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Protecting FinTech Innovation

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Jane Lambert

A lot of money is going into FinTech (financial services technology) in this country and overseas nowadays including accelerator programmes promoted by our central bank and one of our major clearers (see the Bank of England's FinTech page and the Barclays Accelerator as well as details of the other accelerator programmes in the table below). But how is all that investment in FinTech to be protected if indeed it is to be protected at all?  In an extract from a longer article in Gluon. Steve Findley and Vanni Torelli ask whether IP is so important to FinTech (see Fintech Startups – is IP important?The FinTech Times).

In view of the amounts of money involved, I should be very surprised if it were not. Findley and Torelli argued that of the top 35 FinTec h unicorns than 25% have filed for patents. I am not in the least surprised by that statistic. Most FinTech innovation will be software implemented. Software is difficult to patent in England and indeed the rest of Europe…

Intellectual Property (Unjustified Threats) Bill

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Jane Lambert

The action arising from groundless threats has been one of the most perplexing features of our intellectual property law both for foreign owners of IPR in this country and their legal advisors (see Prince Plc v Prince Sports Group Inc[1998] FSR 21) and even non-specialist lawyers in the United Kingdom (see Brain v Ingeledew Brown Benson and Garrett and another [1996] FSR 341). Under s.70 of the Patents Act 1977 and similar provisions in other IP legislation, a letter threatening proceedings that would be quite acceptable in most countries and even in the UK in respect of most other causes of action can land the lawyer or attorney who wrote it, and the client on whose behalf the letter was written, in a whole heap of trouble that sometimes results in an infringer getting away with his or her wrongdoing.

S.70 (1) provides:

"Where a person (whether or not the proprietor of, or entitled to any right in, a patent) by circulars, advertisements or otherwise threatens anoth…

General Civil Restraint Orders in IPEC - Perry v Brundle

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Jane Lambert

Perry v F H Brundle and Others [2017] EWHC 678 (IPEC) (30 March 2017)

Para 1 of the Part 3C Practice Direction, which is made pursuant to CPR 3.11, enables the court to make a range of orders known as "civil restraint orders" against a party which has issued claims or made applications that are totally without merit. Each of those orders restricts access to the courts. They are known respectively as:
a limited civil restraint order;an extended civil restraint order; anda general civil restraint order. I discussed the jurisdiction to make those orders in Civil Restraint Orders in IPEC - Perry v Brundle12 Oct 2015.

Readers will see that the most restrictive of those orders is the general civil restraint order which restrains the person against whom it is made from issuing any claim or making any application in the High Court or the County Court without permission if the order is made by a judge of the High Court. Such an order may be made only where an extended civi…

Court of Appeal upholds Birss J in Unwired Planet v Huawei

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Jane Lambert

Court of Appeal Unwired Planet International Ltd v Huawei Technologies Co Ltd[2017] EWCA Civ 266 (12 April 2017) Lords Justices Gross and Floyd and Mr Justice Arnold 

In Unwired Planet International Ltd v Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and Others [2015] EWHC 3366 (Pat) (23 Nov 2015), Unwired Planet sued Huawei, Samsung and Google for patent infringement. The patent in suit was European patent 2,229,744 entitled Method and arrangement in a wireless communication network which is concerned with polling for a wireless communication network. The trial judge, Mr Justice Birss, explained at para [2] of his judgment that

"In this context the word "poll" refers to a message sent by a transmitter of data to the receiver to ask the receiver to tell the transmitter what information has been received. In the context of the mobile radio networks in this case, the poll asks the receiver to send a "status report". When the transmitter receives a status report it can …

Other Articles of Interest

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CIPA's York Meeting IP Yorkshire 10 April 2018
I was one of the speakers at CIPA's York meeting at the Principal Hotel. The others were Louise Edwards of Mazars, David Bloom of Safeguard IP and Kalim Yasseen of the IPO. Tony Rollins chaired the meeting.

I spoke about litigation after 28 March 2017 when the EU treaties will cease to apply and considered the litigation framework we are likely to find then. Louise discussed changes to patent box relief in the Finance Act 2016 and the Finance Bill. David talked about all the new products in IP insurance. Yasim covered changes to the Patents Rules and new services on the IPO's section of the .gov.uk website  More  IP Litigation After Brexit IP North West 9 April 2018 In 2 years time, there will be no Community design or EU trade mark courts and we may well have left the Unified Patent Court. What should we do then? Well, make more use of IPEC, especially the small claims track, for a start as we need to do something about the …