Old Broadcasting House, and Girl Geeks Dinner, which meets from time to time in Leeds.

Bmedia also holds OpenCoffee meetings in Barnsley and Bradford.  If you want to know more about these events call me on 0800 862 0055 or use my contact form.

Branding

How far can a trade mark derived from the white rose of Yorkshire distinguish your goods or services from those of your competitors? And in what circumstances does another Yorkshire business infringe your trade mark or pass his or her goods or services as yours if he or she also uses a sign based on the rose? These were the issues decided by Mr. Justice Arnold in Samuel Smith v Lee.   For answers to some of those questions see my blog post "Beer and Trade Marks - Samuel Smith v Lee".

If you have a question on trade mark registration, licensing or infringement or you require advice or representation before the Intellectual Property Office, OHIM (EU trade marks and designs office), Chancery Division, Patents County Court or some other tribunal, call me on 0800 862 0055 or use my contact form.

Plant Varieties

Talking of roses, did you know that new plant varieties can be protected in the UK and also in the EU? They can be registered at the Plant Variety and Seeds office in England under the Plant Varieties Act 1997 or at the Community Plant Variety Office in France under Regulation 2100/04. I discussed plant protection in a reference to the Huddersfield Choral Society Rose while reviewing their Spring concert. You can learn some law as well as something about the concert in "The Huddersfield Choral Society Rose."

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This picture of the daffodils at Farndale has nothing to do with plant protection or even intellectual property but it has everything to do with our beautiful county.

If you have a question about protecting plant varieties or require advice or representation in a plant breeders'' case in the Patents or Patents County Court or before some other tribunal call me on 0800 862 0055 or use my contact form.

Design Law

A case from this county that shows the limits of unregistered design right protection is Albert Packaging v Nampak.  His Honour Judge Birss QC held that design right subsisted in the claimant's design and that it was probably one of the sources of ideas for the defendant. Yet it did not infringe. Why was that? For the answer, see my article "Design Rights: Albert Packaging v Nampak Packaging & Healthcare".

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Design was the theme of this year''s World Intellectual Property Day.  This is an international event to celebrate the formation of the World Intellectual Property Organization - the UN specialist agency for intellectual property - on 26 April 1974. Normally the UK keeps a low profile in these celebrations but not this year and not in Yorkshire. Leeds and Sheffield central libraries held a special exhibition and we ran morning and afternoon seminars in Leeds and Bradford which were picked up on the WIPO website and Facebook page.   Here is our report on the day.

Finally, the Digital Consortium, one of our longstanding friends in the Yorkshire design community threw a party. Lots of luscious dresses and even more luscious cakes. I blogged about it all in "Cascading Cakes and Style Sheets".

Graphic designers and their clients will find some useful tips in my article "Choosing a Logo". If you have any queries about design registration, design right, registered or unregistered Community designs or require representation before the Intellectual Property Office, OHIM, Patents or Patents County Court or some other tribunal call me on 0800 862 0055 or use my contact form.

Inventors

I do a lot of work for inventors. I run the NIPC Inventors Club on Linkedin and keep its blog. I also chair the Leeds and Sheffield Inventors Groups.  Here are some recent presentations:
The Sheffield group meets at Sheffield Central Library on the first Monday of the month and the Leeds group at Leeds Central Library on the third Wednesday,   I have mentioned them in "Inventors'' Resources in Yorkshire and the Humber" here.   

A question  that every inventor should consider is whether he or she needs a patent at all. Inventors, their backers and professional advisers may like to read my article "Do you need to patent your invention?" Often they spend lots of money of patents that are never worked. Here is the "Inventor''s Bargain" with the public.

Often a good confidentiality agreement is all you need.  You certainly need a form like this if you have not yet applied for a patent for your invention.

If you have any issue over patenting, collaboration, licensing or infringement call me on 0899 862 0055 or use my contact form,

IP Enforcement

New rules on intellectual property litigation in the Patents County Court have now made it cheaper and easier for patentees and other intellectual property owners to enforce their rights (see "Chancery District Registry or Patents County Court").   If you want to learn more about the new rules, see the "New Patents County Court Rules".

The Arts

Two important events that we covered were Holmfirth Folk Festival and Lizzie Mary Cullen''s talk to Creative Networks. Here is the artist in front of one of her works:

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Creative Networks meet at Leeds Art College on the last Tuesday of every month. 

If you have found this newsletter useful I should appreciate your bearing us in mind next time you need advice on business transactions or dispute resolution or representation in litigation, arbitration, mediation or negotiation.   Here are the ways you can instruct us and here is some information about our fees.  We look forward to hearing from you,

With best wishes,

Yours ever

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