The team is joined by GuestKats Mirko Brüß, Rosie Burbidge, Nedim Malovic, Frantzeska Papadopolou, Mathilde Pavis, and Eibhlin Vardy
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SpecialKats: Verónica Rodríguez Arguijo (TechieKat), Hayleigh Bosher (Book Review Editor), and Tian Lu (Asia Correspondent).

Tuesday, 12 April 2005


The IPKat's attention has been drawn to the 2004 Annual Report of the ECJ and the Court of First Instance (CFI). It highlights various reforms aimed at reducing the time taken to deal with references from national courts and appeals to the CFI. Interesting points to note:
* staff levels at the two courts rose by 50% to cope with EU enlargement and the nine new EU official languages (though the IPKat doubts that many of them handle Maltese);

* ECJ cases are no longer to be automatically reported. Even without taking translation into account, there were 13,000 pages worth of ECJ cases in 2003. Henceforth only cases decided with reference to an Advocate General's Opinion will be reported. This approach is reckoned to have saved some 20,000 pages in 2004;

* the ECJ concluded 25% more cases than in 2003, the figure rising from 455 to 603, with preliminary rulings taking around 23 months (25 months in 2003) and appeals taking just 21 months (28 months in 2003);

* the number of cases pending before the CFI continues to rise. At present rates of dealing with cases, the CFI's backlog of 1,174 pending cases will take three years to clear.
The IPKat is worried, as ever, about untranslated and unreported cases. What will be the practical and constitutional fall-out if European IP law is floating on a raft of concealed jurisprudence. As to saving printed pages, Merpel has some practical suggestions. Why not just refer to OHIM as OHIM and not as "Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (Trade Marks and Designs)". This alone will shorten all the reported trade mark and design reports by a considerable number of words. Also, why not just refer to Directives and Regulations by their number and not by their often pompous, long-winded and boringly tedious titles?

Excess verbiage here and here
Office of Circumlocution here

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