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Downing IP spheres


We like to share insights into our business and the way that we work. Get to know Emma...

  • May 2024 News

    Why timing is everything

    In a week where the timing of the UK General Election has been much discussed, I thought I would share some thoughts about the importance of timing in the world of patent applications.

    Sometimes people ask me how long it takes to get a patent application in place.  The...

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  • March 2024 News

    Bring us your Egg-citing ideas

    At Downing IP, we are experts in the patent system and routinely help our clients to find out whether their process, design, or new invention can be patented. We then guide them through the process of making that happen.

    For example, we are currently helping a Canadian client to...

    [Read more...]
  • February 2024 News

    The strange inverse myopia of famous brands

    OK, well if that headline doesn’t grab your attention then I don’t know what will!

    I have a theory about the attitudes often displayed by famous brands.  I developed the theory while we were working on behalf of...

    [Read more...]
  • December 2023 News

    Why you absolutely should use us!

    A quick recap

    Last month I wrote about a wrinkle of patent law & procedure which meant that – sometimes – it was best not to use our services but just to keep the idea secret instead.  This month, I have a tale to tell about a recent trade mark...

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  • October 2023 News

    Why you (sometimes) shouldn't use us

    Along came a new prospect

    I had a discussion with a potential new client a few weeks ago.  He was very keen to engage me to draft & file a new patent application around his invention, and to press that application on towards grant.  We had a long chat, and in...

    [Read more...]
  • August 2023 News

    Letters from PicRights and similar companies

    Have you ever had a letter from the firm calling themselves “PicRights”?  They, and a small number of other firms, scour the Internet for unlicensed use of images owned by the photographers and copyright owners who have signed up to their service.  If they find one on your website, they...

    [Read more...]
  • May 2023 News

    Patents - the Royal Connection

    Hello again!  As you’ve almost certainly noticed, we’ve just crowned a new King here in the UK.  That prompted us at a recent business networking event to look at how the Monarchy had influenced our field of business - did you...
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  • April 2023 News

    Register your trade mark

    People often ask me which businesses should think about registering their trade marks.  My usual answer is that you should think about it if you’re trading (or intend to) and have a name (or intend to).  

    We’re currently looking at a difficult case that brings this into sharp...

    [Read more...]
  • January 2023 News

    Cut from a different cloth

    Cut from a different cloth

    This month, we have a note from my colleague Hazel MacLean, who joined us new to the world of intellectual property and has since qualified as a trade...

    [Read more...]
  • November 2022 News

    Trade marks are easy, right?

    Well, we think they are, but other people keep proving us wrong. 

    We usually explain that a trade mark consists of three pieces of information – who is applying, what the mark is, and what the goods and/or services are.  It’s a good idea to give a little careful...

    [Read more...]
  • October 2022 News

    Why you should register your mark today, not tomorrow

    There's a well-known Chinese proverb that says: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.”  It’s true of many things, and trade mark filings is one of them – although I might modify it to say that the best time was 4...

    [Read more...]
  • September 2022 News

    Thank you Ma'am

    We don’t have a flag, but if we did then it would be at half-mast. 

    I’m proud to be a Chartered Patent Attorney, and a Chartered Trade Mark Attorney. Behind that word “Chartered” lies a Royal Charter, granted by Her Majesty to the Chartered Institutes that I’m a member of, and...

    [Read more...]
  • July 2022 News

    Downing's Law of Bad News

    They say there is an economic cycle.  A former Prime Minister of these shores claimed to have put an end to that sort of thing when he was in charge of our economy, but the economies of the world apparently had other ideas.  So the economists still have something they...

    [Read more...]
  • April 2022 News

    10 years - how are we doing? Let me know


    I’m in reflective mode today, because it is nearly ten years since I set up Downing IP.  The anniversary will be on 1 May, which is not long now.  It’s a...

    [Read more...]
  • January 2022 News

    Two reasons why you should use a trade mark attorney…

    I was wondering what to write about this month, and then two independent unrelated moments both shouted out reasons why you really should have a trade mark attorney in place to look after your portfolio.  

    First, there’s the letter (below) from “Stern Young & Partners”, reminding us of...

    [Read more...]
  • December 2021 News

    What's in a name?

    I came across this article in the Washington Post recently, and it got me thinking.  In short, there is an established feminine name ‘Alexa’ ( that has been given to many newborns over the years – peaking at 6,000 American children in the late 2000s.  That means there...

    [Read more...]
  • September 2021 News

    Will the patent system be assimilated?

    There’s an active debate running in patent offices and courts around the world at the moment, as to whether an AI (artificial intelligence) can be named as an inventor on a patent application.  So far, the results have been mixed; South Africa and Australia have said yes, although South African...

    [Read more...]
  • July 2021 News

    Dogfight in the Trade Marks Registry

    The case of the Northern Inuit Society

    It was an obvious choice of what to write about for this newsletter; after...

    [Read more...]
  • May 2021 News

    Mainly About Caterpillar Cakes

    Well hello again, time to gather my thoughts and look back at the last month in IP. There’s only one story I could possibly look at, which is the epic battle that has gripped UK social media for weeks… that of Colin and Cuthbert.

    For my overseas readers, and any UK...

    [Read more...]
  • February 2021 News

    Carry On As Before, and More About Martin

    Carry On As Before

    The end of 2020 saw a breathless push to seal a Brexit agreement between Britain and the EU. This perhaps begs the question, what is the impact of that agreement upon the registration of EU trade marks?

    The answer is...

    [Read more...]
  • December 2020 News

    Christmas Newsletter and Reflections on 2020

    This year has been a little like the Spanish Inquisition. No snazzy red uniforms, sadly, but equally unexpected in its nature. Thinking back to just a year ago (is it really just a year?), who would have thought that the social and economic norms that have been in place our...

    [Read more...]
  • November 2020 News

    Thoughts on Voice Searches and Trade Marks

    Did you know that 40% of all internet-powered searches in the UK and US are now driven by a voice command?

    That means a search via one of the speech-interface devices, whether that’s a mobile phone (“Hey Google” or “Hey Siri”) or through one of the many voice controlled in-home devices...

    [Read more...]
  • June 2020 News

    Brexit offer and Covid-19 inventiveness

    Our Brexit Special Offer

    As you know, the UK will be leaving the EU at the end of the transition period – currently set for 31 December 2020 and with the UK government adamant that they will not be extending the date.  This will affect...

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  • March 2020 News

    Covid-19 Update

    It’s time for my newsletter again… normally I’ll try to find some snippet from the news about IP, ideally with a mildly amusing angle of some sort. There doesn’t seem to be any of that at the moment, though - the news is all about one subject, and not much...

    [Read more...]
  • March 2020 News

    Can you always use your own name?

    It’s one of those accepted “things” about trade mark law that you’re always free to use your own name, and that’s come to prominence this week with the news that the comedian formerly known as Joe Lycett has changed his name to “Hugo Boss”, apparently as a form of...

    [Read more...]
  • January 2020 News

    January 31st and Onwards

    So, it’s the 31st January, and as you all know nothing of any significance is happening today!
    I’m serious, in fact.  Obviously, there is something happening at 11pm tonight - which has been a good while coming and will probably prove to be quite significant in time.  But in...

    [Read more...]
  • December 2019 News

    Bentley Motors and a Christmas Message

    I do love a David versus Goliath confrontation, and we experienced that ourselves at Downing IP when we represented the Monster Pizza Company last year. In another story that hit the news recently, Bentley Motors (the car company you have probably heard of) lost a landmark case against Manchester...

    [Read more...]
  • October 2019 News

    So where should you file your applications?

    A question that we are often asked to help with is the decision on which countries to file applications in.  This is a really important question, because intellectual property rights are territorial and so if you miss a country out then you aren’t covered there.  It’s no use pointing to...

    [Read more...]
  • August 2019 News

    Use of images

    Be you ever so high, the law is still above you!

    We always recommend taking great care and attention when using other persons’ images to illustrate your...

    [Read more...]
  • May 2019 News

    Further Thoughts on Article 13

    In our previous newsletter I outlined some of the changes and potential issues that businesses need to consider in light of the EU’s passing of Article 13. For a catch up please read here.

    Picking up from where we left off, I’d like to explain why you should...

    [Read more...]
  • April 2019 News

    Article 13 and the Enforcement Process

    You may have heard about the EU passing “Article 13” and thereby banning memes? Really? Well, not quite, but near enough.  There’s a lot of noise about that at the moment, some of which is more accurate than others, but it’s a topic that raises an interesting point.  So although...

    [Read more...]
  • March 2019 News

    Brexit and Intellectual Property in the UK and Europe


    Welcome to the latest edition of the Downing IP newsletter.

    As you know, I like to keep you up to date with things that are happening in the UK and Europe around the subject of intellectual...

    [Read more...]
  • January 2019 News

    In the McNews this month

    Welcome to the latest edition of the Downing IP newsletter.

    McDonald's loses a case against Irish fast food company

    Burger chain McDonalds has been involved in a number of legal cases throughout its 70 year history, many of which relate to intellectual property.

    At the time of writing McDonalds has just lost a...

    [Read more...]
  • December 2018 News

    Dragons, a Pioneering Radiotherapy Machine and Christmas Greetings

    Welcome to the latest edition of the Downing IP newsletter.

    The Dragons Understand the Importance of a Trade Mark

    If you’re a fan of the BBC TV series “Dragon’s Den” then you’ll be aware that a “Dragon” is an investor and entrepreneur (usually well known) who has the opportunity to interview a...

    [Read more...]
  • September 2018 News

    A Monsta Intellectual Property Success Story

    This month we thought we would share some news of a recent successful defence of a client’s brand. This is typical of the sort of situation that can arise where a claim is made against your...

    [Read more...]
  • August 2018 News

    Summer Thoughts

    As I write this article the Wimbledon tennis tournament is over, the England Cricket team are deployed in that most British of summer sports (playing against India) and the UK seems to be emerging from a summer heatwave, an event that...

    [Read more...]
  • June 2018 News

    World Cup Fever and FIFA Trade Marks

    We are just about half way through the 2018 FIFA World Cup football tournament. For some this represents a sporting paradise, for others the intensity of the games and the broadcast coverage is enough to turn them into the most ardent escapologists in an effort to avoid the media onslaught...

    [Read more...]
  • May 2018 News

    Three Little Pigs

    Are you sitting comfortably? This is the story of the three little pigs, who decided that they were each going to build… a business!

    The first little pig chose a nice name for his new business. He said that spending money protecting the name was pointless, as the common law gave...

    [Read more...]
  • April 2018 News

    Brexit Update

    Just a brief newsletter this month, but a very important piece of news for owners of trade marks and design registrations – we finally have some news on the arrangements for Brexit!

    Brexit and Trade Marks

    If you recall,...

    [Read more...]
  • March 2018 News

    GDPR - Please let us stay in touch with you

    As you know, we send out our newsletters roughly once a month (or so), and we hope you find them interesting, or useful (or both, ideally!).  We included you on our circulation list because we have your details in our marketing database, perhaps because we have spoken to you at...

    [Read more...]
  • March 2018 News

    Image rights and wrongs

    The use of images on the internet

    I wanted to use this month’s newsletter to highlight a pitfall that a couple of contacts of mine have fallen into recently, and that is the use of images on the internet for social media, blogging, newsletters (ahem) and the like.

    [Read more...]
  • February 2018 News

    The Value of Business Integrity

    January has been a busy month for the team at Downing IP and, as with many businesses, the new year has been a time to reflect upon future hopes and directions. We are very much looking forward to 2018 and are...

    [Read more...]
  • December 2017 News

    Professor Heinz Wolff

    Welcome to the December issue of the Downing IP Newsletter, with our tribute to Professor Heinz Wolff.  I had planned a look back over the year - I was going to cast my mind all the way back to January, when I persuaded an EPO Board of Appeal to finally...

    [Read more...]
  • November 2017 News

    Precision Technology, Rise in Financial Services Trademarks and Is It an Iconic Shape?

    Welcome to the November issue of the Downing IP Newsletter. In this edition we take a look at the new technology that is making waves in Cancer treatment, the rise in trademarks registered by Financial Services Companies and how trademarking a shape is a tricky business.

    MR Linac scans...
    [Read more...]

  • October 2017 News

    A new President, Brexit logic and Downing IP is going paperless

    Welcome to the October issue of the Downing IP Newsletter. In this edition we give you the latest updates from the European Patent Office, review the CIPA congress in London and give you the heads up on the paperless Trademark.

    A new President

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  • September 2017 News

    New home for Downing IP

    Welcome to the September issue of the Downing IP Newsletter. In this edition we talk about the exciting new changes at Downing IP, and take the opportunity to look ahead and see what lies in store for the EPO in the next few years.

    As you may have read...

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  • August 2017 News

    Celebrating five exciting years!

    Welcome to the latest issue of the Downing IP Newsletter. In this edition we celebrate our five years in business. This important milestone has given me the opportunity to reflect on how much has changed since starting the business and how the business has grown.


    [Read more...]
  • June 2017 News

    Patent Trolls get taken down, the innovation of Tencent and time to take a break for Kit Kat?

    Welcome to the June issue of the Downing IP Newsletter. In this edition we see how the courts are dealing with Patent Trolls, take a look at the growth of innovation in China, and take a break with Kit Kat as they hit the court of appeal.


    Patent Trolls

    [Read more...]
  • February 2017 News

    The Proof is in the Patent - Adidas, Twitter and Ford

    Welcome to the February issue of the Downing IP Newsletter. In this issue we look at the power of the patent, as shoe giant Adidas stands the test of time. We review the latest patent from Ford, allowing you to nap comfortably in the car, and see how social media...

    [Read more...]
  • January 2017 News

    Amazon gets tough, Patents, and The Carpenters cash in on Rainy Days and Mondays 

    Welcome to the January issue of the Downing IP Newsletter. In this issue we get to grips with tough measures online giant Amazon are taking to protect against counterfeit goods, explain how to get started with patents and find out why The Carpenters are suing Universal Music Group.


    [Read more...]
  • December 2016 News

    A Christmas Sparkle, Iceland Treats and an update on the UPC

    Welcome to the December issue of the Downing IP Newsletter. In this issue we take a festive look at the latest news, featuring Cartier, Iceland and the latest updates on ratifying the UPC. 

    The luxury brand Cartier will be sparkling a little brighter this Christmas after filing for an injunction...

    [Read more...]
  • November 2016 News

    Rubix Cube, Dunkin Donuts and the low down on Trademark Infringement

    Welcome to the November issue of the Downing IP Newsletter. In this issue we look at the complexity of shape in trademark cases, how the relationship between Dunkin Donuts and Splenda turned sour, and get the low-down on trademark infringement.

    The iconic Rubix cube has hit the news again, and this...

    [Read more...]
  • October 2016 News

    Witches, Wizards and Light Sabers!

    Welcome to the October issue of the Downing IP Newsletter. In this issue we look at the power of the big brands when it comes to trademark lawsuits and why it is also key for local businesses.
    As the dark nights close in, it is time to get ready...

    [Read more...]
  • September 2016 News

    Should've gone to Specsavers

    We take a look at Specsavers, their iconic advertising campaign  ‘Should’ve gone to Specsavers’ has now become a household catchphrase, and Specsavers were keen to protect their asset. On the 18th July, they filed their application with the UK IPO and less than a month later the application had been...

    [Read more...]
  • September 2016 News

    Swatch filed an opposition to the Apple trademark iWatch

    You may have an Apple watch, but did you know that that Swiss giant Swatch filed an opposition to the Apple trademark iWatch in April 2014? After initial reservations, Apple launched the ‘‘Apple Watch’ in 2015. 

    Swatch has been persistent and the battle continued for well over 2 years until this...

    [Read more...]
  • September 2016 News

    Intellectual Property Q&A

    You may be pleased to hear that I have made my debut onto YouTube, and although I felt slightly out of my comfort zone, the team soon relaxed me into my stride. We have a number of short videos on our YouTube channel, so do take a look. 

    The first are...

    [Read more...]
  • August 2016 News

    #Rio2016 & Brexit Absurdity with Tea, Law and Musicals

    Welcome to the August newsletter. In this issue we look at the controversy surrounding the Olympics and the absurd Brexit trademark applications post referendum. 


    The 2016 Rio Olympics has already had a shaky start, banning athletes, unfinished accommodation, and now there is a hashtag trademark controversy. The...

    [Read more...]
  • July 2016 News

    Brexit – so what about intellectual property?

    As you will have noticed, the UK voted to leave the EU. This will have a considerable impact in a range of areas, not least intellectual property. So the good news is that there is only one isolated area of intellectual property...

    [Read more...]
  • June 2016 News

    Brexit facts on trademarks and the 6 figure issue of Jose’s trademark

    Welcome to the June issue of the Downing IP newsletter.

    The EU referendum on the 23rd June is looming and where much of the discussion has been around migrants and the economy;...

    [Read more...]
  • May 2016 News

    Innovative patents from underground to space

    Welcome to the May Newsletter. In this issue we look at benefits of filing patents and how you can be inspired by designs patterns from concepts through to production. While we often focus on the serious side...
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  • April 2016 News

    Zeppelin to face the Jury for copyright Infringement

    Welcome to the April Newsletter. In this issue we look at risk and the associated costs of not protecting your intellectual assets, and the steps you can take to protect your creative designs.

    Costly Stairway to Heaven – Opening Riff Lawsuit

    Earlier this month the Guardian reported that Led...

    [Read more...]
  • March 2016 News

    Secure The Rights

    Welcome to the March Newsletter, in this issue we tackle the common problem of overlooking the importance of registering trademarks, and offer top tips for business owners. 
    [Read more...]
  • February 2016 News

    Spring Creativity

    Spring is on its way and it is a great time to get creative and try out new ideas for inventions, brands and designs. In this issue, we give you tips on how to create registerable designs, look at the new proposals around design fees, and why it is so...

    [Read more...]
  • February 2016 News

    Downing IP feature in the Bucks Free Press talking about Trademarks

    Downining IP feature in the Bucks Free Press warning business owners of the importance of registering their Trademark.

    Click here to read the article.

    [Read more...]
  • November 2015 News

    The earliest publication of your competitors technical secrets

    Patent applications give us a glimpse into the future plans of some of the brands that affect our day-to-day lives — both positively and negatively. From a business perspective they can provide us with valuable insight into the innovative thinking of our closest competitors.
    A recent patent application filed...

    [Read more...]
  • September 2015 News

    The importance of registering a trade mark

    We've had an interesting case land on our desk this week, which highlights the importance of registering a mark as soon as a business gets off the ground. It's quite a tricky case, involving a small UK firm and a multinational company and one of its sub-brands. There is no...

    [Read more...]
  • August 2015 News

    Our Tenacious Team and Some Case Studies

    In this newsletter we're going to be bringing you news and insights from intellectual property law, as well as interesting cases and developments happening here at Downing IP.

    About Downing IP

    We are an independent firm which works to protect original ideas and the interests of those who create them. Specialising in patents,...

    [Read more...]
  • July 2015 News

    Welcome to the first edition of the Downing IP Newsletter

    We're going to be bringing you news and insights from intellectual property law, as well as interesting cases and developments happening here at Downing IP. 


    Meet the Team

    Racing driving and cooking, aerial photography and punting – these are just some of the pursuits that keep the team at Downing IP busy...

    [Read more...]
  • July 2015 News

    Welcome to the first edition of the Downing IP Newsletter

    We're going to be bringing you news and insights from intellectual property law, as well as interesting cases and developments happening here at Downing IP. If you know anyone...

    [Read more...]
  • July 2014 News

    Patents Law Firm of the Year - UK

    Downing IP have been awarded the 'Patents Law Firm of the Year' award by Acquisition International Magazine

    Voted for by a worldwide network of professionals, advisers, clients, peers and business insiders, the Acquisition International Magazine Intellectual Property Awards celebrate the individuals and firms who are involved in driving the intellectual property...

    [Read more...]
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