Inside IP Spring Summer 2020

Venner Shipley's Intellectual Property Magazine featuring a roundup of the latest cases and developments in IP.

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A word from the editor: Simon Taor

It is hard to do anything other than to mention COVID-19 straight away. In a short time working practices have changed and adapted, but in many ways the IP world is the same. IP offices across the world such as EPO, UKIPO and EUIPO have offered extensions of time, but by and large have remained operational. Although these general extensions provide welcome flexibility, we do not intend to make routine use of these extensions but are committed to file applications, responses and other required documents within their original deadlines.

Venner Shipley shifted almost overnight to complete secure remote working, and personally speaking after a few days of getting used to it (and tweaking my home workstation set up), this felt not a great deal different to working in the office. With all business travel suspended for the time being, we have comprehensive facilities available for both telephone and video conferencing for internal and client meetings as well as with intellectual property authorities, governmental institutions and judicial bodies.

Staying Connected!

With conferences cancelled and travel on hold, staying connected with our clients and contacts virtually is of the upmost importance to us. So be it for a quick chat on an issue you are facing, to discuss new developments in your area/jurisdictions, or just to say hi we would love to hear from you! We also see this as an opportunity for our teams to get to know each other and to update you on interesting developments in the world of IP, as well as to answer any questions you may have in this regard.

This issue has a selection of articles from the world of IP, and like all our work at the moment, was produced remotely.

I am pleased to announce that Venner Shipley has been a pioneer in its use of video conference at the EPO and Gary Whiting took part in the EPO's first ever Board of Appeal hearing by video conference. He writes about his experience. Tim Russell and I discuss changes at the EPO regarding video conferencing. No update from the world of IP is complete at the moment without mentioning the race for finding a vaccine for COVID-19 which my colleagues Anton Hutter and Reuben Friend cover. Femtech, WIPO Green, patenting software as well as an update on the eagerly awaited CRISPR/Cas9 technology case are only some of the other areas we cover, together with an article on patient consent and the GDPR and what this means for clinical trials from our lawyers James Tumbridge and David Pountney.

Last but not least we cover an update on Brexit by James Tumbridge, and our German colleague Ralf Bucher highlights the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection’s decision to amend the German patent law. I hope you find something of interest!

To read further click below:

WIPO Green: connecting technologies with ‘needs’ to provide environmental solutions
Kate McNamara discusses WIPO Green and the role intellectual property plays in providing a sustainable future for our planet.

The future of Femtech
Katherine Dainty explores the rapidly growing industry of Femtech, looking at the new and innovative solutions being developed and how they are helping to empower women.

Does Tesla’s open source patent philosophy mean they are free to use?
Jack Rogan explores Tesla’s unusual patent strategy.

Brexit – don’t give up – read on…
James Tumbridge provides an update on Brexit.

Software dos and don’ts
Gary Whiting offers some top tips for software developers on successfully navigating the IP world.

EPO entering the digital age - Examining Division oral proceedings now by video conference
Simon Taor provides an update on the EPO’s decision to carry out all Examining Division oral proceedings and all examiner interviews by video conference.

Pilot project - oral proceedings  by video conference before Opposition Divisions
As a result of COVID-19, many Opposition Division oral proceedings have been postponed. Here, Tim Russell looks at the EPO's response with details of a pilot project.

Video conference oral proceedings before the Boards of Appeal
Tim Russell explores the latest update regarding Appeal oral proceedings, while Gary Whiting shares his own experiences taking part in the first ever Board of Appeal hearing via video conference.

German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection plans to amend the German patent law
Ralf Bucher highlights the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection’s decision to amend the German patent law.

CRISPR patent appeal dismissed
Matt Handley provides an update on the eagerly awaited CRISPR/Cas9 technology case.

Nike puts the IP in KIPchoge
Could a patent be used to win a marathon? Robert Holbrook examines at how sport is being influenced by technology.

Patient consent and the GDPR: what does it mean for clinical trials and research?
James Tumbridge and David Pountney explore the complex landscape of legal requirements covering ethical and policy guidance involved in clinical research.

The development of lab-on-chip devices
Kathryn Rose and Claire Lightfoot explore the exciting topic of lab-on-chip technology.

COVID-19 and IP
Anton Hutter and Reuben Friend discuss some of the approaches and progress made to date for a COVID-19  vaccine.

100 engineering ideas that have changed the world
We continue our series of articles, where we look at some of the greatest engineering ideas that have had an effect on our everyday lives. The list of 100 engineering ideas was compiled by The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).