Intellectual Property Group December Newsletter

Author:Mr Alistair Payne

Another very active year in the Inetllectual Property (IP) world is drawing to a close and the range of ongoing initiatives and concerns being raised at a local and European level is unprecedented. On the one hand we see proposals to limit the scope of protection, in terms of the plain packaging proposals in Ireland and the recommendations of the Irish Copyright Review Committee. On the other there are initiatives such as the European proposals for the Protection of Non-Agricultural Indications of Origin, for a Directive on Trade Secrets and the new European Patent and proposed European Patent Court system that will certainly expand, but will also severely complicate the system for IP protection. Meanwhile the ongoing rollout of the new generic top level domain names raises ever new challenges for on-line trade mark protection. The intellectual property regime overall is only becoming more complex. This is as much due to the constant game of catch-up being played out between the speed of technological development and the legislative process, as it is to the huge difficulty of encouraging an informed political debate that focuses on balancing IP policy while implementing effective enforcement measures. This means that industry needs to place ever more emphasis on understanding the system in order to use it to best advantage and as cost effectively as possible. Our brief review below of the current developments in Ireland and Europe aims to bring you up to speed on some of the latest proposals.

The common practice for the scope of protection of black and white marks It had been generally accepted in Ireland that the registration of a trade mark in black and white or greyscale (B&W) would provide protection for that...

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