3 April 2017
Four Partner Appointments at J A Kemp

J A Kemp today announced the promotion of three of its associates to the role of partner. 

Jo Roberts and Heidi Aston are both members of the firm’s Biotechnology and Life Sciences Group.  Jo is based in the London office and Heidi in the Cambridge office.  James Main is a member of the firm’s Engineering and IT Group, based in the London office.  

In addition to these internal appointments, the firm today announced the arrival of partner, Isobel Creek.  Isobel will be a member of the firm’s Chemistry and Pharmaceuticals Group, based in the Oxford office.

29 March 2017
UK Triggers Article 50 as Unified Patent Court Prepares to Open In Late 2017

Today the UK Prime Minister invoked Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.  This is expected to lead to the UK’s exit from the European Union (EU) in two years’ time.  After exiting the EU, the UK will remain a member of the European Patent Convention and J A Kemp will continue to represent its clients at the European Patent Office to obtain European patents. 

Preparations are at an advanced stage for the introduction of the Unitary Patent system and the opening of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) in late 2017.  The UK continues to take a leading role in the UPC project.  On 15 March the UPC Preparatory Committee finalised the key documentation required for the provisional application phase.

For more information, please email or call on +44 20 3077 8600 your usual J A Kemp contact or Martin Jackson.

27 March 2017
J A Kemp Sponsoring Future of Swedish and Danish Life Science Conference – 30 March

J A Kemp is sponsoring the Future of Swedish and Danish Life Science Conference in Lund, Sweden on 30 March 2017.  The conference is being held at Medicon Village Science Park in Lund and aims to examine how Sweden and Denmark can become more internationally competitive in life science fields through strong collaboration.

Partners Chris Milton and Ben Mooneapillay will attend the conference.  Chris will speak on the topic of ‘Building an IP position that is attractive to investors and partners – establishing both your own IP and your FTO’.

To view the agenda please click here.

24 March 2017
BioStars Winners Mentored by J A Kemp

Aberdeen-based EuroBiotix (pictured below), a company that supports doctors in treating diseases with helpful bacteria, won the final of the 2017 BioStars accelerator programme.  Oxford-based HyperC, an emerging business focused on compound labelling solutions for preclinical in vivo MRI research and diagnostics, won the Rising Star Award.  Both companies were mentored through the programme by J A Kemp.

There were 40 teams in the programme.  The competition final, hosted by Panacea Innovation, took place on 21 March at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford.  In the course of the evening, each of the finalists made a pitch to the competition judges in a format similar to the BBC’s “Dragon’s Den”.   

J A Kemp mentored 8 of the 40 teams in the programme.  We were delighted to see two of our teams win the top prizes.


23 March 2017
Intellectual Property (Unjustified Threats) Bill Passed by Parliament

The House of Commons passed a Bill yesterday amending provisions relating to unjustified threats to bring proceedings for infringement of patent, trade mark and design rights.  The amended legislation can be enacted into the UK’s national law following royal assent.

Full details of the amended provisions can be found here.  The amendments follow a Law Commission project to simplify and clarify threats provisions and harmonise these across different IP rights.  The law as amended clarifies communications relating to IP rights that will be regarded as actionable unjustified threats of infringement.  It also introduces guidance on permitted communications exempt from threats actions.  The revised threats provisions will be applicable to threats in relation to infringement in the UK of Unitary Patents under the jurisdiction of the planned Unified Patents Court.

If you have any queries in relation to actions that can be taken when an IP right is suspected to have been infringed, please feel free to contact us.

13 March 2017
Germany Progresses Towards UPC Ratification

Shortly after 1.30 in the morning of Friday 10 March, the German Bundestag unanimously passed, without amendment, a first Bill which enables Germany to ratify the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) and a second Bill which authorises ratification of the UPC Agreement.  This is a further key step in bringing the UPC into effect.  The next stage is for the Bills to be approved by the Bundesrat.

10 March 2017
EPO to Provide Opinions on Patentability with Partial Search Reports

The EPO has announced that, from 1 April 2017, it will issue an opinion on patentability even in cases where a partial search report is drawn up.  At present, if the EPO identifies that the claims cover more than one invention, then it issues a partial search report covering the invention mentioned first in the claims and invites the applicant to pay additional search fee(s) to get the other invention(s) searched.  This partial search report is not accompanied by an opinion on patentability.  After the deadline for paying additional search fees has passed, the EPO issues a final search report, which covers all inventions for which search fees have been paid and which is accompanied by an opinion on patentability for each of those inventions.

From 1 April 2017, the EPO has announced that it will now issue an opinion on patentability for the invention mentioned first in the claims with the partial search report.  This change will apply to both (a) European patent applications on which a search report is to be drawn up, and (b) International applications where the EPO is the International Searching Authority.  The procedure will not otherwise change, in that the partial search report will still be accompanied by an invitation to pay additional search fees and a final search report will subsequently be issued covering all inventions for which search fees have been paid.

This is a welcome development, because it means that the applicant will have more information as to how the EPO views the patent application when deciding whether or not to pay additional search fees.  Further information on the changes can be found here

14 February 2017
Italy Ratifies UPC Agreement

On 10 February 2017, Italy became the twelfth Member State to deposit its ratification of the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA).  Ratification by Italy means that a further key European market will be covered by the UPC system.

At this stage, ratification by Italy is not an essential step in bringing the UPCA into effect.  The remaining States which must ratify the Agreement before the UPC can become operational are the UK and Germany.  The UPCA will come into effect on the first day of the fourth month after ratification by those two states.

As mentioned here, Slovenia and Lithuania are also expected to ratify the UPCA in the near future, further expanding the geographical scope of the UPC system. 

9 February 2017
UPC Still on Track

There have been several recent developments which indicate that the UPC is still on track to become operational within the timeframe set out by the UPC Preparatory Committee here.  

The intention is that the UPC will start accepting cases in December 2017 with a sunrise provision (during which opt-outs may start to be filed) starting in September 2017.  At present, Germany and the UK are the remaining Participating States which must ratify the UPC agreement before the agreement can come into effect. 

Arrangements for proceeding with ratification of the UPC Agreement by Germany have recently progressed with draft legislation to be presented to the German Bundestag for a 13 to 15 February sitting.  Germany is likely to delay ratification of the UPC until after the UK has ratified.      

In the UK, ratification of the UPC agreement could occur in March or April 2017. The Protocol on Privileges and Immunities of the UPC was put before parliament on 20 January 2017.  Once this Protocol has received parliamentary approval and has been ratified, the UK should then proceed to pass the necessary legislation to ratify the UPC Agreement itself. 

The Protocol on Privileges and Immunities sets out the legal standing of the premises, documentation and employees of the courts constituting the UPC.  It will come into force 30 days after the date on which the last of France, Germany, Luxembourg and the UK (those countries hosting a Central Division or Appeal Court of the UPC) deposit their instruments of ratification.  As of 9 February 2017, only the Netherlands has deposited their ratification of the Protocol.  It is expected that other states will follow in the near future. 

As regards the other Participating States, it is expected that Italy, Slovenia and Lithuania will ratify the UPC Agreement in the near future. This would take the number of states participating in the UPC when it opens to at least 16.   

8 February 2017
London Cleantech Cluster Special Interest Group - Managing IP in Cleantech R and D with External Funders and Partners - 8 March 2017

On Wednesday 8 March 2017 J A Kemp is hosting the 11th London Cleantech Cluster IP Special Interest Group at its offices in Holborn.

The session is called “Managing IP in Cleantech R & D with External Funders and Partners”.

Investors look at IP from their own unique perspective and attach great importance to IP protection to reduce the risks associated with the investment. This seminar will examine case studies involving clean technologies, look at the implications of various types of funding and collaboration on IP ownership and highlight potential pitfalls.

Attendees will have the opportunity to ask specific questions about their own IP situation and learn about the fundamental concepts involved in protecting their intellectual property. There will also be refreshments and plenty of time for networking. This event is open to all cleantech businesses and is free to attend.


17.30 - 18.00 - Registration and networking

18.00 - 19.00 - Talk

19.00 - 19.30 - Questions and networking


To register yourself or a colleague for this event, please click here.

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