23 December 2013

Rewind: 13 highlights from 2013

  1. The Unified Patent Court Agreement was signed by EU ministers, paving the way for the implementation of a unitary patent system in Europe.  This will include a Unified Patent Court, part of which will be based in London. Don't hold your breath, however, as the unitary patent is unlikely to be available until 2015 at the earliest.

20 December 2013

16 December 2013

Can EU Keep a (Trade) Secret?

In the UK there is currently no Parliamentary legislation that protects businesses from the unlawful use of their confidential know-how and other commercially valuable information, where such information is not capable of protection by patent or copyright law.  Instead businesses have to rely on judge-made common law that the Courts have developed over time to safeguard such interests.

13 December 2013

Walk the Line - Copyright Protection for Software

To what extent can a software developer lawfully copy the functions of pre-existing software, and what materials can he lawfully use for that purpose? These were the underlying issues in the case of SAS Institute Inc v World Programming Limited, recently decided by the Court of Appeal.

10 December 2013

A Bloggers' Charter

From 1 January 2014 operators of websites will have a new defence for libel claims brought against them in respect of statements posted on their sites by users.  This is good news for anyone who runs a blog or hosts an online forum that includes user-generated content (us included) – but it comes with strings attached.

6 December 2013

Intellectual Property – 5 Challenges Facing Start-Ups

1. Ensuring you don’t infringe others’ IP

A new-born business can be vulnerable to legal claims as it often will not have the means to defend itself.  It will therefore be important at the outset to be aware of the risk that your business will infringe the intellectual property (“IP”) rights of others, in particular their patents, designs, trade marks and/or copyright.  There are various searches that solicitors, trade mark and patent attorneys can commission to assist with this process.

27 November 2013

Q & A: Digital Content and the Draft Consumer Rights Bill

What is “digital content”?

In this context, we’re talking about books, movies, ringtones, games, apps, etc, basically any content for electronic devices supplied in digital form.

What rights do consumers currently have?

Existing consumer rights legislation is a complex web of UK and European legislation supplemented by judge-made “common law”.

The existing law makes a broad distinction between “goods” on the one hand and “services” on the other.

26 November 2013

What is "The Bright Stuff"?

The Bright Stuff is a blog by lawyers, but it's not a blog for lawyers.

Our aim is to keep growing businesses up to date with relevant developments in the law relating to intellectual property, technology and related matters, to engage, to stimulate debate, and - we hope - to entertain!

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