Employment: Pension and gender change certification requirements

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has held that, in requiring a transgender person to annul their marriage, entered into before changing gender, in order to be entitled to a state retirement pension (SRP) at the statutory pensionable age provided for those of the acquired gender, UK legislation gave rise to direct sex discrimination, contrary to EU law. The case, MB v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Case C‑451/16) EU:C: 2018:492 had been referred to the ECJ by the UK Supreme Court.   Under section 4(2) of the Gender Recognition Act 2004 (GRA) as it stood during the period at issue in the main proceedings, an unmarried applicant who had fulfilled the requirements of section 2(1) and had provided medical evidence pursuant to section 3 was entitled to a full gender recognition certificate.  Under section 4(3), a married applicant was only entitled to an interim gender recognition certificate.  An interim gender recognition certificate provides grounds for a married applicant or their spouse to have the marriage annulled.  Under section 5(1), GRA, the court granting the decree of nullity is required to issue a full gender recognition certificate.   Under paragraph 7 of schedule 5, GRA, which deals specifically with the effect of a full gender recognition certificate on SRP eligibility, once such a certificate is issued, any question Read Full Article…

IP/IT: UKIPO response to consultation on Trade Marks Directive 2015

The UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) has published a response to its consultation on the implementation of the Trade Marks Directive 2015 (the Directive).  The consultation sought views on proposed wording of the  Trade Marks Regulations 2018 (the Regulations).  Further to the consultation, the Regulations have now been finalised and were laid before the UK parliament on 10 July 2018; however, they will not come into force until 14 January 2019.   The document summarises the responses received, none of which were submitted by UK HEIs, and outlines how the government intends to make the necessary amendments to UK law.  The most significant changes are:   Trade mark applications will no longer need to represent marks graphically.  The new requirement is that marks are represented in a ‘clear and precise manner’.  UKIPO has stated that it intends to facilitate the submission of applications ‘using the widest range of digital file formats that is technically possible with our current systems‘.  It is expected that relevant guidance will be published in the next few months.   Businesses will lose the ability to rely on the ‘own name’ defence against claims that they have infringed UK trade marks.  Currently, businesses can avoid liability for trade mark infringement if the trade mark concerned is for a word that matches their name, provided that their Read Full Article…