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The European Council was yesterday due to adopt the directive on the protection of undisclosed know-how and business information (trade secrets) against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure (“Trade Secrets Directive“), following a vote by the European Parliament on 15 April 2016.  This was following a long legislative process which began with a draft directive in 2013.

Continue Reading Can you keep a (trade) secret?

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The EU has published a trade mark reform package for 2016, comprising a new Community Trade Mark (CTM) Regulation and Trade Mark Directive.

The Regulation, which sets out the rules and procedures governing CTMs, will come into effect on 23 March 2016. The updated Trade Mark Directive will introduce a number of similar provisions in respect of national trade mark systems, however, its provisions will not come into effect until January 2019.


Continue Reading Trade Mark Reform Scheduled for 2016

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A Californian Judge, Gail J Standish, recently dismissed a copyright lawsuit where it was alleged that Taylor Swift had copied lyrics for her popular song "Shake It Off". Taylor Swift is in fact an avid fan of enforcing her own copyright, was facing a $42 million damages claim.   Jesse Graham filed the lawsuit claiming that

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In January of this year the Department of Finance (the Department) launched a Public Consultation Process (the Consultation) on the proposed introduction of a corporation tax incentive for income generated from intellectual property (IP) known as the Knowledge Development Box (KDB)(see earlier blog Knowledge Development Box – Launch of Public Consultation Process – "Ireland will play fair, as it has always done, and play to win." – Minister Noonan)

The Consultation sought the views of interested parties on issues such as the scope of IP set to benefit under the regime, the calculation of qualifying income and the mechanism for applying relief. Nearly 40 written submissions were received and on 31 July the Department published a "Feedback Statement" (the Response) commenting on the views expressed as part of the Consultation and setting out possible approaches for the KDB regime.


Continue Reading Department of Finance publishes feedback on the Knowledge Development Box Consultation

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A French Supreme Court (the Cour de Cassation) has recently overturned a decision of the Paris Court of Appeal which had given a 2013 ruling in a copyright infringement case. The case involves the famous Longchamp "pilage" bag which, according to Longchamp, is the most copied bag in the world. The Cour de Cassation found that the Court of Appeal was in violation of the French Intellectual Property Code (Article L. 122-4) which deems it illegal to reproduce fully or partially a protected work without the authorisation of the right holder. 


Continue Reading Longchamp – French Supreme Court rules on copyright infringement

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A French Supreme Court (the Cour de Cassation) has recently overturned a decision of the Paris Court of Appeal which had given a 2013 ruling in a copyright infringement case. The case involves the famous Longchamp "pilage" bag which, according to Longchamp, is the most copied bag in the world. The Cour de Cassation found that the Court of Appeal was in violation of the French Intellectual Property Code (Article L. 122-4) which deems it illegal to reproduce fully or partially a protected work without the authorisation of the right holder. The supreme courts (Cour de Cassation and Conseil d’État) acts as a cassation jurisdiction, giving them supreme jurisdiction in quashing the judgments of inferior courts where those courts misapplied law. Generally, cassation is not based on outright violations of law, but on differing interpretations of law between the courts.


Continue Reading Longchamp reaches the French Supreme Court over copyright infringement

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In the Irish Government Budget for the forthcoming year published on 14 October, it was announced that the so called ‘Double Irish’ tax mechanism was being phased out. One of the mechanisms that is being considered to replace the ‘Double Irish’ is a new ‘Knowledge Box’ scheme. This scheme would be similar to the recently introduced Patent Box in the United Kingdom and would be of significant benefit to intellectual property holders in Ireland and those seeking to establish themselves in Ireland. Commentators suggest the Knowledge Box scheme will include a tax rate likely to be at least as low as 6.25 per cent and perhaps lower on intellectual property assets managed in the scheme. A 6.25 per cent tax rate would be half the standard Irish corporate tax rate of 12.5 per cent. The exact scope and conditions for qualifying for the scheme have yet to be determined.


Continue Reading Knowledge Box – Ireland’s new IP Tax Incentive

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Last week saw the European Commission adopting a revised regime in respect of technology transfer agreements. The new agreements will enable companies to better licence the use of patents, know-how or software held by another company for the production of goods and services. The new Technology Transfer Block Exemption Regulation (TTBER) and accompanying Technology Transfer Guidelines (Guidelines) will enter into force on 1 May 2014.

The TTBER and Guidelines will create a safe harbour for licensing agreements seeking to strengthen incentives for research, innovation and stimulate competition. 


Continue Reading Patent Pools making a splash