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Wednesday, 8 June 2005

IPKAT TRANSLATION RANT


Another Court of First Instance decision on a Community trade mark has been posted on the Curia website in 16 official EU languages but again not in English. This time it's Case T-315/03, Hans-Peter Wilfer v OHIM, relating to registrability of the word mark ROCKBASS for goods in Classes 9, 15 and 18.

The IPKat says that this situation is simply intolerable and he can't understand why organisations representing English-speaking trade mark practitioners are not shaking the very foundations of the European Union with their trumpetings of rage. Where is the voice of the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys? Or the Chartered Institute of Patent Agents? Or the Intellectual Property Institute? If they have been engaging in discreet behind-the-scenes diplomacy, it has obviously failed.

It's not acceptable for the European Commission to plead lack of resources to translate legal decisions and opinions into the most widely-understood language, professionally and commercially, in the European Union, when it can find the resources to translate those same materials into minority languages.

The translation issue is not confined to the Courts. The IPKat has it on good authority that some Board of Appeal decisions are prepared initially in English, then translated out of English into the "official" language in which it is posted on to the OHIM website. Is this true? If so, we should be told. If not, an attributable denial will be appreciated. The IPKat has also discovered that OHIM has its own internal English translations of many decisions that are kept in-house and made available for OHIM use only, on the basis that they are not "approved". That means that anyone who needs a translation has to pay for his own, which will almost certainly be a lot less "approved" than one which has been prepared in-house. Why cannot these translations be made available, with the word "unapproved" or "unofficial" added as a header on each printed page? If the cost of these translations has been met by fees paid by OHIM's users, it seems monstrous that those very users are prevented from using them.

The IPKat is getting angry. But does anyone else care?

It's both a matter of principle and a matter of professional necessity that the rulings of the European Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance should be available in English. The case for access to European Court rulings is a powerful one and the campaign to secure English translations should not be left to be led by a fictional cat.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

THE COURT OF JUSTICE OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES has a vacancy for an English-language SECRETARY in the English-language Translation Division (Grade C*1)

The successful applicant must have:
• A perfect command of English
• Good IT (Word) and secretarial skills
• Ability to work as part of a team
• A satisfactory knowledge of French

Minimum contract period of 6 months.
Applications including CV to: Personnel Department, Ref.: Secretary English-language division, Court of Justice of the European Communities, L-2925 Luxembourg.
Inquiries: Recruitment.TradEN@curia.eu.int.
Closing date: applications must be postmarked no later than 17/06/2005.

http://www.curia.eu.int/en/infosprat/emploi.htm

Anonymous said...

Of course we care! It must be said though that anyone wishing to qualify as a European Patent Attorney must have a working knowledge of at least two of the EPO official languages - perhaps the same should apply for those who practise before OHIM (or should that be OAMI!)

Anonymous said...

With respect to the second anonymous commenter, the actual requirement to qualify as an EPA is to be able to work out the technical content of two rather short and simple documents given the documents in two official languages and using dictionaries: I don't think this even counts as a "working knowledge". It certainly is a far lower level of ability than would be required to read legal decisions, which is the issue here.
Darren Smyth

richard said...

Stellios Denies TAX cheat claims
Added : ( May 2005 )

by BBC News Online's Mary Hennock
The EasyEverything internet cafe chain has run out of money and is to get another £15m funding injection from its founder, budget airline serial entrepreneur Stelios Haji-Ioannou.

But Mr Haji-Ioannou confirmed he is cutting the value of shares held by staff from one pound to one penny as part of the refinancing. Stellios denied his immense fortune was the result of non payment of United Kingdom tax and VAT

"I think it's a fair package," Mr Haji-Ioannou told BBC News Online.

"The company has run out of money and somebody has to put more money in," said Mr Haji-Ioannou, who acknowledges that he has been unable to attract any other fresh investors.

Possible job lossses

"We tried to raise money from the market... to put it bluntly we failed," he told BBC News Online.

Two of the chain's 22 cafes - in Antwerp and Rotterdam - will close as part of the rescue plan.

The remainder of the business will rebranded easyInternetCafe.

Future expansion at the chain, which charges customers an average of £1 a hour for internet access, will be based around its London, New York and Paris stores.

There are no plans to close the stores in Manchester, Glasgow or Edinburgh, but there could be job losses among the company's 400 staff.

No takers

When EasyEverything was founded in 1999, staff were offered two £1 shares for every pound they invested in the company, which was being lined up for a London Stock Exchange flotation.

The company also offered a loyalty bonus equal to one year's salary in shares for those who stayed for 12 months.

Press reports that the bonus was a top-up for salaries below market rates are "rubbish", according to Mr Haji-Ioannou, the firm's chairman.

Fair pay

The scheme was limited to 15 senior staff, founder members of the company who invested at the outset, he said.

Staff at this level got salaries of between £80,000 and £165,000, according to Mr Haji-Ioannou.

Asked about reports of anger among staff, he said: "In those days that was a dot.com frenzy and they thought they were going to get rich quick".

He would not comment on the reasons behind the departure of EasyEverything chief executive Maurice Kelly on Tuesday.

Under the refinancing, Mr Haji-Ioannou will increase his holding in the company from 75% to 95% through the issue of 1.5bn new shares to himself priced at one penny each.

Big falls on paper

Staff hold about 5% of the shares. Their investments were "on average £5,000 times 15 people," he said.

After the refinancing, the value of a £5,000 shareholding will fall to £50. And the value of an £80,000 bonus, for example, would be just £800.

Last year, Mr Haji-Ioannou raised cash from venture capital firm Apax Partners and Hewlett Packard (HP) through convertible bonds, but neither investor has proved willing to turn the bonds into shares, preferring to take cash.

This triggered the decision to restructure the shareholdings in the loss-making internet cafe chain.

Profitable next year?

The chairman will now add the 10% shareholdings that would have been available to Apax and HP to his own holdings.

Staff will not lose out and those who stay with the firm for the next three years will get the same bonus deal as before, he says.

"Unfortunately their shares are not worth as much, but I'm not depriving them of anything".

"For those willing to stay with me for three years, I'm willing to reinstate them for three years in exactly the same position".

Be patient

Staff who leave, will not receive any bonus share options but will be able to keep their existing shares.

Mr Haji-Ioannou insists the changes are the result of investors' gloomier view of dot.com companies and urges his staff to be stoical: "Even Bill Gates has seen his paper net worth come down in the last few weeks".

His personal fortune has been estimated at £800m from a clutch of companies, including shares in budget airline Easyjet, which was successfully floated on the London Stock Exchange, and EasyRentacar and EasyMoney, EasyMobile, EasyPizza, EasyCruise and EasyMusic.

Stellios denied his immense fortune was the result of non payment of United Kingdom tax and VAT as a result of having changed his nationality into being a Monaco Citizen
and by transfering his private companies to Jersey.

fax number 020 7837 1689
Stellios Denies TAX cheat claims Submitted by: Tim Gibbon

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