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IP in 2017: what to expect

Written by Ellis Sweetenham on 11 January 2017

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With our backs turning to 2016 and now looking forward to 2017, it is clear from this early stage that a lot will happen in the IPsphere in 2017.

While nothing can be said for sure, the effect of 2016 will see a number of themes continuing and a number of events continue to develop.

Firstly, the main issue is Brexit. It is still uncertain how the UK’s IP position will be affected when the UK begin the process of leaving the EU. What is for sure is in 2017 a little more light may be cast on the subject.  It is unlikely that the Brexit negotiations will be anywhere near a conclusion in 2017, but it is likely they would have started and this means a bit more certainty on how the UK and EU will connect and how current IP protection will exist.

Sticking with the Europe theme, the implementation of the Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court is due to take place in 2017. It has recently been announced that the UK’s decision to leave the EU had not affected its involvement with the Unitary Patent.  It was previously earmarked for early 2017 but it has been made clear that the date is now not possible. However by the end of the year significant progress should have been made.

 Looking further afield, trade marks have seen a growth internationally. This has been driven by China who were previously known for their lax approach to trade mark protection and enforcement. 2016 saw the development of the court system in China which has boosted Chinese applicants. This is a positive step and will now allow non-Chinese companies to protect their brand properly in the country. This should prompt a higher willingness to expand their business in the country.

Lastly, IP in general is becoming more universally recognised after a range of high profile cases in 2016. The Apple v Samsung patent battle which is ongoing opened people eyes to patent protection and how it can help protect a innovative product or process. Also, registered designs were cast into the spotlight, especially in the UK following the Trunki case. This involved the design of the popular ride on child’s suitcases. The Trunki case was widely reported by the media therefore allowing more of the general public to get involved and formulate an opinion. It will be interesting to note if this interest and continued growth in media attention will progress into 2017.

As you can see 2017 is going to be a IP packed year, therefore keep your eyes peeled for constant updates on everything IP from Lawdit Solicitors.

If you'd like to know more about this article please send an email to Ellis Sweetenham quoting the article title and any questions you might have, alternatively call the office number on 02380 235 979 or send an enquiry through our contact form.

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