1 It's plant life, but not as we know it ...
The IPKat has spotted a new Regulation, Commission Regulation 1002/2005 of 30 June 2005 amending Regulation 1239/95 as regards the grant of compulsory licences and the rules on public inspection and access to documents held by the Community Plant Variety Office.
So far as he knows, the IPKat doesn't have many plant varieties rights enthusiasts among his readers, but he'd like to hear from anyone who has a good working interest/knowledge of that field -- particularly if they'd like to offer an occasional guest blog.
2 It's the OIympics, but not as Dracula imagined it ...
From 20 July 2005, WIPO tells the IPKat, Romania will be a fully-functioning member of the Nairobi Treaty on the protection of the Olympic symbol.
the addition of Olympic and sponsors' logos)
3 ... and now for an auspicious Oman
The IPKat is delighted to inform his readers that the Sultanate of Oman has acceded to the WIPO World Copyright Treaty, which comes into effect there on 20 September 2005. The WIPO World Performances and Phonograms Treaty comes into force there on the same day.
4 Tired, impoverished, can't face that day in Court?
A group of UK lawyers have joined together to form the IP & Media ADR Group. This consists of barristers, from various chambers, who are holding themselves out as having some commitment to alternatives to judicial resolution of disputes.
The Group consists of full members, who have conducted four or more mediations as lead mediator or assistant, while associate members have conducted fewer than four such mediations. All members are accredited as mediators by CEDR or by other recognised mediation organisations. The IPKat says "good luck -- people who have positive experiences with the consensual settlement of their disputes will no doubt look forward to their next dispute". Merpel adds: "I've heard it said that there's nothing like ADR to remind people how good litigation can be ..."
5 What a waste of time, effort, energy and ink
Another of the IPKat's occasional grouses: why is it that OHIM is called the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (Trade Marks and Designs)? What other things is there an Office for Harmonisation of? Surely the words in parentheses -- and the parentheses themselves -- are totally redundant.
The whole "(Trade Marks and Designs)" bit is simply a waste of keystrokes, space on the paper on which it is printed, laserjet ink and, when people say it out loud, breath. If we we can't call OHIM the Community Trade Mark and Design Office, let's at least do something to shorten this monument of redundant pomposity.
Then the IPKat recommends reading this excellent article from yesterday's Financial Times. The author, James Boyle, is William Neal Reynolds Professor of Law at Duke Law School. He highlights some of the difficulties inherent in the debate, in which the respective pro- and anti-software patent parties are conducting warfare with little or no empirical evidence to support their views and in which it's not even clear whether they are debating each other over the topics addressed by the draft Software Directive.