Tuesday 31 October 2023

The REUL (Revocation and Reform) Act 2023 - Third Update

Jane Lambert


The Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill received royal assent on 29 June 2023 and is now law (see Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Act 2023 ("REUL")),   I outlined the bill in Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill on 22 Oct 2022 and tracked its progress in my first and second updates on 6 Dec 2022 and 5 Feb 2023 respectively.

As I said in How Brexit has Changed IP Law on 17 Jan 2022the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 1988 incorporated  Council regulations and general principles of European law into the laws of England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland at 23|:00 from 31 Dec 2020 when EU law ceased to apply directly to the UK.  The incorporated principles entrenched EU legislation and judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union into domestic law necessitating special procedures to depart from them.  REUL abolishes the entrenched status of retained EU Law and much of the implementing legislation.

Clause 1 (1) of the Bill, as introduced, would have revoked all "EU-derived subordinate legislation" and "retained direct EU legislation" on 31 Dec 2023.  "EU-derived subordinate legislation" was essentially secondary legislation made under s.2 (2) of, the European Communities Act 1972.  S.1 (1) of the Act limits the revocation to the legislation listed in Sched 1 of the Acr. Part 1 of that schedule lists subordinate legislation and Part 2 retained direct EU legislation.

In Retained EU law for intellectual property, the Intellectual Property Office has listed legislation which is to be revoked  at the end of this year:

The following statutory instruments will take effect from 1 Jan 2024:
Anyone wishing to discuss this article may call me on 020 7404 5252 during office hours or send me a message through my contact form.

Tuesday 3 October 2023

The Unified Patent Court's First Cases

Author Fileri Licence CC BY-SA 3.0 Deed Source Wik (Wikipedia Commons

The Unified Patent Court opened its doors on 1 June 2023 (see The Unified Patent Court Opens Today 1 June 2023).  There have already been proceedings in both of the Central Divisions of the Court of First Instance in Paris and Munich as well as the local divisions in Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Helsinki, Milan, Munich and The Hague. There have also been hearings.

One of those hearings was in Helsinki where the court was scheduled to hear an application by the claimant for provisional measures and a preliminary objection from the defendant in an action that the Swiss company AIM Sport Vision AG has brought against Supponor Oy of Finland and others on 21 Sept 2023 (see Upcoming hearing at the UPC Local Division Helsinki posted on 12 Sept 2023).  Readers will recall that AIM Sport Vision AG sued Suppronor Oy in London earlier this year alleging infringement of  EP 3 295 663 B1.   I commented on the trial in Patents - AIM Sport Vision v Supponor on 5 Sept 2023.  According to the presiding judge's order of 28 Aug 2023, AIM Sport Vision complains of infringement of the same patent.

Occado and AutoStore were also against each other in London earlier in the year  (see Autostore Technology AS v Ocado Group Plc and others [2023] EWHC 716 (Pat) (30 March 2023).  I discussed the action in Patents - AutoStore Technology AS v Ocado Group Plc on 16 April 2023 in NIPC Law. Proceedings had been issued by Occado against AutoStore in Milan but these appear to have settled (see the minute of order of 11 Sept 2023).

The proceedings that have taken place so far have ranged from applications for orders for the preservation of evidence to directions for the conduct of the litigations.  They have been conducted in Dutch and Italian as well as English, French and German,  Anyone wishing to read those decisions will find them at "Decisions and Orders" on the Unified Patent Court website,

Readers wishing to discuss this topic may call me on +44 (0)20 7494 5252 during normal office hours or message me through my contact page at all other times.

Tuesday 11 July 2023

Trade and Cooperation Agreement Council

Author David Howard Licence CC BY-SA 2.0 Source Wikimedia Commons
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office at 23:00 on 31 Jan 2020


Jane Lambert

Art 7 of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement which I outlined in The Draft EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement: What We Know So Far on 26 Dec 2020 established a Partnership Council comprising representatives of the European Union and the United Kingdom to oversee the attainment of the objectives of this Agreement and any supplementing agreement.  That Council held its second meeting on 24 March 2023 the minutes of which were published on 4 July 2023.

The agenda which was adopted by the Council covered energy, regulation, security, Union programmes and any other business. The topic of most interest to readers was regulation because it concerned intellectual property,  the Retained EI Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill and the Bill of Rights Bill. 

On IP,  Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič (Co-chair of the Council) indicated that continued cooperation between the EU and UK Intellectual Property Offices was important.  He said that he was ready to make contact with the EU IPO to encourage it to cooperate with the UK IPO, in line with the current EU IPO’s practice on cooperation with third counties’ offices, which usually takes place on the basis of memoranda of understanding.

The EU delegation which included Commission officials, officials from the European External Action Service and Delegation of the EU to the UK and representatives of the EU member states as well as Mr Šefčovič expressed concerns as regards the UK’s Retained EU Law (REUL) Bill and the Bill of Rights Bill. They feared that the Retained EU Law Bill could undermine the UK's obligations under the Withdrawal and Trade and Cooperation Agreements in that the legislation could lead to significant regulatory divergence. In respect of the Bill of Rights Bill, the EU representatives said that it raised questions for them in relation to the right to an effective remedy and the binding character of the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights in the UK. The EU representatives requested that UK and EU technical experts meet to discuss the REUL Bill further.  The Rt Hon James Cleverly MP, Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs who led the British delegation tried to reassure the European delegates that the British approach was consistent with its international obligations.  He referred to the UK's high standards across areas such as the environment, workers’ rights, health and safety.

The EU delegation expressed the view that the agreement on the Windsor Framework allowed the parties to deepen cooperation in line with the terms agreed under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement.   UK participation in Horizon Europe, the Euratom Research and Training Programme, Fusion for Energy/ITER, Copernicus and Space Surveillance and Tracking, as of 2023, could now happen swiftly, based on the quick agreement of limited amendments to the draft Protocols. The EU also noted that the UK should not be bound to make financial contributions for 2021 and 2022, ie when it was not associated with those programmes.

The British delegation raised the question of British artists who wished to tour in the EU and vice versa.  They said that they were keen to protect the broader contribution that touring creatives brought to the UK and EU.  The EU delegation replied that this issue had been covered at length in previous occasions. The situation of UK touring artists was the result of the UK leaving the single market, including the free movement of persons, and the customs union.

Although the minutes reveal sharp differences between the parties on such issues as the REUL and Bill of Rights Bills and facilitating touring for British artists the discussions seem to have been a lot less fractious than in previous years.  That is done to the Windsor Framework which Mr  Šefčovič called "a turning point in how both parties work together collaboratively and constructively."

Anyone wishing to discuss this article may call me on +44 (0)20 7404 5252 during UK office hours or send me a message through my contact page.

Saturday 24 June 2023

Rachel Reeves on Brexit

University of Bradford


Jane Lambert

Yesterday a "Creative Economic Conference" took place at the University of Bradford as part of the Bradford Literature Festival.  One of the events was an interview of the Rt Hon Rachel Reeves MP by the economist, Mr Andy Haldane. I attended the interview because Ms Reeves is likely to be the next Chancellor of the Exchequer should the Labour Party win the next general election.  Sadly, it took place at the same time as two other events I would gladly have attended, a Roundtable Discussion on Artificial Intelligence and a Trade Relations Roundtable on Business with India.

In her interview, Ms Reeves described the UK's Trade and Cooperation Agreement as a "botched deal" so I asked her how the Labour Party proposed to improve the deal were it to win the next general election in the short Q&A that followed.  To her credit, the Shadow Chancellor gave me a very straight answer.  She did not promise negotiations to rejoin either the European Union or even the Single Market or Customs Arrangement but she did seek improvements to the Agreement in such areas as veterinary controls, the mutual recognition of professional qualifications and participating in Horizon Europe again.

That was not enough to persuade me to support the Labour Party but it is probably as much as any of the unionist parties in the UK can offer.  Scottish, Northern Irish and probably Welsh nationalists can go further because the Conservative Party is weak in those nations and the prospect of rejoining the EU is part of the case for secession or annexation by the Republic of Ireland.  Until there is a consensus for rejoining the EU in England the remaining member EU member states will not take an application from the UK to rejoin the EU seriously. Such a consensus would require a change of attitude towards the EU on the part of the Conservative Party.  Similar changes of attitude on similarly important issues have occurred in the past but a volte-face on EU membership on less favourable terms than before is not on the cards yet.

Anyone wishing to discuss this article may call me on 020 7404 5252 during office hours or send me a message through my contact form.

Thursday 1 June 2023

The Unified Patent Court opens Today

Standard YouTube Licence 

Jane Lambert

The Unified Patent Court opens its doors today.  It is now possible to apply for a European patent that covers the combined territories of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia and Sweden known as a "unitary patent". Any dispute as to the validity of a unitary patent or whether it has been infringed can be determined by a single tribunal at the Central Division of the Court of First Instance in Paris or Munich or its local or regional divisions in the above contracting states.  Appeals from the judgments of that Court will lie to the Court of Appeal in Luxembourg.

The British government had signed the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court on 19 Feb 2013. Parliament had passed the Intellectual Property Act 2014  to enable the United Kingdom to ratify the Agreement.  On World Intellectual Property Day 2018, the Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP, in his capacity as Foreign Secretary, had actually deposited HM Government's instrument of ratification two years after the brexit referendum (see British Ratification of the UPC Agreement - Possibly the best thing to happen on World Intellectual Property Day 26 April 2018 NIPC News).  London was to host part of the Central Division of the Court of First Instance as well as one of possibly several local divisions for the United Kingdom.

The British government withdrew from the Agreement in 2020  (see Volte-Face on the Unified Patent Court Agreement 29 Feb 2020 NIPC News).  In the 7 years before the UK's withdrawal British lawyers and officials had contributed much to the Unified Patent Court and unitary patent project.  It is possible to detect British influence in similarities with the Civil Procedure Rules in some of the Rules of Procedure of the Unified Patent Court and in the templates or precedents for the orders of the Unified Patent Court.

Even though the UK is no longer participating in the project a single patent covering the territories of the three largest economies of the European Union will interest many British businesses.   As the Court will interpret and apply the European Patent Convention to which this country remains a party, its judgments will be of strong persuasive authority.  Perhaps for the same reason some of the decisions of our courts will be considered and in some cases followed by the Unified Patent Court.  Because of its importance to business owners and lawyers in the UK, I will follow and discuss the Court's judgments and other developments relating to unitary patents.

Anyone wishing to discuss this topic may call me on +44 (0)20 7404 5252 during office hours or send me a message through my contact page,

Sunday 28 May 2023

How much Work is London losing to Continental English Speaking Commercial Courts?


Jane Lambert

In English Speaking Commercial Courts in France, Germany and the Netherlands bid for London's Work which I posted on 4 April 2021, I discussed how the UK's withdrawal from the European Union had been seen as an opportunity for lawyers and judicial authorities in France, the Netherlands and other countries to grab some of London's lucrative, international, commercial litigation work.  The Dutch authorities responded by establishing the Netherlands Commercial Court as an English-speaking commercial in Amsterdam.  In Paris, some of the proceedings before the International Chamber of the Paris Commercial Court and an International Chamber of the Paris Court of Appeal take place in English (see Présentation générale CCIP-CA / The ICCP-CA.  There are also proposals to set up similar English-speaking commercial courts in Belgium, Germany and Switzerland.

This month the Netherlands Commercial Court published a News Update which contained an article entitled Brexit: Europe sees emergence of specialist commercial courts to compete with the UK (Chessa, IBA).  It refers to a short article by Sara Chessa dated 17 March 2023 on the International Bar Association's website. Although the News Update quotes the opinion of Mr Martin Poelman that the Netherlands Commercial Court has very good judges whose judgments are perceived as good and solid and Dries Beljon's view that litigation in that court is quicker and cheaper in that court than elsewhere, Ms Chessa's article does not suggest that the Dutch or French courts are taking much (if any) work away from London.  She notes that between its opening in 2019 and 2022, the Netherlands Commercial Court saw only 16 cases, according to a publication by the Court,   If she was referring to the judgments page of the court's website there have been 16 judgments between opening and 23 April 2023.  Ms Chessa also quotes Nick Vineall KC who denied that London had lost any business at all since Brexit and that if anything the courts and arbitrators are busier than ever.

It is, of course, very early days.   Litigation under the inquisitorial system is obviously cheaper than under a procedure where contestant law firms leave no stone unturned.  Also, exclusion from Lugano will impede the enforcement of judgments of the UK's courts in the EU (see EU Commission rejects the UK's Application to rejoin Lugano 6 May 2021).  As an intellectual property lawyer, I am anxious that the Netherlands Commercial Court is pitching for soft IP work with its factsheet NCC and Intellectual Property.  The court's most recent judgment concerns intellectual property and ownership of data (see Diamedica Therapeutics Inc. v Pharmaceutical Research Associates Group BV NCC 22/018 (C/13/730389) 23 April 2023). From 1 June 2023, the Patents Court and Intellectual Property Enterprise Court face competition from the Unified Patent Court.

Apologists for brexit contend that any loss of business in Europe will be more than made up by increasing business with the rest of the world.  That is yet to be borne out by experience but even if it turns out to be the case for British business as a whole it may not turn out to be so for the legal services sector.   In the EU England and Wales was by far the largest English-speaking common law jurisdiction.   In the wider world, London faces competition from other powerful English-speaking common law courts in the USA, the Commonwealth, the Arabian Gulf and even Kazakhstan.

Anyone wishing to discuss this article may call me on +44 (0)20 7404 5252 during office hours or send me a message through my contact page. 

Friday 10 March 2023

Unified Patent Court Update

Jane Lambert


Much has happened since my last article on the Unified Patent Court ("UPC").  The court will open for business on 1 June 2023 and not on 1 April 2023 as I stated on 22 Oct 2022 to allow users more time to prepare themselves for the strong authentication which will be required to access the court's case management system ("the CMS") and to sign documents (see Adjustment of the timeline – Start of the Sunrise Period on 1 March 2023 on the UPC's website 5 Dec 2022). The new website which I mentioned in my previous article is now up and running at https://www.unified-patent-court.org/en.

The new website displays 

  • photos of the UPC's buildings, 
  • a map of Europe showing the EU member states in blue, member states that have signed the Unified Patent Court Agreement in a darker shade of blue, the states in which the agreement will come into force on 1 June 2023 in dark blue and everywhere else including the UK in grey,
  • information on opt-out, registration as a representative before the UPC and FAQ,
  • the latest news, and
  • important links 
on its home page,

The court's judges whose appointment I mentioned in my previous article have now undergone advanced preparatory training in the UPC's Rules of Procedure (see Launch of the first training for all UPC appointed judges 17 Jan 2023).  Training in the court's internal rules and practice was also given to court staff immediately afterwards (see Update on UPC Training Activities 10 Feb 2023).  Alexander Ramsay, who chaired the committee that handled all the preparatory work, has been appointed the court's first Registrar and Axel Jacobi has been appointed as his deputy (see The Unified Patent Court appoints its first Registrar and Deputy-Registrar  19 Jan 2023).

Germany deposited its instrument of ratification of the UPC Agreement on 17 Feb 2023 nearly 10 years after it had signed it thereby permitting the sunrise period to start on 1 March 2023 (see Germany ratifies the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court  21 Feb 2023).  The sunrise period has now started and holders of European patents can now decide whether they want to opt out of the exclusive jurisdiction of the UPC pursuant to art 83 (3) of the UPC Agreement.   To help them to do so, the court has provided information on filing an opt-out and the following FAQ.

Those who are eligible to practise before the UPC may now apply to be listed as representatives before the court pursuant to art 48 (3) of the UPC agreement.  These include 

  • lawyers authorized to practise before the courts of a Contracting Member State pursuant to art 48 (1) and 
  • European Patent Attorneys who are entitled to act as professional representatives before the European Patent Office pursuant to art 134 of the EPC and who have appropriate qualifications such as a European Patent Litigation Certificate pursuant to art 48 (2).  

Art 2 (c) defines "Contracting Member State" as  "a Member State party to this Agreement".  Rgar would seem to include countries that have signed the UPC Agreement but not yet ratified it such as the Republic of Ireland.  In this regard, readers are reminded that James Bridgeman SC is a member of these chambers

Anyone requiring further information may call me on +44 (0)20 7404 5252 or send me a message through my contact page.

Wednesday 1 March 2023

The Northern Ireland Protocol: The Windsor Framework

Author Maximilian Dorrbecker Licence CC BY-SA 2.5   Source Wikimedia Commons

One of the provisions of the settlement that ended the inter-communal violence in Northern Ireland was that there should be no immigration controls or customs posts between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.  There was no problem in complying with that provision so long as the United Kingdom and the Republic remained members of the European Union. When HM government made clear that the United Kingdom would leave not only the EU but also the single market and customs union there was a risk that the Irish Republic would have to restore border controls in order to maintain the integrity of the European single market. 

There were two ways of preventing that outcome:
  • the whole UK could continue to abide by at least some of the single market rules;  or
  • Northern Ireland could remain in the single market but there would be customs checks between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Mrs May proposed the first course believing that no British Prime Minister would countenance a border between two parts of the United Kingdom but her party failed to support her. Her successor opted for the second which was supported by the party. The option was eventually incorporated into the Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community as the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland.

The difficulties that Mrs May had anticipated quickly occurred.  As I noted in British Proposals for Renegotiating the Northern Ireland Protocol on 29 July 2021:
"Immediately after the end of the implementation or transition period provided by art 126 of the withdrawal agreement, there was disruption in the supply of goods from Britain to Northern Ireland. These led to street protests and calls for the denunciation of the Protocol if not the whole of the withdrawal agreement."
The British government's objections to the Protocol were set out in the position paper, Northern Ireland Protocol: the way forward (CP 502).  The administration of the previous Prime Minister but one introduced legislation into the House of Commons which would have required courts and civil servants to disapply those provisions of the Protocol to which the government objected.  In response, the European Commission indicated that it was prepared to negotiate changes to the Protocol and its application which would meet at least some of the British government's objections while reserving its right to bring non-compliance proceedings should the government continue on its course.

Such negotiations were begun by the administration of the former Prime Minister but one and were continued by his successors. They have resulted in the release of a flurry of documents from the UK and the Commission on 27 Feb 2023 which are referred to collectively as "the Windsor Framework."  Probably the most important of those documents is the Windsor Political Declaration by the European Commission and the Government of the United Kingdom which sets out the understanding of the British government and the Commission to change the operation of the Protocol.  The declaration is not a treaty but a statement of the parties' intentions.   It will have to be implemented by legislation in both the UK and the EU.

One of the other documents released by HM government is  The Windsor Framework: A New Way Forward presented to Parliament by the Prime Minister at the command of the King.  That sets out the British government's explanation and amplification of the Political Declaration and its arguments in favour of it.  The equivalent document from the Commission is a fact sheet which can be downloaded from The Windsor Framework: a new way forward for the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland on the Commission's website.

The Windsor Framework is not a done deal.  Scepticism has been expressed by some politicians in England and Northern Ireland. However, the Labour Party has offered to support the government in passing implementing legislation which should enable it to outvote any opposition from Conservative and Ulster Unionist MPs.

As this is primarily an intellectual property blog I do not propose to chronicle the implementation of the Framework. However. it does mark an improvement in relations between the UK and EU which should facilitate British participation in Horizon Europe.   Such participation should result in inventions in the UK.  This is the most encouraging news that I have been able to report since I set up this publication.   Anyone wishing to discuss this article with me may call me on +44 (0)20 7404 5252 during British office hours or send me a message through my contact form.

Sunday 5 February 2023

REUL Bill Second Update

Author Punch Source Wikimedia Commons


Jane Lambert

I have already discussed this bill in Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill on 26 Oct 2022 and REUL Bill First Update on 6 Dec 2022,  It has now completed its passage through the House of Commons and will proceed to the House of Lords tomorrow.  The latest version of the bill can be read here.

Ahead of its second reading in the Lords, the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee, which considers the policy effects of statutory instruments and other types of secondary legislation, has published Losing Control?: The Implications for Parliament of the retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) BillThe members of the Committee (Baroness Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville, The Earl of Lindsay, Lord De Mauley, Lord Lisvane, Lord German, Lord Powell of Bayswater, Viscount Hanworth, Lord Rowlands. Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, Baroness Watkins of Tavistock and Lord Hutton of Furness) have done so because they believe that the proposed legislation is an extreme example of a skeleton bill which would lead to a significant shift of power from Parliament to ministers.  

As their mandate is to scrutinize secondary legislation it is unusual for the Committee to report on primary legislation.  They explain that they have taken that exceptional step because they have power to consider “general matters relating to the effective scrutiny of secondary legislation” which this bill is likely to affect.

Their concern with the sunset clauses is that important legislation may disappear inadvertently from the statute book. They fear that ministers and their officials may simply overlook important provisions.  They add that there is no machinery for MPs to intervene on behalf of concerned constituents.  As to the proposed power of ministers to amend EU regulations and directives by statutory instrument, they call for an amendment of the bill to enable Parliament as a whole to amend important legislative instruments.  They call for explanatory memoranda to be produced on every piece of legislation likely to lapse or be modified.

The Bar Council, which had previously briefed peers on the bill, welcomes the Committee's report. In his press release Retained EU Law Bill will damage UK’s reputation, says Bar Council of 3 Feb 2023  the Chair of the Bar warned that "the bill in its present form, will damage the UK’s reputation for regulatory stability, predictability, and competence on which growth-promoting investment in critical sectors of our economy depends."

Anyone wishing to discuss this article may call me on +44 (0)20 7404 5252 during office hours or send me a message through my contact form.

Saturday 4 February 2023

IP in Canada

Author John Picken Licence CC BY 2.0 Source Wikimedia Commons

On 30 Jan 2023, I discussed the Intellectual Property Office's guidance on  IP in New Zealand  (see IP in New Zealand).  The IPO has published similar guidance entitled IP in Canada Like the New Zealand guidance, it covers trade marks, patents, designs, copyrights and enforcement.  It has links to the Department for International Trade's Exporting Guide to Canada and Report a Trade Barrier pages, the British Canadian Chamber of Trade and Commerce and the UK's IP attaché for North America at the British embassy in Washington DC.

The guidance states that the intellectual property authority for Canada is the Canadian Intellectual Property Office ("CIPO").   According to its home page, CIPO is a special operating agency of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada which delivers intellectual property services in Canada and educates Canadians on how to use IP more effectively.  Its services include examining applications for patents, trade marks and industrial designs and the registration of copyrights and integrated circuit topographies. Its education, tools and resources include information on green technology. managing IP, data and research, an IP academy, an IP hub, an IP toolbox, events, webinars and seminars, a newsletter and other publications.  CIPO also publishes several blogs.

It would appear from the guidance that Canadian trade mark, patent, industrial designs and copyright laws are similar to ours.  The main differences seem to be a grace period for patents and a registration system for copyrights,  Applications for patents, trade marks and designs can be made directly to CIPO or through international conventions.

Infringement actions can be brought in the civil courts although the guidance warns that litigation is expensive and time-consuming.   Arbitration, mediation and expert determination are also available,  Information on enforcement can be obtained from the IPHub Enforcement/Infringement.  The Canadian Border Services Agency can intercept and detain counterfeit goods or pirate copies of copyright works.

Anyone wishing to discuss this topic further should call me at +44 (0)20 7404 5252 during office hours or send me a message through my contact form at other times.

Monday 30 January 2023

IP in New Zealand

Author Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust Licence Public Domain


Jane Lambert

On 19 Dec 2022, the Intellectual Property Office published Guidance on IP in New Zealand.  The Guidance covers trade marks, patents, designs, copyrights and enforcement.  It has links to the Department for International Trade to report trade barriers and the British New Zealand Business Association for advice on doing business in New Zealand.

The Guidance introduces readers to the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand ("IPONZ") which registers patents, trade marks, designs, plant varieties and geographical indications.  It also offers guidance on copyrights, trade secrets, domain names and company names.  Applications for NZ patents, trade marks or designs can be made directly to IPONZ  or through international conventions.   Important differences appear to be grace periods for patents and designs, the requirement of an address for service in Australia or New Zealand and a 50-year copyright term.

IP owners can bring infringement proceedings through the civil courts though there is a warning in the Guidance that "this can often be very time consuming and expensive."  Alternative dispute resolution procedures such as mediation, arbitration and expert determination are said to be available.  There are also customs procedures to prevent the importation of infringing articles and criminal penalties for copyright piracy and counterfeiting,  There is a link to a page on IP Enforcement which is maintained by the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

Readers will find more information about this topic on my New Zealand page.  Anyone wishing to discuss this topic may call me on +44 (0)20 7404 5252 during office hours or send me a message through my contact form.

The REUL (Revocation and Reform) Act 2023 - Third Update

Jane Lambert   The Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill  received royal assent on 29 June 2023 and is now law (see Retained EU Law (...