Delegates at the Institute of Trademark Attorneys Spring Conference enjoyed a challenging programme, once they’d pushed past the hordes of screaming Justin Bieber fans who were awaiting the young star at Claridges.
John Alty, head of the UK Intellectual Property Office, kicked off proceedings with a discussion of the IPO’s work in the past year and its targets for the future. He acknowledged that the office faced difficulties, particularly to do with “genuine use, class headings and cluttering of the register”.
“There may be a number of unused marks on the register that act as a barrier to new marks, particularly for SMEs,” he said.
SMEs are a particular focus for the IPO, which is “working with the judiciary and colleagues across government to implement the Jackson review”. This review found that IP litigation can be expensive and time-consuming to the degree that it constitutes a barrier to justice for SMEs.
ITMA Spring Conference, OHIM, IPO