Mental health is now front of mind at EIP after ten members of staff qualified as Mental Health First Aiders (MHFAs).
The group includes at least one member from each UK office and representatives from different departments and levels of seniority including attorneys and solicitors, paralegals, marketing, office and records.
Following completion of their training provided by Mental Health First Aid England, the MHFAs are able to support anyone at EIP who is experiencing poor mental health. The group consists of Sharon St. Louis, Matthew Jones, Samantha Rogers, Paula Camp, Hamish Popplestone, Tom Goodfellow, Anita Vint, Aimee Hardman, Ali Dumigan and Donna Clancy.
As a former Samaritan, paralegal manager Sharon St. Louis was acutely aware of the importance of mental health and the positive effects of sharing problems with another person. She said: “At my previous firm I was part of the diversity and inclusion team and headed up the mental health group. When I joined EIP in January 2019 I wondered how that might fit in here. We have physical first aiders so why not mental health first aiders?
“I came across the charity Jonathan’s Voice, set up in memory of a patent attorney. I learned that because of the nature of the work patent attorneys do incidents of poor mental health issues can be quite high. I spoke to Phil Bedwell, our head of HR and one of the partners, Heather McCann and they agreed that it was definitely something we should do.”
Any conversation with a MHFA remains confidential and is not disclosed without permission. The MHFA support network is intended to provide everyone with access to a colleague with whom they can talk openly about any issue they are struggling with.
Sharon said: “The problem doesn’t have to be anything major, it can be someone who just feels a bit overwhelmed. Some may struggle to discuss their poor mental health, however, by talking and sharing an issue can make that person feel a lot better.
“There is still that stigma with mental health so we wanted to ensure that everybody was comfortable with who they choose to speak to. They have someone in their own office but they are also free to speak to whoever they like and that group includes people at all levels from junior members of staff to partners. We have a real mix.”
Hamish Popplestone, who works in the marketing team, said: “The MHFA role interested me because mental health is as important as physical health. Unlike physical health, though, there are fewer resources available, and mental health issues often go unaddressed because reaching out to get help can be really difficult for someone. I think it's so valuable to have trained people who can recognise someone who is suffering and be the first step in getting support. Having gone through the MHFA course, I'm really glad I did. I now know a lot more about mental health disorders and feel confident in my ability to respond to someone struggling with mental health.”
Next week EIP is hosting a roundtable breakfast discussion on 'Understanding the impact of the EU Copyright Directive on US businesses'.
The discussion will address recent developments in Copyright law in the European Union, especially Article 17, and provide an opportunity to discuss its impact on your business and how to prepare for its national implementation.
The event is co-sponsored by the UK's Department for International Trade, EIP and Fieldfisher.
The event will take place on Tuesday 22nd January in West Hollywood. If you would like to attend please contact email@example.com.
EIP secured a significant victory for its client Conversant Wireless Licensing S.à r.l. (Conversant) in its longstanding mobile telecommunications Standard Essential Patent (SEP) dispute against Huawei and ZTE at the High Court.
In the judgment, handed down on 8 January 2020 by Mr Justice Birss, the court determined that claims of two of Conversant’s European patents, EP (UK) 1,878,177 and EP (UK) 3,267,722, were valid and essential to the LTE standard. These patents are thereby infringed, in the UK, by Huawei and ZTE mobile devices operating in accordance with the LTE standard.
The technology underlying these two patents facilitates high data rates in a mobile telecommunications network and is deployed in the semi-persistent scheduling (SPS) feature of LTE to which the patents have been found essential.
Conversant is also asking the court to declare that it has made a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) offer to license its SEP portfolio to each defendant, or alternatively to determine the terms for a FRAND license to each defendant. The FRAND trial is scheduled for April 2020, pending the judgement of a jurisdictional appeal by Huawei and ZTE to the Supreme Court.
Robert Lundie Smith, the partner who led the EIP team, said:
“We are delighted to have been able to work with and represent Conversant in proving the validity, essentiality and thereby infringement of two of its LTE patents. This judgment represents a major victory in a long-standing dispute over payment for the use of Conversant’s portfolio of standard essential telecoms patents. It is a significant step forward for Conversant in its wider dispute with Huawei and ZTE and paves the way to the High Court now considering the FRAND licence fees due to Conversant by both Huawei and ZTE.
Boris Teksler, Conversant CEO, said:
“We are very pleased with the judgement today. This confirms the strength of the Conversant Wireless portfolio. We look forward to a positive judgement from the UK Supreme Court and the upcoming FRAND trial.”
The EIP team comprised Robert Lundie Smith, Jerome Spaargaren, Heather McCann, Sunny Bansal, Joanne Welch, Myra Sae-Heng and Owen Waugh. Counsel for Conversant were Tom Moody-Stuart Q.C., James Whyte and Charles Brabin.
Four EIP associates have been recognised among the UK’s up-and-coming IP practitioners.
Patent attorneys Tim Belcher, Gemma Wooden, Felix Hall and solicitor Catherine Howell, have been ranked as “Rising Stars” in the 2019 edition of IP Stars, published by Managing Intellectual Property Magazine.
Rising Stars are those below partner level who are expected to become prominent practitioners in the future in their firm and jurisdiction.
Individuals are selected based upon information submitted by firms, together with recommendations received from clients and feedback from the wider IP market.
EIP has been described as “a role model for how to develop a mixed patent practice” in the first ranking of leading UK IP firms published by Juve.
Three partners were ranked as “recommended individuals” – Gary Moss, Jerome Spaargaren and Darren Smyth.
EIP success in “two precedent cases for Unwired Planet and Conversant concerning FRAND” was highlighted, with researchers commenting “these are particularly significant with the European patent community currently looking to the UK Supreme Court for an indication as to how London patent courts will rule on global licences.”
Juve has analysed and ranked the German patent market for 20 years and for its first ranking of UK firms, gathered almost 1,400 individual recommendations from attorneys working in private practice and in-house, obtained data from 100 firms and conducted 40 research meetings with barristers, law firms and patent attorney firms.