Murgitroyd Blog

Our regular feature blog dedicated to the latest developments in the world of Intellectual Property.

IP Strategy and tactics, why your strategy is likely tactics

It is very common to hear IP professionals talk about providing an IP strategy, but what does that mean and is it really a strategy they are providing or is it a set of tactics? A true strategy is governed by the long term goals of your organisation and sets the path that you need […]

How to plan for design costs?

There are a number of options available for protecting designs, each of which may or may not incur costs. In the UK and Europe, one can obtain registered design rights and unregistered design rights for one or more designs of an item, product, packaging, etc. The details of what can and cannot be considered for […]

Evolution of the IP industry – IP support services

In our series on the evolution of the IP industry, we’ve discussed the role of paralegals, we now turn to other IP professionals who provide IP support services. These professionals work alongside our Attorney team and together they assist our clients in the management of their IP rights portfolio. Intellectual property (IP) support services can […]

Evolution of the IP industry – the role of Paralegals

During recent years intellectual property (IP) firms have been relying ever more on their paralegals, making the most of their legal knowledge and skills.  Using the skills of an experienced paralegal team can be a huge benefit to clients of all sizes, reducing costs and enabling tasks to be completed quickly and efficiently. Some of […]

Accessing Your IP – The Benefits of a Client Portal

As an intellectual property (IP) portfolio grows, keeping abreast of the status and progress of each individual right becomes an ever more significant challenge. Whilst regular updates from your IP service provider regarding the status of your rights can be of great assistance, these updates only provide a snapshot of your portfolio at that point […]

A Data-Driven Approach to Patent Prosecution

Companies have used data analytics to drive many aspects of their patent strategy. Patent landscaping can be used to identify gaps in the market where a new entrant may obtain significant patent protection. Additionally, competitor analysis can highlight increases in patent activity in new sectors and markets, or highlight withdrawals and abandonments indicative of a […]

How can an Innovation Board help your business?

Intellectual property (IP) rights protect intangible assets such as ideas, inventions, brands, and information. Securing your IP rights can provide several advantages including deterring competitors from copying your ideas or products, turning your knowledge or ideas into a tangible asset, and enhancing the market value of your business. However, many businesses fail to tap into […]

Looking to Export? What is the best IP Strategy to adopt?

Bringing your products and services to international markets has never been more accessible than it is today.  This has been largely driven by rapid developments in technology, greater global connectivity, and the boom in popularity of e-commerce.  Accordingly, many businesses seek to capitalise on this opportunity in order to drive growth.  How your IP is […]

Enhancing your brand protection – by design!

If, like thousands of entrepreneurs during the pandemic, you have started your new business or are about to launch a new brand or a new product, then you should make sure your brand name and logo is covered by a registered trade mark. If you’ve already done this you may also wish to consider exploring […]

The Benefits of an IP Policy – Adopting a Consistent IP Strategy

Intellectual property (IP) rights protect intangible assets such as ideas, inventions, brands, and information. Securing your IP rights can provide several advantages including deterring competitors from copying your ideas or products, turning your knowledge or ideas into a tangible asset, and enhancing the market value of your business. However, many businesses fail to tap into […]

How to budget and plan for patent costs?

Patent rights enable companies and individuals to protect the technical features of an invention, preventing competitors from selling a product and/or method incorporating those technical features.  However, whilst patents rights can be of significant commercial benefit, they can also be more challenging to obtain than other Intellectual Property (IP) rights.  In the paragraphs below, we […]

Patent Documents: What’s in a Specification?

Patents and patent applications are complex legal documents defining the protection obtained or sought for an invention.  Whilst these documents are often lengthy and involved, they almost always have a similar structure, including common sections.  Furthermore, each section is included for a specific purpose.  Understanding this common structure and the intentions behind it is a […]

Rights & wrongs of an IP protection acceleration strategy in Europe

How fast can you obtain IP rights? Rights and wrongs of an IP protection acceleration strategy in Europe In this second blog post part of our mini-series on the Rights and wrongs of an IP protection acceleration strategy, we are exploring what options applicants have at their disposal in Europe. The European Patent Office (EPO) […]

Rights & wrongs of an IP protection acceleration strategy in the UK

How fast can you obtain IP rights? Rights and wrongs of an IP protection acceleration strategy in the UK Prosecuting a patent application from filing to grant can be an extended process lasting, in some cases, many years.  A patent application needs to be searched, published and examined before grant, and delays at the UK […]

How Can Patent Search Strategically Support Your Business?

Patent searching can be utilised for many different reasons. The reason will depend on the information sought by a particular individual, SME, or large multi-national company, and also what these entities think they will gain from the information returned by the patent search. However, many businesses are unaware of the benefits of patent searching and […]

Keeping Good Invention Records – Still a Good Idea?

In 2013, the US changed their patent entitlement system from a “first to invent” process to a “first inventor to file” process. This harmonised the US with the rest of the world – if two competitors independently devised similar inventions, post-2013 whoever filed a patent application first gained the monopoly on that invention. Prior to […]

Multidisciplinary Approaches

In this blog post we will discuss the importance of considering the multidisciplinary nature of inventions when seeking patent advice, along with some nuances to patentability for specific subject matter areas, and finally highlighting some of the benefits of having a multidisciplinary team of patent advisors in such cases. What do we mean by “multidisciplinary”? […]

Patent Scoring System for Portfolio Review

Patent Scoring – how to decide on what to protect. A question that start-ups, SMEs and even universities often ask is, “for which of my/our inventions should we pursue patent protection?” The short answer is – it is up to the client how they wish to protect their intellectual property. However, there are things to […]

How to Derive Value from IP? The Patent Box

UK Patent Box – Tax relief on innovation. Introduced in April 2013, the Patent Box is a tax relief designed to encourage companies to retain and commercialise existing Intellectual Property (IP) in the UK.  It allows companies to apply a lower rate of Corporation Tax to profits earned from its patented (and similarly protected) inventions.  […]

Looking to Attract Investment? Don’t Forget About Your IP Rights

How can you use your Intellectual Property rights to attract investment into your business? It is well known that IP rights’ primary function is to protect intangible assets such as ideas, inventions, brands, and information. However, there are additional, less obvious benefits provided by maintaining a portfolio of IP rights. One of these benefits is […]

Your European Patent is Being Opposed – How to Prepare for an Opposition

The grant of a European patent by the European Patent Office (EPO) is a major step in the protection of an invention. However, it is not the final step! A granted European patent may be opposed if a third party launches opposition proceedings within a nine month period starting from the grant date of the […]

Opposing a European Patent? Read our handy checklist

Looking to oppose a European patent? Here is a handy checklist of points to consider. The ongoing monitoring of the activities of competitors at the European Patent Office is very important to be able to take early action. A well planned patent monitoring programme is a cost-effective way of enabling you to review the prosecution […]

Is Someone Using Your Trade Mark or Hashtag on Social Media?

What can you do if someone uses your trade mark or hashtag on social media? More and more of us are using social media. It’s an ideal place for marketers to promote brands, products or services. And, with the growth in influencer marketing, many brand owners are allowing third parties to use their trade marks. […]

Brand Value – Why Online Retailers Acquire IP Rights?

It was reported yesterday that online fashion retailer Boohoo has agreed to buy the Debenhams brand and it is understood that the agreed purchase price is around £55m.  This follows Boohoo’s acquisition in August 2019 of the highly respected UK brands Karen Millen and Coast in an £18.2m agreement. No physical stores or space were […]

How to Mitigate the Risk of IP Collaboration

The Covid-19 pandemic has rallied a concerted and collegiate global effort to develop a cure. Teams of researchers from different enterprises are collaborating to seek solutions through computer simulations, the repurposing of existing drugs, and the development of new vaccines. Many pharmaceutical companies have partnered with academics, using their expertise to accelerate the search for […]

How to Protect Yourself from Online Counterfeits?

This week we are turning our attention to the issue of online counterfeiting. We look at some practical steps your business can take to best protect yourself online. This advice is specifically targeted at online brand protection – for example, preventing third parties from copying or closely resembling your trade mark, logo, design or advertising […]

How to Develop Your Patent Portfolio – from Uni to FTSE

There is nothing more rewarding for a patent attorney than to accompany a single good idea, in my case born within an academic environment, and guide it through a commercial environment and then onto an environment which produces a range of products and technologies. I am fortunate to accompany companies through to initial public offering […]

Launching a New Campaign on Social Media – 7 Intellectual Property Tips

Launching a new campaign on social media? Don’t forget about Intellectual Property! Social media is now part of our every day life with marketing departments regularly launching new campaigns on various channels. To help you, we’ve put together 7 key Intellectual Property tips for anyone considering launching a campaign: Don’t forget to check the basics […]

Information Needed to File a Patent Application

“What information do I need before filing a patent application?” This is a question we get asked on a regular basis and one which is even more important to address now that inventors or research and development teams are likely to be working from home, at a distance from each other or at a time […]

Patenting your Computer Implemented Invention

Under European Patent law – and similarly under national law in many European countries – software (the source code) – can only be protected through copyright. This means that software ‘as such’ is specifically a subject matter area excluded from patent protection. Instead, in order to protect innovations in programs and software, IP case law […]

What are Intellectual Property Audits?

Intellectual Property Audits constitute a key part of the support the Intellectual Property Office and your local Enterprise organisations commit to SMEs in the UK. Other European countries such as France and Italy have their own versions. What are Intellectual Property Audits? These audits, conducted by Intellectual Property attorneys, are the opportunity for SMEs to […]

Marking Products to Highlight Your Patent Rights

Marking your products to highlight any relevant patent rights is an important but often overlooked aspect of IP management. There are many advantages to letting everyone know you have secured, or are seeking, patent rights to your products. It can boost the reputation of your company as an innovative business, it can act as a […]

Intellectual Property Questions – Do You Know The Answers?

We’ve put together a list of some of the most common questions our Attorneys have been asked by businesses that are new to IP. Think you know the answers? 1- “I have disclosed my invention”. What constitutes a disclosure? 2- “We can’t file a patent application yet – we haven’t made a prototype!” True or […]

Defending and Enforcing Your Intellectual Property Rights

Intellectual Property Attorneys are always there to support you at every stage of the life cycle of your IP rights. They’re not only able to secure your IP rights, they can also be actively involved in defending and enforcing them. Defending your IP rights Every year, a small number of patents are opposed by third […]

IP Protection is an Investment – Don’t Lose Sight of its Value!

We are often asked about the overall cost of protecting intellectual property (IP), and why a company should allocate some of their finite funds to seeking IP protection for their products and brands. These questions are most common when the perception is that the company may not have enough funds to defend or enforce its […]

Finding the Right Intellectual Property Adviser For Me

Selecting an IP adviser whether you are an individual inventor, Head of R&D or responsible for the legal side of an SME, can sometimes feel daunting. To assist you with your selection process, we’ve put together a list of key qualities to look for in an IP Attorney. This list was created from our own […]

To Patent or Not to Patent?

There is an inherent tension within businesses, large and small, when it comes to deciding on whether to patent or not to patent their inventions. Obtaining granted patent rights brings well documented advantages. It allows a business a monopoly on their invention of up to 20 years and can be used to lower the amount […]

Launching a New Product? Don’t Forget About Protecting Your IP!

Preparing for the launch of a new product is a busy time in any organisation. It is easy to get caught up in the actual product development, its production, tooling, delivery etc. But where are you in terms of your Intellectual Property! Have you discussed naming, trade marks, the potential for patent protection? To help […]

What are Non-Traditional Marks and Why are They Important?

Words, logos or combinations of both are well-known “marks” for which you can seek Intellectual Property protection in the form of trade marks. But there are other types of lesser known “marks” for which companies could obtain protection. These are often referred to as “non-traditional” marks are and part of the toolbox a Trade Mark […]

Identifying Gaps in Your IP Protection

Once you have embarked on your IP journey, it is critical to regularly review your position to ensure you don’t have any gaps in your protection which could be exploited by your competitors. Reviews can take the form of an IP audit and we would recommend that this is carried out with your IP Attorney. […]

Maximising Your Protection from Design Registration

Design Registration is often overlooked when considering options for IP protection, but it is an invaluable tool for many businesses – especially when wanting to protect a number of variations to a design / product. The registration process differs from patent registration in that the submission is not text based, but instead image focussed. Acceptable […]

Can Your Business Benefit from Design Rights?

Design rights are less known than other Intellectual Property rights – however, they could be vital in protecting your products and benefitting your business. Design Rights allow you to protect the outward appearance of a product. For every day items such as vacuum cleaners or smart phones – the overall shape, the look of individual […]

What Do You Need to Prepare Ahead of Your First Meeting with a Patent Attorney?

You’ve decided to take the first step and seek IP (patent or design) advice in relation to your invention. Preparation is key. It is well worth investing time in gathering key pieces of information ahead of the meeting. Here are some tips to make sure you maximise your time with your IP Professional: Prepare – […]

How to Identify Your Company’s Intellectual Property

It is often the case that there is more IP in your business than you realise. It’s important to take steps to correctly identify and regularly check all the IP within your business, so you can successfully protect your IP and defend your rights. Typical rights your business may have are trade marks (protecting your […]

7 Steps You Can Take to Make Sure You Don’t Copy Someone Else’s IP

Intellectual Property Infringement – How can you make sure you are not copying someone’s Intellectual Property? Making sure you are not copying someone’s Intellectual Property (IP) – that’s their patents, trade marks, designs etc. – is important for businesses who are keen to grow successfully. It helps avoid unnecessary expense in terms of cost and […]

3 Steps to Take If You Think Someone is Copying Your IP

Regularly monitoring the market place, either physically by attending trade shows and visiting your competitors’ exhibition stands, or online by checking the web for products or brands within your market or territory is always useful. Keeping ahead of the competition is key for any business regardless of its size. Copying IP can take many forms. […]

IP Attorney or IP Lawyer/Solicitor?

Who should you speak to first – an IP Attorney or IP Lawyer or Solicitor? The right IP advice is crucial to your business When taking your first foray into the wonderful world of patents, design protection and trade marks, it is important to get in touch with an IP Attorney for IP advice. IP […]

New to Intellectual Property? Where do you start?

If you are new to it, Intellectual Property can sometimes be daunting and confusing. Kevin Toner explains where you should start and how Murgitroyd can help as you embark on your first foray into Patents, Trade Marks, Copyright and Designs! Where do I start with IP? Most specialist IP firms will offer some initial advice […]

Why Do I Need to Protect My Intellectual Property?

The right IP advice is crucial to your business Experience has taught me that a lot of SME’s get anxious when taking their first foray into the wonderful world of patents, design protection, copyright and trade marks. So how can this anxiety be overcome, given that Intellectual Property (IP) rights play such a crucial part […]

How Can I Protect the Intellectual Property of My APP?

Since the launch of the Apple iPhone and the subsequent AppStore in 2008, the use of mainstream mobile apps has grown across the world. So much so that it’s becoming more and more common for companies to create their own APP to give them a direct connection between them and their intended user. But what […]

Certainty in Uncertain Times? Brexit Update on IP

Are you still wondering what will happen to your IP if there is a no deal Brexit on 31st October? And has the position changed since no deal was last faced in March? In short, the answer is no, although there is more certainty in that the legalisation implementing what will happen to affected IP […]

Safeguarding your IP at Conferences, Exhibitions and Events

As the Autumn conference season is about to start, we thought it useful to take time to think of some simple steps you can take to safeguard your IP at conferences, events and exhibitions. Are you planning on attending an exhibition/conference (and possibly discussing your technology with others there) or even exhibiting any new technology […]

3 Steps To Protect Your Brand from Counterfeit Goods

Rise in Counterfeit Goods Imports – Protect Your Brand! One of the major issues facing EU brand owners is the explosion in the illicit trade in counterfeit goods. A recent study by the OECD and the EU Intellectual Property Office [i] shows that imports of counterfeit and pirated products into the EU rose to EUR […]

Building An Intellectual Property Strategy

Murgitroyd’s Graham Murnane takes you through the key areas to consider when devising an intellectual property strategy for your business. WHERE TO START You should bear in mind firstly that there is no “one size fits all” strategy as far as intellectual property (IP) is concerned. Your strategy should be carefully tailored to the needs […]

4 Key Questions To Ask On Patent Ownership

It’s crucial to know the ownership and inventorship of patent rights. Why? Because getting it wrong can lead to a loss of your rights, cause disputes and scare off potential partners. Here are the 4 key questions you should be addressing on patent ownership: What is the “inventive concept” of the invention? What new concept […]

The Long Road To Success For Self-Driving Cars

Giving elderly and disabled people the opportunity to drive, reducing the number of traffic accidents and improving drivers’ working conditions – just some of the benefits of self-driving cars. Car automation has boomed in recent years, with developments taking place in the areas of parking assistance, automatic speed adjustment and steering wheel assistance. Google was […]

Grabbing The Bull By The Horns

The Italian artist Arturo Di Monica has claimed that a “publicity stunt” installed in Wall Street in New York prior to International Women’s Day violates his artistic copyright. On Wall Street, pedestrians can view the statue of Arturo Di Monica, the Charging Bull, a bull ready to charge, a metaphor for the economic power of […]

12 Famous Quotes from Inspiring Innovators

After the recent launch of Innovator Launchpad powered by Murgitroyd, we decided to look at some famous quotes from inspiring innovators for this month’s Heavens to Murgitroyd. We have compiled our list of quotes below but if you have any famous quotes that inspire you, please get in touch. Winston Churchill: “No idea is so […]

Can a Racehorse’s Name Be Trade Marked?

The most valuable jump race in Europe, the Grand National, returns this weekend to Aintree and an estimated 500 to 600 million people in over 140 countries will be tuning in to see if their horse is first to make it past the finishing post. This led us to ask how racehorses like last year’s […]

IP and the Oscars

Amongst the big questions following the recent Oscars ceremony was surely “is the intellectual property of the Oscars statue protected?” No? OK, maybe not but we thought it would be interesting to find out! It turns out that it is. The statuette, known commonly as the “Academy Award of Merit”, is registered with the US […]

Coupling Romance with Intellectual Property

We love some of these romance-tinged Valentine’s Day-related patents. Maybe you could use some of these ideas on your loved one this February 14? Romantic Card – To start us off we have the “Romantic Card” which on the face of it sounds like your standard Valentine’s Day card. However, the inventor here decided […]

Extravagant New Year Patents

With New Year (or Hogmanay if you live here in Scotland) having just passed we thought we would take a look at some intriguing patents to do with New Year’s related inventions that might have helped you celebrate the big night. Synchronized confetti sprayer and descending illuminated ball – US 6260989 US patent 6260989 is […]

Interesting Christmas Patents

Since it’s approaching that time of year again we thought it would be nice to take a look at a few fun and interesting Christmas patents that have been filed over the years. Santa Claus detector The Santa Claus Detector was designed as a novelty item for children that would signal the arrival of Santa […]

Words You Didn’t Know Were Registered Trade Marks

A trade mark helps you to identify and distinguish one party’s goods or services from another’s. Some companies do this well and have built whole businesses around particular words and phrases. Below is a list of words which are commonly used by the public but are in fact registered trade marks. This means the companies […]

Who’s For a Nice, Relaxing Game of Golf?

As you may know, the 2016 Masters starts next week and because of this we thought we could take a look at some of the more interesting golf patents there have been over the years. The T3 Bionic Golfer We start with the T3 Bionic Golfer which looks more like a slightly tortuous way of […]

Trade mark, trademark or trade-mark?

Trade Mark, trademark or trade-mark – what is the correct way to spell it? . Have you ever noticed the difference and questioned your own spelling? Is it one word? Two words? Or something else? As far as we can see, the spelling of trade mark is completely down to which country you are from. […]

Tattoos, Mike Tyson, Movies and Copyright!

If you’ve seen The Hangover Part II, you will know that one of the main characters, Stu Price, wakes up after a night out in Bangkok with a tattoo on his face. This tattoo was exactly the same as Mike Tyson’s and alluded to his cameo appearance in the original, The Hangover, film. Warner Bros. […]

Hidden Patents

Did you know that patents can be subject to secrecy orders? Under Section 22 of the Patents Act 1977 the UKIPO can prohibit and restrict the publication of information if it is prejudicial to the defence of the realm or to the safety of the public. As you can imagine, this would commonly be the […]

Pogo Shoes and Beach Boots – Patented Footwear Extremes

Have you ever been strolling down the beach with your dog or wandering along the sandy coastline during a summer holiday and thought to yourself, “I need some footwear to make this journey easier.”? Well, if you’re amongst the few who have, Beach boots could be what you’ve been searching for! The US patent, issued […]