The world of IP

The world of IP is rapidly changing.  Nowadays we live in an IP driven economy. This section headlines particular items which we believe merit your attention, news items not only from the United Kingdom but from jurisdictions worldwide.  For a more in-depth analyis of some of these items, please click on the Hot Topics section of the site. And, of course, please contact us if there is any matter on which you would like our view or analysis!



IP News


Hearts FC Investigate Copyright Breach...

20 August 2014


The Scottish football club Heart of Midlothian (""Hearts"") has accused supporters at a recent game of breaching copyright.
Many supporters paraded pro-independence banners at the game against Edinburgh rivals Hibernian ("Hibs")on Sunday 18 August. The blue banners displayed the word 'YES' with the club's official crest in place of the letter 'E'. Hearts said that it was aware that pro-independence campaigners located outside the stadium before the game were holding banners and distributing literature, but that the use of the official club crest was done without their consent.

Hearts are investigating the use of their official club crest as a breach of copyright and maintain that the matter has no political basis.

The referendum for Scottish independence will be held on September 18th this year.

For any questions on trademarks and sports rights, please contact Jane Nelson (jan@udl.co.uk







UK Intellectual Property Office Beats "Fake Patent Offices"...

28 August 2014


The United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has succeeded in a claim against two organisations 'posing' as themselves.

The two organisations, namely 'Patent and Trade Mark Office' and 'Patent and Trade Mark Organisation' had been issuing official-looking renewal notices to UK patent and trade mark holders and requesting payment. As a result, many customers have been deceived into paying excessive amounts of money to these 'fake' patent offices.

In May this year the UK IPO filed a claim for passing off at the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court against the two organisations. 'Passing off' is the law of unfair competition in which one party passes off another party's goods or services as those of their own. In a statement, the UK IPO said: ""we felt it was necessary to take appropriate action given the evidence that our customers are being misled or confused and that damage is being caused to the office's good name.""

The 'Patent and Trade Mark Office' and 'Patent and Trade Mark Organisation' both admitted to the claim and agreed to settle. Part of the settlement included a substantial payment to the IPO which will cover some of the associated legal costs.

The two organisations have also agreed to be bound by an Order of the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court prohibiting them from further acts of passing off. This means that if they pass themselves off again as the IPO, they will be in contempt of court and liable to imprisonment.

The UK IPO has indicated that further proceedings are currently pending against another 'fake' patent office organisation that is engaged in similar practices.

As always, we urge our clients to be vigilant of requests from "fake" patent office and patent and trade mark registers and to always seek advice from your UDL contact before making a payment.    

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