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, 4 November 2005

LOVIN' SPOONFUL; MISSING TERM?; THE PATENT ZOMBIE


1 A spoonful of Regulations help the medicine go down

While he was busy pursuing other things, the UK Patents Act 1977 was further amended - this time by the The Medicines (Marketing Authorisations Etc.) Amendment Regulations 2005 No.2759 - which came into force on 30 October. These Regulations implement certain provisions of Directive 2004/27 which amends Directive 2001/83 on the Community code for medicinal products for human use. Regulation 3 amends section 60 of the Patents Act 1977 so as to implement Article 10(6) of Directive 2001/83 (substituted by Article 1(8) of the 2004 Directive) and Article 13(6) of Directive 2001/82 on the Community code relating to veterinary medicinal products (substituted by Article 1(6) of Directive 2004/28). These Articles provide that the conduct of tests and trials for the purposes of Article 10(1) to (4) of the 2001 Directive, and their consequential practical requirements, shall not be regarded as infringing patent rights for medicinal products.

The IPKat is relieved to know that clinical experiments conducted for the purpose of gaining approval for non-generic products will not infringe any patents.

Compendium of European Union legislation on medicinal and pharmaceutical products for human use here
How to avoid using medicine here


2 There must be a term for it

If you keep getting the feeling you've seen something before, there's a neat French term for it: "déjà vu". But, the IPKat wonders, is there an equally neat term for the opposite, the feeling that you are quite certain you haven't seen it before, when you have? One of the IPKat's friends has suggested "jamais vu". Can anyone do better?

This is not mere idle speculation. In copyright infringement, subconscious copying occurs when a person reproduces a work that he has no recollection of seeing or hearing. Where evidence can be adduced that he did hear or see the earlier work, a finding of infringement may follow.


3 The Patent Zombie

The IPKat read this on PR Web Newswire (he also received it from Dev Gangjee): the US Patent and Trademark Office is publishing what is claimed to be the world's first “storyline patent” application. Filed by patent agent Andrew Knight in November 2003, this application must still overcome the hurdles of utility, novelty and nonobviousness found in US patent law. That fictional storylines may be patentable was first suggested in a November 2004 article in the Journal of the Patent and Trademark Office Society, “A Potentially New IP: Storyline Patents.” The article argues that case law strongly suggests that methods of performing and displaying fictional plots, whether found in motion pictures, novels, television shows, or commercials, are statutory subject matter, like computer software and business methods.

The story, The Zombie Stare, tells of an ambitious high school senior, consumed by anticipation of college admission, who prays one night to remain unconscious until receiving his MIT admissions letter. He consciously awakes 30 years later when he finally receives the letter, lost in the mail for so many years, and discovers that, to all external observers, he has lived an apparently normal life. He desperately seeks to regain 30 years’ worth of memories lost as an unconscious philosophical zombie.

Charles Berman, Co-Chair of the Patent Prosecution Practice at Greenberg Traurig LLP, comments: “non-obviousness probably presents the biggest challenge to patentability” because minor variations on a central theme may generate so many different storylines. The US Patent Office is apparently planning to publish subsequent storyline patent applications, also by Knight, on November 17 and December 8 and 22.

The IPKat wants to know if this plot would be infringed by his own creation, The Patent Zombie. This is the story of a patent agent who invents a fiction plot and prays to remain unconscious until after his patent is granted. 20 years later he wakes up, to find that the patent has issued, been ruthlessly exploited for profit and ultimately expired. To all external observers, he has lived an apparently normal life. He desperately seeks to regain 20 years’ worth of lost royalties lost as an unconscious patent troll.

More on Zombies here and here

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