7 November 2014

Long running Google AdWords dispute heads for retrial

This is not just any Google Adwords dispute. This is an Interflora v Marks and Spencer Google Adwords dispute that is now well into its 7th year. 

15 October 2014

Who owns the trading history of a company?

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is the independent regulator responsible for holding UK advertisers accountable for breaches of the relevant advertising codes of practice.

1 September 2014

E-borders: how not to terminate a contract

The Government has delivered an object lesson in how not to terminate an IT contract. Last month the Home Secretary Theresa May wrote a letter to inform Parliament that an arbitration tribunal had ruled against the Government and awarded £224 million to Raytheon Systems Ltd in connection with the disputed termination of the e-Borders programme.

25 June 2014

How mediation can help resolve a technology dispute

Commercial conflict is an unpleasant fact of business life. Previously secure relationships can break down when commercial interests start to diverge. Relationships may end amid mutual recriminations. Competitors may raise claims of intellectual property rights infringement or other unlawful interference with their contractual relations.

9 June 2014

Relax! You can't infringe copyright by browsing the internet

If you're reading this post (or viewing anything online for that matter), you're making on-screen and cached copies in the course of browsing the web. And if you were asked whether you were infringing copyright by making those copies, you would probably laugh (because how could the internet possibly function if that was case?). Nevertheless there has been genuine legal uncertainty over the issue ... until now. 

27 May 2014

The new Intellectual Property Act 2014 criminalises copying of designs

After being trailed in the Queen's Speech last year on 8 May 2013, the Intellectual Property Act has received Royal Assent, and become law, just over a year later on 14 May 2014.

15 May 2014

Wrong to be forgotten? New data protection ruling could leave us all in the dark

While the European Commission, European Parliament and Council prevaricate over the introduction of a new Data Protection Regulation, and a "right to be forgotten" enshrined within it, the Court of Justice of the European Union has marched boldly in and proclaimed that such a right already exists.

14 May 2014

“Right to be Forgotten”: Temple Bright comment on C4 news

Please click here to see our comment on Channel 4 News and website on 13 May 2014.

More comment to follow ...

10 May 2014

Are they having a laugh? Copyright parody and private copying exceptions delayed

Private copying and parody exceptions from UK copyright law that were due to come into effect on 1 June 2014 have been delayed, the government has announced.

23 April 2014

So you’ve registered a patent: now what?

First of all, congratulations!

According to accountancy firm PWC patent applications for computer-related products are at the lowest level in 10 years – so if you are a tech company or entrepreneur that is bucking that trend, you clearly recognise the benefits patent protection can confer.

17 April 2014

Bristol latest: tech funds and terrific people

It’s always useful to catch up on what’s happening in the Bristol tech scene by setting aside time to read around recent developments. There are nuggets out there to learn from and opportunities you might otherwise miss.

7 April 2014

Gripe sites and domain disputes: know the limitations

A recent case brought by the laser eye surgery company Optical Express highlights the limitations of Nominet's Dispute Resolution Service (DRS), which is available for registrants of .uk (and later this year also .wales and .cymru) domain names.

2 April 2014

A vote of confidence for Bristol's technology scene

It's great when your hunches start to be confirmed. 

Recently I've been struck by the extent of tech creativity in the West, and Bristol in particular. The city has emerged as one of the foremost tech hubs in the UK, with a thriving ecosystem that seems bound to attract more attention and investment over the next few years.

13 March 2014

Real Deal or no Real Deal: Can you protect your pitch as confidential information?

It's a familiar concern. You pitch an idea to a client or investor, only to receive a polite rejection: but what's then to stop the same client or investor taking that idea forward with the help of third parties?

3 March 2014

Trunki sunki: registered design setback in Kiddee Case fight

Take a look at this picture. 

The first column depicts three aspects of the Community Registered Design of the Trunki ride-on suitcase for kids.

The 2nd and 3rd columns are photos of a competing product, the Kiddee Case (ladybird and tiger varieties respectively) in equivalent positions.

Does the design of the Kiddee Case produce on the informed user a different overall impression from that produced by the Trunki design?

This was the question the Court of Appeal had to grapple with in the latest instalment of a legal battle to resolve whether the Kiddee Case infringed Trunki's design, or whether it was legitimately satisifying a gap in the market for a discount alternative.

20 February 2014

Why Tech City is the perfect home for an innovative law firm

When Temple Bright decided to open a London office it was natural to head for Tech City. But the company is a law firm rather than a tech firm, so what was the attraction of Shoreditch? Co-founder Tim Summers explains.

First and foremost, it was the lively community of businesses in this part of town that appealed. Shoreditch has a thriving ecosystem of entrepreneurs who are excited by the potential of technology to enhance our lives and disrupt the status quo. We’re a disruptive business ourselves, with a tech-enabled business model which is unusual in commercial law. In the three-and-a-half years since we set up in Bristol, our different profile has led us naturally to work with a client base of innovators in the West – and we wanted to recreate something of that success in London.

17 February 2014

Making your mark: how you can fight big business for your IP and win

Litigation is seldom a level playing field, but this month there have been two heart-warming tales of triumph in the face of adversity.

First up we have Lush, purveyor of bath bombs and other "fresh handmade cosmetics," taking on the might of Amazon to protect its trade mark rights.  

Lush has never made its products available for purchase on Amazon's UK website, a conscious decision motivated by what it perceives as a gap between the ethical and environmental standards of the two companies.

12 February 2014

Bristol’s new home for web innovation

Andrew’s recent Bright Stuff post about Engine Shed, Bristol’s terrific new business facility at Temple Meads, got me thinking some more about the fast developing tech scene in Bristol.

The city’s SETsquared incubator has its home at Engine Shed now, and is a proven tech innovation hub. But alongside SETsquared at Engine Shed is another less familiar operation, WebStart Bristol. (It’s less familiar simply because it’s very new.)

11 February 2014

Flappy Bird: Be careful what you wish for

As you battle floods and/or tube strikes on your way home tonight, spare a thought for Dong Nguyen.  

Mr Dong is the Vietnamese creator of the hit mobile app Flappy Bird, which was - excuse the pun - flying out of iTunes and Android app stores until he removed it last Sunday night.

Mr Dong was reportedly making $50,000 a day from in-game advertising revenue (the app itself was free). He probably still is, given that the millions of people who downloaded the app before it was withdrawn are still able to play the game.  

3 February 2014

What words can you trade mark? King, Candy and the developer uprising

Today is the closing date for Candy Jam: a protest against the trade marking activities of games developer King.com.

King is well-known for the game Candy Crush Saga, but has angered the developer community by registering the word "Candy" as a Community Trade Mark (which protects use of the mark across the whole of the EU) and also applying to register the mark in the US.

Contrary to some reports, it is not the fact that King is seeking trade mark protection for a common word that has provoked the uprising.  After all very many common words are used as trade marks, but not - and this is the important point - for goods or services which they are descriptive of.

28 January 2014

Style and substance: Bristol's new high-tech engine room

This week I was lucky enough to visit the Engine Shed, the new hub for entrepreneurs, business leaders, and academics next to Bristol Temple Meads station which launched last month.

It's a fantastic space.  The Business Lounge blends Brunel's historic original design, including cast iron columns, with contemporary, train carriage-style "innovation pods", modern glass-fronted office space, exposed ventilation ducts, über-hip lighting, a plentiful supply of coffee and even some astroturf.

There's a suite of meeting rooms, a theatre-style seminar space and Digicity hotdesking facilities that can be rented by the day, with access to superfast broadband.

Among the current tenants at the Engine Shed are the Bristol SETsquared Centre, the university accelerator; an incubator, WebStart; Invest in Bristol & Bath, the new dedicated investment service established to attract investment to the region; and the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership.  

The director of both the Bristol SETsquared Centre and the Engine Shed is Nick Sturge.  Drawing inspiration from similar hubs in London and as far afield as San Francisco, Nick plans for the Shed to become a melting-pot of innovation, engendering a culture of collaboration between academics from the SETsquared partner universities and entrepreneurs from the incubators, showcasing the high tech achievements and potential of the region and attracting inward investment. 

It's a compelling vision and a fantastic new business facility for the city.  If you haven't done already, go take a look.

24 January 2014

The 10 Commandments of IP

On Wednesday The Guardian reported that the Diocese of Bath & Wells had tweeted 9 Commandments of Social Media to its followers.  These included such sound advice as "1. Don't rush in", "2. Transient yet permanent" and "7. Stay within the legal framework".

Not to be outdone we at The Bright Stuff thought we would prepare a similar set of guidelines for the use and protection of intellectual property. 

22 January 2014

Saucy! How to spice up an IP debate

The Intellectual Property Bill had its second reading in the House of Commons on Monday, meaning it is that little bit closer to becoming law.

Chief among the headline-grabbing provisions of the Bill, you would think, are the proposals to criminalise the copying of registered designs.  

Some say these provisions would have a chilling effect on innovation (notwithstanding that there is little evidence that similar provisions for other intellectual property rights have such an effect), while others have called for even wider measures to encompass not just registered, but also unregistered design rights (a different class of IP right altogether and one which is more frequently relied on by the majority of UK designers).

However, all of this has largely been overshadowed by the unfortunate comments of one MP during the recent debate. 

17 January 2014

Privacy matters for mobile apps

Has there ever been a piece of legislation that is as badly drafted as the Data Protection Act 1998?  

The core principles are hidden away in schedules, which themselves need to be interpreted in accordance with further schedules.  The terminology, such as "data controllers" and "data processors", is manifestly unintuitive.  And powers of deduction that Sherlock Holmes would be proud of are often required to determine when and how certain exceptions to the Act may apply.

No wonder that the Act is often misunderstood.

15 January 2014

Don't worry, be happy!

What was your New Year resolution?  Stop smoking?  Drink less?  Save more?  Spend more time with the family?

Many of us make the same resolutions every year, displaying what has been called "false hope syndrome", knowing that we are likely to fail and even though we make the same doomed resolution year after year.

8 January 2014

Policing the twittersphere

When journalist Caroline Criado-Perez succeeded in her campaign to keep at least one female historical figure on British banknotes, she can hardly have imagined the storm of vitriol and abuse this would stir up.