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Shhhh… don’t mention the patent

When people think of intellectual property protection often the first thing that pops into their mind is a patent (and then the question of how it’s pronounced). But patents can be hard to come by, with a very high bar for what’s considered to be an “inventive step” and often fairly substantial legal fees to get the thing drafted. However, what a lot of people fail to realise is that secrecy is the key to…
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Movie projector - patents

Should I patent my invention?

Some handy hints for Tech Start-Ups and others. The great writer Charles Dickens covered almost every aspect of life including the patent process in his reprinted piece ‘A Poor Man’s Tale of a Patent’. In this short story Dickens tells the tale of John who travels from Birmingham to lodge in London and file his patent. After six weeks of unfathomable bureaucracy and cost he writes ‘I was quite worn out both in patience and…
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Can you patent a Santa Claus Detector?

Yes, you can. Well, in the US, anyway. The patent granted protection for a Christmas Stocking, as shown above, which would “signal the arrival of Santa Claus by illuminating externally visible light…having a power source located within…the device”. But would something like this be patentable in the UK? The answer may not be as simple as you think. Firstly, let’s consider what a “patent” actually is and the level of protection it grants to the…
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apple branded products

Apple v. Samsung: a 7-year battle with no real winner

On Wednesday 27th June 2018, the never-ending patent battle between Apple and Samsung finally came to an end. The story begins in 2011 when Apple sued Samsung, alleging the company was infringing iPhone and iPad patents. One year later, the court gave a first ruling in favour of Apple. Although it recognized that several software and hardware features had been taken from Apple products, the amount of damages Samsung would have to pay was not…
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an architect's desk with an L ruler, pen & notebooks

The UK moves towards the unitary patent

On 26 April 2018 (“World IP Day”) the UK’s IP Minister Sam Gyimah announced that the UK has, at long last, ratified the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement. Why does it matter? As we wrote about in a previous blog post, Europe is on the verge of the biggest shake up of the patent landscape in decades. The proposed unitary patent, together with its custom-built court system the Unified Patent Court, will be a brand…
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Perception v reality

What does the CSI Effect and Suits have to do with your knowledge of the law?

In 2006, the CSI Effect was prevalent throughout the criminal courts of America, with jurors questioning forensic evidence through information that had been learned off of the TV show CSI: Crime Scene Investigations. The technical term for the CSI Effect is ‘any of several ways in which the exaggerated portrayal of forensic science on crime television shows influences public perception’. Peter Robson in his essay on ‘The Portrayal of the Corporate Lawyer on TV: the…
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machine gears

Why the Unitary Patent Matters to You: A Beginner’s Guide to the Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court

If you’re the owner of a European Patent (‘EP’) or considering applying for one, but haven’t yet been brave enough to face the prospect of getting to grips with the forthcoming European-wide patent system, then this article is for you. The story thus far on the proposed unitary patent (‘UP’) and its specialised custom-built court system, the Unified Patent Court (‘UPC’) has been decades in the making. This article aims to tell you ‘what-you-need-to-know’ about…
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Are Carlsberg’s new beer patents controversial? Probably …

This year, the European Patent Office (EPO) granted three new patents to Carlsberg (EP2384110, EP2373154 and EP2575433) relating, broadly, to the harvest of kernels from barley plants, the process for brewing and the drinks produced by these methods. European patent law prohibits patents on plant varieties and breeding; however, notwithstanding these prohibitions, the patents have been granted by the EPO. The European Commission has stated that plants and animals resulting from essentially biological breeding should…
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pen & notebook

UKIPO says “don’t panic” following Brexit referendum results

While IP legal practitioners were clambering over one another to give their own view of what a post-Brexit landscape might look like, the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) quietly issued their own statement early last month. While not particularly useful for crystal-ball gazing, the statement is a reminder to IP rights-holders not to panic in the interim while the UK remains a Member State. Trade Marks Just as it is now, UK individuals and businesses…
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About Briffa

Briffa is a firm of leading intellectual property solicitors based in London. We’re creative, transparent and competitively priced — our highly skilled team provides the level of expertise and quick turnaround times you need to ensure your intellectual property and business interests remain protected.

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