For the half-year to 31 December 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie-Andrée Weiss.

Regular round-ups of the previous week's blogposts are kindly compiled by Alberto Bellan.

Friday, 22 July 2005

FRIDAY NEWS ROUND-UP


1 Design cases for all, but black marks for the Swedes

The IPKat's friend David Musker has informed him that OHIM has now established a web page giving access to decisions on Community designs by national Community Design Courts. You can find it here. There are just five cases so far, three from the Netherlands and two from Sweden, in Dutch and Swedish respectively.

The identities of the Swedish lawyers concerned have been erased by a thick black marker, not (the IPKat hopes) because of their performance in the proceedings but out of a sense of deep modesty ...


2 JIPLP on the way

The Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice (JIPLP), to be published by Oxford University Press, is well on the way towards its November launch. Edited by IPKat's joint blogmeister Jeremy, JIPLP is conceived as a punchy, attractive but deadly serious refereed journal for intellectual property practitioners and rights owners -- and its articles will be available online even before publication.

JIPLP can't guarantee to cover every topic, but it wants to respond to the genuine interests and concerns of the IP journal reading public so, if there are any topics that you would like to see featured in JIPLP, please contact Jeremy here and let him know.


3 Patent 'land-grab' scaremongering

The IPKat has come across this wonderful piece of hyperbole in ZDNet:

"Recent moves by intellectual property holdings outfits like Acacia Research have sparked a patent land grabbing epidemic that has threatened to accelerate the extinction of all life on earth unless the charter of the Kyoto Treaty is expanded to include other, more pressing matters that threaten the Earth's ecosytem.

Exclaiming "If that five-year old punk in Minnesota can patent swinging sideways, then why can't I patent the color red?!", the normally color blind Steve Gillmor ran to the United States Patent and Trademark Office after he realized he could probably patent the strange pigment creeping up his neck. Apparently his blood pressure responded adversely to something he read in the blogosphere. Pointing to a throbbing jugular surrounded by glowing red skin, Gillmor told a 67 year-old patent examiner who hasn't left his office since the 1970s that he conducted a thorough prior art search on the color red, but came up empty handed. The examiner momentarily extracted his head from some sand, handed Gillmor a used Dunkin Donuts-branded napkin and instructed Gillmor to describe the invention in ten words or less, but only after pre-applying a USPTO seal of approval to the napkin".
The IPKat is always amused by good writing, but the truth of the matter is that the patent system is no land-grab: the novelty and inventive step requirements mean that patent protection creates new territories but does not reallocate old ones. The fact that the US patent system grants so many bizarre and almost certainly invalid patents is a reflection on the refusal of that jurisdiction to align its practices with the vast majority of non-US countries that make up an obscure corner of the planet called "The Rest of the World".


4 EuropaBio "Disappointed"

This from researchresearch.com: EuropaBio, the European association for bioindustries, regrets that the European Commission has not taken a firmer stand on harmonising rules for patenting human DNA sequences across EU member states. In its second report on the EU Biotechnology Patents Directive it states:
“The main objective for introducing the directive in 1988 and in 1995 was to harmonise the patent laws of the EU member states in respect of biotechnological inventions and clarify certain aspects in this respect in order to support the internal market. We have to conclude that the actual result is a situation with more disharmony than ever".
The IPKat agrees and notes that this situation parallels that of the patenting of computer-implemented inventions. In both cases the debate over how to harmonise has been drowned by the larger debate as to whether, and if so to what extent, protection should be granted at all.

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