Tuesday, 17 August 2021

IP & SME - Scaling-Up

Stock Exchange
Author Gren  Licence Public Domain  Source Wikimedia Commons





















On 26 April of every year, a worldwide festival of creativity and innovation takes place to celebrate the anniversary of the implementation of the convention establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization. For the last three years, the Menai Science Park has contributed to the festival by holding a seminar on its annual theme.

This year's theme was IP & SMEs: Taking your ideas to market and the theme park held a very successful webinar on that topic on 26 April 2021 (see Menai Science Park's Contribution to World IP Day 2021 25 April 2021).  In that article I wrote:
"If this webinar is successful we hope to hold subsequent ones on scaling up the business covering angel and private equity investment and Stock Exchange flotation later in the year ..."

In view of the webinar's success,  Emily Roberts is planning a similar seminar on scaling-up to take place on 11 Nov 2021.   

The first seminar focused on the funding that is available for new businesses in Wales during their early years.  Many of those businesses will fail but those that survive are likely to enjoy strong demand for their products and services.   Some of those businesses will wish to expand their capacity and exploit new opportunities.  Such expansion and exploitation will require equity investment.   Such investment can be provided by 

Emily and I will invite an angel, venture capitalist and NOMAD (nominated advisor) to speak at the seminar.

As such investors will risk many thousands and sometimes millions of pounds, they will wish to make sure that their investment is secure.  They will require due diligence, sound legal agreements and full intellectual property protection.   We will arrange for those topics to be covered by an experienced commercial lawyer and a patent and trade mark attorney.   Everybody attending the webinar will be given links to further information on scaling-up.

The Eventbrite cared will appear shortly.   In the meantime, anyone wishing to discuss this article or any of the topics mentioned in it should call me on 020 7404 5252 during office hours or send me a message through my contact form.

Wednesday, 11 August 2021

Geographical Indications: Gower Salt Marsh Lamb - First Product to be registered under the British Scheme

Gower Meat Selection at a Swansea Restaurant
Author Vouliagmeni Licence Public Domain Source Wikipedia Commons

 










Jane Lambert

By a decision notice dated 23 July 2021 the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has decided to register 'Gower Salt Marsh Lamb’ as a Protected Designation of Origin under the UK quality scheme for protected designations of origin and protected geographical indications for agricultural products and foodstuffs.  The significance of the decision is that it is the first product to be registered under the British scheme.  The application was made on 1 Jan 2021 (the day after the transition or implementation period provided by art 126 of the agreement for British withdrawal from the EU expired) and the product was added to the register today.

In Geographical Indications I wrote:

"Ageographical indication' is defined as a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin (see the "Geographical Indications" page of the WIPO website). The sign must identify a product as originating in a given place. In addition, the qualities, characteristics or reputation of the product should be essentially due to the place of origin. Since the qualities depend on the geographical place of production, there is a clear link between the product and its original place of production. Examples include 'Scotch' for whisky from Scotland, 'Champagne' for sparkling wine from the Champagne region of France and “Parma” ham for dry-cured ham from the Parma region of Italy."

In The New Protected Food Names Scheme as it will apply in Wales I added:

"The signs used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to their origin are known as geographical indications. They are a type of intellectual asset that the United Kingdom and other parties to the WTO agreement are required to protect by Section 3 of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights ("TRIPS"). In the United Kingdom, these requirements are satisfied by the law of passing off, the registration of certification and collective marks and sui generis EU intellectual property rights established by Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 November 2012 on quality schemes for agricultural products and foodstuffs OJ L 343, 14.12.2012, p. 1–29."
The UK is required to continue to protect protected designations of origin, protected geographical indications and traditional specialities guaranteed by art 54 (2) of the withdrawal agreement. That requirement is implemented by The Agricultural Products, Food and Drink (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019 No 1366) which amend Regulation 1151/2012. Essentially, the EU legislation as amended by that statutory instrument has been incorporated into the laws of Wales, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland by s.3 (1) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 with effect from 31 Dec 2020.    

I discussed the UK scheme in Geographical Indications in the UK after 31 Dec 2020 in NIPC Law on 30 Sept 2020.   I considered how the new British scheme would apply in Wales in The New Protected Food Names Scheme as it will apply in Wales on 26 Oct 2020 in NIPC Wales.   I explained the way in which the EU legislation had been amended and incorporated into domestic law in How Brexit has changed IP Law in NIPC Brexit on 17 Jan 2021 and in my presentation and handout IP after Brexit on 26 Jan 2021.

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has published a full product specification for Gower salt marsh lamb.  It identifies the applicant for registration, the product's name and description, its geographical area, proof of origin, method of production and link with the area.  The City and County of Swansea will be the inspection body for the product. 

Gower salt marsh lamb is not the only famous product from the area.  The Gower peninsula is an important gastronomic region of the British isles.  It is also famous for its beef, game, fruit, vegetables, seafood and many other products.  A distinctive local speciality is laverbread made from seaweed.  Further information on the area's foods can be obtained from the Wikipedia article Cuisine of Gower.

Anyone wishing to discuss this article or any of its contents may call me on 020 7404 5252 during office hours or send me a message through my contact form.

Wednesday, 4 August 2021

Website Access Terms and Privacy Statements - Something that every Website should have















When I talk to business owners in Wales (or indeed anywhere else for that matter) there is usually at least one who wants to talk about terms and conditions.  Usually, he or she wants to talk about conditions of sale or service.  Sometimes about procurement and purchase.  If a website is to be used in business, then it should display the terms upon which goods are to be traded.  I discussed what they should be in "All At Sea!" - Terms and Conditions of Business on 15 April 2019. But in addition, it should also have website access terms ("WAT") and a privacy statement and so too should every other website,

What's WAT
A WAT is essentially a licence.  In order to visit a website, an internet user has to run the digital code that represents text, images, sounds, animations and other content through a browser and that involves reproduction.  The noughts and one that the browser converts into screen and speaker output are literary works within the meaning of s.3 (1) of the Copyrights Designs and Patents Act 1988.  Reproducing a copyright work is an act restricted by s.16 (1) (a) of the same Act.   It can only be done lawfully with the consent of the copyright owner.  The WAT are the terms upon which the terms on which the owner of the copyright in the website content gives his or her consent.

The Terms
The terms of the WAT will depend on the needs of the business owner but a typical licence might include:
  • a description of the licence
  • an acknowledgement of the owner's intellectual property rights
  • undertakings not to do certain acts such as downloading copyright work or deep linking
  • disclaimers of certain types of liability in so far as may be permitted by the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 and other legislation
  • reservations of the right to vary the terms
  • clauses severing any void or unenforceable provisions
  • choice of law. and
  • choice of jurisdiction.

The Licence Description
The most important part of the WAT is the licence which will look something like this:
"(1)     Access to this website requires the reproduction of copyright material which can be done lawfully only with the licence of XYZ Ltd a private company incorporated in Wales with limited liability under company number,,,,,,,,,,,,,, the registered office of which is at  .........................  ("the Company").
(2)    The Company grants such licence only on the following terms.
(3)    If you do not accept these terms you may not visit this site and must leave immediately."
In the "choice of law" clause you will provide that the terms are to be construed and enforced in accordance with the laws of Wales and England.   In the choice of jurisdiction clause, you will require the internet user to submit to the jurisdiction of the courts of Wales and England.  You can even specify that the user will not object to the issue of proceedings out of the Chancery District Registries of Caernarfon, Cardiff or Mold.

Privacy Statement 
This is not a contract but a statement of policy.   It essentially tells visitors what data will be collected, how it will be used and how and where to obtain further information, request access to personal data under the provisions of the Data Protection Acy 2018 and lodge objections.   As several provisions of the Act require the informed consent of the data subject it is important that it is full and accurate.   It does not have to be drawn up by a lawyer but it should be checked by one,   I have a specialist blog on data protection at http://nipcdp.blogspot.com/ which contains articles on the Act and General Data Protection Regulation. 

Language
If you translate the WAT or privacy statement into Welsh, make sure that it is done or at least checked by a Welsh-speaking lawyer.   Remember that the WAT and statement will be available in the rest of the world so there should be at least one version in English.

Further Information
Anyone wishing to discuss this article or any of the topics mentioned in it may call me on 020 7404 5252 or send me a message through my contact form.