Thursday 26 March 2020

Delivering on my Promises in Wales

Jane Lambert

In IP Services During the Emergency 23 March 2020 NIPC Inventors Club, I wrote:
"I was due to speak to the inventors, makers and designers of Porthmadog at Ffiws Maker Space on 1 April 2020. I had an IP clinic at Barnsley Business Village on 14 April 2020. I was planning a high-level seminar on Green Innovation at the Menai Science Park on 27 April 2020 as Wales's contribution to World IP Day."
My visits to Porthmadog and Gaerwen had to be cancelled because of the public health emergency but that does not mean that the talks should not take place: 

I have already uploaded to Linkedin Slideshare the slides of the presentation, Intellectual Property Law for Makers, that I had intended to give to the makers of Northwest Wales at the Ffiws Maker Space at 125 High Street, Porthmadog,  At the time I was to rise to my feet in Porthmadog, I propose to deliver my talk over the Internet.  I hope that as many members of the intended audience at Porthmadog as possible will be able to listen but makers anywhere else in the world will be welcome.  I hope to publish details of the talk and an Eventbrite link later today.

My other commitment in North Wales is a seminar at the Menai Science Park (M-SParc) at Gaerwen on 27 April 2020 to celebrate World Intellectual Property Day (see Anglesey to celebrate World Intellectual Property Day with Talks on Protecting and Exploiting Green Innovation at M-SParc 5 March 2020). That will now take place online but at the slightly earlier time of 12:30 to 13:30.

It will focus on the opportunities offered by WIPO Green for businesses in Wales and the rest of the UK and on the Green Channel, the arrangements in place at the Intellectual Property Office and a number of other patent offices to fast track patent applications for environmentally friendly inventions.  Rob Elias of Beacon Biorefining will be the keynote speaker in relation to the business opportunities and how one of the UK's leading consultancies on plant research can help businesses in Wales to take advantage of them,  We have invited local experts to discuss the corporate legal and tax issues that might arise.  We had invited a speaker from the IPO to discuss the Green Channel but if none is available for our webinar we shall invite an experienced patent attorney instead.

The World IP Day webinar will be organized by M-SParc who have already staged an excellent conference on responding to the COVID-19 menace which I attended on Monday.  There were presentations from Lee Waters AM Deputy Minister for Transport and Economy in Wales and local speakers including the inventor of an antiviral snood which could not have been developed at a more propitious time.

Should any entrepreneur, inventor or maker in North Wales (or indeed anywhere else in the world) want some specific advice on protecting, commercializing or marketing a new product or service, we now have a team of experts who can help.  I have been practising IP law for many years and I can offer initial advice and support on most legal issues.  If you want to apply for a patent or registered design I can pass you on to Sean Thomas, an Anglesey man, who is an experienced patent attorney. If you are interested in branding I can refer you to Jonty Gordon of Amgen Law who can help you with trade mark matters.  On corporate issues, Andrea Knox of Knox Commercial Solicitors is your local expert. As for tax, Steve Livingston, another Anglesey man, is a chartered accountant specializing in IP taxation.  Last but by no means least is Huw Watkins of BIC Innovation who can help you get your product to market.   Anyone who wants to consult any member of that team should fill in the Initial Advice and Signposting Form and we shall take it from there.

If anyone is curious about the gravestone in the picture, it is in memory not of a human but of a dog.  A faithful hound called Gelert was left to guard the infant son of Llewellyn the Great, apparently without any human supervision.  While his father was away fighting the English a rapacious wolf entered the enclosure where the boy was sleeping.  Gelert fought off the wolf but upset the furniture in the process. When Llewellyn returned from battling with my compatriots he found the room in a tip. Concluding that the dog had savaged his son he slew the beast.  The canine's dying cry woke up the prince and revealed its heroism. Overcome with remorse Llewellyn renamed the town where the dog is buried Beddgelert.  The reason why I have taken that photo is that Beddgelert lies on the road between Gaerwen and Porthmadog. The Welsh and UK national treasure, Cerys Matthews, has written a lovely book about the story.

Anyone wanting to discuss this article or IP generally should message me through my contact form while this emergency lasts.   Should you want a chat by phone or VoIP I shall be glad to call you back.

Thursday 5 March 2020

Anglesey to celebrate World Intellectual Property Day with Talks on Protecting and Exploiting Green Innovation at M-SParc

Jane Lambert

World Intellectual Property Day celebrates the coming into force of the Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization ("WIPO Convention").   It is celebrated throughout the world with talks, exhibitions and other events (see World Intellectual Property Day, 26 April 2013 11 April 2013 NIPC News).  Last year Wales contributed to the worldwide celebrations with a lunchtime seminar at M-SParc (the Menai Science Park) (see Celebrating World IP Day at M-SParc: Basic Tips for Startups and other Small Businesses 29 April 2019).

Every year the celebrations focus on a different theme.  This year's theme is Innovate for a Green Future (see World Intellectual Property Day – April 26, 2020: Innovate for a Green Future 2 March 2020).  Nothing could be more appropriate for Anglesey in view of the local authority's vision of Anglesey as an "energy island" harnessing its resources of wind power, tidal power and biomass (see the draft prospectus by Anglesey County Council and the Welsh Government for an Energy Island Enterprise Zone).

Although Anglesey, like the rest of Wales, has abundant natural resources and super talented entrepreneurs and innovators to take advantage of them, there is a worry that the county and country are not realizing their full potential.  Nesta (the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) identified the problem with a recent report commissioned by Jen Rae and others entitled Is Wales Getting Innovation Right?  The report noted that "Wales is a nation ready for innovation" but not everyone enjoys the benefit.

Some of those reasons are social and structural but there are at least two initiatives that could help.  One is the Intellectual Property Office's Green Channel scheme by which applications for patents for environmentally friendly inventions can be processed expeditiously.   This scheme reduces significantly the delay in obtaining legal protection which enables inventions to be launched substantially more quickly with consequential improvements to cash flow.  Started in Newport in 2009, the scheme has been followed by the Chinese, American and several other patent offices.   The other initiative is WIPO Green, an online market place for green technology which should make it easier for Welsh entrepreneurs and innovators to fund and market their inventions.  So far only one British business has taken advantage of the scheme and that is a company in London.

We shall discuss both opportunities at this year's IP Day celebrations at M-SParc on 27 April 2020 between 14:00 to 15:00.   Admission to those discussions is free but it is essential to book in advance.  Click here to secure your place at the event.  If you have any questions, call me on 020 7404 5252 or send me a message through my contact form.