IP Protection for all businesses – great and small

From little acorns, great oafs do grow; IP protection is important for businesses and other entities both big and small.

An interesting short article is attached concerning IP protection, for small businesses but translatable to other entitities commercial and non-commercial.

An additional reference to the suggestions contained in the above article (registering trademarks and distinctive logos, patent protection for Software Apps, and protection by asserting copyright and design rights in Software), would be to highlight the continuing success of the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court. For multitrack cases (complex legal issues cases) the IPEC has a limit on damages of up to £500,000 – which Court can hear trademark, patent and copyright infringement cases. Costs orders will be made which are proportionate to the nature of the dispute and subject to a cap of no more than £50,000. This arguably puts resolution of intellectual property disputes within reach of small and medium sized enterprises, especially in meritorious cases with a considerable sum in dispute.

The small claims track is for suitable claims in the IPEC with a value of up to £10,000. Costs orders on the small claims track are highly restricted.

The Intellectual Property Enterprise Court and Guides can be found at:

Contract Review Process

The University has a Contracts and Compliance officer, Chris Kenning. He provides internal legal support and expertise in the area of research and funding.

He looks into Research Contracts in the University sector, with growing interest in ensuring the distribution of academic research for the enhancement of learning and the protection of the University’s commercially exploitable academic and scientific knowledge to the benefit of the University and staff where applicable.

This document takes you through the Contracts Review Process

If you need further support: C.Kenning@staffs.ac.uk


In the Supreme Court UK this week: Disclosure of previous warnings or cautions in a Student’s past and the right to private and family life

In the Supreme Court this week (The Queen on the Application of T v Secretary of the Home Department and others, there was consideration of the thorny issue of disclosure of a person’s past in terms of ‘spent’ criminal convictions; including cautions warnings and reprimands, and in this appeal to minors (persons under 18).

The case is of interest because in the case of one of the Appellants, T, born on 3 May 1991, when aged 11, received two warnings from the police in connection with two stolen bicycles. Although the warnings were in the jargon “stepped down” – in that only the police would retain access to the warning or caution, and not be disclosable to third parties. Nonetheless, when T sought to apply to study at University, the University sought an Enhanced Criminal Record Certificate (ECRC) and received notification of the stepped down warnings. It was apparent that stepping down the cautions and warnings, was not a procedure the police could follow, and they were obliged pursuant to amendments made to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, to disclose details of the warnings to the University upon request.

The Court of Appeal decision is attached, containing the full facts of all the combined appeals (with appeals in relation to more serious offences than the alleged theft of two bicycles in the case of T.

It will be helpful to have clarification as to the extent to which a person in a similar situation to T, being minors at the time of offending, making applications into further education, and then into employment would continue to be either required to continue to disclose their own past, or be affected by disclosure of previous offences by third party agencies. The Court of Appeal indicated that in their view such disclosure was disproportionate and in breach of his Article 8 rights (please see the Court of Appeal decision for the wording of Article 8 – right to respect for private and family life), and it remains to be seen whether the Supreme Court would take a similar view.

The facts of the case of T, potentially relevant to those entering in to full time education or employment, with similar past infractions, are set out in the Court of Appeal judgment attached.

Click to access r-t-chief-constable-manchester-judgment-29012013.pdf

Drafting and negotiating agreements: A ‘process’ driven approach

Please find attached a link to an article written on Mark Anderson’s Intellectual Property and drafting blog, which is concerned with the process of contractual drafting, and practical methods that could be adopted to achieve successful results when negotiating agreements. The Anderson website also contains many useful articles on drafting skills underpinned with relevant legal sources. Enjoy.

10 tips for successful contract negotiations

Staffs Fest 2013

The External Projects Team is looking forward to running some enjoyable events during Staffs Fest 2013. Details are below. You can book places using My View or by contacting the Universities Continuous Professional Development team on professional.development@staffs.ac.uk or 01782 294127 / 01782 294872

Falling in Love with Funding

Tuesday 25 June 10:00-11:00

Activity Space Cadman Yard, Stoke

Speed Dating activity with an open access surgery with the External Projects Team and the Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Team

This session provides a chance to meet other people in the University who are looking to develop projects and enterprise activities. This is a chance to meet people outside your normal work area who could collaborate with you on projects.  Staff from Enterprise and Commercial Development will also be on hand to answer your funding or enterprise questions.

With Alex Harvey and Josephine Beech


Deconstructing Contracts

Tuesday 25 June 13:30-14:30

L134 Flaxman Building, Stoke

An opportunity to demystify contracts with our resident expert Christopher Kenning


EuroTrash: A quiz to outdo all Quizzes

Tuesday 25 June 15:00-16:30

L134 Flaxman Building, Stoke

A fun quiz guaranteed to make you smile. Prizes to be won! EU national dress is optional!

With Margaret Bennett

Non-disclosure and non-circumvention agreements: the Court of Appeal judgment in ‘Dorchester Property Management’

CK2703ConfidentialityBlogDorchesterPropertyvBNP Paribas

Please see attached a further discussion of the recent Court of Appeal decision related to non-disclosure and non-circumvention agreements, in relation to the disclosure of confidential information.