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10 Dec 20. Capgemini Research Institute Releases “The Data-Powered Enterprise.” How prepared are public-sector organizations around the world to face the demands of an increasingly data-driven workplace? How can organizations leverage multi-faceted data streams to make timely IT decisions, and track the impact of those decisions year over year? The Capgemini Research Institute’s recent research report, The Data-Powered Enterprise: Why Organizations Must Strengthen Their Data Mastery, tackled these questions and examined how the public sector stacks up against other industries in data stewardship.
The results? While more businesses and public-sector groups are using data to make decisions over time, data-based decision-making these days is predominantly reactive. In other words, organizations are predominantly using backward-looking data to analyze historical decisions. Only a subset of organizations – which we call “Data Masters” – are consistently leveraging data for predictive purposes and actionable business, product, and acquisition decisions.
For more information on how your organization can become a Data Master, download the full-length report here: https://www.capgemini.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Data-powered-enterprise_Digital_Report.pdf. (Source: PR Newswire)
10 Dec 20. Airbus quantum computing challenge helps advance sustainable flight. Airbus has concluded its global Quantum Computing Challenge (AQCC) announcing the winning team of the competition. The Italian team at Machine Learning Reply – a leading systems integration and digital services company part of Reply Group – won the challenge with their solution to optimise aircraft loading.
Airlines try to make the best use of an aircraft’s payload capability to maximise revenue, optimise fuel burn and lower overall operating costs. However, their scope for optimisation can be limited by a number of operational constraints.
By creating an algorithm for optimal aircraft cargo loading configurations, taking these operational constraints -payload, centre of gravity, size and shape of the fuselage- into account, the winners of the competition proved that optimisation problems can be mathematically modelled and solved through quantum computing.
“The Quantum Computing Challenge is testament to Airbus’ belief in the power of the collective, to fully harness and apply quantum computing technology to solve complex optimization challenges facing our industry today,” said Grazia Vittadini, Chief Technology Officer, Airbus. “By looking at how emerging technologies can be used to improve aircraft performance and boost innovation, we are addressing the advanced flight physics problems that will redefine how the aircraft of tomorrow are built and flown, and ultimately shape industry, markets and customer experiences for the better.”
The winners are set to start working with Airbus experts, as early as January 2021, to test and benchmark their solution in order to assess how the mastering of complex calculations can tangibly impact airlines, enabling them, as predicted, to benefit from maximised loading capabilities.
With operations being made more efficient, the overall number of required transportation flights could be reduced, having a positive impact on CO2 emissions, thereby contributing to Airbus’ ambition for sustainable flight. The AQCC was launched in January 2019, to drive innovation across the full aircraft life-cycle. By developing strong partnerships with the global quantum community, Airbus is taking science out of the lab and into industry, by applying newly-available computing capabilities to real-life industrial cases.
10 Dec 20. Thales Australia to expand Lithgow R&D team capacity. Thales Australia has announced an expansion of the company’s small arms research and development (R&D) team in Lithgow as it anticipates the future technology requirements of a digitised battlespace for the Australian Defence Force.
With the Thales designed and manufactured EF88 in service with the ADF, the R&D team are looking to make radical, innovative enhancements to future small arms capability, and are looking for an additional nine of the ‘best and brightest’ engineers to join their ranks.
Director soldier weapons systems at Thales, Graham Evenden, said that this push for development is a direct response to drive and maximise the benefit of new manufacturing processes, novel materials and AI.
“We have some really exciting, technologically disruptive R&D projects going on right now, with a lot more on the horizon. Working together with our industry and academic partners, we are aiming to deliver a ‘best of breed’ capability and ensure we support a robust and enduring sovereign industry capability,” Evenden explained.
“These projects are creating new roles within our R&D team, in fact it will be doubling in size. And when you look at the wider industrial ecosystem, it’s creating a lot more opportunities for growth for our SME supply chain and our partners in academia. Army is looking towards the future and how to best meet the challenges of the changing threat environment in order to be ‘future ready’.
“We’ve been a trusted partner of the Australian Army since our Small Arms factory in Lithgow began manufacturing rifles in 1912, and we are investing heavily to ensure we are on the journey forwards with them.”
Member for Bathurst Paul Toole said he welcomes the continuing commitment by Thales into its operations in Lithgow and jobs creation in the region.
“The fact that Thales is set to double its research and development team in Lithgow sends a clear message that Thales is here for the long term,” he said.
“Thales are a good community partner and I know their projects are at the cutting edge of technology and this investment in the future means there’s exciting times ahead for the company.”
The new roles within the team will come from a broad range of engineering disciplines and will engage closely with industry, academia, and premier research bodies such as DST Group and CSIRO.
Thales Australia is a trusted partner of the Australian Defence Force and is also present in commercial sectors ranging from air traffic management and ground transport systems to security systems and services.
Thales Australia employs around 3,800 people directly and supports over 1,700 job along its Australian supply chain. In 2019, Thales Australia spent $522m with 1,362 Australia suppliers, of which 70 per cent are SMEs.
Thales Australia has a history of patient investment to build advanced in-country capability across manufacturing, critical systems and services. Close collaborative relationships with local customers, Australian SME suppliers and research institutions combined with technology transfer from our global business enables Thales to tailor high-quality solutions for Australian and export markets, generating revenue of $1.6bn in exports over the past 10 years. (Source: Defence Connect)
10 Dec 20. AeroVironment Introduces Extended Range Antenna (ERA), Expanding UAS Command and Control up to 40 Kilometers in a Lightweight, Portable Form Factor.
- Cost-effective optional antenna array kit designed to integrate seamlessly with AeroVironment’s standard RF head antenna
- Provides operators 100 percent greater controllable range over standard RF head antenna with minimal logistical footprint
- Add-on kit narrows antenna beam width, extending command and control range up to 40 km
AeroVironment, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVAV), a global leader in unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), today announced the introduction of its Extended Range Antenna (ERA), the latest addition to AeroVironment’s growing line of network connectivity solutions. The ERA is a lightweight, portable antenna array kit designed to integrate seamlessly with AeroVironment’s standard RF head antenna to support a diverse range of missions.
The ERA add-on kit narrows the antenna beam width, extending the command and control range up to 40 kilometers (24.9 miles) with minimal impact to its size, weight and power (SWAP) footprint. Similar to the standard RF head antenna, the ERA is manually positioned. The included RF Unit switch allows users to toggle between omnidirectional mode, for short-range operations, and extended range mode, for longer-range operations. The ERA supports both M1/2/5 and M3/4/6 Digital Data Link (DDL) operating bands.
By adding the ERA kit to their existing AeroVironment RF antenna, UAS flight operators can immediately expand their operational capabilities, gaining actionable battlefield intelligence at greater stand-off range to maximize their stealth and safety. When used in combination with other AeroVironment network connectivity options, the ERA provides an enhanced level of operational flexibility. This enables teams to coordinate command and control transfer of UAS, such as Puma LE, easily over greater distances, maximizing the aircraft’s multi-mission capabilities, in day or night operations, across dynamically changing environments.
“AeroVironment continues to incorporate direct customer and user feedback into our product development investments to address increasingly complex and dynamic mission requirements,” said Rick Pedigo, AeroVironment vice president of sales and business development. “Not only do operators benefit from available options in terms of UAS capabilities, but they can also benefit from a selection of antenna options that are portable, easy to operate and provide extended range and multi-mission capabilities.”
Further expanding its connectivity solutions, AeroVironment recently announced updates to its Long Range Tracking Antenna (LRTA), which it now offers in two versions to support M1/2/5 and M3/4/6 DDL frequency bands. AeroVironment’s network connectivity product line includes the pocketable, short-range pDDL (5km), standard RF antenna (20km), ERA (40km) and LRTA (60 km) capabilities in both M1/2/5 and M3/4/6 bands.
10 Dec 20. New US Army tiltrotor testbed will help tackle whirl flutter. A new tiltrotor testbed that the US Army recently finished building will help the service tackle the dangerous whirl flutter phenomenon found in tiltrotors.
The TiltRotor Aeroelastic Stability Testbed (TRAST), which the US Army started developing in 2016, will help researchers develop state-of-the-art analysis software that opens the possibilities for new tiltrotor designs, according to a 7 December service statement. The TRAST is a semi-span, wall-mounted model with a rotor system loosely based on the Bell XV-15 gimballed rotor. The service plans to test the TRAST in a massive wind tunnel at NASA Langley Research Center in Virginia to gauge the effectiveness of modern tiltrotor stability models.
Tiltrotors face severe stability issues due to the placement of heavy engines with large rotors on the end of the wings. The interaction between the propellers and the wings can generate whirl flutter, which is when strong aerodynamic forces cause the airframe structure to shake violently and even fail.
According to the Pretest Flutter Predictions of Upcoming Aeroelastic Tiltrotor Wind Tunnel Test white paper presented at the Vertical Flight Society’s (VFS’) 76th annual forum, whirl flutter is technically an instability that results from rotor aerodynamics coupling with flexibility in either the wing or pylon. This promotes pitch and yaw rotations during flight of propeller-driven aircraft or tiltrotors in fixed-wing aircraft mode. (Source: Jane’s)
10 Dec 20. Russia to Patent Net-Catching Interceptor Drone. Russia’s Federal Service for Intellectual Property (Rospatent) has registered an application for an interceptor drone capable of capturing targets with a special net, according to the document released by the Federal Institute of Industrial Property on Tuesday.
The invention application has been filed by the Vektor Research Institute (part of Vega Company of Ruselectronics Group within the state tech corporation Rostec), the document says.
The interceptor drone “consists of the body frame with at least two engines with variable angles of rotation placed along its perimeter.” The drone’s specific feature is that “an aerodynamic structure consisting of a catching net is integrated into the frame’s hollow space,” according to the patent application.
The net’s size and surface tension allow for capturing and retaining the target while the net’s tension is regulated by turning an automatic coil winder to change the length of the line stretched along the frame’s perimeter and holding the net with the captured object.
Director for International Cooperation and Regional Policy at the state hi-tech corporation Rostec Viktor Kladov earlier told TASS that Russia had developed drone hunters capable of tracking, intercepting and disabling hostile unmanned aerial vehicles with the help of nets.
In addition to electronic warfare systems designed to fight enemy drones, Russia is developing active killer drones to track intruder drones, catch up with them and throw a net, he explained. (Source: UAS VISION/TASS)
03 Dec 20. EDA Defence Innovation Prize 2020 winners revealed. EDA today announced the two winners of the 2020 EDA Defence Innovation Prize. Launched in March, this year’s contest looked for the most innovative ideas, technologies and solutions for the countering of swarms of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), in particular to protect land facilities and platforms. After a thorough assessment of all applications received, the jury decided to announce two winners, each of whom is rewarded with €30,000.
The first of the two winning projects is called SWADAR (SWarm ADvanced Detection And TRacking) and was proposed by the Centro Italiano Ricerche Aerospaziali (CIRA) based in Capua, Italy.
SWADAR proposes a technological solution for drone-swarm tracking to provide the operational picture of swarm attacks. It uses a defensive team of drones, which tracks the hostile swarm from different perspectives. Defensive drones are equipped with proximal sensors to achieve the required resolution and sensitivity. A coordination mechanism and an ad-hoc network ensure the cooperation of the defensive team to maintain optimal performance for tracking. A fusion of the drones’ views is also performed to provide the operator with the common operational picture and to assess swarming metrics, which are key indicators to establish the most effective counter-actions and to possibly automate the decision-making of mitigations. Moreover, the tracking solution is extended with the automated recognition of the swarm-attack scenario and with the learning of new swarming behaviours. This guarantees the adaptability of the system in face of evolving attacks.
Full-Duplex Radio Technology for Enhanced Defence Capabilities Against Drone Swarms
The second winning project is called ‘Full-Duplex Radio Technology for Enhanced Defence Capabilities Against Drone Swarms’ and was presented by Rantelon, an Estonian small to medium-sized company, in cooperation with Tampere University, Finland.
The core innovation of reaching full duplex capability should allow to simultaneously recon drones via their Radio Frequency (RF) signals and to neutralise them, e.g. via jamming, contributing to an enhanced situational awareness, improved neutralisation performance, multifunction capabilities, and minimised collateral damage. The proposed solution would bring detection and countermeasures, such as jamming and spoofing, to a higher level because it will allow the execution of both tasks simultaneously, what is not possible currently. Considering that the technological concept is already verified and experimental proofs-of-concept have been reported, it is possible to assume that this very relevant technology can be translated in enhanced security and defence capabilities by 2030. The technology has a high potential to create excellent dual-use synergies and to capture the attention of key players in the defence field to form valuable partnerships with non-traditional defence R&T communities and innovators for both defence and civil applications. The idea was considered by the jury as coherent and very likely to be feasible as proposed, given that the higher demand of power can be solved and expanded frequencies can be addressed.
Strategic importance of counter-UAV capabilities
“The fact that this year’s contest was focused on innovations related to countering UAVs reflects the strategic importance of drones and the threat they represent for modern air defence systems, especially when used in large swarms coordinated by Artificial Intelligence supported platforms”, said EDA Deputy Chief Executive Olli Ruutu when symbolically handing over the prize to the two winners at EDA’s virtual Annual Conference 2020 which opened today (see other news). Counter-UAV capabilities are therefore not only part of the revised European Defence Capability Development Priorities adopted in 2018, but also of the six focus areas for potential future cooperation identified in the recent first Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD), Mr Ruutu stressed.
About the winners
CIRA (Italian Aerospace Research Centre) is a company mainly in public ownership created in 1984. The Centre was founded with the aim of performing and promoting research and technological development in the fields of space and aeronautics and enabling Italian enterprises to compete on the international markets. CIRA has the biggest research facilities in the field of aerospace in Italy, with cutting-edge testing facilities and state-of-the-art laboratories. Rantelon is an Estonian company specialised in developing and producing radio frequency (RF) electronics, including low level components and integrated systems, for a range of applications. The company provides solutions from civilian cellular and public safety networks to various signals intelligence and effector capabilities for the defence sector.
Tampere University participated the winning project with assistant professor Taneli Riihonen’s team in the Unit of Electrical Engineering. They are currently pursuing research on full-duplex counter-drone and radio shield technologies with support from the Finnish Scientific Advisory Board for Defence and the Academy of Finland.
About the EDA Defence Innovation Prize
The award, organised by EDA since 2018, aims to stimulate defence technological innovation in Europe, in particular by reaching out to non-defence R&T communities and innovators set to play an ever-bigger role in developing and producing Europe’s future defence capabilities. It is also meant to provide non-traditional defence stakeholders (civil industries, SMEs, research organisations, universities, etc.) with an opportunity to showcase their know-how in domains relevant for defence, maximize dual-use synergies and engage in partnerships with the defence sector. (Source: EDA)
08 Dec 20. Rafael hopes quantum technology can help in GPS-denied environments. Rafael Advanced Defense Systems has been investing in quantum technology in the hopes that it will improve existing sensors on the battlefield and could lead to a solution for GPS-denied environments. (sakkmesterke/Getty Images)
Rafael Advanced Defense Systems has been investing in quantum technology in the hopes that it will improve existing sensors on the battlefield and could lead to a solution for GPS-denied environments.
Because the technology is linked to better positioning, navigation and time-keeping, company leaders said they believe it could “revolutionize” this space. Alternative means of PNT have become a priority for militaries throughout the world as jammers become less expensive and more ubiquitous while the reliance on PNT information increases.
In particular, Rafael executives are encouraged that “extremely high-performance quantum accelerometers and gyroscopes can be designed to be the basis of the next generation inertial navigation systems,” a company official said. These sensors can exploit the quantum properties of atoms to measure acceleration and angular rates with unprecedented accuracy, which, in turn, allows for “dead-reckoning navigation for relatively long periods of time while essentially keeping GPS/GNSS accuracy.”
Rafael’s team working on quantum technology, which includes Alon Gabbay, head of miniature quantum sensors group of the Manor division and Nitzan Link, of the CTO Technology Center of the Manor Division of Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, were among those who discussed the potential for the technology with Defense News.
Quantum technology is about sensors that “measure discrete energy levels and difference in change with magnetic or electric fields,” a Rafael official said. The struggle for engineers has been that while this technology has existed for decades, particularly in university labs, miniaturizing it and using it in defense systems is a challenge.
While Rafael is traditionally Israel’s research and development arm for new weapon systems, it is also the company behind the Trophy defense system, Litening targeting pod and Iron Dome air defense technologies. Rafael has also rolled out new digitized battlefield concepts and used optics to better match scenes and leverage artificial intelligence.
“Quantum technologies can give rise to ultra-sensitive gravitational and magnetic measurements, hence opening the possibility of using anomaly maps to aid inertial navigation,” a company official told Defense News. “Atomic clocks use quantum technologies to provide highly stable and accurate frequency standards; the resulting technology can be used for time-keeping opening new possibilities for using communications as an aid to an integrated navigation system.” (Source: Defense News)
08 Dec 20. Atlas LTA develops the new generation of airships. ATLANT 300 will be able to carry 165 tones to 2,000 KM. This aircraft will change the whole transportation industry, especially logistics for rural areas and the way we transport oversized cargoes. Many industrial companies and Humanitarian aid organizations are waiting for this new development to be taken into the sky. Atlas LTA, a newly established Israeli company, develops a family of innovative aircrafts named ATLANT. The biggest model, ATLANT 300, would be huge: 200 meters length, 100 meters width, and 50 meters height. It will be able to carry 165 tons of cargo to 2,000 KM at a speed of 120 KM/h at all weather conditions, including the harsh ones. The other two models are ATLANT 30 and ATLANT 100, they are smaller and can carry 18 tons and 60 tons accordingly. Those airships are the actual game-changers in the world of air cargo delivery because they do not need any ground facilities to take off or to land. All means of transport existing today require expensive ground infrastructure such as air or water ports, railroad systems, etc. Those facilities are concentrated at large industrial and heavily populated areas, leaving many other places isolated and suffering from lack of critical supplies. ATLANTs can equally reach developed and underdeveloped areas without any harm to the nature that always follow the large transport infrastructure construction projects.
That unique ability draws a lot of attention from humanitarian organizations, such as UN World Food Program, because today’s logistic difficulties are significant obstacles to their important mission. Another great example of the ATLANTs role is todays industrial world is point to point transportation of the large blades of wind turbines. Those giant structures are available for offshore installation only due to the serious logistic problems which has became a bottleneck for this fast-growing industry. ATLANT could be an effective solution for the transportation as well as installation while being used as a flying crane.
Beside carrying cargoes ATLANTs will create a new dimensions in the air travel such as short haul and high comfort passenger ferry flights to numerous hard to reach destinations, or even the more futuristic and luxury sky yachting that can bring exclusive travelers to the most hidden places on earth like arctic ice or small tropical islands…
The Greener Alternative to the Existing Transportation Systems:
Gennadiy Verba CEO and Founder: “The airships being developed by Atlas have a number of advantages in comparison to any aircraft and sometimes even before ground transportation. First, that is a low cost per ton-kilometer. But most important, much lower greenhouse gas emissions: 30-40% less than the most effective airplanes and 5-7 times less than the best heavy helicopters. And that is only the beginning – our electric powertrain enables us to reach zero emission within the next 7-8 years, much faster than other flight vehicles of the comparable size. Capable to operate in the most difficult weather conditions ATLANT sometimes is a good alternative to land transportation by tracks, which requires ice roads open only at wintertime in countries like Russia or Canada”.
Verba explains that ATLANTs can take off vertically, connecting any places point-to-point just like a helicopter or drone, but capable to carry much larger cargo to much longer distances at the way much lower cost.
07 Dec 20. Special Operations Strives to Use the Power of Artificial Intelligence. U.S. Special Operations Command hopes to increasingly use artificial intelligence and machine learning in all aspects of warfare, its commander said.
Army Gen. Richard D. Clarke spoke virtually today with Hudson Institute scholars.
Clarke noted that Project Maven jump-started the employment of AI. Project Maven was initially executed to automate the processing and exploitation of full-motion video collected by intelligence, instead of relying on humans to sort through all of it.
With AI’s ability to shift quickly through terabytes of data to find relevant pieces of intelligence, it allows the human to make faster and better informed decisions, he said.
AI can also be incredibly effective at monitoring the information environment, he said.
During a recent visit with a special operations commander in Afghanistan, Clarke noted that the commander said influencing the population in a positive way can mean the difference between winning and losing.
Socom has been using AI for logistics, and the maintenance piece in particular, for more than two years now, he said. It saves money in terms of, for example, predicting engine life or failure on a tank or aircraft. And it allows better use of those assets.
AI-powered health care can predict injuries or point to treatments to get operators in the fight more quickly, he mentioned.
In the realm of mission command, AI will power the Joint All-Domain Command and Control system, which will allow commanders to better communicate and make decisions, he said.
While Socom is forging ahead quickly with AI, Clarke mentioned that his organization is also working closely with the military services and organizations like the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, as well as with industry, allies and partners.
Clarke emphasized that it’s important that commanders set the tone and set the conditions to allow innovation and encourage people to come up with great ideas.
Humans are more important than the hardware, he said. “It’s the talented people that we have to help foster. You’ve got to invest the human capital into this space.”
Looking to the future, Clarke said he is optimistic that AI will be successfully leveraged by the Defense Department to maintain the lead against peer competitors China and Russia. It will require updating policy and infrastructure, using cloud computing and having the right people who are enabled with the right leadership. (Source: US DoD)
07 Dec 20. UK Intellectual property after 1 January 2021. Key information for customers and users of IP about how the IP system and the Intellectual Property Office will operate after the end of the transition period. The transition period ends on 31 December 2020. On 1 January 2021 there will be changes to UK intellectual property law to ensure the smooth departure from EU IP systems.
The following is a summary of the key changes.
Use of representatives and address requirements to represent
From 1 January 2021, UK attorneys will be unable to represent clients on new applications or new proceedings at the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). UK trade mark owners will need to appoint an EEA attorney to represent them on new applications and proceedings before the EUIPO.
However, the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) ensures that UK legal representatives can continue to represent their clients before the EUIPO in cases that are ongoing at the end of the transition period.
UK Address for Service (AfS)
The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has published business guidance, following publication of the government response to the outcome of the Address for Service call for views published earlier this year. Views were invited on removing reference to the European Economic Area.
From 1 January 2021, subject to legislative implementation, only an address for service in the UK (which for these purposes includes the Isle of Man), Gibraltar or the Channel Islands will be accepted for new applications and new requests to start contentious proceedings before the IPO.
The change will apply across all the registered IP rights (patents, trade marks and designs).
Changes to IP rights
Comparable UK trade mark and Design rights will be created at the end of the transition period under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement.
On 1 January 2021, The IPO will create a comparable UK trade mark for every registered EU trade mark (EUTM). Each of these UK rights will:
- be recorded on the UK trade mark register
- have the same legal status as if you had applied for and registered it under UK law
- keep the original EUTM filing date
- keep the original priority or UK seniority dates
- be a fully independent UK trade mark that can be challenged, assigned, licensed or renewed separately from the original EUTM
You will not:
- need to file an application for this right or pay an application fee. There will be as little administration involved as possible
- receive a UK registration certificate, but you will be able to access details about the trade mark on GOV.UK and can take a screen shot from there as evidence of your right.
Businesses, organisations or individuals that have applications for EUTMs which are not registered at the end of the transition period will have a period of nine months to apply in the UK for the same protection. In this case, UK application fees will be payable, and the application will be subject to UK examination and publication requirements.
Our digital and paper forms will be amended to include a new section for claiming the earlier filing date of the corresponding EUTM application.
For information on renewals, opt out process and numbering as well as more detail on subjects covered in this section please refer to our business guidance
- EU trade mark protection and comparable UK trade marks from 1 January 2021
- Creation of the re-registered international design
Please see section below on Geographical Indications for details on this IP right and the relationship with trade marks.
Re-registered UK designs will be created at the end of the transition period under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement.
On 1 January 2021, the IPO will create a re-registered design for every Registered Community design (RCD). Each of these rights will:
- be recorded on the UK designs register
- have the same legal status as if you had applied for and registered it under UK law
- keep the original RCD filing date
- keep the original priority date
- be a fully independent UK design that can be challenged, assigned, licensed or renewed separately from the original RCD.
You will not:
- need to file an application for this right or pay an application fee. There will be as little administration involved as possible
- receive a UK registration certificate. You will be able to access details about the design on GOV.UK and can take a screen shot from there as evidence of your right.
Businesses, organisations or individuals that have applications for RCDs which are either not registered or have deferred publication at the end of the transition period, will have a period of nine months to apply in the UK for the same protection. In this case UK application fees will be payable, and the application will be subject to UK examination requirements.
Our digital and paper forms will be amended to include a new section for claiming the earlier filing date of the corresponding RCD application.
For information on renewals, opt out process and numbering as well as more detail on subjects covered in this section please refer to our business guidance
International trade marks and designs
International trade marks and designs designating the EU will continue to have protection in the UK under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement.
On 1 January 2021, the IPO will create:
- we will create ‘a comparable UK trade mark for every international trade mark (EU) that is protected at the end of the transition period’
- a re-registered UK design for every international design (EU) that is protected at the end of the transition period
Where an international trade mark or design designating the EU has been applied for, but is not yet protected, the holder will have a period of nine months to apply for the same right as a UK trade mark or design. UK application fees will be payable, and the application will be subject to UK examination requirements and for trade marks publication requirements.
For information on renewals, opt out process and numbering as well as more detail on subjects covered in this section please refer to our business guidance.
Unregistered community designs that arise before the end of the transition period will continue to be protected in the UK for the remainder of their three year term through continuing unregistered designs.
From 1 January 2021, a supplementary unregistered design (SUD) will become available in UK law.
The SUD will provide similar protection to that conferred by the unregistered Community design, but for the UK only.
The SUD will be established by first disclosure in the UK or another qualifying country. First disclosure in the EU will not establish a SUD right. It could destroy the novelty of the design should you later seek to establish UK unregistered rights.
Business will need to consider carefully where to disclose their products to ensure they have adequate protection in their most important market.
You can apply for a European patent through us or direct to the European Patent Office (EPO) to protect your patent in more than 30 countries in Europe, using the (non-EU) European Patent Convention (EPC).
As the EPO is not an EU agency, leaving the EU does not affect the current European patent system. Existing European patents covering the UK are also unaffected.
European patent attorneys based in the UK continue to be able to represent applicants before the EPO. See the notice on the EPO website news story for further information.
Supplementary Protection Certificates (SPCs)
SPCs are granted as national rather than EU-wide rights.
It was not necessary for the UK and the EU to agree the creation of a comparable right to ensure continued protection of existing SPCs in the UK at the end of the transition period.
The Withdrawal Agreement ensures that SPC applications which are pending at the end of the transition period will be examined under the current framework.
Any SPC which is granted based on those applications will provide the same protection as existing SPCs.
You will continue to apply for an SPC by submitting an application to the Intellectual Property Office.
Changes affecting SPCs due to the Northern Ireland Protocol
Due to regulatory changes for marketing authorisations there are some changes to the SPC application process which will come into effect from 1 January.
You will need to check whether your marketing authorisation is valid for the whole of the UK, or just Northern Ireland or Great Britain.
An application for an SPC must still be filed with the IPO within six months of your first authorisation.
Please check the business guidance to ensure you are submitting the correct forms and accompanying documentation.
Parallel trade between the UK and the EEA
The IP rights in goods placed on the UK market by, or with the consent of the right holder after the transition period may no longer be considered exhausted in the EEA.
This means that businesses parallel exporting these IP-protected goods from the UK to the EEA might need the right holder’s consent.
The IP rights in goods placed on the EEA market by, or with the consent of the right holder after the transition period will continue to be considered exhausted in the UK.
This means that parallel imports into the UK from the EEA will be unaffected.
We plan to publish a formal consultation in early 2021 and we will let interested parties know of the publication date in due course.
Actions for parallel exporters of IP-protected goods to the EEA
Check whether you currently export legitimate, IP-protected goods to the EEA. These could be goods branded with a trade mark that have already been placed on the UK market.
The rights holder’s permission to export those goods may not currently be required.
You may need to contact the rights holder to get permission to continue exporting these goods after 1 January 2021.
The IP rights holder may not provide permission for their IP-protected goods to be parallel exported to the EEA.
You may need to review your business arrangements, business model or supply chain based on the outcome of the discussion with the IP rights holder.
Actions for IP rights holders
Businesses that own IP rights (trade marks, patents, designs or copyright) may wish to seek legal advice if their IP-protected goods are parallel exported from the UK to the EEA.
You will need to consider if you want to allow parallel exports of your IP-protected goods from the UK to the EEA after 1 January 2021.
Most UK copyright works (such as books, films and music) will still be protected in the EU and the UK. This is because of the UK’s continued participation in the international treaties on copyright.
For the same reason, EU copyright works will continue to be protected in the UK. This applies to works made before and after 1 January 2021.
Current cross-border copyright arrangements unique to EU member states will stop at end of the transition period.
These include cross-border portability of online content services, copyright clearance for satellite broadcasts, reciprocal protection for database rights and the orphan works exception.
More information is available in our business guidance: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-action-to-protect-your-intellectual-property-rights
A geographical indication is an IP right used on products that have a specific geographical origin. They possess qualities or a reputation due to that origin, such as Scotch Whisky or Stilton cheese.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) leads on agricultural and food Geographical Indications (GIs) in the UK. They have published guidance, including the new UK GI schemes which will come into force on 1 January 2021.
The IPO has worked with Defra to ensure the new schemes are compatible with the wider IP framework. This will ensure the existing relationship between trade marks and GIs is maintained. Business guidance on this area will be published in due course.
Protecting intellectual property rights at the UK border
The way in which businesses protect their IP rights at the UK border will change once the Transition Period ends on 31 December 2020. From this date all UK protection within the EU will cease to be recognised.
This means that:
- businesses that want to protect their IP rights in the EU and in the UK will need to hold two Applications for Action (AFA) – one in the EU and one in the UK
- businesses that made an application to the UK for IP rights protection in EU countries will need to check the EU EUROPA website for guidance on protecting IP rights in one or more EU member states
- if a business made an application in another EU country for IP protection in the UK before the end of the transition period, they need to make a new UK AFA application to continue to protect their IP rights at the UK border
- HMRC have introduced a new application process to protect IP rights at the UK’s borders. Businesses will need to complete the new UK AFA form which is available on GOV.UK
- the UK government will recognise existing applications for IP protection in the UK where an application was made in the UK and handled by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) Intellectual Property Approvals. These applications will be stored on a UK register at the end of the Transition Period. Businesses can continue to seek enforcement in the UK until their AFA expires and there is no requirement to re-submit a UK application after the transition period
For more information about the changes please refer to our business guidance Application for Action. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
03 Dec 20. Electric avenue: QinetiQ on battlefield electrification. QinetiQ’s business development lead for power sources, energy storage & energy distribution Victoria Doherty discusses advances in hybrid electric systems for military vehicles with Harry Lye.
QinetiQ’s work in battlespace electrification spans a number of technology areas, from energy storage systems and cell development to independent test and evaluation of new technologies and near-commercial materials to explore their benefits and limitations for specific defence applications. The company also works on regulatory and hazard testing of new products to defence standards to qualify them for the field.
Harry Lye: Can you give us some examples of QinetiQ’s work in the field of battlespace electrification?
Victoria Doherty: QinetiQ is supporting advancements in the field of battlespace electrification in several ways, from accelerating the adoption and prototyping of disruptive technologies, to driving strong, collaborative and commercially innovative partnerships.
QinetiQ is working closely with leading universities, the government’s Faraday initiatives and emerging SMEs to assist with development and scale-up of new technologies to accelerate advances in this area and to evaluate their potential for existing and future military applications.
One example of this is the Faraday funded SUPErB programme that is being led by QinetiQ and is developing a new type of very high power cell that can be charged as quickly as it can be discharged and which offers better safety than commercial lithium-ion technology. This type of cell offers significant improvements in performance for hybrid electric military vehicles as well as enabling new applications such as directed energy systems.
QinetiQ is involved in programmes to develop new commercial products that will offer benefits for military use. For example, QinetiQ is working with Deregallera, a company based in Caerphilly that is developing sodium-ion battery materials. Sodium-ion cells will be substantially lower cost than lithium-ion and they are safe to transport by air as they can be completely discharged, unlike lithium-ion.
Sodium-ion has lower energy density so these batteries are ideally suited to grid or military infrastructure applications such as forward operating bases, and to contribute towards the MOD’s drive to reduce its carbon footprint.
What can you tell us about your work with BAE Systems on a hybrid drive Bradley IFV?
The Bradley demonstrator programme represents an important milestone in the journey towards tracked combat vehicle electrification, not only for the US DoD and BAE Systems, but also for QinetiQ as creator of the E-X-Drive – an electro mechanical transmission for tracked platforms currently validated to TRL 7 through customer and QinetiQ funding. The programme is also an excellent example of rapid creation in response to RCCTO’s requirements for the hybrid Bradley demonstrator.
The new modular E-X-Drive (M-EXD) concept will be developed, integrated and tested in the Bradley to demonstrate the potential capability and operational benefits of a hybrid electric drive powertrain in comparison with the conventional mechanical. Modularity and scalability are at the heart of QinetiQ’s M-EXD design and the technology can be easily adapted to suit requirements across the range of tracked vehicle applications.
And beyond this specific customer requirement there is a broader opportunity: how to exploit the UK’s unique military hybrid electric drive sub systems to create new opportunities for multinational capability collaboration.
Hybrid vehicles have existed for a long time in the commercial sector. What has prevented adoption in defence so far?
Military armoured vehicle acquisition cycles are much longer and potentially more complex than the commercial vehicle market. Until recently there has been a degree of unfamiliarity with high voltage electric drive which may have caused concerns; however, in recent years the widespread adoption of the technology in the civil sector, as well as a cultural shift, seems to have made these concerns less acute.
This has led to large investment in, and subsequent development of, supporting and component technologies that can be leveraged and applied to the military solution, accelerating the adoption of disruptive technologies.
It is important to note that the performance requirements in the commercial market are very different to the military and although component technologies can be leveraged, the commercial markets have not, and will probably not, deliver armoured fighting vehicle transmissions. Lastly, the need for increased electrical power in the modern-day battle space is more acute than ever and electric drive is recognised as a must have to maintain and improve capability.
A recent US Army report found that battery size is preventing military vehicles from going fully electric. How soon will we see batteries powerful enough to run a tank that are also small enough to fit in one?
The energy density of batteries, particularly lithium-ion types, has increased substantially since their commercial introduction in 1991 from 150 Wh/kg to around 270 Wh/kg and 700 Wh/L today. These improvements have come about through improved engineering and production methods and through improvements in the capacities of the active components; the anode and cathode electrodes.
Modern cathode materials are complex, multi-metal oxides that have 30% more capacity than those used in the first cells, but ongoing capacity improvements are more evolutionary than revolutionary. The anode has remained largely unchanged since lithium-ion’s introduction and is a graphite material. Use of graphite poses some limitations on the battery; slow charging and limited temperature range being key operational ones.
More recent developments have introduced other anode materials, for example silicon and tin, that offer ten times higher capacities and metal oxides, such as lithium titanate, which provide high power capability. These materials are being introduced into commercial cells as the technologies mature and will enable further improvements in energy density.
Among the battery technologies currently in development, a combination of two advances, lithium metal anodes and solid-state batteries, offers a step-change in energy density. Use of lithium anode pre-dates lithium-ion but safety issues and short cycle-life prevented commercialisation; however, it offers the highest energy density compared to other anode materials.
Solid-state batteries use a thin layer of material to replace two cell components (separator and electrolyte) and this substantially improves energy density whilst reducing safety issues. It also enables use of lithium anodes. Cells delivering over 400 Wh/kg have been reported recently with the principal challenges now being production and cost reduction.
What lines of development is QinetiQ working on for dismounted personnel?
In the UK, QinetiQ is supporting the dismounted close combat (DCC) domain with test and evaluation and engineering advice ranging from soldier lethality and C4I to training programmes in support of major land experimentation events.
One of our current key DCC projects is working for Army Headquarters in delivery of TommyWorks. TommyWorks is focused on integration of dismounted soldier equipment in a coherent manner to deliver an integrated soldier system. QinetiQ, supported by our partners in the Aurora Engineering Partnership, is assisting Army Headquarters to manage the integration and evaluation of a range of new or updated equipment which will be fielded with the UK Enhanced Light Force Battalion (ELFB).
This work spans all defence lines of development and the QinetiQ team are working closely with Army Headquarters and the Infantry Trials and Development Unit to support the roll-out of equipment to the ELFB. This will allow the unit to incorporate these new capabilities into their training cycle and for the benefits to be measured against baseline performance.
The TommyWorks process will allow Army Headquarters to manage integration of individual items of equipment and help drive a cycle of continuous improvement to dismounted forces. (Source: army-technology.com)
Oxley Group Ltd
Oxley specialises in the design and manufacture of advanced electronic and electro-optic components and systems for air, land and sea applications within the military sector. Established in 1942, Oxley has manufacturing facilities in the UK and USA and enjoys representation worldwide. The company’s products include night vision and LED lighting, data capture systems and electronic components. Oxley has pioneered the development of night vision compatible lighting. It offers a total package incorporating optical filters, equipment modification, cockpit and external lighting along with fleet wide upgrade services including engineering, installation, support, maintenance and training. The company’s long experience of manufacturing night vision lighting and LED indicators, coupled with advances in LED technology, has enabled it to develop LED solutions to replace incandescent and fluorescent lighting in existing applications as well as becoming the lighting option of choice in new applications such as portable military hospitals, UAV control stations and communication shelters.