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 that certainly for the immediate future, things will carry on as before. The Brexit legislature states:
"The parties affirm their commitment to applying the international agreements to which they are party."
In other words, Britain and the EU promise to carry on working together as they did before.
Please do talk to me if you have any questions about registering trade marks in both the UK and the EU as I am about to announce a special offer which offers savings if I prepare both the UK and EU filing. More about that next time.
Our roving reporter has been out amongst the staff (in a virtual, socially distanced way) and this month we have asked our Patent Attorney Martin Maclean a few interesting questions...
1. What has been your biggest business challenge to date?
In a previous life I was part of a multi-national defence industry IP team engaged in negotiating a Europe-wide standard IP term provision for defence contracts with a collective of European Defence Ministries. Ultimately the challenge was too great, and the approach came to nothing, but engaging with so many different national defence industries and their defence ministries, understanding the differences in all the separate national approaches to defence contracting, many of which had developed as a result of national developments was complex, intricate and very challenging.
2. What has been your most satisfying legal case?
At a personal level, handling a complaint on behalf of a client against services provided by another patent attorney and seeing the complaint through to a finding against that attorney for providing substandard professional work. On a professional basis, advising a small client in a trade mark dispute, in which the third party who had initiated opposition proceedings on a flimsy basis was eventually forced to settle with the client and drop the opposition. Both are cases in which I felt that the client was much smaller than the other side, was being treated unfairly and deserved support (perhaps I just like underdogs!).
3. Why should inventors talk to you?
Because I have experience of most situations in which a client might need professional assistance, and I can bring that experience to bear in new situations. I also feel that I can talk to lay clients in such a way as to make things clear to them, even when the legal situation is complicated and unfamiliar to them. Plus I get great pleasure from hearing about innovations, from the simple, domestic-type ideas to the most technically complicated developments.
4. What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Treat others as you would like to be treated yourself (even cold callers!). Remember everyone has their own reasons for thinking and behaving as they do, and not everyone comes from the same starting point as yourself.
5. What has been your biggest frustration during the UK lockdown?
Not being able to watch the new Bond movie for 2 years running. Having to deal with a family bereavement whilst socially distancing and without being able comfort family physically.
You can see Martin explain more about what he does in the video that is currently at the top of our website news page.
That's all for now.
Until next time...