Official news report September 2011

Published: 4 October 2011
By: Tibor Gold

The following report on the latest official news is from the September 2011 issue of the CIPA Journal.

UK legislation

Two new Statutory Instruments have been enacted: The Patents Act 1977 (Amendment) Regulations 2011(SI 2011/2059) and the Patents (Amendment) Rules 2011 (SI 2011/2052), both coming into force on 1 October 2011.

The Amendment Regulations concern online file inspections. They provide for an exception to copyright so that copyright in documents is not infringed when they are made available for online inspection by the IPO under section 118 of the Act. After 1 October 2011, it will be possible to request online inspection through the IPO’s patent document and information service. The IPO’s guidance note may be seen here.

The Amendment Rules are intended to update earlier legislation regarding the time period provisions in Patents Rules, but not to change time periods previously prescribed. It had been realized that the wording of previous rule changes and in the light of established rules of interpretation, resulted in some periods being a day shorter than intended. Corrections have been made to the Rules to ensure that the periods, as interpreted, are as originally intended. Click here for more details. For a full background and explanation, please refer to the item on page 560 of the September CIPA Journal).

New PCT fees
See the panel on page 559 of the September CIPA Journal.

Auxiliary claims
See the panel on page 560 of the September CIPA Journal.


German Order of Merit award for former EPO President Alison Brimelow

On 14 September 2011, Alison Brimelow, who served as President of the EPO for three years from 2007 to 2010 has been awarded the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (Grosses Bundesverdienstkreuz).

In a ceremony in Berlin, the State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Justice, Dr Birgit Grundmann, made particular mention of Alison Brimelow’s pioneer role as the first woman President of the EPO and her achievements in reforming and guiding the EPO through a time of financial crisis, as well as her personal engagement in the life of her adopted city of Munich.

The Order of Merit of the Federal, Republic of Germany was instituted in 1951 by Federal President Theodor Heuss. It is the only honour that may be awarded in all fields of endeavour and is the highest tribute the Federal Republic of Germany can pay to individuals for services to the nation.
Source: click here


OHIM news

Rationalisation of OHIM’s charges for mediation
See notice here.

Mediation service – trade mark and design cases
OHIM is planning to introduce a mediation service as an alternative to proceeding with an appeal to the Boards of Appeal in trade mark and design cases. The service will be available from the end of next month through a team of specially-trained mediators drawn from the OHIM’s staff. To qualify for the new service, an appeal must already have been filed (with payment of the normal appeal fee of €800). If the mediation meetings take place at OHIM’s premises in Alicante there is no further fee to pay.


A Supreme Court decision of general interest from a non-IP field

When is a non-employee so-called really an employee
The Supreme Court has upheld a Court of Appeal decision that car valeters, whose contracts described them as self-employed and contained a substitution clause, were in reality employees. It confirmed that, when determining an individual’s employment status, employment tribunals may disregard terms included in a written agreement where they do not reflect the genuine agreement of the parties. The focus of the tribunal’s enquiry should be on the actual legal obligations of the parties. (Autoclenz Ltd v Belcher and others [2011] UKSC 41). Source: PLC Commercial Law Newsletter.


Domain names – .xxx

As is well-known, the .xxx domain names have been created for the ‘Adult Industry’. For those who may be concerned that their trade marks, company names or domain names may be used in an .xxx domain name, the .xxx Registry established a blocking procedure to allow concerned owners to stop their brand from being registered and prevent anyone else from displaying adult material on domains with that name, within the period of 7 September 2011 to 28 October 2011, for an initial period of ten years.

(Source: Managing Trade Marks)



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