Category Archives: Patent Blog

Blog about patent news, updates, decisions, case laws.

Detailed guide: Requests for opinions: 2018

Updated: Opinion 05/18 added.


The table below shows information about opinion requests we have received in 2017 and what stage each request has reached.

For example, you can see whether:

  • you can file observations on a request or whether the period for doing so has expired
  • we have issued an opinion
  • the person who filed the request has withdrawn it
  • we have refused a request for an opinion. Where we’ve issued a decision refusing the request, you can view this in our decisions database

Further information

If you would like more information about a particular request please contact us by:

  • telephone: +44 (0)1633 813813 or +44 (0)1633 813616
  • fax: +44(0)1633 814491
  • email:

2018 requests

Opinion number Patent/SPC number, title and owner Requester and request date Issue (Infringement and/or Validity) Observations deadline Outcome

Subsea Cooler

FMC Kongsberg Subsea AS

Protector IP Consultants AS

1 February 2018

Validity 6 March 2018

Moire Magnification Device

De La Rue International Limited

Stephen Walker, Lincoln IP Limited

12 January 2018

Validity 13 February 2018

A Method of Fabricating Structured Particles Composed of Silicon or a
Silicon-Based Material and their use in Lithium Rechargeable Batteries

Nexeon Limited

OneD Material

10 January 2018

Validity 9 February 2018

Processing medium for processing stainless steel or other metallic surfaces, method for processing stainless steel or other metallic surfaces using such a processing medium and nozzle arranged to be fitted on a process gun

Phibo Industries BVBA

Barker Brettell LLP

8 January 2018

Validity 9 February 2018

Mobile Phone Localization Method

Eryk Szweryn And Lukasz Strzalkowski

ip.access Ltd

4 January 2018

Infringement 8 February 2018

Source: UK IPO News

News story: Changes to the trade mark search tool

Earlier this year, as part of ongoing work to our digital services, we implemented changes to our online trade mark search service. The functionality of the three search options stayed the same, but their look and style was changed, especially to the search by word, phrase and or/ image.
We introduced tabs to categorise details with the option to also ‘display content without tabs’.

Your feedback informed us that having the search pages default to the tab based layout, resulted in not enough information being shown. This added additional clicks to the user journey meaning it took longer to find information.

To rectify this, if you choose to ‘display content without tabs’, your browser will now remember your choice on your next visit. You can also revert back to ‘displaying content with tabs’ at any time.
Additionally, we have made the following changes:

  • selecting ‘Open all’ will expand all the case classes and terms – your browser will remember your choice on your next visit

  • you will now have the ability to copy and paste the trade mark logo / text if you choose to ‘display content without tabs’

  • when displaying content without tabs, series marks are displayed vertically on a single page

  • selecting ‘New search’ from the trade mark case details page will now return you to the ‘Search for a trade mark’ start page, enabling you to select a different search method.

  • when you start a new search from the ‘Search for a trade mark’ start page your browser will now clear all the terms you entered for a previous search

We would welcome your feedback

Source: UK IPO News

Something Spooky This Way Comes – Strange, Weird and Unsettling IP

A blog post about the USPTO from the Department of Commerce.

Americans will spend an estimated 9.1 billion dollars on Halloween this year, and yet many trick-or-treaters remain unaware that this holiday is crawling with countless examples of intellectual property (IP), from the registered trademarks protecting the candy you eat and the costumes you wear, to the utility and design patents behind the tools to carve pumpkins or manufacture Halloween decorations. As in past Octobers, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) uses social media as a fun and timely way to educate the public about the importance of IP and how it impacts their everyday lives.

Seven years ago, the USPTO decided to explore the deepest and darkest corners of more than two centuries worth of patent and trademark archive to unearth some particularly Halloween-appropriate patents and trademarks, in a campaign that became known as “Creepy IP.” Whether it’s the trademark for Ghostbusters®, Count Chocula® cereal, a sound mark for Darth Vader®, or patents for the electric extraction of poison or a flesh brushing apparatus from the 1880s, the USPTO’s public records are full of interesting inventions and commercialized products, some of which would fit right in at your local haunted house.

Since its initial launch in October 2011, the #CreepyIP hashtag remains one of the USPTO’s most successful interactive social media campaigns, with other federal agencies, private companies, the press, and members of the general public routinely using the hashtag to share the IP they find spooky, creepy or downright strange. This year, the USPTO has even gotten other international IP offices searching their archives for Creepy IP. 

USPTO Creepy IP Team

USPTO Creepy IP Team

Part of the USPTO’s mission is to educate the public about the importance of IP, and Creepy IP generates tremendous awareness by highlighting how patents and trademarks are ingrained in our daily lives. Innovation and creative endeavors are indispensable elements that drive economic growth and sustain the competitive (and sometimes creepy) edge of the U.S. economy. In turn, IP protection provides incentives to invent and protects innovators from unauthorized use of their creepy inventions. The importance of IP to our economy is illustrated by a major study by the Economics & Statistics Administration which found that in 2014, IP-intensive industries directly and indirectly supported over 45 million jobs (nearly a third of all U.S. jobs) and over 38% of our national GDP.

On October 31 at 9:30 a.m. ET, the kooky minds behind Creepy IP at the USPTO will be hosting a Reddit “Ask Me Anything.” Join the discussion to ask questions about the weirdest and most memorable creepy patents and trademarks that they’ve discovered over the years. Follow the USPTO on Twitter and Facebook for more spooktacular IP, and from all of us – Happy Halloween!

Source: USPTO

News story: Higher executive officer role available at the Intellectual Property Office

Candidates will gain exposure to a high profile and evolving policy areas, and will be a central part of ensuring that the IPO delivers the best outcome for the UK copyright framework in EU Exit negotiations.

The role will also include ongoing work on European negotiations on the Digital Single Market proposals and their future implementation, and future work on trade negotiations as a result of EU Exit. The post holder will act as a point of contact within the team for specific issues.

For more information about this role please take a look at the full job advert

Source: UK IPO News

Spotlight on Commerce: Juan Valentin, Education Program Advisor, USPTO

Blog about the USPTO from the Department of Commerce

Ed. note: This post is part of the Spotlight on Commerce series highlighting contributions of  Department of Commerce employees during Hispanic Heritage Month.

Guest blog post by Juan Valentin, Education Program Advisor, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

If you had told me ten years ago that in October of 2017 I would be traveling across the United States educating children and adults alike on how important intellectual property (IP) protection is for the development of our youth and nation, I would have laughed you out of the room. Growing up as one of the only Hispanics in a small, Upstate New York community, one thing that was always important in my life was my Puerto Rican ancestry. The music, food, culture and the family life-force was sewn into my soul at an early age. 

I started my career as a patent examiner, putting my engineering degree from Clarkson University to good use, examining patent applications in the field of optical measuring and testing devices. Two key events in my life were the catalysts that set me on my current career path. The first took place about five years into my USPTO career when a friend invited me to Langdon Elementary School in D.C. to make slime with third graders. This was for a program called RESET that takes volunteers and matches them with local elementary schools to do hands-on science and engineering activities with the students. My life was changed that day. I was hooked, first as a volunteer, then as an activity lead, then as a team lead who developed new activities and was responsible for finding new volunteers.

My mother had a huge impact on this change of direction. Some of my first memories are of her giving spirit, of the sacrifices she made for not only me but for those in need around her.  My mother not only worked in public service, she volunteered and as a single parent always had me at her side, helping with activities. For me, seeing the excitement, smiles, and appreciation on the students’ faces after doing educational activities brought back childhood memories of giving back to my community and it showed me there’s a need for this type of service in underrepresented communities. It reminded me of the potential my mom saw in other people and her willingness to help.

Juan Valentin (center) with students during Engineering Week

Juan Valentin (center) with students during Engineering Week

The second event came in 2009 when I co-founded the first ever U.S. federal government chapter for the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) at the USPTO. Members of SHPE are a family. We take pride in helping new employees transition to the agency, while creating a community of learning here at the USPTO. As the SHPE President for past two years, I have really seen the impact of the organization over the last eight years, helping mentor and support Hispanic employees in their growth as leaders at the USPTO, while also giving back to the community. We’ve recently been focusing on ways to help the areas ravaged by the hurricanes, and have organized a donation drive for supplies to be sent to Puerto Rico. This year’s theme for Hispanic Heritage Month is “Shaping the Bright Future of America,” which is very fitting for the tremendous work I’ve been blessed to be a part of through SHPE.

In 2011, I applied for and was accepted to a detail to work on K-12 IP educational initiatives at the USPTO’s Office of Education and Outreach (OEO), for eight months. That eight months went by so fast I remember thinking, “Wouldn’t it be amazing if I could do this full time?” As my detail came to an end, a full-time vacancy was announced for an education specialist. I was determined to apply for the position and was hopeful that through my experiences I would be given the opportunity to help expand innovation, invention, and IP outreach at the USPTO. Life doesn’t always go as planned and I didn’t get the position, but I knew that showing students how to be innovative problem solvers and critical thinkers was my future; now I just needed to make it a reality. I was determined to build up my resume so I would be ready when the next opportunity opened up. My patience was well worth it; three years later another position became available and I was selected.

I still pinch myself from time to time when the fast pace of my life slows down just enough for a moment of self-reflection on the past three years. Not everyone is lucky enough to say they have their dream job. As an education program advisor at the USPTO, I can proudly say without a doubt, I have found my dream job, or rather it has found me!  My career advice to others is not to get discouraged by setbacks, but to be determined and pursue what you love to do.

Source: USPTO

Open consultation: Industrial Strategy: Intellectual Property Call for Views

As the government sets out its plans for an ambitious new industrial strategy, the IPO is seeking views to form part of our contribution to the next phase of the strategy. We are looking for your views on a range of specific ways we can get innovators to work together more effectively and get the most out of their IP.

The consultation will run for five weeks, closing on 8 November 2017.

Source: UK IPO News

Guidance: Tribunal Patents Manual

The manual includes detailed desk instructions on the practices and procedures for formal examination and processing of statements and evidence filed in inter partes proceedings before the Comptroller and in the formal processing of ex parte proceedings

We update the manual regularly to include changes in practice and procedure.

Source: UK IPO News

News story: IPO named one of UK’s most family friendly employers

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has been named as one of the UK’s most family friendly employers by the charity Working Families.

The list of employers was unveiled on 2 October in London, as part of National Work Life week. The list is made up of organisations who are leading the way in building flexible, family friendly workplaces. Employers large and small from many sectors compete annually to gain a place on the list.

This is the first year the IPO have taken part in this benchmark and are delighted to be recognised for having a flexible and supportive workplace for families.

Sarah Jackson OBE, Chief Executive of Working Families, said:

Congratulations to The IPO whose flexible, agile approach has earned them a much-coveted place on 2017’s list of Top 30 Employers for Working Families. The annual benchmark provides a clear picture, not just of current practice, but also the evolving way organisations think about work life balance and flexible working.

For more information on the Top 30 Employers for Working Families, including the full list of organisations, please see the Working Families website.

Source: UK IPO News

News story: Criminal law changes to online copyright infringement

What’s changed?

The criminal law provisions relating to online copyright infringement have changed. The maximum sentence that can be levied is now ten years. This change brings the law in line with what is already available for physical copyright infringement.

The changes affect sections 198 1(A) and 107 2(A) of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act. These sections outline criminal offences arising from infringement of a performers making available right, and their communication right.

An additional mens rea has also been introduced. It must now be proved that a person “knows, or has reason to believe that the act of infringement will cause loss to the owner of the right or expose the owner of the right to a risk of loss”.

The facts

These offences do not criminalise the downloading of material, although civil action can be taken against any infringer in these circumstances.

In some circumstances the downloading of material can also involve the re-upload of the same material, which may mean the requirements of the offences are met.

To avoid the risk of any civil or criminal action being taken against you our advice is to access content legally. If you are unsure how to do this Get it Right from a Genuine Site can help you.

Source: UK IPO News

Guidance: IP (Unjustified Threats) Act for SMEs

This guidance covers:

  • what is intellectual property infringement
  • I have received a letter saying I’m infringing – what do I do now
  • what is an unjustified threat
  • what protection is available against unjustified threats
  • I am a rights-holder – how do I avoid making an unjustified threat
  • how should I approach a person I think is infringing my IP right
  • what am I allowed to say

Source: UK IPO News