*Alistair Wilson QC examined privacy and confidence, focusing in particular on the relationship between the European Court of Human Rights’ Princess Caroline decision, and how this compares with the UK’s widening law of privacy.
* Gerald Paterson considered tensions between English Courts and the EPO. One point that stands out is the comparison made by Paterson between UK judges who tend to be lawyers and take a more linguistic approach to construing patents and Continental judges, who tend to have a technical background and take a more conceptual approach. The IPKat also learnt that there is no word in various European languages for “trial”, the nearest approximation being the words for “process”.
* Jeremy Reed looked at trade marks and passing off, identifying four themes which gave rise to potential differences between UK trade mark law and trade mark law in other EU Member States: (i) the fact that the Directive is only meant to be a partial approximation; (ii) the survival of pre-Directive national concepts such as “use in a trade mark sense”; (iii) unexpected interpretations of the Directive by the ECJ and (iv) language variations in the different translations of the Directive.
* Michael Hicks compared the 5 main ways in which designs can be protected: (i) artistic copyright; (ii) UK registered design; (iii) unregistered design right; (iv) registered Community design and (v) unregistered Community design. In addition three more ways of achieving protection for designs were mentioned – (i) passing off; (ii) registered trade marks and (iii) patents.
*Gwilym Harbottle gazed into his crystal ball and predicted what the impact of the EU Enforcement Directive, which must be implemented by 29 April 2006, will be in the UK. Though many of the provisions of the Directive were said to sufficiently present in UK law already, changes were thought to be necessary with regard to who can sue, recall orders, damages and the publication of decision. The IPKat learnt his favourite fact of the day during this talk – it appears that the European Commission has drawn attention to the grievous problem posed by counterfeit apples.
The IPKat also took a gander through the Hogarth Chambers IP Newsletter and found out that the Commission is prosing to amend the Implementing Regulation for the CTM in order to permit the electronic filing of sound marks using an audible “representation of the sound”.
More on counterfeit apples here