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…”. 


MPs Launch inquiry into Carillion’s collapse

Carillion, Britain’s second biggest construction company has gone into Compulsory Liquidation, with the official Receiver appointed Liquidator. Today Parliament’s Pensions and Business Committees announced the launch of a joint inquiry into the company’s demise.
Thousands of smaller firms relied on Carillion’s employment, and the company was involved in several major projects such as the HS2 high-speed rail line, as well as concessions managing various schools and prisons. Besides being the second biggest supplier of maintenance services to Network Rail, it also maintained 50,000 homes for the Ministry of Defence.
The Kier Group, a competitor to Carillion who were also in a joint venture partnership with the troubled company has now taken over Carillion’s work on HS2 and smart motorways traffic management projects. Kier confirmed it is now in a 50/50 joint venture with Eiffage (a French construction company), and that around 200 Carillion employees, including apprentices, have been offered jobs, to ensure work continues smoothly with no disruption to HS2.

5 top tips for vetting your legal adviser

Not a popular topic to tackle.

1. Check for references.

There are many things one could do when looking for a legal adviser. Whether you have invented a new thing and are considering filing a patent application, or you simply need to get an opinion on whether to start legal proceedings, there’s a lot you can do. However, one of the simplest is to check for references. Just pick up the phone and call people who have had work done by the adviser or firm(s) you are considering. Like employee vetting, what the company, solicitor or attorney has done in the past will be a credible indicator of what future work will look like. It helps asking for at least two references. In any case, if you are going to be paying hundreds or a couple of thousand pounds for the work, it makes sense to know a little bit about them. The lawyer should have a track record and experience in undertaking whatever legal issue that you require doing. You should ask questions, although many firms use time billing, so keep these short and to a minimum so that attending to your questions does not take up too much of the lawyer’s time.


AI & IP: the problematic junctions


Unless you have been living in some remote cave the last few years, you must have noticed that there’s been a lot of talk about Artificial Intelligence (AI) lately. That’s not to say that you can’t find a Wi-Fi connection in a cave (It turns out you can), but amongst the hot topics last year, AI surely was up there with the likes of global warming, North Korea and the happenings of the Trump White House.

AI Talent attracts top dollar

2017 happened to be the year in which we learned that Tech companies across Silicon Valley and elsewhere were doling out upwards of US$300,000+ a year for top AI talent and machine learning “experts”, and that the pool of knowledge included University professors who seemingly abandoned their teaching roles for a piece of Silicon Valley. 


Why every brand owner needs to protect their Trade Marks in key markets before launching their business.

The general advice has always been sound – “Apply for trade mark protection if your brand is important to your business”.

Trade Mark Attorneys, Lawyers including Solicitors and legal practitioners alike seem to have repeated this mantra often, and rightly so.

Trade marks are territorial rights and a UK trade mark will neither protect the same mark in the US nor in Germany.  Some businesses tend to forget to revisit their trade mark requirement when they expand from their home market to overseas markets, with devastating consequences.


The Head of the United States Patent and Trade Marks Office Michelle Lee Resigns

Michelle Lee resigned from the US Patent and Trade Marks office (USPTO) on June 6, 2017.

The real reason for her sudden resignation as Director of the remains a mystery. Was she asked to resign? Did she volunteer to resign? As someone who has been in the job for barely two years, her departure leaves a lot of questions unanswered. Was there a scandal that has suddenly come to the fore, which made her position untenable?

This was a lady who had made history by becoming the first woman ever to hold the position of Under Secretary and Director of the USPTO, who is a strong advocate for women and minorities, who had presided over a period of fundamental change in the way that invalid patents were challenged, and one who had the support of many of the Tech giants which dominated much of the US Patents & Trade Marks landscape. So her sudden departure, without warning, after what appeared like a confirmation by the Trump administration barely three months ago is somewhat surprising.