Over the coming week, we will
be reflecting on some of the most significant cases, deals and
legislative developments and remember some of the companies,
individuals and law firms who have been shaping IP practice
during the past year.
On Twitter, we
will post links to our coverage of some of these issues,
including the news, interviews and analysis we have run during
the year using the hashtag #IP2014. Feel
free to add your own memories from the year using the hashtag,
join the discussion on LinkedIn or add your comments below.
Here’s just a few memories of the year to get
In the US, the Supreme Court made important interventions on
business method patents (the
Alice case) and in copyright (
Aereo) while practitioners adapted to the new procedures
brought in by the America Invents Act, notably the
PTAB. At the Federal Circuit, Chief Judge Sharon Prost
took over after the dramatic
departure of Randall Rader, while at the USPTO Michelle Lee
nominated as director. The Office was also criticised for
staffing practices and its
interpretation of the Mayo and Myriad cases.
In Europe, copyright issues were
at the forefront, with the CJEU rulings in
European Commission consultation and the implementation of
Orphan Works Directive. The UK introduced a number of new
exceptions to copyright law, and also passed the
IP Act which included provisions to make design
infringement a criminal offence. Meanwhile, work intensified on
the implementation of the
Unitary Patent and UPC, and discussions on the
reform of the Trade Marks Directive and CTM Regulation
In Asia, the impact of the
new Chinese Trade Mark Law implemented in May is still
being felt, amid continuing concerns about
bad faith applications and counterfeiting. Elsewhere in
Asia, patents were in the spotlight with landmark FRAND
Japan and Australia’s Full Federal Court
going its own way on the Myriad patent.
Elsewhere, Canada pressed ahead with fundamental
trade mark and anti-counterfeiting changes, while South
Africa saw its
first decision on Google AdWords and
Argentina’s Supreme Court
ruled on search engine liability. OAPI
joined the Madrid Protocol, adding 17 countries to the
Francis Gurry (right) was
re-elected director general, and there were some
new faces among the senior staff, while there were also
new people in charge of IP at the European Commission.
Towards the end of the year, the EPO was beset by
strikes and controversy.
ASIPI celebrated its 50th anniversary in Mexico
City, and INTA marked its first
annual meeting in Asia in a rain-soaked Hong Kong. In
IP Enforcement Summit was held in June.
Throughout the year, hundreds of new gTLDs were
launched under Icann’s continuing programme,
bringing opportunities and threats to brand owners. Patent
reverses in the US, though Congress did not pass any new
laws. Actavis was
sued by the New York Attorney General, and Interflora and
M&S had their
UK AdWords dispute sent back to the High Court. In more
amicable news, Apple and Samsung
settled all their patent litigation outside of the US.
So, what are your memories of 2014? Which cases, changes and
trends do you think were important this year? Join the debate
below or using #IP2014 on twitter.
Some of the above links go to articles available only to
subscribers and triallists. Log in for full access, or take out
a temporary free trial.