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Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property

St Andrews Gowns Won’t Fly South This Winter

A rare decision on the operation of jurisdiction rules between England and Scotland has just been issued by the Court of Session in Edinburgh. In it The University of St Andrews was found to be entitled to pursue proceedings in Scotland against a company alleged to have infringed its trade marks in student gowns. In his written opinion (which can be accessed here), Lord Doherty rejected arguments made by Student Gowns Limited, that the case should be heard in England.

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The Shame Game

Nobody wants to be shamed in public. Especially if the audience includes your client and peers. Yet, this is the risk we run every time we issue a “cease and desist” letter on behalf of a client. The problem seems to arise most commonly when enforcing trade marks but claims of patent and copyright infringement are not without their own risk.

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Shanks v Unilever - A win for inventors in the Supreme Court

Yesterday, the Supreme Court handed down its much anticipated judgment in a long-running legal saga between Unilever and a now former employee called Professor Shanks.  The case concerned Prof. Shanks’ claim for compensation for an invention created by him whilst employed by Unilever.

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Social media advertising is the new normal, but is your brand prepared?

Pauline McCulloch

I hate to admit it, but my favourite shoes, my travel buggy and my dining chairs are all items that I first saw on Instagram. A method of advertising that once provoked little more than an eye roll from me, has now physically manifested itself in my life, reminded me that imaginative style and original ideas are not my USP. But am I the only one to have underestimated this impact of this shift in marketing practices? Is the regulatory framework for advertising insta-ready? 

Advertising through social media is one of the most innovative

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Are you getting the real deal?

Despite recent concerns as to the veracity of some online news content, the Internet remains an invaluable marketing tool for businesses, allowing them to reach customers far from where they are based. However, the rise in the prominence of social media platforms and the exponential growth of their content means that it has become increasingly difficult to keep track of all online posts relating to a business or product. 

With counterfeit goods only a mouse-click away, even social media platforms are now at risk of being flooded.  Instagram

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Wolves bite back in IP enforcement

For many football clubs, the team’s logo will often be one of its most valuable assets, becoming synonymous with the club itself.  It’s the image that’s plastered on everything from football strips to towels, from mugs to bedsheets. Fans wave flags with their team’s logo on match day and children cover their bedroom walls with posters of their favourite players.

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Me, My Selfie and IP

Social media has transformed the marketing landscape – providing the opportunity for brands to reach and interact with millions of potential customers with a single post. Even more transformative is that each and every individual customer with a social media presence is now a potential source of authentic and relatable advertising content. But, where a brand relies on user content for advertising, who owns the content?

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Every iCloud?

What happens to your digital assets when you die? This is probably not the first question that springs to mind when setting up your iCloud account.  However, in an age where more and more people are living their lives on the cloud, how to deal with an individual’s “digital legacy” is becoming an increasingly important – and complicated – issue.

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The fourth thing you need to know about enforcing IPR in Scotland: Cost and timescales

"How much will it cost and how long will it take?" If I had a £1 for every time a client asked me that at the commencement of a court action…

Of course, it is an entirely appropriate and reasonable question, which any sensible client should be asking before embarking on the litigation journey. Whilst you would be able to answer this question with laser precise accuracy in respect of English proceedings with the “benefit" of the Jackson costs budgeting reforms, you may be less clear of the position in Scotland.

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The third thing you need to know about enforcing IPR in Scotland: “Without prejudice” – not an open and closed case

Although almost all IP law is the same in Scotland as it is in the rest of the UK, there are areas of difference in procedure and evidence. An area that often causes some confusion amongst English IP litigators is the operation of the Scottish application of “without prejudice” privilege. No doubt many IP lawyers will send “without prejudice” correspondence across the Border, in both directions, without necessarily giving thought to the differences in the law of evidence between the two jurisdictions.

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