Monday, 15 January 2018

The State of Small Business in London

Jane Lambert

In Mapping Enterprise 14 Jan 2018 NIPC News I reported on the research into small and medium enterprises ("SME") across the UK that Nesta and Sage  have carried out and published in The State of Small Business: Putting UK entrepreneurs on the map their reports and on The State of Small Business website.

With 1,010,075 SME, London is the region with the largest number of small businesses. There are 37.6 startups for every 1,000 of the population which is more than 3 times the national average. However, London also has the biggest proportion of business failures (18.0 per 1,000 compared to 6.8 for the national average).  Detailed information for each local authority appears on the State of Small Business website.

Glancing at selected local authorities the City of London has 17,130 SME employing 156,145 persons of whom 41,521 are in financial services, 40,492 in professional, scientific and technical services, 18,989 in business administration and support and 16,925 in information and communication technologies. Financial services are by far the most productive sector with the greatest productivity. The City has 5 accelerators, 2 incubators and 126 flexible work spaces.  Westminster has 45,850 SME employing 325,857 persons in a wide range of business services.It  15 accelerators, 5 incubators and 257 flexible work spaces. By contrast, Lewisham has only 9,370 SME employing 30,803 and has no accelerators, incubators or flexible works spaces.

Anyone wishing to discuss article or SME generally should call me on 020 7404 5252 during office hours or send me a message through my contact form.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Thought for Food: IP and Takeaway and Restaurant Innovation

Jane Lambert

What possible link could there be between IP and fast food?  Lots when you think of it. Trade Marks, passing off, geographical indications and of course all sorts of improvements in food preparation and distribution technology that can be patented.

That will explain why Gary Townley of the Intellectual Property Office will be speaking and exhibiting at the Takeaway & Restaurant Innovation Expo  2017 that takes place at the ExCel Centre today and tomorrow. Gary is also presenting a course on IP for the food and drink industry at Northampton Central Library on Thursday.

IP in the production, preparation, marketing and distribution is a subject of which I have had a lot of experience having been in some important cases and having advised and represented some rising stars in the industry. If you are engaged in agriculture, food preparation, distribution or catering I should be glad to talk to you. Call +44 (0)20 7404 5252 during office hours or send me me a message through my contact form.

Monday, 25 September 2017

Mums Enterprise Roadshow - London

The Business Design Centre
Author Matt Brown
Licence Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
Source Wikipedia

Jane Lambert

In my Inventors' Club blog today I mentioned the Mums Enterprise Roadshow which is holding a series of "child-friendly work and business exhibitions helping mums on a mission whether that be retraining, finding flexible work, starting up or growing a business."

The first of those events is taking place at the Business Design Centre in Islington today. According to the event webpage, there are some interesting talks and exhibition.  If you happen to be in London today and have the time it would seem to be an event that is well worth attending.  The Centre is very close to Angel and Highbury and Islington tube stations and is on several bus routes. Parking is not quite so easy if you come by car, but the website says there is space for 250 vehicles at the nearby Hilton.

If any of my readers who attend the event would care to report on what they saw and did, I should be very glad to publish what they have to day.

Should you want to discuss this article or innovation in general, call me on 020 7404 5252 during office hours or send me a message through my contact form

Friday, 10 February 2017

London leads Start-up and Scale-up Tables for Digital Enterprise

Author Dbachman
Creative Commons Licence

Jane Lambert

The European Digital City Index (EDCi) was produced by Nesta as part of the European Digital Forum, EDCi provides information about the strengths and weaknesses of local economies in relation to the formation and growth of digital businesses.

The index applies a number of different criteria in drawing up its index which are set out in the Methodology section of its website.  Applying those criteria, Nesta produced the following table of leading European ciies for start-ups:
  1. London
  2. Stockholm
  3. Amsterdam 
  4. Helsinki
  5. Paris
  6. Berlin
  7. Copenhagen
  8. Dublin
  9. Barcelona
  10. Vienna.
For scale-ups, the table was:
  1. London
  2. Stockholm
  3. Paris
  4. Helsinki
  5. Amsterdam
  6. Copenhagen
  7. Berlin
  8. Munich
  9. Dublin
  10. Vienna
Why London? ESCi explains: 
"The city’s substantial financial sector is undoubtedly a major benefit: not only is London’s venture capital industry the most developed in Europe, but the presence of many financial services firms helps promote a growing number of fintech and crowdfunding startups, like Seedrs, Funding Circle, Transferwise, Wonga and DueDil. London is also the accelerator and coworking capital of Europe, as well as boasting a number of world-class universities. Its vibrant startup scene is supported by a strong creative cluster around ‘Silicon Roundabout’ and, despite Brexit fears, the city still attracts significant talent from all over the world."
Successful start-ups include Deliveroo, Made.comAppNexus and Borro.  ShazamTransferwiseWonga, FarFetchZoopla and are examples of successful scale-ups.

If anyone wants to discuss the legal aspects of starting a digital or any other business, call me on 020 7404 5252 or send me a message through my contact form.

Business and IP Centre: Innovating for Growth

Jane Lambert

Two opportunities announced recently by the British Library Business and IP Centre:
  • Innovating for Growth: Scale - ups: three-month small business support programme offering over £10,000 worth of specialist advice; and 
  • Innovating for Growth: Start-ups: Two-day course.
The advice that successful candidates on the scale-up programme will receive is as follows: developing a growth strategy, refining the candidate's business model, product and service innovation, creating a marketing strategy, building a brand, maximizing intellectual property and business and market intelligence.

Application date 16 March 2017.

The two-day start-up course covers business planning, finance, marketing and other practical information and introductions to the resources of the Business and IP Centre and intellectual property.

Further information on the Business and IP Centre website (see Innovating for Growth: Scale - ups).

Monday, 11 July 2016

IP and Fashion: the Consequences of Brexit

UK and the remaining Member States

Jane Lambert

Last month I conducted a seminar on IP and fashion for MBL Seminars in London.  As the fashion industry relies on EU trade marks and registered Community designs more than most I have published on article on the effect of Brexit on the IP rights used in that industry.

In that article, IP and Fashion: the Effect of Brexit 10 July 2016 4-5 IP, I have referred to art 50 of the Treaty of European Union which provides that the EU Treaties and all legislation derived from them will cease to apply from the coming into force of the withdrawal agreement or two years after our giving notice to withdraw whichever occurs soonest. It follows that all EU legislation will fall away upon our leaving the EU but there will be a difference between legislation enacted by Parliament to give effect to EU directives and regulations made by the EU institutions.

Legislation made to give effect to EU directives such as out Trade Marks Act 1994 and the Registered Designs Act 1949 will remain in force because they are Acts of Parliament but regulations such as the EU Trade Mark Regulation and the Community Design Regulation will fall away immediately. As a result EU trade marks and registered Community designs will cease to apply to the UK, unregistered Community designs will dissolve and the courts of the UK will no longer have jurisdiction in EU trade mark and Community design disputes.

That will require a thorough review of all agreements relating to those rights and in some cases renegotiation and re-drafting. Inevitably legal costs will rise appreciably though these may be offset by costs savings here and there.  I shall be discussing these and other changes resulting from Brexit in a seminar in September. If in the meantime you wish to discuss any of these developments call me on 020 7404 5252 or contact me through this form.

Friday, 27 May 2016

Second Course on IP and the Fashion Industry

Bond Street
Author Surgeonsmate
Source Wikipedia
Creative Commons Licence

Jane Lambert

I am running a day long course on IP and the fashion industry for MBL at the London Bridge Novotel on 2 June 2016. It you want to attend it will set you back £480 unless you have a "smart plan" or season ticket and even then it will cost you £216 for the former and £240 for the latter. That's quite a lot of money that you or your firm would have to shell out and you will almost certainly want to know what you get for that money.

When MBL asked me to propose a synopsis for the course I looked at blogs like Wigs and Gowns and The Fashion Law, courses like the ones offered in the USA by Fordham University's Fashion Law Institute and announced by the London College of Fashion earlier this year (see Katie King London College of Fashion unveils first of its kind law course 20 Jan 2016 Legal Cheek) and conferences like the one run by the Italian government and the WIPO at Caserta in 2005. I read some recent cases involving fashion and retain brands in the Fleet Streets and Reports of Patent Cases and made a keyword search of BAILII and the IPO websites. I could find no consistency of approach whatsoever.

I had more luck looking through my old opinions and pleadings and talking to some of the solicitors and patent and trade mark agents who had instructed me. It occurred to me that the starting point might be to imagine the sort of clients who would attend a course on law and the fashion industry and find out what interests them most.

The first conclusion I reached is that it is unhelpful to talk about the fashion industry. There are in fact several industries which include couturiers, Savile Row tailors, garment and textile manufacturers, importers and wholesalers, high street retailers and internet distributors. They all have different concerns and are often interested in a different IP issues.

I have structured the course around three themes:

  • Advising the designer;
  • Advising the manufacturer; and 
  • Advising the retailer.
I introduce each topic with a general summary of the law and then offer questions for discussion such as "What are the IP issues in selling on line?" and "How (if at all) does the Supreme Court's decision in Trunki affect textile, garment, jewellery and accessory designers?" That enables delegates to learn from each other as well as from me and I've learned from attendees too.

I have now run two courses on IP for the fashion industry for MBL. One at the Novotel where I found out what worked (see IP and Fashion Law 12 Sept 2015) and what did not and another in Leeds where everything seemed to go like clockwork. My third talk at the Novotel will follow the formula that worked in Leeds. 

I am looking forward to this course very much and I hope that my attendees enjoy the day too. If you want to find out more about this seminar call me on 020 7404 5252 or contact me on message form.