Let’s talk about sex…toys

There are times when a worried hack opens the laptop with an intake of breath, a fluttering in the stomach and ponders, can I really write about that? Should I go there? Is this wise? My browser [...]

I predict a riot.

If our nearest continental neighbour is anything to go by, typically, looting follows a riot. And France knows a thing or two about rioting. But in the world of intellectual property, you can [...]


You’re dead. In fact, you died a while back. But, when you were alive you possessed a mellifluous voice, theatrical, ‘fruity’ even. Built for narration. Think Richard Burton only smoother – an [...]

WAGathon…and on and on…

As catfights go, it was a belter. In the 70’s, all good U.S. detective series had “Special Guest Stars”. We had that here, in the form of their inflated pig’s bladder-chasing footie-legend [...]

Beyond our Ken

Can you remember when you heard it? Perhaps you can even recall exactly what you were doing at the time? I can. I was painting skirting boards. I stopped immediately. It’s what you do. Out of [...]

Yeah Baby!

Have a think. When was the last time you bought a round of drinks and someone said, “make mine a glass of perry” ? No, it hasn’t happened to me either and I’ve bought a few rounds in my day. [...]

I’m a Belieber

“Legacy”. A word much bandied about these days by career politicians running for the exit, commentators on deceased monarchs, and artists. Yes, artists. Musical artists have demonstrated a [...]

Coffee Warning

Bullets over Baghdad Gabbing a coffee in downtown Baghdad may never be the same again. Especially if you choose the local Starbucks. Your cappuccino may get a different sprinkle – one of menace. [...]

Santa Baby

Enough already! Stop with the jingly bells, the evocative sleigh ride lyrics, fake snow and dated ski jumper music videos and Momma kissing Santa Claus chorus lines. That’s quite enough of that. [...]

Do They Know It’s Christmas

For sure, Mariah Carey’s legal team appear to know what time of year it is and, to boot, that the sound of active cash registers is way more rewarding than that of a sleigh bell. Ms Carey’s [...]

Pooh Corner

Just how does a 100-year-old fictional bear called “Pooh”, keep making such a stink in the world of intellectual property? Going on a Bear Hunt The demise of Winnie-the-Pooh was much exaggerated [...]

Go Ahead. Make my Day

False celebrity endorsements continue unbound and unchecked. This very column has previously drawn attention to several in the past, including Britain’s own victim, Martin Lewis. It’s true to say [...]

Russia’s Lovin’ it

Or is She? We’re referring to brazen western brand appropriation to demonstrate consumer continuity in Moscow to quieten the ‘ponies’ in the shadow of a protracted war. Is it effective and is it [...]

Broker Bulletin 14

To be Perfect is to Change Often  And so, the summer holidays are over, and winter is coming. Hopefully, without dragons, snow, and ice.We had a fruitful time over the summer months at OPUSand [...]

It’s not remotely working

There has been so much to divide us in recent years it’s hard to know where to start. Brexit, lock-down, vaccinations, party-gate, beer-gate, ‘who gives a monkey’s-gate’ and now, working from [...]

The right to bare arms

…or a heavily inked ‘sleeve’ if that takes your fancy. It’s a free country. But be careful your tattoo doesn’t offend. No, not other folk, who cares? We’re looking at possible copyright law [...]

Whiskey Sour

Brand-building can be a subtle art. It’s not always obvious. This we know. Sometimes it’s just downright opportunistic. Who would have thought to build a brand upon the biggest bankruptcy in [...]

Misguided Belief

As OPUS never tires of reporting, how is it that a flat-busted-broke company that has insufficient funds to pay its suppliers, fails to deliver to its paying customers and collapses into [...]

In Vogue

It’s just a guess, but on the 5th floor of a swanky office in the west end of London sandwiched between the Marketing Department (below – obviously) and Accounts (above), you will find a [...]

Broker Bulletin 13

BIBA Conference 2022  Wow! That was some conference. We’ve never seen it so busy. It was terrific to meet so many old and new faces without staring into a lap-top! A good number of you hunted [...]

Product misplacement

Trust in me It goes something like this. A celebrity image is misused to give credibility or just plain click-bait teaser-interest to an otherwise forgettable or banal advertisement. Problem is, [...]

No way!

Who does she think she is? It’s an English word that’s been in use hundreds of years. The audacity! How dare she try and steal our language! She can’t be serious? Just some of the recent media [...]

Never wrestle with a pig

…said George Bernard Shaw, “…because you’ll both get dirty, and the pig likes it.” What if the pig is Peppa Pig and Vladimir Putin is the wrestler? We’re about to find out in a curious [...]

If a picture paints a thousand words…

Some scientists believe Neanderthals possessed a modern vocal tract and were therefore capable of modern speech. Alas, probably not, the boffins concede, the complete range of sounds that modern [...]

Cutting Edge Technology

It’s almost as if Edward Scissorhands himself has just entered the art market. Well, sort of. Such is the current predilection in some quarters for chopping ‘art’ into tiny pieces and selling it [...]

What’s in the box?

Quick show of hands. How many of you thought an invention must work before you can get a patent? Thought so. You’d be wrong, as a well-publicised case in the U.S. recently laid bare. Science [...]

This could get ugly

As memories of Christmas 2021 fall away as quickly as the unseasonably warm New Year weather, perhaps it’s time to step into winter. And as you do, check your footing. Or more to the point, what [...]

Balloon dog millionaire

Who’d want to be a visual artist these days. Just as we might caution a child browsing the internet not to click on certain things because you can’t ‘unsee’ them, so it is with artists. All [...]

The Ring has awoken

Every so often a case comes along in our little corner of law that simply makes you wonder if some folk in business have ever heard of intellectual property rights. And so, one came this month. [...]

Let there be light

And there was light. In this version of Genesis a blue and white light was created. Not only could you use it to see but it disinfected all upon which it shone. Pretty handy in a hospital [...]

Fake’s Progress

Being an innovator and a creative artist is all well and good until someone steals your work. Worse still, is being at the forefront of utilising new technology or new ways to deliver your arty [...]

I Walk the Line

Here’s a cautionary tale for those who might think it’s all fine and dandy to destroy what you own without infringing another’s intellectual property rights or impugning their reputation. Turns [...]

The ego has landed

Mystifying as it may be to some folk, we are living in a world where the cult of celebrity reigns supreme. Some view celebrity-status as a legitimate career path to riches, fame, influence, and [...]

Five get into a legal dispute

Enid Blyton never wrote this Famous Five book. But it is a true story – of sorts. Let me explain. It all began not so long ago and, in a land, not so far away (here in the UK actually) in an art [...]

Anarchy in the High Court

“You just pick up a chord, go twang, and you’ve got music.” The words of Simon Richie. Or Sid Vicious to me and you, the late departed iconic front man of The Sex Pistols. Curl your lip, gel your [...]

Shed and Buried?

Let’s begin with Alan Partridge: “Hi Susan. I was a bit bored, so I dismantled my Corby Trouser Press. I can’t put it back together again. Will that show up on my bill?” Comedy gold. But spare a [...]

Art of the possible

Maybe there is such a thing as bad publicity. Consider this. You rent out your posh, fully furnished, seafront house commercially for a few months. You discover the business you rented it to [...]

Byron…it most certainly isn’t.

Love Trek Not so long ago in a world not so far, far away we might have met our life partner down the pub, at a party (remember those?) or at work. That’s now an era viewed through misty eyes and [...]

Model Behaviour

W.C. Fields was probably right when he coined the old entertainment adage: “Never work with children or animals”. He was, of course, referring to their unpredictability. Given a recent lawsuit in [...]

Too Shifty to be Nifty

Let me explain. First off, it’s all basketball’s fault. The NBA (National Basketball Association) started it. NFT’s I mean, or “Nifties” if you prefer. They thought it would be a jolly wheeze to [...]

Bull market

So much at steak… Shut your eyes. Nice and tight. Now think of a world where farms are vertical, over 20 floors or more, and thousands of acres of grazing land is set to more efficient [...]

Letter from America

Quite what the late, great, transatlantic cultural commentator and messenger Alastair Cooke would have written about the recently resolved dispute between Meghan Markle and the publication of [...]

Patently obvious

Or is it. We are, of course, referring to Joe Biden’s support of intellectual property waivers in the belief this move will deliver much-needed vaccine to the poorer parts of the world. At this [...]

Secrets and lies

Take Bitcoin – nope, I don’t understand how it works either. But we do know it divides opinion, creates bewilderment in most folk, promotes electronic mining capable of draining a national power [...]

Regarding Colin

A rare event happened last week. The intellectual property world’s version of sighting Haley’s Comet. And with it, from the media heavens above, a meteor shower of mainstream news articles poured [...]

This is Andy Warhol and it’s take one

With apologies to David Bowie and fans of his 1971 album Hunky Dory but who could forget the opening line to the track Andy Warhol. That’s your earworm for the day. More to the point, who could [...]

Not laughing now…

When the laughter stops the lawsuit begins. Or so it seems. Just ask Jerry Seinfeld. In a classic ‘Hey that was my idea!’ spat, Jerry Seinfeld found himself in court defending a claim for [...]

The time has come

The time has come,’ the Walrus said, To talk of many things: Of shoes — and ships — and sealing-wax — Of cabbages — and kings — But, on this occasion, let’s talk about technology and the [...]


You could say it’s in our interests at OPUS for businesses to be reminded at every opportunity just how important and valuable their intellectual property rights are and they should be protected [...]

Home Spun

Work-out from home Lockdown is a miserable state for most of us. For some, it presents opportunity. Wily stock-pickers will have looked closely at Peloton Interactive Inc. from April last year [...]

Vaccine Wars

Huff and puff Aggressive, arrogant, and alarming. Just three words used recently to describe the EU as it thrashed around trying to find a solution to a problem of its own making. That being; [...]

Brand width

Hesitant we may be at OPUS News to say we told you so but…we told you so. Readers of “It’s the brand stupid” posted January 2021 will note our then bullish view that failed Arcadia group still [...]

Winning Formula

The finale Another Formula 1 season draws to a close. It was an exciting, if crowd free, spectacle that didn’t disappoint. Hamilton was crowned Driver’s world champion again for the seventh [...]

Broker Bulletin 12

Opportunity knocks For commercial brokers savvy enough to be in the market and selling intellectual property cover, there’s something good to know. You don’t have to travel far to seek out [...]

Image Conscious

Statue of limitation Images are a global phenomenon. On that, I think we can all agree. It’s always been that way. In the ancient world, coinage and statues were the purveyors of image conveying [...]

It’s the brand…stupid!

Going out of fashion So. Farewell then…Arcadia, as the fictitious E. J. Thribb obituarist and threnodist may well have said. But rather than a wailing In Memoriam ode, the matter of Arcadia’s [...]

Dungeons and Dragons

Something in the lair Inventors are a curious breed. Sure – we’re all capable of having ideas but how many of us do anything to develop them? That’s the key difference. A combination of [...]

Working From Home

Working From Home – an intellectual property hurdle? It’s not obvious at first. Lots of us fell for its siren-like allure. But a few months down the track and most folk working in the [...]

When Trade Winds Turn

An interesting business failure tale is emerging in the States. It demonstrates only too well why the increasingly depressed Covid-19 economy is not the only headwind for emerging tech-based [...]

Broker Bulletin 11

It’s been an interesting week for reports on Intellectual Property. We’ve had three. And in respect of all of them there are some basic messages for brokers. But, let’s keep it simple and focus [...]

One-man Brand

There’s an inevitability, irony and some might say justice when an individual claims IP protection and, in particular, says “…copyright is for losers…” and, nevertheless, goes on to seek the [...]

A yarn to spin

American hypocrisy? All too often we see the US call China an IP thief, accusing them of stealing American intellectual property. Under the so-called “Section 301 investigation”, Trump appeared [...]

At the Heart of Invention

Think of an inventor. Hold that image. Is it the suave James Dyson or scholarly Tim Berners-Lee? Or, perhaps drawn from theatre and the movies, think Professor Caractacus Pottsfrom Chitty-Chitty [...]

Another Brick in the Chinese Wall

Education dropout – IP upside? Farewell then, Chinese students. The string of this theory beingthus: Covid-19 epidemic in the UK frightens-off would be Chinese students, a position consolidated [...]

Picking a winner

Racing may be back on the telly, although not as we knew it, and spotting a winner is distinctly an armchair pursuit, at least for now. Picking a start-up business winner continues seemingly [...]

Remdesivir Revisited

Recent history As readers of this Newsfeed may recall in an article published on 6 March this year (doesn’t that seem a long time ago in a pandemic where time crawls) an IP dispute between the US [...]

Droning on…

Click and…er…wait Ever thought it odd that however socially revolutionary and convenient on-line shopping undoubtedly is, the polluting, unwoke delivery by diesel van undermines this sci-fi [...]

Lockdown – Never been busier?

Restricted movement but no less agile Strange times, stranger hours and patterns of work. Disjointed, disconnected and in a world of our own, quite literally, because we’re working from home. [...]

Broker Bulletin 10

Did you know Sunday 26 April was World IP Day? We hope you didn’t miss it but in case you did; here are the highlights. Green Innovation… Relies on Intellectual property rights (IPR) as its [...]

Tiger King: Trademark dispute ends reign

Covid-19 lockdown go-to and Netflix smash-hit “Tiger King” is perhaps an unlikely subject for an intellectual property newsfeed. Or is it? For some time now we’ve been proclaiming that IP is [...]

When the mask slips

Market forces… Intellectual property is all about the creation of a legal monopoly with lawful exploitation at its heart. There’s a problem; exploitation is equally central to counterfeiting. [...]


Coronavirus (COVID-19) is the top of people’s minds during these uncertain times. We know that protecting your business and team is your top priority as we all adjust our working arrangements to [...]

Broker Bulletin 9

OPUS BIBA Webinar   Our first… OPUS is delighted to announce it has just delivered its first broker webinar with the help of our friends at BIBA. With contributions from Sam Bobo the OPUS MD with [...]

Covid-19 spreads to the global IP market

Rumour has it… Nothing whets the appetite for rumour quite like a good germ escape story. And what if that germ, or virus, was ‘owned’ or patented by a super-power? All the required ingredients [...]

Out there and living amongst us…

Not an alien concept The march of intellectual property-rich UK companies from start-up to mature, continues at pace according to a report last month from Tech Nation, the tax-funded body that [...]

Harry and Megan…an unhappy IP ending?

It’s all about the brand… The curious thing about intellectual property rights is you don’t think they apply to you until…er…they do. You might not believe you have, or are, a brand. Even if you [...]

…working in the lab late one night…

Employer’s Intellectual Property Rights The employer owns designs, inventions, and copyright over abstract creative works developed by its employees – right? Surely this is the case, it even says [...]

Broker Bulletin 8

Happy New Year to all BIBA Brokers! As the New Year dawns many of your clients will be addressing their marketing schedules for 2020 and the new decade. Refreshing their client offerings, [...]

Broker Bulletin 7

Success in Scotland!   BIBA approved service provider Opus Underwriting Limited was delighted to attend and exhibit yesterday at the BIBA Scotland 2019 Conference in Falkirk. A busy day with [...]

BIBA Broker Bulletin 6

Breaking the Ice (Having that IP conversation with your client) One of the many benefits of OPUS travelling up and down the country to meet BIBA brokers is to elicit feedback from you. No one is [...]

Broker Bulletin 5

Attention Scottish BIBA Brokers! BIBA approved service provider Opus UnderwritingLimited is delighted to announce its attendance at the forthcoming BIBA Scotland 2019atThe McDonald Inchyra Hotel [...]

Broker Bulletin 4

South Wales – OPUS attends Successful Knowledge Forum October 2019 BIBA approved service provider OPUS UnderwritingLimitedreports a successful day’s attendance at the first-of-its-kind BIBA event [...]

Broker Bulletin 3

Wales – here we come!   BIBA approved service provider Opus Underwriting Limited is delighted to announce its attendance at the forthcoming BIBA South Wales Knowledge Forum in Cardiff on 9 [...]

Rag-Trade Rip-Off

International fashion brand theft of another’s ideas and designs is rife. The big brands are often the worst offenders. So how in the world do they get away with it in plain sight of the creator? [...]

Picture This

Creative differences Remember the 1978 Blondie release of this name. It hit the UK charts and for its three writers, Debbie Harry included, it has churned out regular royalties for them ever [...]

What Katy Did

We are, of course, talking about Katy Perry the pop star and not the subject of a 19th century children’s book. And, in the case of Perry, What Katy Did was rip-off a fellow artist’s song and [...]

Patent it – or wing it?

Quick quiz… What have the radio, the telephone and, with no hint of irony, the board game Monopoly got in common? Answer: The inventors were not those who cashed in. The money was made by those [...]

Registering a design in the UK

Why – what’s in it for me? If you haven’t thought of registering your business designs, you should…simple as. Whilst it may sound like a dull paper exercise involving lawyers, cost and some [...]

Broker Bulletin 2

OPUS Lucky Winner! Congratulations to James Ogilvie of RAC Business Roadside on winning the OPUS BIBA Conference business card raffle! Sam Bobo, OPUS MD, is seen here handing over the prize to [...]

Broker Bulletin

Intellectual Property Insurance – what is it and why clients need it. You’ve heard about IPI, but how do you position it with your clients? How does it fit their business? Is it relevant? You [...]

BIBA Conference 2019

Opus partners BIBA to provide specialist legal expenses cover backed by A-Rated capacity. The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) has launched an intellectual property insurance scheme [...]

Tangled Web

In a modern business it’s pretty much a certainty, whatever your niche, you’ll need a website. Being online makes you more competitive and opens-up new markets at home and abroad. What business [...]

Share Option

Learning to share You’ve a great idea, product or unique service. You know it’s a winner and you’re the founder. You start your business development and planning. There will come a time when [...]

Mind the Gap!

It’s a problem for all entrepreneurs. You find a gap in the market, whether a service or a product, and head-down you go for it!  The problem with a gap in the market is how do you know you are [...]

Activis UK Limited v Eli Lilly

In a landmark judgement the Supreme Court has rewritten the rules on how patents are to be interpreted. The new world is great news for patent lawyers but not necessarily for their clients. The [...]

UK Unregistered Design Right

Prior to 1 July 1989, three dimensional designs of, for example, a kettle could potentially be protected as registered designs and/or as copyright works. If the design was registerable, copyright [...]