This Week in Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property is a constantly changing and interesting field to inventors, creators, lawyers and consumers alike. We are in an era where the legislation is continually trying to keep up with the new technology and ideas. Australia, Jeremy Phillips and more this week in intellectual property.

Farewell to Jeremy Phillips

Jeremy Phillips speaking last week

It was a pleasure to attend the JIPLP 10th anniversary conference at Freshfields in London last week, which also saw the retirement of Jeremy Phillips, the teacher, writer and blogger who has contributed enormously to IP over the past 42 years. His final day at work consisted of reporting most of the conference in real time on the JIPLP blog, before giving a farewell lecture in which he urged IP practitioners to reach out to three groups: the financial community, the media and youth. His speech was itself blogged on the IPKat by Neil Wilkof.

Many readers will know that Phillips founded Managing IP in 1990 and even after selling the title to Euromoney in 1991, he played a role as consultant editor and latterly a frequent contributor. Just before he retired, we went for lunch and discussed his varied career, what he plans to do next, how IP has changed in the past 42 years and why ethical behaviour is important. As a tribute, we’ve published a profile of him on the website and temporarily made it freely accessible so that as many people as possible can read it.

New awards for designers

Here’s some news for designers: OHIM, together with the Italian IP office, will be hosting an awards ceremony in Milan a year from now to celebrate the importance of design in the EU.

Anyone who holds a valid registered Community design can enter the DesignEuropa awards and applications can be made from February 1 2016. There will be three categories: industry, small and emerging companies and lifetime achievement.

Given that we’ve had the European Inventor Award for 10 years now, it’s probably about time there was similar recognition for designers. Good luck to all those who enter!

Are reforms brewing in Australia?

Australia flagIP Australia has published its submission to the country’s IP review. The document is well worth reading in full, particularly if you practise or invest in Australia or indeed anywhere that has links with the country.

A couple of points jumped out for me:

(1) The submission speaks favourably of the UK’s Intellectual Property Enterprise Court, with its small claims track, modest damages, costs caps and active case management – is this a sign that Australia may follow suit with its own forum for low-value disputes? (page 20).

(2) Revised patent examination practices and guidelines following the recent controversial Myriad decision will be finalised and published in 2015 (so within the next month). Once they are published, examination of applications claiming isolated gene sequences (which had been put on hold) will resume (page 10).

Inclusiveness and IP

Ip inclusive logA number of us from Managing IP attended the launch of IP Inclusive this week, which is an initiative by the UK IP professions to promote diversity, equality and inclusiveness. We are naturally pleased to support this, and indeed it complements in some ways our own Women in IP initiative. If you are in the UK, we encourage you to consider signing up to the IP Inclusive charter, as many firms and the IPO have already done.

Last week we interviewed CIPA President Andrea Brewster, who is one of the driving forces behind the initiative. As she said, taking these steps is above all the right thing to do, but it also brings benefits: “You are going to get a more innovative community if there is greater diversity.” I have read that USPTO Director Michelle Lee has made similar points.

We’d certainly be interested to hear about, and help promote, any similar projects elsewhere in the world.

Special offer

It’s no longer Black Friday or Cyber Monday (maybe call it Discount Thursday) but we are running a short-term promotion for Managing IP subscriptions: 30% off for one user, or 5 users for the price of 2. More details here.

It’s a good opportunity to remind readers that while this blog, and some other parts of the website, are and will remain open access, much of the really useful and informative content on requires a subscription. Most of the world’s major companies and IP-specialist firms already subscribe, so why not join them? Remember that a subscription gives you not only the paper magazine in the post each month but also access 24/7 to the latest news, analysis and data on the website, the archive of articles going back to 1999 and the newly launched iPhone/iPad app so you can keep reading about IP on the go. What are you waiting for?