16 July 2019

The Library @ The Lightbox - "Everything you need to know about IP for Small Businesses but did not know what, whom, where or how to ask"

Standard YouTube Licence Jane Lambert

The Library @ The Lightbox is an important resource for entrepreneurs and other innovative and creative people in Barnsley which opened in The Glassworks last Saturday.  Its facilities include a ground floor sharing space for up to 45 people with a large 86” Tango screen.

I have been invited to give a talk in that sharing space on Monday, 22 July 2019 between 17:30 and 18:30.  The title of my talk will be "Everything you need to know about IP for Small Businesses"  It will cover everything a startup or other small business needs to know about protecting its investment in branding, design, technology and creativity.

On branding, I will cover not only registered trade marks and passing off but less obvious protection such as database rights in market research and customer service records which is the basis of a business's goodwill.

On design, I will discuss both decorative design which is protected by design registration and in some cases copyright but also functional design which is covered by unregistered design right and sometimes semiconductor topographies.

On technology, I will mention not only patents but also trade secrets (including the new Directive), unregistered design rights, copyright and database right for programs and data, unregistered design rights and plant varieties.

In relation to creativity, I will talk about copyright and rights in performances.

On enforcement, I will consider litigation options (the Patents Court, Intellectual Property Enterprise Court multitrack and small claims track, the IPO's tribunals. the Chancery Division and County Court) and alternatives to litigation such as ICANN's UDRP and Nominet's DRS for domain name disputes, IPO examiners opinions on the validity or infringement of patents and mediation).

I shall explore funding options such as before and after the event insurance.

I will tell attendees where they can get more information such as the British Library and Leeds and Sheffield Central Library Business and IP Centres. For those who want to consult a specialist lawyer or patent or trade mark attorney, I shall speak about my own pro bono clinics at the Barnsley Business Village and Sheffield Central Library as well as the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys' at Leeds, Sheffield and elsewhere.

This is a must for anyone who owns or contemplates setting up a small business.  The next time I am likely to deliver a similar talk will be in London and the conference organizer charge £645 + VAT for such events. Should anyone wish to discuss this article or any topic mentioned or referred it in it, call me on 020 7404 5252 during office hours or send me a message through my contact form. 

10 July 2019

Small Claims Track IP Litigation in Leeds

Leeds Law Courts
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Jane Lambert

One of the most interesting announcements of the new Intellectual Property Enterprise Court Guide is the decision to appoint from October 2019 district judges to hear small intellectual property claims in Leeds (see The New IPEC Guide 4 July 2019 NIPC News).

The cases that those district judges will be entitled to hear pursuant to CPR 63.27 will be claims for £10,000 or less for the infringement of intellectual property rights other than patentsregistered and registered Community designssemiconductor topographies and plant varieties. In Small IP ClaimsI gave examples of cases that might be suitable for the small claims track and of others that would not.  The claimant must ask for the claim to be allocated to the small claims track in its particulars of claim and no objection should be raised by the defendant.   However, even if a case falls within the jurisdiction of the small claims track and the parties want it to stay there, the court may transfer it to the multitrack if it is likely to take more than a day to try or there is a difficult point of law or factual issue to decide.

Proceedings in the small claims track are governed by CPR Part 27 and the Part 27 Practice Direction as modified by CPR 63.27 and CPR 63.28 and paragraph 63.32 of the Part 63 Practice Direction.  Though successful claimants can obtain final injunctions and orders for delivery up of infringing materials as well as damages or accountable profits they cannot claim interim injunctions.  Liability and the amount of any damages or other pecuniary relief to be awarded are decided at the same time.  Directions are given automatically in accordance with Appendix B or of the Part 27 Practice Direction after statements of case are exchanged and although the court has power under CPR 27.6 to hold preliminary hearings these are the exception rather than the rule. There is no provision for disclosure and the costs that may be recovered from an unsuccessful party are limited to court fees, £260 if an injunction is sought and a lawyer has been instructed, travelling expenses and loss of earnings up to £95 per witness and up to £750 in experts' fees.

The new IPEC guide indicates that those wishing to bring an IP case in the small claims track in Leeds should use the electronic filing system.

Anyone wishing to discuss this article or small claims track IP litigation generally should call me on 020 7404 5252 or send me a message through my contact page.