Happy Birthday, Sliced Bread!

This month marks the 90th anniversary of the very first sliced bread patents.

By the late 1920’s the majority of bread baking was done in factories. The result was an incredibly soft bread loaf, which in turn, was incredibly difficult to slice at home with a traditional bread knife, yet factory slicing would result in the bread being stale before it was even sold.

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Osram, Nichia to enter into a new cross-licensing Patent agreement

lighting bulb

Osram Opto Semiconductors GmbH, a subsidiary of Osram GmbH, has announced that it will enter into a new cross-licensing agreement with Japan’s Nichia Corp  (www.nichia.co.jp).

Announcing the collaboration at Light+Building 2018 show in Frankfurt, Germany, Aldo Kamper, CEO of Osram Opto Semiconductors GmbH and Hiroyoshi Ogawa, president of Nichia Corp, agreed that a lot had happened in the industry since 2010, when the companies last signed a licensing agreement.

According to Kamper, Nichia and Osram have collectively spent more than €2.5bn in research and development since 2011 “to further advance LED and laser technology…”. 

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Patents County Court changes name

On 1 October 2013, the Patents County Court, was renamed the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC) and given a specialist listing within the Chancery Division of the High Court.

Originally introduced in 1990 as a court for low value patent disputes, the court has undergone a series of transformative changes following  reforms in 2010, designed to provide a low-cost speedier route  which individuals or businesses can use to enforce their patents.

The following are some of the main benefits of the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC):-

  • Recoverable costs capped at £50,000.
  • A trial hearings time-limit of 1-2 days.
  • Better case management.
  • A cap on damages of £500,000.

Obviously, there will be certain cases too complex for these simplified procedures, and such can still be litigated at the Patents Court division of the High Court. Further cases where the amount sought is greater than £500,000 can still be brought to the Patents court.  However,  the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC) will be a more attractive option for SME’s and individuals keen for an cost-effective, efficient and simplified procedure through which to obtain redress.

For further information, see the Intellectual Property Office and the Ministry of Justice websites.

European Commission opens the way for some Member States to move forward on a unitary patent

After a request for a single European patent by 12 EU member states not too long ago, the European Commission has formally proposed unitary patent protection for these member states.

Michel Barnier, EU Commissioner for Internal Market and Services, said that the purpose was to establish a unitary right for the founding member states with the hope that eventually all member states will show an interest and join the initiative. More

Government announces Tax break on Royalties

The Government has announced a Tax break on royalties from recently commercialized inventions.

The plans were announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne on Monday of a 10% tax on patent income to encourage high-tech businesses to invest in the UK and create high-value jobs.

More details can be found here and here.

Advanced Building Design

Mancunium IP’s clients, Stockport based Advanced Building Design (ABD), designers and manufacturers of patented central heating and plumbing tools who recently appeared on Dragon’s Den have began working with the Manufacturing Advisory Service with the hope of strengthening their marketing and order book skills. More information can be found here.

The inventor’s appeared on the BBC’s Dragon’s Den programme seeking £89,000 for a 15% stake in the business from the multimillionaire investors, to further develop and market their innovative range of inventions, which included unique products to enable builders, plumbers, heating engineers and decorators to easily remove radiators and change taps without too much hassle.

Unfortunately, despite the interest generated by the products, the investors did not make Graham and Phil an offer.

We assisted ABD with in their Patent applications for two of their inventions, including an application for a registered design. ABD have a range of other products in the pipeline and we hope to be of continued valuable service in safeguarding their IP rights.

USPTO addresses backlog

The United States Patent and Trade Marks Office (USPTO) has announced a scheme that is targeted at reducing the reduce the backlog of unexamined patent applications pending before the USPTO. Under the program known as  ” the Project Exchange”, which will take effect with the publication of the Federal Register notice in the coming weeks, any applicant with more than one application, filed prior to the inception of the program, currently pending at the USPTO can receive expedited review of one application in exchange for withdrawing an unexamined application. It is anticipated that this will give applicants with multiple filings greater control over the priority in which their applications are examined and enable priority applications to be examined on an expedited basis.

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