1 EU legislates on admission of aliens to European research projects
The IPKat has spotted Council Directive 2005/71 of 12 October 2005 on a specific procedure for admitting third-country nationals for the purposes of scientific research. Recitals 5 and 6 of this Directive read as follows:
"(5) This Directive is intended to contribute to achieving these goals by fostering the admission and mobility for research purposes of third-country nationals for stays of more than three months, in order to make the Community more attractive to researchers from around the world and to boost its position as an international centre for research.The IPKat knows how difficult it can be for researchers in many developing countries who, once they've been educated and gain research experience in the developed world, become hugely frustrated at the lack of investment and research opportunity in their own home countries. That's why they'd rather move to Europe, Japan or the US and achieve personal fulfilment rather than go back and find they've swiftly been left behind by advances in their areas of expertise that they can scarcely monitor, let alone participate in. To the extent that it looks towards a "comprehensive migration policy", the Directive will still be facilitating the brain drain it maintains it wishes to avoid. Merpel adds, I'm sure that any migration policy that is selective will make sure that the best researchers from developing countries are those most likely to be kept by the Europeans.
(6) Implementation of this Directive should not encourage a brain drain from emerging or developing countries. Back-up measures to support researchers’ reintegration into their countries of origin as well as the movement of researchers should be taken in partnership with the countries of origin with a view to establishing a comprehensive migration policy".
Brains here; drains here
Brain drain from Europe to the US here and here
2 Comptrollers' Opinions
The IPKat has spotted the first two requests to the UK Comptroller of Patents for non-binding Opinions as to whether a particular act infringes a patent (one additionally asks whether the patent is valid). They were filed on 19 and 20 October respectively and the deadline for receipt of comments - which will be made public on the Patent Office website - is 30 November.
The first applicant is patent agency Marks & Clerk, asking - presumably on behalf of a client - in relation to a Novo-Nordisk patent (EP1351732, Automatic injection device with reset feature); the second is Jeremy Lenighan (asking in regard to infringement and validity concerning his own patent EP0801532, Improvement relating to bath and shower combinations).
The IPKat proposes to keep an eye on developments relating to Comptrollers' Opinions and will report back when he can.
3 "Now there's an afterthought"
On Wednesday 2 November the IPKat posted an item on a spat between Barclays Bank and accountants Cooper Parry over the “Now there’s a thought” strapline. One of the Kat's friends, on conditions of extreme anonymity, adds:
"Your comments re Cooper Parry v Barclays were spot on but it has been my experience that problems like this are rarely down to "innocence" so much as arrogance. In Cooper Parry's case they are major players in the East Midlands [of England] with a very prominent advertising campaign and were very well known to the bank in that region. You are faced with two scenarios - did the bank know but decide to "take a punt" or were the searches not comprehensive in the first place, in which case I wouldn't like to be the bank's advisors when the dust settles.Duly noted - and well said!
Big wealthy companies are in a position to "take a punt". The chances are that their size will put off any potential arguments over IP rights. When a defendant is wracking up costs at Clifford Chance rates any claimant is going to be worried about the repercussions of losing.
Also if it's a big promotional campaign cross undertakings in damages could leave a smaller company open to a claim for many millions, it's not a question of being able to afford such undertakings, it's whether or not giving such an undertaking would be a responsible act when you employ X hundred people and losing would put them all out of a job.
The Court seems to hold the position that if you are sure your case is strong you should not fear giving a cross-undertaking - the logic of which I can see and I completely understand that the defendant must be protected. However, no matter how strong your case the repercussions are something that have to be seriously considered by any responsible claimant and are likely to put off even those with the strongest of cases.
With it now costing over £1,000 to issue a claim form in such actions, the larger wealthy companies are sitting pretty. They can afford to attack anyone who infringes their rights and to a great extent ignore anyone who's rights they (whether innocently done or not) infringe. As with so much else in life, it all comes down to money!".