Top 10 IP Developments in 2010

IMHO these were the top 10 news developments for IP practitioners in 2010:

10    Unilever Plc and others v Shanks
[2010] EWCA Civ 1283

Clarified the law relating to employees’ patents. See my case note of 27 Nov 2010.

9.    ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement)

Last published draft of a proposed international agreement to co-ordinate anti-counterfeiting enforcement.

8.    Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and others v Newzbin Ltd
[2010] EWHC 608 (Ch), [2010] ECC 13, [2010] FSR 21, [2010] EMLR 17, [2010] ECDR 8

I took over the defence of Newzbin Ltd. but that’s not the only reason why I think it is important. This was the first fully argued English decision on the meaning of “communication to the public”. It also rowed back from the Amstrad cases on authorization.

7.    Amazon v A-G of Canada

Business method inventions are patentable in Canada. First Commonwealth decision to that effect – but see

6.    Bilski v Kappos

US law on software-implemented and business method inventions inches closer to Europe.

5.    Digital Economy Act 2010

Dog’s breakfast of a statute passed in dying days of New Labour imposing enforcement duties on ISPs.

4.    Hargreaves Review

Umpteenth review of UK intellectual property laws.

3.    Google France and Others v Louis Vuitton and Others
[2010] EUECJ C-236/08, [2010] RPC 19, [2010] ETMR 30

Search engine’s liability for use of keywords and ad-words.

2.    Enhanced Co-operation

The legal mechanism by which we may – just may – get the next best thing to an EU patent.

1.    Patents County Court Reforms

The most important IP development of the year: making the courts affordable to SME.

Happy New Year!

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About Jane Lambert

I am a barrister specializing in intellectual property, technology, media and entertainment and competition law. I specialize in helping SME (small and medium enterprises) protect and exploit their investment in brands, design, technology and the arts. SME require intellectual property (legal protection for their intellectual assets) at least as much as big business but their limited means restrict the way they can use it. Looking after such clients wisely requires skills and knowledge which have taken me years to learn.
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