January 21, 2021 2:34 pm Published by

Whether we have spent our 2020 working from home, learning something new or just relaxing, many of us had more time to rethink the way we conduct our day. And some of us even came up with new ideas. Making the most of these ideas however starts with protecting uniqueness to stand out from the crowd. Business success is all about differentiation, which is at risk of mimicry, and here is where patents, trademarks and copyright become useful. According to Statista, 2020 resulted in higher patent applications than ever before; 1,500,900 patent grants to be exact. This article is now here to highlight the key changes and updates from 2020 to lead the way for 2021 to keep in mind. 

  1. Questel expansion: the global intellectual property software company acquiring Japanese NRI Cyber Patent.

2020 started off eventful for Questel, established international IP solutions provider. Since starting in 1978, the company’s most recent activity involved signing an acquisition of NRI Cyber Patent, Japanese Intellectual Asset Management solutions provider. This was Questel’s third big acquisition in Japan, in order to establish a strong presence. 

The aim of this action was to “enhance the quality of our international databases and business intelligence SaaS solutions” said Charles Besson, CEO of Questel. Takano Seiji CEO of NRI Cyber Patent, happily remains working and operating the company now under the French IP giant. 

Questel has not stopped there though, acquisitions for 2021 also include doLegal in the US, and innosabi, German innovation software. 

To read the full press release of NRI Cyber Patent acquisition click here:https://www.questel.com/about-questel/questel-nri-cyberpatent-pr/

To find out more about Questel’s future expansions and innovation plans you can read up here: https://www.questel.com/about-questel/history/#:~:text=Questel%20was%20created%20in%201978,focused%20exclusively%20on%20intellectual%20property

2. Joe Biden was elected as the 46th US President, but will this change US IP Law?

Intellectual Property Protection has become one of the most crucial national security concerns of the US, which automatically leads to the question; whether the change of administration will affect IP Law. While Biden does not have an extensive history of interacting with intellectual property regulations, his Senate and Vice presidential career has seen numerous changes in the matter. The newly elected president has in fact been part of the Senate consensus pressing towards the importance of IP safety and is likely to treat matters relating to this as a crucial part of national security. 

In the matter, Biden’s campaign has made sure to promise taking aggressive action to prevent intellectual property theft both nationwide and internationally. While it is predicted, that this standpoint is somewhat the same as it was during Trump’s administration, it seems that Biden’s approach towards IP will be a lot more tactical. So, long story short, there is no immediate reasoning for any IP law changes, the area will definitely see more care, than it did under Trump. 

To find out more about the specific predictions affecting IP law in the US, you will find this link very useful: https://www.bakerbotts.com/thought-leadership/publications/2020/november/considerations-for-a-biden-administration-intellectual-property 

For more information about current IP law, here is the official governmental document: https://www.state.gov/intellectual-property-enforcement/

3. EU funding for Intellectual Property applications

2021 starts off with investment into IP applications by the European Union Intellectual Property Office, for Business SME Fund. The fund is aimed to aid small and medium-sized businesses to access their IP rights. The European Commission has decided on launching a €20,000,000 grant scheme to which applications are open in a five phased approach along 2021, with the first window ending 31st of January 2021. Entry criteria identified to enter the scheme is simply to be a small or medium sized enterprise. 

Not sure if your business counts as an SME? As long as your turnover is under or equal to € 50 m, and your employee headcount does not overrun 250, you are all set. The fund is available  to cover trademark applications internationally and EU wide, as well as nationally with allowing 50% reimbursement on fees up to a €1,500 maximum. 
To find out more about conditions for the Business SME Fund by the EU IP Office, click the following link: https://euipo.europa.eu/ohimportal/apply-now

4. Brexit and what it means for UK Intellectual Property Law

While things may seem great in the EU, there are IP news outside it too. After a long and seemingly painful process, if anything was achieved in 2020, it was the UK finally leaving the EU. Changes to the country’s IP regulations are one of the most dominant factors to take into consideration in 2021. As the UK embarks on its own independent trading post Brexit, the main difference has already been communicated. The EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) will now be replaced by the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO), where UK attorneys are unable to represent new EU applications since 1st January 2021. While ongoing cases started before the transition period are okay to go ahead as before, UK trademark owners now need to appoint an EEA attorney for any new requests and proceedings before the EUIPO. 

Besides this, since the start of January, the UK has created comparable UK trademarks for every registered EU trademark, and “have the same legal status as if you had applied for and registered it under UK law” says the UKIPO.. Applications that have not been processed by the EU now have a 9 month grace period with the UK for resubmission, and UK fees are payable instead of the EU ones. So while registered trademarks are mainly unaffected, you might want to check out further guidance at the link here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/intellectual-property-after-1-january-2021

5. Brexit, EU or beyond, change is expected, but does not have to be overwhelming with Pekama.

Thinking about patenting will probably sound like an overwhelming and time consuming process, especially with the changes in 2020. Fortunately, it does not have to be all too scary, afterall we are entering 2021, where efficiency and technology are key leaders for development. Pekama promises just this: fast answers in just 30 seconds. 

One may simply enter the IP for a patent, and Pekama will do the rest of the research work: identifying what patent work needs to be done, as well as the costs of these. What is even more reassuring is that though this can seem as an expensive and timely process, finding out your patent to-do is done by Pekama for fast and cost effective. This platform offers you the simplistic, and personable answers you will need. Using qualified experts in law, with extensive knowledge of the most up to date concerns, while ensuring that you don’t overspend due to economic changes. You can expect accuracy in price estimation, streamlined filing, and expert knowledge of IP. 

So, if you have an idea you want to keep your exclusive rights to, you can click this link: https://pekama.com/ and be set for all you need to know for the future of your intellectual property.

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