25 January 2017

Immediate IP First Aid Nationwide

Field Hospital in First World War
Author National Museum of Health and Medicine
Source Wikipedia
Creative Commons Licence

Jane Lambert

I have been conducting free monthly consultations on IP law in London and the North for the last 10 years or so. I have seen lots of clients in that time and can count a number of successes as a result.

However, that service does have some five limitations.
  1. it requires my presence and I can only be in one place at any one time. 
  2. A month can be a very long time to wait when a  matter is urgent or you are impatient for information. 
  3. I often need to refer clients to another professional such as a patent or trade mark attorney or a product design consultant which results in further delay. 
  4. Many problems can be dealt with by a simple phone or Skype call or email. 
  5. Clients who need to see me sometimes have to travel for miles.

I have therefore decided to improve and extend my IP Clinic in the following way.

Anyone who wants a free IP consultation with me or some other IP professional should call

020 7404 5252

during office hours and ask for an appointment to speak to me by telephone. I am not always available because I may be in court or a meeting but someone will take your name and number and arrange for me to call you back. Tell the person who takes your call that you are calling about my IP clinic.

Alternatively, you can send me a message through my contact form.

I should be able to give you some basic advice there and then and there will be no charge for that service. Should it appear to me that you need to see some other professional I will call at least one member of the relevant profession who practises in your area wherever possible and ask whether he or she would be willing to see you for an initial meeting or talk to you by telephone for up to 30 minutes free of charge. If the answer is "yes" I will pass you on to him or her.

Please note that you can only use this service once. If you want to consult me or any of the other professionals to whom I may refer you again you will have to instruct us in the usual way and that will usually require a fee the amount of which will be negotiated at the time.

In the next few days, I shall launch an IP clinic website which will provide further information including a knowledge base of answers to frequently asked questions.

24 January 2017

"Harnessing the Potential of the UK's Home Grown Inventors" - The Government's Proposed Industrial Strategy

Jane Lambert

Yesterday the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy ("DBEIS") published its green paper Building Our Industrial Strategy which might well have led the news had it not been for the controversy over whether the Prime Minister should have disclosed news of the Trident test failure to the House of Commons before the vote on the renewal of the nuclear deterrent. Today it is likely to be overshadowed by the Supreme Court's judgment in the Art 50 Brexit appeal. It is, however, an important document upon which the public is being consulted and there is a video summarizing its proposals for those who do not wish to plough through its 132 pages.

Very briefly the green paper suggests ways in which the UK could improve productivity and spread prosperity more evenly across the country and throughout society. After stating those aims it suggests 10 policies that it calls "pillars" to achieve them. One of those pillars is "Investing in science, research and innovation" to "become a more innovative economy and do more to commercialise our world leading science base to drive growth across the UK." The document mentions some of the steps that the government is already taking and then lists some new commitments on page 34.

One of those new commitments is to:
"....... seek to harness the potential of the UK’s home-grown inventors and stimulate user led innovation by launching a challenge prize programme. This prize, which will be piloted through the NESTA Challenge Prize Centre, will help inform our support to the ‘everyday entrepreneurs’ operating in companies and at home – such as through supporting enabling environments, incubators and maker spaces." 
If this commitment can be taken at face value and followed through it would be a very welcome development indeed. For far too long Britain's inventors have been ignored and in some instances disparaged but they could be an important contributor to industrial regeneration.

Other countries that have to make their way in the world outside large trading blocs such as Korea and Israel encourage their inventors. The Korea Invention Promotion Association ("KIPA"), which shares an office block in Seoul called the Korea Intellectual Property Service Centre with the Korea Intellectual Property Office, the Korea Intellectual Property Institute, The Technology Transfer Centre and related agencies has a slogan: "One Korean, one invention." If we are to emulate Korea which has a slightly smaller population in an even smaller land area than the UK we have to do the same and with all due respect to NESTA and the DBEIS it will take more than the Challenge Prize Centre.

A bit more action is promised in the next commitment though except for the proposal to station IPO representatives in the Midlands and the North it is very vague:
"We are reviewing how to maximise the incentives created by the Intellectual Property system to stimulate collaborative innovation and licensing opportunities – including considering the opening up of registries to facilitate licensing deals and business to business model agreements to support collaboration. We will place Intellectual Property Office representatives in key UK cities - starting with pilots in the Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine to build local capability to commercialise intellectual property."
Actual progress will probably have to come from inventors and entrepreneurs aided by their professional advisors, but it the commitments appear to signal a change of mood on the part of the government and that's a start

Should anyone wish to discuss this article with me, please call +44 (0)20 7404 5252 during office hours or send me a message through my contact form.