Tuesday 26 April 2016

Going out of Business : Insurance Issues

Selling a small IP practice is no easy thing. Giving one away is even harder.

When you go out of business you need to consider what happens if someone makes a claim against you. You could disappear so you cannot be found for the claim to be made or you can buy Run Off insurance. This means you will pay a sum of more than twice your usual annual premium to walk away. If however you can persuade an existing business to buy your practice and take on the liabilities you wont need to pay a run off premium but the enlarged entity may be asked to pay a larger premium due to enlarged turnover but it wont kick in immediately and will depend on the increased turnover being achieved and will not be subject to anything other than the usual multiplier.

It therefore makes sense to give your practice away rather than close it. However if you are giving away a practice rather than selling it, prospective purchasers are going to be worried that there are all sorts of hidden liabilities and wont want to touch it. So you had better sell it for a price and agree some warranties about the extent of the liabilities. Now the question is can you get cover for the cost of the cap you place on your liability or keep a reserve from the sale price.

Saturday 23 April 2016

Getting used to EU IPO

It is a whole month since the end of the community trademark and the rise of the EU TM.

Everything still works - but a tad slower perhaps but maybe thats just catch up. On filing applications I have discovered that if I want to be on the fast track I must forego the right to receive the search report of earlier European union marks. I am expecting that I will be able to see the search report online as there is still an obligation for the search to be carried out.

I have noted that I can still claim priority and seniority on the fast track if I provide the evidence.

There has been lots of excitement about the possibility of clarifying the class heading registrations using the Article 28(8) procedure. You can only do it between 23 March 2016 and 24 September 2016 inclusive. There is an online form or rather you use the existing online form choose Recordal then EUTM and then the big inviting button labelled "Declaration under Article 28(8) EUTMR"

Its not a complicated form just a box that invites you to provide your declaration, identifying your Goods and Services per class. There is no fee. Maybe it will be a hot topic of conversation at INTA in Orlando. I will be there. Sadly I suspect that having advised clients in the past to say what they mean, this is not a marketing opportunity that will be profitable. You cannot use Article 28(8) procedure

 If the specification includes specific terms plus the class heading then chances are you are okay anyway and dont need to use the service

 If the specification only includes part of the class heading then you cannot use the service

 If the specification includes the class heading with an exclusion then you cannot use the service

If the applications were applied for after 22 June 2012 then you cannot use the service

Corsearch have ingenuously offered to create a new report that identifies by owner name relevant registrations from the right period which include class headings that might need to be amended. I have not been paid to promote this product but Corsearch continue to support the newly Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attornies evening lectures with canapes and wine.