Well, we all knew it would happen, didn't we? The IPKat is only mentioning this on the blog so that his friends won't keep asking him if he's going to mention it on the blog ...
Voice of America says this:
"The maker of the hand-held BlackBerry e-mail device has agreed to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to end a patent dispute. The settlement between BlackBerry maker Research In Motion and Virginia-based NTP was announced Friday. The companies said the $612.5 million payment settles all claims. NTP filed suit against the Canadian Research in Motion in 2001, saying the wireless BlackBerry device infringed patents held by NTP. A jury in 2002 sided with NTP. NTP had asked a federal court in Virginia for an injunction against BlackBerry, which could have created problems for the millions of users of the popular device".Read all about it in The Economic Times (India), The Independent (UK), The Sunday Times (UK), Newswire (New Zealand), The Register (cyberspace). And this is what Research in Motion (the BlackBerry people) says.
That Siemens case again
Last week the IPKat posted a blog on the European Court of Justice ruling in Case C-59/05 Siemens v VIPA. His good friend Tim Pinto - who has read the judgment more carefully than the Kat - observes that nothing in the ECJ ruling actually says that the reference for a preliminary ruling came from a trade mark infringement case. Indeed, it appears that Siemens sued for unfair competition under paragraph 6 UWG (the German act against unfair competition), which implements Directive 84/450, but not trade mark infringement. He adds:
"As you know, the relationship between (a) 84/450 (as amended by 97/55) and (b) the CTMR and TM Directive is controversial, hence the importance of clarifying the point".Below: the IPKat doesn't claim to have a monopoly of the wrong answers ...
Many thanks, Tim - and you're right, of course. However, the case is still a trade mark case. The reference sought clarification of the meaning of Article 3a(1)(g) of Directive 84/450, which refers to practices relating to trade marks. Here's what the court says in para.24:
" It follows that the benefit of comparative advertising to consumers must necessarily be taken into account in determining whether an advertiser is taking unfair advantage of the reputation of a trade mark, trade name or other distinguishing marks of a competitor".At least one half of the IPKat submits that, in an action for trade mark infringement under Article 9(1)(c) of Council Regulation 40/94 or Article 5(2) of Council Directive 89/104, citing the taking of unfair advantage of the reputation of a trade mark, the court would have taken exactly same view.