1 To ban or not to ban?
The IPKat found this from CNET News, via ZDNet, while prowling his cyberpitch earlier this week. It seems that eBay is seeking a patent ruling from the US Supreme Court as to whether it and other companies liable for patent infringement should be routinely subject to injunctions while the infringement actions remain on appeal.
The IPKat likes the idea that courts should be given plenty of discretion to determine whether, in the circumstances of each case, the injunction should bite pending the appeal result, since there are so many permutations of fact that you can't make a single rule. But there is a downside: the more discretion the courts have, the more necessary it is for parties to litigate in order to find out whether they can carry on using a technology pending an appeal. The best solution is to leave discretion to the courts, but formulate a set of guidelines that the courts will be charged to depart from ONLY when there is substantial justification for doing so.
2 Law and Information Technology
Oxford University Press publish a journal, the International Journal of Law and Information Technology, which the IPKat thinks might be interesting to some of the more info-techie visitors to his blog. Its General Editors are Linklaters' Christopher Millard and guru Richard Susskind, with a strong supporting cast. The summer 2005 issue includes the following offerings:
* "Designing Copyright TPM: a Mutant Ditigal Copyright", by Lucy Cradduck and Adrian Mccullagh ("TPM" being "technological protection measures", for the uninitiated);
* Anatoli Kalpakidou writes on whether business method patents should survive in Europe (a topical issue in light of the collapse of the Computer Implemented Patent Directive);
* Alexander Shytov reviews internet indecency issues in relation to international law.
The Eden Project itself was a hugely successful piece of IP creation, but the fall-out in legal terms was catastrophic. The Project's founder Jonathan Ball ended up being removed from it and there was substantial trade mark litigation in which he also had the EDEN PROJECT trade mark taken from him and returned to the Project. Following a massive conflict of interests, Ball sued solicitors Druces & Attlee for professional negligence and was awarded £2 million damages. The valuation of a business plan containing confidential information was another area of IP interest. Speakers are Jonathan Ball, together with ace litigator Larry Cohen (McDermotts) and Kelvin King (Valuation Consulting).
This seminar, hosted by McDermotts'; London office, takes place on Wednesday 21 September. Surprisingly, electronic details are not yet available on any of the participants' websites, but the three sheets of A4 paper, printed on one side only and sent out by the Institute, contain all you need to know plus a registration form. No entry fee is mentioned and there are refreshments ...