1 TRIPping through the law of patents
The IPKat has been perusing the pages of the second edition of Nuno Pires de Carvalho's impressive The TRIPs Regime of Patent Rights, just published by Kluwer Law International. This 520 page hardback, retailing at US$207, is a somewhat sparse production that tells prospective readers very little about the credentials of its distinguished author. Nuno Pires de Carvalho (below, left), formerly of the World Trade Organization, is now on the WIPO's Secretariat where he serves as Acting Director-Advisor, Industrial Property Legislation for Development. With dual "qualifications" in terms of experience of both WIPO and WTO, he is in a perfect position to identify the frictions, the tensions and also the points of cooperation and agreement between the world's two premier IP institutions.
The patent provisions of TRIPs, both in terms of substantive legal standards and in terms of their impact on trade, have been highly controversial. Issues such as compulsory licensing, Doha and the absence of a list of subject matter excluded from patent protection are always good ice-breakers at gatherings where you don't know the other IP lawyers present. This book is highly focused on these and other issues and provides a wealth of analysis of the TRIPs patent regime. The book cruises through TRIPs on an article-by-article basis, laying each provision bare, explaining its origins and looking towards its future developments. Even where TRIPs pussyfoots through IP issues, such as its shocking omission of provisions relating to exhaustion of rights (Article 6) the book finds plenty to say.
Curiously the Index lies between the main text and the Annexes, which means that the lazy reader may not notice that it's there at all. Apart from shifting the Index to the conventional position, the publishers might also like to consider adding a bibliography and tables of national and international legislation: the former would give readers a good perspective upon the author's scholarship (the IPKat is always delighted to see the historian Braudel cited, for example: those who read and cite Braudel tend to have a better ability to appreciate the big picture), while the latter would enable readers to pinpoint comments on legislative provisions that interest them.
2 Cheers, Greg!
Last Wednesday, 8 September, the IPKat had a rant about the continued and irrational publication in the Entertainment Law Review of Hungarian trade mark cases that have nothing to do with entertainment law and which, if Sweet & Maxwell wants to publish them, should go to the European Intellectual Property Review.
Well, he has just got off the phone after speaking to Greg Smith - who has recently been given responsibility for running the Entertainment Law Review. He assures me that the matter is being taken immediately in hand.
Many thanks, Greg. Let's raise a glass ...
3 Now here's a patent curiosity for cats
The IPKat stopped its monthly series of strange patents a long time back, for the very good reason that, when you've read enough of them, they just don't seem strange any more. But ... here's a curiosity from Japanese inventor Nonaka Hironori, courtesy of Espacenet. It reads as follows:
"PROBLEM TO BE SOLVED: To prevent a fall of a fence even in the case of the strong wind, and to prevent the trespass of a cat into a site by arranging a fence inside of a frame having legs in a lower part thereof, and suspending an irregular reflective material with a wire from a suspender provided at a central part. SOLUTION: A fence 3 is provided inside of a frame 2 with a space smaller than the width of a kitten. A material 5 having the irregular reflecting property, which cat dislike, is suspended by a strong and narrow wire 6 from a suspender 4 at the same height position with cat's eye at a central part of the frame 2. In this case, a lower part of the frame is provided with leg parts 1, which are projected right and left so as to prevent a fall of a device, with a space corresponding to a width of a concrete-block wall, and the legs 1 are provided on the top end of the concrete-block wall. At the time of use, this fence is provided on the concrete-block wall so as to prevent the trespass of cats, and surround a way of cats, which walk on the top end of the concrete-block wall, with the frame 2 and the fence 3, and shield the cat with the irregular reflective material 5. This fence can be easily pulled out upward by hand, and it can be freely moved to an appropriate position".The IPKat, like all cats, is a keen student of human pyschology. He wonders what humans think about when they appear to spend hours sitting in quiet contemplation, kept awake only by fleeting images on a flickering screen. He also suspects that cats (right) are better at dealing with fences better than are humans (left).