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Tuesday, 27 April 2004


Never mind WIPO's Intellectual Property Damp Squib Day (see previous blog) -- Thursday 29 April’s a big, big day for European Union intellectual property law. Just look what’s coming out from the ECJ in Luxembourg:

* Judgment in Case C-418/01 IMS Health v NDC. This involves the interpretation of Article 82 EC in the light of IMS’ refusal to grant a licence agreement to use part of a copyright-protected data bank relating to the structuring of the German market for pharmaceutical products (Advocate General’s Opinion here).

* Opinion of Advocate General Jacobs in Case C-31/03 Pharmacia Italia (formerly Pharmacia & Upjohn). This is a reference from the German Bundesgerichtshof for a preliminary ruling as to the interpretation of Article 19(1) of Council Regulation 1768/92 concerning the creation of a supplementary protection certificate for medicinal products. The case involves a medicinal product which was authorised first as a veterinary medicinal product and then as a medicinal product for humans.

* Judgment in Joined Cases C-456/01 P, C-457/01 P Henkel v Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market; Joined Cases C-468/01 P, C-469/01 P, C-470/01 P, C-471/01 P, C-472/01 P Procter & Gamble v Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market; Joined Cases C-473/01 P, C-474/01 P Procter & Gamble v Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market. All these cases are appeals against the judgment of the Court of First Instance in which the CFI dismissed an application to annul the refusal to register a three-dimensional trade mark consisting of square or rectangular coloured detergent tablet (Advocate General’s Opinion here).

* Judgment in Case C-371/02 Björnekulla Fruktindustrier (the BOSTONGURKA cucumber case). This is a reference from the Swedish Svea Hovrätt on the interpretation of Article 12(2)(a) of Directive 89/104 in relation to the degeneration of a formerly wholly distinctive trade mark into a trade mark that was subsequently regarded as a generic term by consumers (Advocate General’s Opinion here).

The IPKat is agog with excitement at the outcome of these cases. He hopes to cover all of them before the weekend, so watch this space …

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