This week on MIP: UK supermarket wars, another metaverse office, and more
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This week on MIP: UK supermarket wars, another metaverse office, and more

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We provide a rundown of Managing IP’s news and analysis coverage from the week, and review what’s been happening elsewhere in IP

UK Supreme Court gives Nokia v Oppo green light

Nokia’s patent infringement suit against electronics company Oppo can go ahead despite pending proceedings in China, the UK Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday, November 1.

The court denied Oppo permission to appeal against a Court of Appeal judgment from July this year, in which Lord Justice Richard Arnold ruled that England was an appropriate forum to resolve the dispute.

The Supreme Court said Oppo’s application – in which it sought a determination to stay matters pending the outcome of the Chinese litigation – did not raise an arguable point of law. The court also ordered Oppo to pay the costs of the application.

Click here to read the full story.

ArentFox unveils new metaverse office

ArentFox became the first major US law firm to open an office in the metaverse on Monday, October 31. The office is in an area of the 3D virtual platform Decentraland.

The firm signalled its intention to open a metaverse presence in February, but this week’s news marks the first step of that ambition becoming a reality.

Several firms have followed and written about the legal implications of the metaverse, but ArentFox is among just a handful to enter the virtual world itself.

In June, Managing IP reported exclusively that intellectual property consultancy Brandit would become the first European IP outfit to open a virtual office. It subsequently opened its metaverse office in September.

Click here to read the full story.

UKIPO mulls new laws for ‘21st century’ digital services

The UKIPO is proposing new legislation to support digital transformation, including potentially automating services that must be performed by examiners under the law, it announced yesterday, November 3.

The office is running a consultation that covers proposals ranging from greater automation to the use of new types of multimedia files to support patent applications.

Another part of the same consultation concerns potential new powers for UKIPO tribunals.

Click here to read the full story.

Unified Patents plans to challenge IP at UPC

Unified Patents is best known for challenging and invalidating intellectual property rights at the US Patent Trial and Appeal Board – but it could soon become an important player in Europe too.

The company plans to challenge registrations at the Unified Patent Court, Europe’s new patent litigation forum, according to Jonathan Stroud, general counsel at Unified Patents in Washington DC.

Stroud told Managing IP on October 28: “It’s certainly something that we’re actively looking at and considering and will be participating in for sure.”

Click here to read the article.

Tesco lands early blow in Lidl bad-faith row

The England and Wales Court of Appeal overturned a High Court judgment that would have prevented Tesco from accusing rival supermarket chain Lidl of adopting a bad-faith trademark strategy.

In a judgment handed down on Wednesday, November 2, Lord Justice Kim Lewison, Lady Justice Eleanor King and Lord Justice Richard Arnold overturned a ruling by Mrs Justice Joanna Smith from June this year.

The decision paves the way for Tesco to advance claims of bad faith against the German retailer. The ruling is part of a wider trademark infringement lawsuit between the supermarket companies which is set to play out next year.

Click here to read the full story.

Ease data privacy rules to protect copyright, CJEU told

An adviser to the Court of Justice of the EU said national authorities tasked with investigating copyright infringement should be given greater access to personal data to aid their investigations.

Advocate general Maciej Szpunar concluded that EU privacy laws allowed for the retention of civil identity data, such as contact details linked to internet protocol addresses, when it was the only way of identifying alleged infringers.

If the opinion, published on October 27, were adopted, it would be a significant shift from established CJEU case law, which has so far limited identification via internet protocol addresses to instances of serious crime and threats to public safety.

Click here to read the full story.

Other articles published on Managing IP this week include: 

Delhi HC patent order creates freedom-to-operate uncertainty

Counsel say UPC rule change could be ‘hugely controversial’

Weekly take: Let courts, not ministers, decide IP disputes

Fed Circuit edict should spur design patent refinement

The road to victory: how counsel win IP cases at SCOTUS

As we enter a new month, you can also remind yourself of all of October's exclusive content.

Elsewhere in IP

Early Christmas gift

Singer Mariah Carey has been handed an early Christmas present after a copyright infringement lawsuit targeting her hit song 'All I Want for Christmas is You' was dropped. According to a report by Rolling Stone on Wednesday, November 2, plaintiff Andy Stone filed a motion to dismiss the case at the District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

Stone, a songwriter himself, sued Carey in June this year claiming he co-wrote a song with the same name five years before Carey’s 1994 hit was released.

Russia latest

Russia has added Walt Disney, Marvel and DC Comics to a list of brands that can be imported without permission, Reuters reported on Wednesday, November 2.

Following sanctions imposed after the invasion of Ukraine, Russia has been pushing a parallel-imports scheme which allows importers to bring goods into the country without the trademark owner's permission or knowledge. Russia also added several alcohol brands to the list. These include Jack Daniel's, Malibu, as well as the Bell's and Johnnie Walker whiskies.

Judgment database expands

Meanwhile, the UKIPO said on Wednesday, November 2, that the country’s most notable intellectual property judgments would be added to a WIPO-owned judgment database. The Lex-Judgments platform opens access to notable IP judgments from around the world.

Initially, the 100 most notable UK cases will be added. That list was compiled by Mr Justice Meade, a judge at the England and Wales High Court.

Counterfeit clampdown

On mainland Europe, the EUIPO reported on Monday, October 31, that Lisbon, Portugal’s capital city, had become the latest member of the ‘authenticity’ network.

The authenticities project aims to raise awareness among policymakers, businesses, and the public of IP’s value and the damage caused by counterfeiting. Lisbon will join six other authenticities: Sofia and Plovdiv in Bulgaria, Banska Bystrica in Slovakia, Mykonas and Thessaloniki in Greece, and Madrid in Spain.

Still on counterfeits, police in Manchester have arrested three men after an operation into the sale of counterfeit goods.

According to a BBC report on Saturday, October 29, 20 tonnes of replica items were found at a shop in the Strangeways area of the city. Last week, Managing IP reported that authorities in Manchester were to start seizing and demolishing buildings on the notorious Bury New Road, dubbed ‘counterfeit street’. That road is also in the Strangeways area.

People news

Turning to northern Europe now where IP firm EIP said on Tuesday, November 1, that it had hired Pontus Falk as a partner in its recently opened Sweden office. EIP announced the launch of that office in September. Falk was previously at AWA, where he worked alongside several members of the new EIP Sweden team.

Finally, Daniel Chew, a UK and European patent attorney, has been elected as president of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys, the organisation announced yesterday, November 3.

Chew is the first Asian person to hold the position and will succeed current CIPA president Alasdair Poore. He is partner and head of the Asia group at Haseltine Lake Kempner. His term will begin on January 1 2023.

That's it for this week, see you again next week.

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