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 first healthy volunteer

One of the most rewarding parts of our job is seeing the progress of technology that can truly benefit individuals. One of our clients, Elekta, has successfully overcome the technical hurdles needed to combine advanced treatment functionality and state-of-the-art imaging capabilities, and in the last few days the first healthy volunteer has been scanned at The Royal Marsden Hospital and Institute of Cancer Research. The new product combines technologies to precisely locate tumors and tailor the shape of x-ray beams to accurately deliver doses of radiation at moving tumours. The CE Mark has been pushed back into early 2018 to ensure optimal testing for the technology, however with 75 orders already being placed for 2019 the MR Linac may revolutionise cancer treatment.

We’ve really enjoyed helping with the patent work on this and its precursors.  Elekta deserve to be proud of what they’ve achieved. Click on the video to find out more about this amazing technology.

Financial Services Trademarks up 35% in 5 years

Britain's booming financial sector has seen a rapid increase in trademarks over the last 5 years. Data collected from the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and analysed by RPC LLP reveals that 2016 was a record breaking year for trademarks with over 4,228 registered, up from 3,141 in 2011.

The treasury indicated earlier this year that the sector was worth £7bn to the UK economy and employs 60,000 people. Interestingly it is one of the sectors that has bounced from the Brexit blip with investment coming back into the sector (£825m so far this year) to promote new products and services.

The increase in trademarks cements the innovation and strength in the sector and has resulted in London becoming the 4th best city in the world for fintech venture capital investment.

The Shape of a Trademark

You may remember back in June we discussed the shape and form of the Kit Kat, which was ruled as having no unique distinctiveness or badge of origin. Fast forward 5 months and the shape of trademarks is back in the news. This time it is the iconic black cab. The benefit of registering a shape can give the barnd owner a perpetual monopoly, and represents a valuable addition to a name.The London Taxi Company had managed to register the shape of the iconic black cab. However when enforcing it against a competitor, it was ruled not distinctive enough to be a trademark. However during the ruling it was suggested that it should be taken to the Supreme Court, so we may not have heard the last of the Black Cab Trademark dispute.

If you have any questions relating to patents or trademarks, or wish to visit us in our new offices, please do get in touch.


Michael Downing.

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