Intellectual Property Implementation Group Report 2012

** Click here for a copy of the final report as issued **

The report of the Intellectual Property Implementation Group has just recently been published. This article discusses the key actions arising from the report, the practical implications for Technology Transfer Offices and industry and offers some thoughts on the next steps.

Review of the Intellectual Property Implementation Group Report

A full copy of the report is also available for download / viewing here:

IP Implementation Group Report 2012 – Putting public research to work for Ireland


Legal Issues for Startups

Presentation given to the National Digital Research Centre (NDRC) Launchpad participants on 20 February 2012. Updated material includes extra links to NVCA Model Term Sheet and guidance on how to source trusted professional advisers.

Legal Issues for Startups in Ireland

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Update on the Bread Wars: McCambridges v Brennans

In an interesting follow up to last week’s findings by the High Court in favour of McCambridges in the case of McCambridge Limited v Joseph Brennan Bakeries, the High Court today ruled that McCambridges are only entitled to recover 40% of their costs of the High Court action against Brennans.

In many other jurisdictions (particularly the US) a losing party is not ordered to bear the legal costs of the winner. However that is the position in Ireland. As a result, McCambridges are likely to be as unhappy with this ruling as Brennans were with the court’s ruling last week. It remains to be seen if they can settle their differences or if the case will be appealed to the Supreme Court.

The reason the judge made this finding was that McCambridges advanced a number of claims (which took up quite a bit of the time involved in the case) which were not successful. Chief amongst these was the claim that Brennans deliberately set out to mimic McCambridges’ packaging. Since proving an intent to mislead the consumer is not necessary to succeed in a passing off action it is open to question as to why McCambridges took this approach.

McCambridges also claimed copyright infringement and breach of the Consumer Protection Act but these did not take up much time in the case so they weren’t material to the issue of costs.

This case now offers an important lesson to intellectual property rights holders and brand owners. They should limit the scope of their claims in any legal action to the essential elements of their claim to have the maximum chance of recovering costs against the defendant.

McCambridge Ltd. v Joseph Brennan Bakeries

The High Court earlier this year has been the venue for a dispute between two leading Irish bread makers – McCambridges and Brennans – about packaging and branding. The case is particularly interesting because of the rise generally in recent years of attempts by the producers of non-branded and white label goods to benefit from some of the positive associations that branded goods have in consumers’ minds. This article discusses some of the issues in this case at a critical juncture after an initial finding by the High Court that there has been confusion in the minds of consumers.

McCambridges v Brennans – Passing off and the value of registered IP rights

Company start-ups on the rise

Business Barometer reports yesterday that the numbers of companies incorporated in Ireland in the third quarter of 2011 were up 5% on the number incorporated in 2010 and up 10% on the same period in 2009. There have been 40 new companies incorporated each day of November so far and this level of start-up activity is encouraging.

What does this mean for the Irish economy? Well, company incorporations are a leading indicator that new business activity is continuing and is picking up from the seriously depressed levels seen in recent years. It may also be indicative of non-Irish businesses migrating to Ireland (which would reflect the recent achievements of IDA and others).

On the other hand, the Irish Exporters’ Association had to sound a warning call when third quarter results fell short of expectations (aggregate export growth fell to 1.7% while exports of manufactured/merchandise goods actually fell by 3% when compared to the year before). That caused the IEA to revise downwards their forecast for export growth for the full year.

Overall, while times remain challenging there are reasons to be optimistic and for companies focused on doing business outside Ireland the increased cost competitiveness of the Irish economy is doing a lot to help those companies succeed abroad.

Here at Venture Legal Services, the firm is trying to do its part by providing innovative new approaches to the delivery of legal services and delivering advice on commercial contracts and intellectual property matters (among others) from a lean and efficient structure. If you would like to learn more about what we do and how we do it, call us in Dublin today on +353 1 6499042.