Sunday 9 April 2023

World Intellectual Property Day - M-SParc's Luchtime Seminar

Jane Lambert

World Intellectual Property Day - Celebrating Wales.s Women Entrepreneurs, Inventors and Creatives - Menai Science Park 26 April 2023 12:30 

It is less than three weeks to World Intellectual Property Day.   For readers who missed my post, World Intellectual Property Dat 2023, on 27 Jan 2023, it is a worldwide festival of creativity, enterprise and innovation which takes place on 26 April of every year.  Each year the celebrations focus on a different theme.  This year's theme will be Women and IP:  Accelerating Innovation and CreativityIn keeping with that theme, the Menai Science Park ("M-SParc") will celebrate the contribution of women entrepreneurs, inventors and creatives in Wales.

As in previous years, the main celebration at M-SParc will be a lunchtime seminar which will take place in one of the conference rooms and online.  One of the speakers will be Anna Roberts, the founder and CEO of  That company has just launched a new web-based service that helps those with goods to store to find the optimum self-storage facilities in their area.  It also puts those with self-storage facilities in touch with members of the public looking for self-storage.  Emily Roberts has written about the service in Explorage com Launches New Platform which she posted to M-SParc's website on 6 April 2023. is one of many innovative new businesses that are based in M-SParc.  Most provide services which is to be expected in a mature economy such as the United Kingdom where services account for 79.2% of GDP.  That is comparable to France at 78.8%, Germany at 71.1% and the USA at 79.7%. Protecting innovation in services is challenging because the world's intellectual property system was constructed during the industrial revolution when the priority was to protect innovation in manufacturing.  That may explain the exclusions of schemes, rules and methods for performing mental acts, playing games or doing business, and programs for computers as such from the definition of patentable inventions in art 52 (2) (c) of the European Patent Convention,  Also, it was not until the mid-1980s that the Trade Marks Act 1938 was amended to enable the registration of trade marks for services.

As there is no such thing as a service patent, new services have to be protected indirectly. That requires an analysis of the service provider's income-generating assets and a plan for protecting them which ideally should be incorporated into the enterprise's business plan.   In most cases, it is the brand that attracts customers so the enterprise will have to fund the registration of a trade mark in all the countries in which it intends to do business.  Sometimes the most important asset will be technical or commercial information. Trade secrecy law throughout Europe has recently been codified by the Trade Secrets Directive which remains part of our law notwithstanding Brexit.  Thought also has to be given to enforcement which remains expensive despite efforts of the courts and legal professions to minimize the costs.  For most small businesses, IP enforcement requires specialist insurance the premiums for which should also be written into the business plan.

These and other issues will be on the menu at M-SParc's lunchtime seminar on 26 April 2023.  If you want to book your place at the table or are looking for more information, call me at +44 (0)20 7404 5252 during office hours or message me through my contact form.

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