Registering IDentities on the Internet
Having an assured identity on the
Internet will soon be as essential as it is to
have an eMail address. Under the European
Parliament's Directive of December 1999, the British Government's
Electronic Communications Act 2000 has set a
deadline of 19th July 2001 by which time 'Trust
Service Providers' will need to have submitted
proposals for the implementation of the Electronic Signatures
The Government Website at www.dti.gov.uk includes a definition of
the requirement for Electronic Signatures and the
Public Key Infrastructure (PKI). As a Trust
Service Provider, Thawte Consulting of South Africa, who are a
global provider of digital certificate solutions,
are in a strong position to become the principal
provider in the UK. Thawte doesn't just provide
'no cost' personal digital certificates, but also
operates a unique Personal Certification System.
The Thawte 'Web of Trust' is a network of
Notaries who can validate identities at face to
face meetings. The procedure is as follows:
- Enroll as a
new user at the Thawte Website with a personal ID
ID numbers can be from passport, social
security, driver licence or
Inland Revenue ID.
name, date of birth, home address
and contact details.
name, address and company size (if
- Contact up to
five notaries from the Web of Trust Directory and arrange face
to face meetings:
photocopies of at least two
original identity documents,
including one with a photo.
photocopies and original identity
documents to the meeting with
eligible for Notary Status by
being authenticated by additional
statement is published at http://www.thawte.com/corporate/cps/privacy.html
The UK's Passport
Service is at http://www.ukpa.gov.uk/
My response to the
DTI's Consultation on the EC Electronic Signature
Directive 1999/93/EC. Click Here.
The following article, by specialist
IP lawyer Kevan Tidy of David H N Davies, was first published in
Times & Journal on Thursday 2nd September 1999.
IS INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY?
What do the Telly Tubbies, Princess
Diana and Elvis Presley have in common? Answer:
their names have all recently been involved in
court cases involving intellectual property. In
the modern economy, intellectual property is a
highly valuable commodity and therefore well
worth suing over.
So what exactly is intellectual property? Very
broadly, owning intellectual property entitles
you to exclusively use an original idea for a
certain period of time and to stop others copying
it without your permission.
Intellectual property law protects an idea in
different ways depending on the type of idea. If
an idea is "artistic" it may qualify
for protection by copyright whereas "industrial"
ideas may be protected by patents or designs.
Trade marks protect a firm's name and logos and
with the current boom in branded goods and
services they are a highly lucrative form of
intellectual property. It was disputed trade
marks that brought the Telly Tubbies, the
trustees of Princess Diana and Elvis Inc. into
Good ideas are hard to come by but easy to copy.
A person may only have one brainwave in their
life and there are many horror stories of people
literally costing themselves a fortune by not
realising they had rights in an idea until it was
too late for them to obtain protection.
If you have a brilliant idea what should you do?
First, never tell anyone about your idea until
you have seen a specialist lawyer, trade mark
agent or patent agent because some forms of
intellectual property protection are lost once an
idea has become public knowledge.
Second, as soon as you can, record and date the
idea in some way because it is only after the
idea has been reproduced in some tangible form
that it can qualify for protection under
intellectual property law. Dating helps prove
when you had your idea in case it is later copied
by someone claiming they thought of it first. Try
asking your bank or solicitor to store the
document for you and send you a letter confirming
the date they received it.
Once your idea is protected you can begin
exploiting it but that is another story.....
Kevan Tidy is a Salisbury solicitor specialising
in intellectual property, information technology
and entertainment and media law. He may be
contacted at David H N Davies Solicitors, 50 High
Street, Salisbury, Wilts. Telephone 01722 322272.
and at http://www.eLawyer.org.uk/
Copyright © 1999 Kevan Tidy. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 1999/2006
Website created by R. Parsons
Last revised: 05-Oct-2006