Murgitroyd Blog

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

Can automotive cybersecurity gain inspiration from other fields?

It has been well established that automotive cybersecurity has its own challenges which pushes it way beyond standard IT security. The reason for this is the large network of sensors which enable an autonomous vehicle to determine its surroundings and which also, naturally, provides a large number of access points for falsified data representing an […]

Clouds on the horizon – AI in treating diseases

A recent article in the MIT Technology Review discussed the example of Paul who, after repeated failed attempts at treating his cancer, entered into a trial run by UK company Exscientia and is now in complete remission. The approach proposed by Exscientia allowed an exhaustive search to be carried out for the drug which would […]

The importance of trade mark protection for global sporting events

Big sporting events like the Olympics, the World Cup and the UCI Cycling World Championships taking place in Glasgow this week are watched by huge numbers of people around the world, making them ideal platforms for brand exposure and marketing. However, with such a large audience comes an increased risk of trade mark infringement, counterfeiting, […]

Comparing registered designs and patents for the medical devices industry

When it comes to safeguarding medical devices, patents are widely recognised for providing strong protection. However, the patent process can be slow and expensive. Furthermore, patents may not always be suitable or feasible for certain aspects of a new medical device. In such situations, Registered Designs offer an alternative solution and serve as a valuable […]

The cyber-risk of a connected transport system – is AI the problem and the solution?

Transportation systems of the future will be connected at a scale never seen before. Future transportation systems will encompass a complex data driven ecosystem of interconnected industries across many sectors, covering all forms of transport (road, rail, maritime and air) and a range of associated infrastructures, including smart cities and integrated supply chains. The role of Connected […]

The future of fabric – smart textiles and patents

Many technologies used in the field of smart textiles have existed for many years, however their integration into a textile may well be novel and deserving of patent protection. Despite challenges that may be encountered in the development of smart textile technology, the opportunity for innovation in this field is substantial and with swift technological […]

Medical device patenting at the European Patent Office

Year on year medical devices usually account for the highest number of patent filings at the European Patent Office. One of the factors is that the market for medical devices has continued to steadily grow due to an ageing population and global economic wealth. The patenting of medical devices at the European Patent Office is […]

Biomimicry – inventions inspired by nature

Many inventions take inspiration from the natural world — one of the most famous examples being the ‘cat’s eyes’ seen on our motorways. Such ‘biomimetic’ technologies recreate the technical effects of biological phenomena. With modern techniques like additive manufacture (3D printing) now readily available to manufacturers, the biomimetic possibilities are seemingly endless. Here, our materials […]

A helping hand for AI start-ups from the EPO

Patents are often the go-to intellectual property rights for start-ups wishing to protect their innovations and start-ups in the artificial intelligence (AI) field are no different. Indeed, it is possible to protect innovations in this space with patents [i] but often there is a question of when is the correct time to file a patent […]

World IP Day 2023: Murgitroyd’s journey towards a more diverse and equitable working environment

In 2020, Murgitroyd launched Impact, an ambitious internal initiative focused on bringing meaningful change to the areas of diversity and inclusiveness, the environment, community engagement, and charitable giving. Dr Beth Marshall, the head of Impact, sheds light on why this programme is essential for a modern business like Murgitroyd as well as how it aims […]

The gender inventorship gap and emergence of FemTech

A 2022 study conducted by the European Patent Office found that fewer than one in seven inventors are women. In fact, women represent just 13.2% of European inventors named on patent applications and this trend can be seen worldwide, with South Korea topping the table at 26.8%. While (sadly) this isn’t a huge surprise, the […]

Does my business need an IP audit?

IP audits can provide many benefits for business owners, helping them to identify, understand future-proof their IP. Here, our expert Tom Baker outlines what IP audits are, what types are available, how to get one and the financial support available for UK-based companies. What is an IP audit? Every business that innovates could benefit from […]

What are quantum computers and how ‘quantum’ are they?

Huge waves of interest are being generated by the development of powerful quantum computers by a select group of the world’s leading companies. So much so that a (quite beautiful) quantum computer recently made it onto the cover of Time Magazine. Here, our expert Chris Lester explores the history of this fascinating field and asks […]

‘Conscious’ AI — how close are we to replicating the human brain?

From The Matrix to Avatar, humans have long dreamt of the possibilities unlocked by replicating and interfacing with our brains. Now, with the likes of ChatGPT taking the world by storm, many are wondering just how far AI technology can go. Could we soon be able to recreate the human brain, or even outperform its […]

Five tips to secure business investment using intellectual property rights

Intellectual property (IP) rights can be difficult to value accurately. An intangible property right, their precise economic benefits are hard to judge. Yet most are highly valuable — and a strong IP portfolio can be the key to attracting investment, particularly for early-stage companies. Here, our expert Terence Broderick outlines the top five considerations. Get […]

NASA technique set to revolutionise electric vehicle charge time

An advanced temperature control technique developed for space missions could revolutionise electric vehicle charging times — one of the most critical barriers to widespread adoption. Here, our expert Niall Hendry explains how it works and explores how viable this technology could be. The EV charge time problem Motorway services and the electric vehicle (EV) charging […]

UPC — three key considerations before ‘staying in’ or ‘opting out’

Uniform patent protection in Europe will finally see the light on 1 June 2023 in the form of the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPCA). This has the potential to radically change the European IP landscape and make it the most attractive jurisdiction in the world. At the same time, the race to opt-out […]

Supermarket copycat product wars illustrate benefits of design protection

The UK food and drink market is highly competitive. Manufacturers race to bring out original or eye-catching products, trying to capture a larger share of the market. Yet as soon as products hit the shelves, competitors seek to launch their own ‘lookalike’ variations. So, can they be stopped? Here, our expert Eleanor Coates outlines how […]

Demystifying the blockchain — why NFTs matter

Despite coming under renewed scrutiny in recent months, it would be unwise to dismiss NFTs as a Web 3.0 gimmick. While merely ‘a piece of data on a block on a ledger’, NFTs are impacting almost every industry, from sports and video games to fashion and the arts. In this piece, we bring together patent […]

EPO oppositions — how to combat sufficiency attacks

A common attack used in opposition proceedings at the European Patent Office (EPO) is that of insufficiency. An assessment of insufficiency by the EPO involves deciding what ‘common general knowledge’ the skilled person has — but what exactly constitutes ‘general knowledge’ and where does the burden of proof lie? Here, our oppositions expert and qualified […]

How additive manufacture is building innovation and investment in automotive

As additive manufacturing (AM) technology continues to mature, its technical and environmental benefits are increasingly pervading the automotive sector — making vehicles lighter and faster while driving innovation and investment. Here, we explore how automakers are using AM and the best routes to secure IP protection for additively manufactured inventions. How is additive manufacture applied […]

Merck v Mylan — can a presumption of invalidity be a defence for infringement?

Multinational pharmaceutical company Merck Sharp & Dohme has been granted an interlocutory injunction by the Irish High Court to prevent Mylan (now part of global healthcare company Viatris) from selling the anti-diabetic medication ‘Janumet’ in Ireland. This landmark case has made headlines due to its focus on the validity of SPCs and here our Director […]

‘Wonder material’ graphene set to push the limits of sporting achievement

From quantum computing to medical devices, the diverse applications of graphene are impacting almost every industry, including the world of sport — where the ‘wonder material’ is set to push the limits of human achievement by revolutionising sports equipment. Here, we explore some of the latest examples and explain how innovators are successfully navigating the […]

How augmented reality is enhancing automotive design, repair and the driving experience

By combining reality with digital content, augmented reality (AR) technology is fast becoming a key enabler in many industries, thanks to its ability to inform and enhance our experience. In the automotive industry, there are at least three key areas where AR is already transforming our capabilities — here, we explore its impact from the […]

Protecting a drinks brand with registered designs

While launching a new drinks brand comes with many challenges, it can also create significant opportunities. You may not realise that, alongside protecting your name and logo, the shape and surface decoration of your product and its packaging can be eligible for powerful intellectual property (IP) rights that prevent competitors from copying even the smallest […]

Why you should NOT opt out of the unitary patent system — UPC perspectives

You may have heard much about the need to ‘opt out’ of the unitary patent system — but such a one-size-fits-all approach might not be suitable for every portfolio. Here, our expert Barry Moore gives his perspective on why patent proprietors should consider staying in as opposed to opting ‘out’ ahead of the UPC’s proposed […]

Banksy makes a monkey out of trade mark protection

If copyright is for losers, trade marks certainly seem to be for Banksy. Here, our expert Sharon Kirby breaks down the latest instalment in the elusive artist’s colourful history with intellectual property law — and asks what exactly is required for a bad faith argument to be successful… Greetings from the courtroom UK greetings card […]

Black Friday™ — The end of a German trade mark saga

The day following Thanksgiving has traditionally been a day of sales in the US retail sector. Stores see individuals queuing on the streets (and sometimes fighting in the aisles) to get their hands on the best deals. Today, the phenomenon of Black Friday has spread globally to something we’re all familiar with, thanks to digital […]

UPC confirmed — how to opt out ahead of 1 June 2023

The unitary patent and Unified Patent Court (UPC) will be implemented on 1 June 2023, subject to its expected ratification by Germany at the end of 2022. This means that patent owners can soon choose to validate a unitary patent (UP) which covers all EU member states that have ratified the UPC Agreement. A quick […]

Record-breaking year at UKIPO demonstrates strong post-Brexit recovery

The UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) recently released its Innovation and Growth Report 2021-22. While the report contains many insights into how the office will support the UK “to become the most innovative and creative country in the world”, some of its most interesting talking points are dramatic rises in patent, trade mark and design […]

EPO appeals — have you changed your prosecution and opposition strategy post-RPBA 2020?

The 2020 revision to the EPO’s Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal (RPBA 2020) aimed to increase efficiency by reducing the number of issues to be treated on appeal — increasing predictability for parties and harmonisation across the boards. Two years on, our expert Barry Moore dives into the data to explore its […]

Who owns the copyright in AI-generated art?

‘AI’ artwork generators like Stable Diffusion and DALL-E are taking the internet by storm. They offer users the ability to rapidly create incredibly detailed and powerful images based on prompts — which can be anything at all. Want to see an astronaut cat riding a surfboard across a fantasy landscape in the style of Picasso? […]

Global chip shortages — why software-defined vehicles are both the problem and solution

Recently, the automotive industry news has been dominated by the global shortage of semiconductor chips, as the supply chain struggles to keep pace with increasing demand from OEMs. While this issue has been exacerbated by the proliferation of the software-defined vehicle, new software-enabled solutions could be set to make chip shortages a problem of the […]

‘Vision Zero’ — can we ever achieve a world without road fatalities?

European road safety project ‘Vision Zero’ aims to achieve a highway system with no fatalities or serious injuries involving traffic by 2050. Its underlying principle is that road safety responsibility should be shared by both system designers and road users. While this aim is to be commended, with almost 120,000 accidents a year on UK […]

The problem with humans: why we are the biggest roadblock to fully autonomous driving

The pods are coming. While we already have the technology to enable fully autonomous driving and various trials are well underway, the key question to answer is: when will we reach this promised land? With many technological roadblocks in the way and hundreds of billions of driving miles needed to gather sufficient data to prove […]

How to handle AI inventors on patent applications

With recent claims that Google’s AI chatbot has become sentient and as AI continues to enable unprecedented levels of automation across many industries, the debate over whether an AI can ‘invent’ continues. For innovators, it’s important to know how AI involvement should be handled on patent applications and how this issue is likely to evolve […]

Commonwealth Esports Championships mark new era for professional gaming

In an exciting first for the gaming community, eSports are featuring at the Commonwealth Games. Elite players of Dota 2, Rocket League and eFootball will face off on 6 and 7 August as the worlds of sport and gaming continue to converge. Esports’ growing popularity The inaugural Commonwealth Esports Championships follow last year’s successful Global […]

New battery recycling techniques set to transform environmental impact of electric vehicles

As the world transitions away from using fossil fuels for energy generation, heating and transportation, the need for large-scale energy storage increases — and with this comes mounting economic and environmental concerns around the end-of-life management and processing of batteries. Here, we explore recent research into new and chemical-free recycling methods that can extend the […]

Solid-state battery tech holds the key to meeting ambitious COP 26 EV target

To meet the ambitious COP 26 target of all new car and van sales being for zero-emission vehicles by 2040, chemistry and materials innovation at the fundamental level of battery cells is critical to convince a global audience of the viability of electric vehicles. This must be geared towards significantly improving charging times and single-charge […]

Malware in healthcare – training and protecting life-saving AI cybersecurity tools

The healthcare industry accounts for a significant number of the world’s reported data breaches and other kinds of cyberattack, with over 81% of UK healthcare organisations having faced a ransomware attack and almost half of US hospitals being forced to shut down their networks in 2021. Here, we explore the game-changing potential of AI to […]

Are computer-implemented inventions patentable? UK and European approaches explained

To be eligible for patent protection, a computer-implemented invention (CII) must provide ‘a technical solution to a technical problem’. However, the interpretation of ‘technical’ in patent law is complex, as it differs from country-to-country. Here, we explore recent case law to highlight the evolution in approaches at the UKIPO and EPO. CII patentability at the […]

World IP Day 2022 – an introduction to IP for young innovators and brand owners

This year, World IP Day is all about young innovators and entrepreneurs, who — thanks to social media and digital retail — now have the capability to launch brands and businesses like never before. Yet with this capability (and the potential for instant, overnight success) comes the need to understand how IP is a critical […]

Can innovative AI-based training techniques prove autonomous vehicle safety?

A new report into UK autonomous vehicle regulations recommends how to define the legal actors in play when fully autonomous vehicles (AVs) are operated, in the latest step towards AV proliferation. The recommendation poses key questions for AV driving system operators, who need to ensure that their software is sufficiently safe for widespread public use. […]

Seven-year mountain biking legal battle shows true value of patent rights

One of the most high-profile patent disputes in the world of mountain biking has skidded to a halt. While it cost both parties millions in legal fees, the final settlement brings with it fresh commercial opportunities. Here, we break down the bitter seven-year legal battle between Fox Factory Inc (Fox) and SRAM, which showcased the […]

Can you patent human-machine interfaces?

One key consideration for modern automakers is how to appeal to newer generations of drivers and passengers, who expect their vehicles to be as digitally capable as their phones. With infotainment touchscreens, connectivity and voice assistance fast becoming industry-standard, automakers should be keen to protect their innovative approaches to gain competitive advantage. Here’s a quick […]

New road safety standards create trade-off with CAV cybersecurity

As new safety features that require the collection of data from connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) continue to be introduced, a trade-off is developing between road safety and cybersecurity. Here, we highlight the new standards set to come into play during 2022 and explore the innovative solutions designed to protect driver safety in both the […]

Solid-state battery development heralds a new dawn for electric vehicles

This article originally appeared in The Patent Lawyer Magazine on 1 March 2022. Read the original version here. A new solid electrolyte could hold the key to unlocking the true potential of electric vehicles and so much more. Developed at the University of Waterloo, it ticks many of the crucial boxes for battery performance and […]

How to protect product and branding designs with IP rights

When building an IP portfolio, design rights are often overlooked in favour of patent and trade mark protection. However, all three can have crucial roles to play to effectively safeguard your products. Here, we detail why designs can be an important element of any IP strategy and explore their benefits when compared to patents and […]

Can an AI invent? UK, European and Australian perspectives explained

Patent offices around the world have been considering whether an AI — just like a human — can be a named inventor on a patent application. In this note, European Patent Attorney Dr Terence Broderick and trans-Tasman (Australia and New Zealand) Patent Attorney Arthur Roberts explore the contrasting views adopted by the UK, European and […]

How to save money on IP costs with new EU SME fund

If you’re an EU-based SME, a new fund could save you money on IP costs. The fund will operate on a first-come, first-served basis until December 2022. Here’s how it works and who can benefit. What is the EU SME Fund? The ‘ideas powered for business’ SME Fund is a European Commission initiative implemented by […]

Are Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon ushering in a new era for gaming?

New, major entrants to the gaming market are here – and they’re not who you might think. Over-the-top (OTT) platforms like Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon are increasingly making inroads into the world of gaming, looking to gain a competitive edge by diversifying their content offering to subscribers. Here, we explore the reasons and technologies behind […]

Connected health and software

Technology-enabled care improves patient self-management, supports compliance with treatment programmes and medication, and provides monitored data and alerts to healthcare professionals. With growing technology use across the general population and rapid advancements in digital technologies, there are many opportunities but also challenges in the healthcare market. The breadth and intensity of R&D across the connected […]

Intellectual property creates value in Medtech

Creating value in Medtech with Intellectual Property – knowledge of IP helps companies identify the blue sky opportunities It’s estimated that up to a third of R&D resources are wasted on inventions that already exist. Looking at an existing patent landscape can help smaller companies to save time by knowing what is already state of […]

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 […]

The evolution of IP – intellectual property 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 […]

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 […]

The evolution of IP – 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 […]

Eight things to know about the patent filing process

Patent filing can seem complex. If you’re thinking of filing a patent, but aren’t sure where to start, you’re in the right place. Here, we cut through the jargon to identify eight key things to know about the pre-filing, filing and post-filing process. Key considerations before filing a patent 1. Confidentiality First things first, you […]

How to speed up patent applications in the UK and EU

From the Green Channel to the Patent Prosecution Highway, there are many mechanisms that enable you to accelerate the progress of a patent application through the search, examination and publication stages at the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) and European Patent Office (EPO). Here’s our guide to ensuring that your applications proceed as quickly and […]

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? Adopting the right IP strategy

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 […]

SMEs – apply for financial support for trade marks and designs

The EU “ideas powered for business SME Fund” provides grant funding towards IP costs to support SMEs in developing and protecting their IP. A new window opened for SMEs to apply for grants of up to 1500 Euro on September 1, 2021.  Applications must be filed by September 30, 2021. What is the SME Fund […]

Battery electric vs hydrogen – which is the future for electric vehicles?

By Dr Alan Jones (Partner, Automotive) & Dr Martin Neilson (Partner, Battery Tech) With transportation responsible for a significant percentage of global greenhouse gases, two technologies have emerged as viable solutions for decarbonisation — battery electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Here, we explore the science and patent landscape to reveal which is likely […]

How artificial intelligence is transforming content production and delivery

We’re amid a streaming and broadcasting revolution, with an explosion in the number and availability of over-the-top (OTT) platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ and Amazon Video. Accelerated by consumer needs and preferences during lockdown, innovation is well underway, as each platform looks to gain a competitive edge. While we’re seeing innovation that utilises a range […]

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 […]

IP policies and strategy – the benefits of adopting a consistent 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 […]

How to manage your patent portfolio

Before you accrue intellectual property rights, you’ll need to put in place a portfolio management strategy to help you stay on top of costs and ensure that your rights stay relevant. Here, we explore the portfolio management basics for patent rights holders. What is patent portfolio management? Patent portfolio management is a process which ensures […]

How to protect software with intellectual property rights – the basics

Most technologies can be protected with one of the four main types of intellectual property (IP) rights — patents, trade marks, designs and copyright. Software is no different and this short guide will inform you how each IP right can be applied to software-related inventions, as well as how to navigate the sometimes tricky patentability […]

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 […]

IP protection acceleration strategy in the UK – rights & wrongs

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 […]

Can I patent my battery technology innovation?

Battery technology is at the forefront of modern consumer and industrial markets. Developments have come a long way over the past 25 years, but innovation has increased significantly during the last five. Li-ion batteries have advanced rapidly and now have increased energy density and long cyclic stability. Such innovation presents opportunities for battery technology developers […]

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 […]

Invention records – is it necessary to keep them?

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 […]

Hasbro loses its monopoly – implications for ‘evergreening’ brand owners

One of Hasbro’s trade marks for its Monopoly board game has been invalidated for some of the goods and services it once covered, highlighting a danger with the practice of evergreening. Here, we explain the risks and what this means for brand owners. What is evergreening? In the UK and EU, the owners of trade […]

Multidisciplinary approaches – the rise of multidisciplinary inventions

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”? […]

The rise of the digital signature – can you protect cryptographical innovations?

Remember face-to-face business meetings, where you could make agreements in the physical world and sign by hand on the dotted line? During the past year, when all such meetings were shunted into the virtual realm, we have become increasingly reliant on digital signatures. If you’re innovating to improve digital signatures, or working on any type […]

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 […]

Brand protection for END. – from start-up to multimillion-pound acquisition

From modest start-up to multimillion-pound acquisition in just over 15 years, our longstanding client END. has been on an incredible journey. Its recent acquisition demonstrates the immense value in a brand and why it’s so important to protect yours — your most valuable asset — early on. You never know where your path might lead… […]

How to derive value from IP using 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.  […]

The renewable energy problem – the future of large-scale batteries

As coal and gas rightly play a diminished role in the UK’s energy supply in favour of renewables and nuclear, large-scale energy storage is needed to meet fluctuations in demand. The solution could be lithium-ion, lithium iron phosphate or flow batteries — but which of these is best-suited to the job? The problem with renewable […]

Remember your intellectual property when trying to attract investment

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 […]

NFTs and intellectual property – can they be protected?

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are taking the internet by storm, as this previously obscure technology starts to be leveraged by companies and individuals alike to connect with customers and extract value from digital assets. An NFT is an interesting concept with regards to intellectual property — here, we explore whether NFT-related innovations can be protected with […]

Freedom to Operate explained – are you sure you can commercialise your patented invention?

It’s a common misconception that holding a granted patent means you’re free to commercialise an invention and can’t infringe the patent rights of a third party. After all, how could you be granted a patent when someone else already holds patent rights covering the same invention? This can (and often does) happen. To understand why, […]

A basic guide to patents for chemistry, material and battery tech companies

Without a knowledge of what patents do, it’s hard to know exactly what they can protect, how they can benefit your business and when you should get in touch with a patent attorney. This short guide is indented to be educational and explain what a patent is and the process required to secure one — […]

Your European Patent is being opposed – preparing 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 […]

Can you patent mathematics?

Mathematics is a subject that many of us loved to hate at school, thanks to its endless symbols, theorems and the difficulty in relating classroom teachings to real life. Yet, mathematics is a commonly used language in science and technology and its principles enable us to express the physical world. The patent system has a […]

Checklist to help oppose a European Patent

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 […]

How to patent over-the-air (OTA) automotive technology

Obtaining patent protection for over-the-air (OTA) technologies can be challenging, since so much of the underlying core technology has existed before in the mobile telephony space. However, there are a few strategies that will increase your chances of success — here’s a breakdown. What is over-the-air technology? Over-the-air (OTA) technology is used to remotely deliver […]

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. […]

The solid-state battery gold rush

While wet or liquid electrolyte Li-ion batteries form 95 to 99% of commercial batteries used globally, it’s widely accepted that they have severe limitations. The flammable electrolyte (typically ethylene carbonate) raises concerns of explosion or fire and there’s the environmental impact to consider, as demand for high levels of cobalt stretches global reserves and creates […]

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 […]

Working from home – does it affect patent ownership for employee inventions?

Does working from home affect the law around patent ownership for employee-devised inventions? What should employees be aware of to guarantee confidentiality when working away from the office? Here’s a short guide from our expert Terence Broderick. What does the law say? The law around the ownership of inventions devised by employees has been well-established […]

How to mitigate the risk of intellectual property 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 […]

A guide to trade mark revocation for legacy brands

Over time, registered trade marks can be revoked if they aren’t used. Here’s a quick guide to the reasons behind trade mark revocation and what you must do to ensure that your legacy marks remain active and your registrations valid. What the law says Let’s start with the legal provision behind any act of revocation. […]

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 […]

The Patent Box flip

If you’re a successful company, how would you like to reduce corporation tax to 10% on your best-selling products and, in doing so, add significantly to the asset value of your company? Not just another patent box article These benefits can be achieved by simply turning the Patent Box process on its head — but before I […]

Sustainable packaging innovations – from paperboard to pulp

Sustainability in paperboard packaging In the global paperboard packaging industry, demand has grown for sustainable materials with sufficiently high strength-to-weight properties to enable the reduction of packaging weight. This is being driven by both economic and environmental pressures, as organisations address key areas of the United Nation’s Sustainability Development Goals by developing innovative solutions that use sustainable […]

How to protect a user interface with a patent

We recently outlined two key questions to consider when deciding whether to protect a software-based invention. While these remain relevant for user interfaces, there are some important nuances to be aware of, as software expert Terence Broderick explains. User interfaces — a brief overview User interfaces are all around us. Underpinned by software, a user […]

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 […]

Can you patent software?

There’s one simple test that reveals whether your software invention can be patented. Here, our software expert Terence Broderick dispels the myth that software is always too difficult and costly to protect with patents. Software has never been more integrated in our everyday lives than it is today, affecting every aspect of technology from connected […]

What is Freedom to Operate (FTO) in relation to patents and IP?

What is Freedom to Operate? Freedom to Operate (FTO) refers to whether it’s commercially ‘safe’ for you to make or sell your product in the country in which you wish to do so, without infringing existing third-party rights. An example question might be “I’ve designed a new medical device — can I sell it in […]

Launching a 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 […]

Lithium-ion battery separators – crucial patent developments

The properties and characteristics of a lithium-ion battery separator are vital for performance and safety. Here, our expert Tahsin Ali Kassam analyses recent patent activity and examines Morgan Advanced Materials’ important new patent, which relates to ionic conducting compositions for energy storage devices. Lithium-ion — the fundamentals The lithium-ion revolution was born in the early […]

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 […]

Are you ready (and protected) for the AI healthcare revolution?

AI and machine learning have the potential to transform the way we deliver healthcare — helping to increase efficiency, overcome staff shortfalls and save money. Healthcare providers need to move fast to prepare and understanding the role of IP is crucial. Our expert, Terence Broderick, explains why… Marvellous medicine Healthcare and its advances are one of […]

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 […]

Supreme Court points the way for licensing telecoms patents in the automotive sector – our top tips to license SEPs

One of the most important decisions in the patent space for many years has just been handed down, as the long running and high-profile Unwired Planet vs Huawei and Conversant v Huawei and ZTE case draws to a close. Here, our automotive and SEP expert Terence Broderick explains the outcome and why the decision is so instructive for the […]

Using patents to establish alternative business models, built around licensing

Patents can be used within different business models, which may include licensing your technology to third parties. Here, our expert Tom Baker explores the model used by MIPS AB — a helmet technology company — which is both lucrative and beneficial for consumers. Many of us are looking for alternatives to public transport as a […]

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 […]

Game devs and eSport teams – how to protect your brand assets with trade marks

Much of the value in a video game stems from intellectual property (IP), which can take many forms to protect different aspects of your creation, from the underlying code to the title and characters. IP rights are assets which attract investment and ensure that you receive a fair return for your creative efforts — which […]

How to protect the shape of a car – lessons from Jaguar Land Rover and INEOS

Following Jaguar Land Rover’s (JLR’s) failed attempts to protect the shape of its Defender 4×4 using trade marks, our expert Alan Jones explains what went wrong and what lessons automotive manufactures should learn to prevent their own designs from being copied. INEOS takes on Jaguar Land Rover The High Court dismissed an appeal from JLR […]

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 so 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 […]

Protecting inventions which use Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence

Protecting inventions that use Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence There has been a lot of talk recently about the DABUS family of patent applications where DABUS, an artificial intelligence (AI), was named as an inventor. This has prompted a lot of discussion around whether an inventor must be a human being and there is no […]

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 […]

Should I protect my manufacturing process with a patent?

Patents aren’t only used to protect new product inventions — they can also safeguard methods, manufacturing processes and even new uses for products. A manufacturing process has a chance of being patented if it contains a new or different step that results in an improvement in the process or final product. But is it better […]

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 […]

Social media influencers – how to stay protected when your name becomes your brand

While we’re familiar with celebrity athletes, musicians and actors registering their names as trade marks in relation to merchandise and business ventures outside the ‘day job’, social media influencers have been much slower to realise the importance of retaining control over the use of their own name. The value of trade marks Today, businesses are willing […]

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. […]

Authors and publishers – which elements of a book can you protect with trade marks?

If you’re an author or publisher, it’s important to protect your creations from being copied. Here’s a quick guide to the types of trade mark protection that you can benefit from. Titles Book titles generally can’t be registered as trade marks. This is because the purpose of a trade mark is to identify the goods […]

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 […]

Battery technology — leading innovations and how to patent them

Electric vehicle (EV) technology innovators are leading the race to find high performance battery materials. Here’s a breakdown of current research and development efforts, and a look at how to patent different battery technologies. Lithium-ion — Goodenough for a Nobel Prize The development of more commercially successful battery technology seems to be just around the […]

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 […]

How intellectual property rights can protect automotive designs

Ford GT. Aston Martin DB5. Porsche 911. Iconic car designs stick long in the memory. For automotive manufacturers, design is one of the most crucial elements of success. Here, design expert Alan Jones explains what can be done to protect innovative designs from being copied — ensuring a bright and creative future for the automotive […]

Commercialising solid-state battery technology – are we at the cusp of great things?

Lithium-based cells are widely used, but problematic. The most obvious alternative is solid-state cells, but much development is still needed. Our battery technology expert Martin Neilson explores the state of play in the battery industry and highlights the value of patents in the race to create a commercially viable lithium alternative. The trouble with lithium […]

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 – […]

An introduction to copyright for creatives

Everyone, especially those working in the ‘creative industries’, will undoubtedly have heard of ‘copyright’ — but could you actually explain what it is? Copyright can often be misunderstood, so here’s a quick guide to the basics and why you need to be aware of it. What is copyright? Copyright is a legal right which enables […]

A guide to intellectual property in the creative industries – protecting pitches, brands and concepts

Ever had a creative concept stolen by a client or prospective client? Are you certain that you legally ‘own’ your brand identity? Could you defend yourself if accused of copying someone else’s ideas? Creatives face many IP issues. Our research is telling — few agencies understand IP. Fewer take steps to protect themselves. The horror […]

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 […]

The next generation of EV lithium-ion batteries – can Tesla go the distance?

Tesla leads the way when it comes to electric vehicle (EV) battery technology — offering the best balance of achievable vehicle travel distance (from a single charge), long-term battery life, charge time and cost. Here, we lift the lid on Tesla’s latest technologies and examine how its patent strategy helps it stay a few miles ahead of […]

Sky v SkyKick – what this key decision means for your trade marks

In one of the most eagerly-awaited decisions on trade mark law in recent years, the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) has handed down its decision in Sky v SkyKick (C-371/18). Here’s all you need to know about this important case. A brief history The case centered on a dispute between Sky (the UK […]

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 […]

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) […]

How 5G and XR will transform healthcare

5G will have a considerable impact on our use of immersive technologies and the way we deliver healthcare — here’s a breakdown of the many benefits. 5G — why all the hype? 5G is the name given to the next generation of our telecoms network. Rather than referring to one specific technology, it describes a number of related technologies that […]

The good, the bad and the 5G – an unprecedented level of threat (and opportunity)

The development of 5G technology is gathering pace. More organisations are realising the applications made possible by the next generation in telecommunications — faster data rates, increased immersion and new applications previously thought unfeasible are set to dramatically transform the way we each interact with the world. All of this means that we’ll be more […]

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, IP Lawyer or IP 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 […]

How to keep information truly confidential when collaborating to invent – five top tips

A recent EPO case revealed that patent filers must take extra care when it comes to confidentiality. Here are our top tips to ensure that inventors meet this requirement in the digital age. Why are you whispering? A key requirement for patentability is novelty. For this reason, inventors and organisations who wish to file patent […]

Eco-friendly packaging — can you protect your innovation with IP?

Alongside altruism, there’s another major incentive to make packaging more easily recyclable — the potential IP rewards. In a world where every European produces 31kg (almost five stone) of packaging waste each year — only 40% of which is recycled — change is desperately needed, and a creative solution can result in a big windfall. While most consumers hold […]

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 to protect your brand on social media – seven top tips

Social media has a vital role to play in establishing and maintaining brands, but there are always risks. While it can be hard to go viral for the right reasons, it’s easy to go viral for the wrong ones. However, you’ll be pleased to know that there are certain steps you can take to protect […]

Looking beyond lithium — renewable battery technologies

Last week, the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to John B Goodenough, M Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino for their work developing the lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery. In the words of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the lithium-ion battery has “laid the foundations of a wireless, fossil fuel-free society, and [is] of the […]

Start-ups and SMEs – top tips to start thinking about IP

If you’re a new business or start-up company, thinking about intellectual property (IP) might not be top of your to-do list. However, understanding IP on a basic level can bring you a host of benefits. The five key things to remember are: Don’t skimp — your brand is how your customers identify you and/or what […]

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 […]

Femtech start-ups – how to start thinking about intellectual property

Despite the fact that women have a number of health and physical issues that relate uniquely to them, including menstruation, pregnancy and menopause — all of which can have significant and long-lasting impacts — female health has largely been ignored by the world of innovation. The female health taboo Such topics have traditionally been considered […]

Seven creative ways to combat climate change — what we can learn from patent activity

The pollution caused by human activities is now seen as the biggest threat to human health worldwide. Its impact — climate change — is driving us to be ever more creative in search of a solution. IP can encourage the innovative endeavours we need to save our planet. While big ideas make the headlines regularly, there’s […]

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 […]

Pharmaceuticals — WHEN to apply for trade mark protection

EU trade mark law provides that, if a trade mark hasn’t been put to genuine use within a continuous period of five years in the EU (in connection with the goods or services in respect of which it is registered) — and there are no proper reasons for non-use — its registration can be revoked. This legislation therefore puts […]

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 […]

How has virtual reality gone wireless?

Since 2016, the two main brands dominating the consumer virtual reality (VR) market have been Oculus and HTC. This trend looks set to continue for the foreseeable future, with innovation in VR having progressed rapidly over the past three years. 2016: Rift and Vive Released in March 2016, Oculus’ Rift headset was the first to […]

Connected autonomous vehicles – how to patent technologies underpinned by maths

The development of connected autonomous vehicles is gathering pace. Modern cars, while yet to be considered fully autonomous, are being launched with ever more features which provide autonomous functionality. Cybersecurity is one of the biggest fears surrounding this drive towards full autonomy. If connected autonomous vehicles are networked together on the road, even relatively low-level […]

Electric vehicle patent pledges – five key considerations when licensing

Toyota’s recent granting of royalty-free licences to almost 24,000 ‘vehicle-electrification’ patents has drawn comparisons with Tesla’s “All Our Patent Are Belong to You” pledge back in 2014. The reactions to such announcements always lie across a spectrum of cynicism — on the one hand they are mere publicity stunts or designed to surreptitiously encourage rapid […]

How to attack a UK patent or application

In Europe, the European Patent Convention provides a nine-month “opposition” period following the grant of a European patent in which anyone may try to convince the European Patent Office why the patent shouldn’t have been granted. If an opposition is successful, the patent may be revoked with reduced cost and effort relative to national revocation […]

Patenting new materials — a simple guide

Ahead of the Advanced Materials Show, our chemistry and materials patent expert Martin Neilson explains the patent process and highlights how you can patent much more than just your inventions… What is a patent? A patent provides the owner with a twenty-year monopoly right from the government of the country in which it’s granted. Patents […]

True zero-emission vehicles — advances in clean hydrogen fuel

Honda FCX Clarity, Mercedes-Benz F-Cell, Hyundai Tucson FCEV, Toyota Mirai, Hyundai Nexo — all cars which run on hydrogen fuel, emitting only water as a waste product. While these examples suggest that the automotive industry has already achieved sustainable vehicles, for them to be considered truly zero-emission, the hydrogen itself must be generated using renewable energy. One way of […]

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 […]

Working together – who owns the patents?

The automotive sector has recently been awash with large-scale infrastructure investment news as companies look to ready roads and networks for the exciting future of transport. Consider, for example, BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company, Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche’s joint venture — Ionity — with its aim to build a pan-European electric vehicle charging […]

Who owns my logo?

‘Who owns my logo?’ may seem like a straightforward question — the client paid for it, so therefore the client owns it, right? Well, not always. The question of ownership isn’t as simple to answer as you might think… Even the definition of ‘ownership’ is a common misconception. This should refer to the legal ownership […]

The IP opportunities and challenges in graphene

Graphene is often described as the material of superlatives due to its multitude of desirable properties, which open up a myriad of different applications across many sectors. This means there are a whole host of opportunities for IP protection, which were my pleasure to discuss at the Graphene Automotive conference in Detroit, Michigan. I gave a brief presentation about […]

Six steps your business should take to protect its brands

According to Brand Finance, Amazon now has the most valuable brand in the world, valued at a whopping USD 187,905bn. While not every business is an Amazon, all have important brands that should be protected. Here are six key steps for anyone to follow to ensure that your brands, which may well be your most […]

The fundamentals of battery development and patent protection

Batteries, being such fundamental components in everything from smart phones to electric cars, are truly at the forefront of the evolution of consumer and industrial markets. Battery technology has come a long way over the past quarter of a century, though the rate of development has increased significantly in the last five years. This is […]

Creative agencies: how and why to protect your intellectual property

Intellectual property (IP) is the lifeblood of the creative industries. Whether you know it or not, if you’ve ever pitched a creative concept, developed a new product design or produced any form of original content, you’ve generated IP. Having the ability to protect your ideas and the things you’ve created is critical. Our guide to […]

IP and social media – a guide for content creators and meme sharers

Intellectual property (IP) rights on social media is an area generating a lot of public attention at the moment, thanks to issues as varied as Article 13 from the new EU Copyright Directive and character dance animations on the world’s most popular online game, Fortnite. Whether you’re creating content yourself or just sharing things like […]

How to patent an infotainment system

Infotainment systems in our vehicles are fast evolving. Just a decade ago, a CD player and an input port for an MP3 player were about the most you could expect from a standard family car — but we’ve since witnessed enormous changes to the interior of cars and what’s capable of being delivered to the […]

Patent ownership and inventorship – a quick guide

Patent ownership can get confusing when it comes to identifying applicants, inventors and owners. If you’re unsure about the rights you have or who to list where on your patent application, here’s a quick guide which should help you to clarify what these terms mean. Applicants A named patent applicant is the legal owner of a […]

The race towards a truly acceptable electric vehicle for the masses – keeping pace with the patent surge

From the perspective of a chemistry and materials specialist, a vehicle isn’t just a mode of transport — it’s a mobile chemical processing plant. Vehicles are powered by chemical energy. This is the case whether the vehicle is based on a traditional internal combustion engine, powered by the combustion of hydrocarbon fuels, or an electric […]

Patent Box – four considerations to secure tax relief on profits from patented products

Did you know that you might be entitled to tax relief on profits earned from your patented inventions? It has been five years since the UK government introduced its ‘Patent Box’ scheme and while take-up was initially slow, many more companies are now reaping the benefit. Here’s some guidance to make sure you don’t miss out. What […]

Is our infrastructure ready for the future of transport?

There’s a lot of talk at the moment about electric and autonomous vehicles and how, over the next 30 years, we’re going to see many more of them on our roads. Manufacturers are investing hugely in developing alternative powertrains and the products which use them. The recently launched Mercedes EQC (an electric SUV!) is testament […]

The patent process – making the most of your window of opportunity

Obtaining granted patents in a number of countries around the world can be a long, complex and expensive process. Here are a couple of features of the process which are particularly important to note for individuals, start-ups, small companies and universities, which may not have a large amount of money available to support the entire process, particularly […]

Should I trade mark my business name?

It’s a question that crosses the mind of every business owner at some point — and, you guessed it — there isn’t a simple ‘yes or no’ answer. However, there are many good reasons to consider protecting your business name as a registered trade mark. Here are four key considerations to help you decide whether this route […]

The importance of IP in mergers and acquisitions

A portfolio of intellectual property (IP) rights can, if properly managed and maintained, add significant value to your business and make you an attractive proposition to a buyer. The acquisition process for buyers can be much smoother if a seller is able to provide a complete picture of their owned or licensed IP, and any […]

The Green Channel – a faster way to patent green technologies

From the plastic bag tax to global warming, electric cars and pollution, environmental issues affect our lives on a daily basis. As consumers, we’re becoming increasingly aware of the impact our purchase decisions have on the environment. There is now a growing demand for ethical and sustainable products in almost every sector, which is fuelling […]

What makes a ‘good’ trade mark?

Coca-Cola, Apple, Netflix, Google. Brands surround us. They’re everywhere and they’ve become part of our everyday vocabulary. This means that finding an ideal trade mark for your brand can be tricky. Does it fit with your image? Does it work with your marketing? Can it be protected? Given the value that a good brand can […]

Shedding light on the EU protected food name register

There has been much coverage in the press and on social media recently about the impact of Brexit on the protection of the names of food and drink products under EU law where they are made in an area and/or way which is recognised by the EU. Here we explain more about protected names. Terms […]

Six key considerations for patent co-ownership agreements

There have been many stories in the automotive sector recently about collaborations which span different technology sectors — one example being the tie-up between Jaguar Land Rover and Blackberry to develop “infotainment” technology for Jaguar Land Rover’s next generation of vehicles. So-called ‘infotainment systems’ are set to develop at a rapid rate over the next […]

A vision of the future – new uses of known materials

Many products are based on novel applications of materials which were originally developed for other purposes. Here, we explain why you should keep an open mind when working with materials. As recently reported in The Telegraph, Rolls-Royce is working with materials research company Superdielectrics Ltd. to build next-generation energy storage batteries using a polymer material originally […]

The patent process – a materials perspective

Patent filing can be a long and complex process — especially when it comes to materials. Here’s a look at the different elements of a patent and some advice for materials-based inventions. I recently attended the annual general meeting of the Consultancy Group of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC). I was a guest speaker […]

IP opportunities in autonomous and electric vehicles

There are many obstacles preventing the uptake of autonomous and electric vehicles. A recent white paper from not-for-profit organisation Regen highlighted several policy priorities that need to be addressed by the UK government to build on a strong position in the market for electric vehicles. These include the development of charging infrastructure and the integration of electric […]

Cars made of graphene (well, almost!)

We recently discussed the commercial potential of graphene and the importance of obtaining protection for innovations which are based on the myriad properties of this unique material. Since its identification at The University of Manchester in 2004, graphene has gone from a laboratory wonder material to one which can be commercially fabricated. The commercial fabrication […]

A simple guide to marking your IP rights

In the UK, it isn’t compulsory to mark your products with details of your IP rights. However, providing third parties with a constructive notice, alerting them of the existence of your rights, does have its advantages. In this simple guide to marking your IP rights, we take a look at some of the advantages and […]

When is further processing at the EPO not available?

Much of the administrative burden around managing portfolios of patent applications is concerned with ensuring that record systems and filing is up-to-date, and deadlines are met. These deadlines are often set by time limits which are written into patent law and in many cases, the consequence of missing a deadline is the patent application lapsing. […]

Protecting new materials – a holistic approach

How long is a piece of value chain? Materials companies sit at the start of what is often a long and complicated commercial value chain. This may include: Synthesis New materials Material processing Subcomponent design and integration Device architecture Device functionality End application Often, a significant proportion of the value of an end product is […]

What are plant variety rights?

Plant variety rights (also called plant breeders’ rights) are a form of intellectual property right designed specifically to protect new varieties of plants. These rights offer legal protection as a reward for the investment plant breeders make in breeding and developing new varieties. The plant variety right entitles the holder to prevent any unauthorised person […]

How do you make money from a patent?

A patent is a commercial tool. Patents define inventions that are often of some commercial value to the owner of the invention. They are filed with the intention of realising their commercial value by making money from the invention. But, how exactly can you make money from a patent? A patent is a legal right […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

What happens if I disclose my invention?

The outcome of disclosing an invention depends on two main factors: when you disclose it and how you disclose it. When The first requirement for a potential invention to be patentable is that the invention is new, or ‘novel’, at the time the patent application is filed. Any and all information in the public domain […]

Help! Someone is using my trade mark as a domain name

Having a trade mark does not automatically give you the right to the associated domain name (and vice versa). If, as a trade mark owner, you would like to use your trade mark as a domain name, it must be purchased from the appropriate Registrar. Domain names are usually allocated ownership on a first come, […]