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This week in IP: post-COVID strategies, Coachella, Avanci 5G pool

Managing IP rounds up the latest patent, trademark and copyright news, including some stories you may have missed

IP firms reveal post-COVID strategies

We’ve heard a lot about how firms are coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. But we haven’t heard much about what firms’ strategy will be if, and when, lockdown measures are ended.

Law firm CEOs and managing partners at Fish & Richardson, Wolf Greenfield, Merchant & Gould and three other firms say technology is key now but that resizing real estate and re-evaluating recruitment will be more important in the future.

Managing partners who expect to see lawyers work remotely in the long term are re-evaluating their real estate needs and considering downsizing their offices because they expect more employees to work from home in the future. They will also look to recruit talent from areas further afield.

Read more here.

Other Managing IP stories from the week that you might like to read include:

·       ‘We are ready’: Italian judge on taking UK’s UPC seat

·       US antitrust: cases SEP owners and users should watch

·       TTAB lawyers: read the rules and give us more precedent

·       EU’s IP ‘action plan’ could spark ‘controversial’ discussions

·       UPC likely to plough on after UK withdrawal

·       SPC waiver: generics getting ready ahead of time

Coachella festival asks UK charity to rename event

An organisation representing the US music and arts festival Coachella has demanded that a UK charity change the name of its online fundraising event ‘Couch-ella’, citing trademark concerns.

The MS Trust – based in the UK town of Letchworth Garden City – will host the event on August 22.

However, the trust has now agreed to change the event’s name to the ‘MS Trust Home Festival’. The trust received a letter of complaint from AEG Live, a US-based corporate that owns the trademark rights to ‘Coachella’.

Based in Palm Springs, California, Coachella is one of the world’s best-known music and arts festivals.

AEG Live has owned the rights to the trademark ‘Coachella’, and the suffix ‘Chella’, in the US since 2015. Its London-based subsidiary, AEG Presents, owns the trademark rights for both marks in Europe.

Mark Caddle, partner and trademark attorney at Withers & Rogers, says that while the letter may appear “heavy handed”, AEG is acting entirely within its rights.

“It clearly has a vested interest in protecting the name of its world-renowned festival, which could be compared to Glastonbury in the UK.”

Avanci launches 5G auto pool after DoJ all-clear

Avanci has launched a licensing scheme bringing together 5G patent owners and car makers after the US Department of Justice said it was unlikely to harm competition.

Avanci revealed its 5G automotive licensing programme on Wednesday, July 29, a day after the DoJ’s Antitrust Division issued a business review letter giving it the green light.

Makan Delrahim, assistant attorney general, said the 5G platform can enable potentially thousands of standard essential patents to be licensed on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms.

The review letter, penned by Delrahim, said the platform may bring efficiency gains by providing car companies with a “one-stop shop” for licensing 5G technology. It may also reduce patent infringement and ensure that 5G patent owners are compensated, the letter added.

Avanci has included several safeguards to help protect competition, including licensing only technically-essential patents and allowing essential patents to be independently evaluated, the DoJ noted.

Kasim Alfalahi, founder and CEO of Avanci, said: “5G will power the internet of things (IoT) to expand to many new categories of connected products. As we begin operating our first 5G licensing programme for connected vehicles, we will continue to transform how patent licensing is done.”

Avanci, which was founded in 2016 and also offers licences to 2G, 3G and 4G patents, confirmed it has 38 patent owners and 14 automotive brands as licensees. It said it will now enter discussions with IoT device makers, the auto industry and patent owners about the new platform.

CPA and Clarivate join forces in merger

IP service providers CPA Global and Clarivate have merged, according to a joint announcement on Wednesday, July 29.

More than 12,000 law firms use CPA for services, including IP management. Clarivate provides analytics tools in areas such as patent intelligence and trademark protection.

Jerre Stead, CEO of Clarivate, said the deal will create a full-service IP organisation offering a wide range of products and services.

“This is a transformative combination with a strong strategic fit between the two companies.” 

CPA’s CEO Simon Webster added: “Combining CPA Global and Clarivate is a natural next step for both businesses.”

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2020, subject to regulatory approvals.

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