Friday, 25 April 2014

Happy World Intellectual Property Day

National Media Museum, Bradford    Source Wikipedia

Jane Lambert

Tomorrow is World Intellectual Property Day. I wish all my readers a happy World Intellectual Property Day.   Folk may think that that is an odd greeting. But is it?  When someone is ill don't you wish him a speedy recovery? What is more likely to accelerate his recovery than the medicine or medical device that may have cost millions to develop.  The fruits of that investment are protected by the patents, trade marks and other rights that prevent competitors from taking advantage of the research and development work known collectively as "intellectual property".   Intellectual property is the glue that holds investment in branding, design, technology and creative works together.  So the greeting "Happy World Intellectual Property Day" is a kind of celebration of the world's advances in science, technology, the arts and literature.

Every year there is a different theme is chosen for World Intellectual Property Day.  This year it is "Movies – A Global Passion".  Film is an area in which we have specialist expertise.   My colleague Thomas Dillon was Assistant General Counsel and Vice President of the Motion Picture Association of America. He is now a member of the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center‘s List of Mediators and Arbitrators and the WIPO Film and Media Panel of Neutrals.

Film making in the UK began in Holmfirth, the small Pennine town near Hudderfield where I happen to live. The company that produced those early films was Bamforth & Co. Ltd. whose films are preserved in the Yorkshire Film Archive.  Here are:

A man in a bearskin was the sort of thing I was expecting in Christopher Wheeldon's Winter Tale on 12 April 2014 but sadly did not get (see "Royal Ballet 'The Winter's Tale'" 14 Apr 2014 Terpsichore). The history of British cinema and TV is preserved wonderfully by the National Media Museum in Bradford (a picture of which appears above).

Films are protected by an array of intellectual property rights at all stages of their development. First, the outline of the plot is likely to be an original, literary work that is protected by copyright. The screenplay is also protected  by copyright as a dramatic work. Similarly, musical copyright is likely to subsist in the score for the soundtrack.  Rights in performances are likely to subsist in each of the actor's performances.  Film copyright is likely to subsist in the film itself including the soundtrack. When the film is released the studio will almost register trade marks in each of the countries where the film is to be distributed.  

The relevant copyright law for the UK is to be found in Part I of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 and rights in performances in Part II.  Corresponding international agreements are arts 9 and 14 of the Agreement of Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, the Berne and Rome Conventions, the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty.

Further Reading
Jane Lambert "World Intellectual Property Day in the Gulf" 22 Apr 2014 
Anon "World IP Day" 25 Apr 2014 IPO

Friday, 4 April 2014

New IP Clinics in Hendon and Bradford

Jane Lambert

Before the economic downturn I used to hold monthly IP clinics in  Barnsley, Bradford, Halifax, Huddersfield, Leeds, Rotherham, York and the Wirral. These were very busy and I used to see between 20 and 30 entrepreneurs, inventors or other creative folk every month. A number of those persons succeeded and they created many new jobs.

Glyde House Bradford
When the downturn came, demand for those clinics disappeared almost overnight.  I do not know whether that was because banks were more reluctant to lend or because fewer people wanted to take the risk of setting up new businesses.  Only one clinic kept going throughout those years and that was the one at the Barnsley Business Innovation Centre on the second Tuesday of every month between 10:00 and 12:00.

Middlesex University
Now that the economy has started to pick up I have decided to revive my Bradford clinic at Glyde House on the third Thursday between 14:00 and 16:00 and launch a new one at Middlesex University Law School in Hendon on the last Tuesday between 12:00 and 14:00.   At each of those centres I give up to 4 consultations in slots of 30 minutes each. Typical questions are "I have thought of this idea for a business but how do I stop people from copying my idea once I start trading?" or "I have received this letter before claim from such and such solicitors. What do I do about it?"

Often I can give a complete answer but sometimes I have to refer the client to some other service which again is usually provided free or for a very small charge. For instance, he or she may need to know whether there have been any similar inventions in which case I may introduce him or her to Ged and Stef at Leeds Business and IP Centre and arrange a prior art search. If the client needs a professional service I may refer him or her to a patent or trade mark attorney, specialist solicitor, product development consultant or other service provider depending on the need.

Consultations are entirely free but must be booked in advance.

If you want to see me in Barnsley Business and Innovation Centre on Tuesday the 8 April (or the second Tuesday of any other month) between 10:00 and 12:00 click here or call George on 020 7404 5252 to make an appointment.

If you want to see me in Glyde House on Thursday the 17 April (or the third Thursday of any other month) between 14:00 and 16:00) click here or call George on 020 7404 5252.

If you want to see me at Middlesex University Law School in Hendon on Tuesday the 29 April 2014 (or the last Tuesday of any other month between 14:00 and 16:00) click here or call George on 0202 7404 5252.

Further Reading

Jane Lambert "Our London IP Clinics" 8 Jan 2014 IP South East
Jane Lambert "IP Clinics with a Difference" 31 Dec 2013 London IP and Tech
Jane Lambert "Accolade for IP Yorkshire in the Flood Report" 15 Jan 2009 IP Yorkshire
Jane Lambert  "Trade Marks: No Names, No Pack Drill but here is a Success Story that shows how the Panel works"  12 Sep 2008 IP Yorks