For the half-year to 30 June 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Alberto Bellan, Darren Meale and Nadia Zegze.

Two of our regular Kats are currently on blogging sabbaticals. They are David Brophy and Catherine Lee.

Wednesday, 22 March 2006

NEW UK TM LAW; DESIGN FINE-TUNE ON THE WAY; MORE ON OBSOLETE PATENTS


New UK trade mark subordinate legislation

Not just UK readers will be delighted to know this, but the IPKat's entire collection of foreign visitors too - the catchily-named Trade Marks (International Registration) (Amendment) Order 2006 (2006 No. 763) has been laid before Parliament and, barring accidents, comes into force on 6 April 2006. What does it do? Not a lot, says the IPKat, but it will make things a little easier for trade mark practitioners in terms their perennial fight against red tape. According to the instrument's Explanatory Note,

"This Order amends the Trade Marks (International Registration) Order 1996 (SI 1996/714, as amended).

The requirements in that Order to provide an address for service are liberalised. The amendments made by this Order allow applicants for an international trade mark (UK) to provide an address for service in the United Kingdom, another EEA State or the Channel Islands. Although, during any proceedings before the registrar, an address for service in the United Kingdom will be required unless the registrar otherwise directs".
So now you know.
Official Explanatory Memorandum on the Trade Marks (International Registration) (Amendment) Order 2006 here


UK Designs Order under consideration

Also in the United Kingdom, the Regulatory Reform (Registered Designs) Order 2006 is presently being considered by the relevant Parliamentary Committee. The IPKat is informed that this is a proposal to amend the Registered Designs Act 1949 (c. 88) so as to
* end substantive examination for novelty:

* allow multiple applications;


* end the withdrawal of some registered designs from public inspection and

* facilitate the restoration of lapsed design registrations.
The initial Scrutiny period began 13 March 2006.
Full text here. Consultation document here; Explanatory statement here.


More on obsolescence of patents

Dr Anna Mancini has thanked the IPKat for his recent review of her little book. She adds:
"I would like to give more information to your readers about the book International Patent Law is obsolete. The present little book, as I explain, is an abridged version of a bigger book that was published by Innovative Justice Publications and is now out of print. I know the average lawyer will believe that big books are better than smaller ones. Personally, I believe that technological progress makes it useless to print big law books listing case law which can be found everywhere on the Internet.

Don't you think law books should be more thoughtful? Otherwise, in the next future, sophisticated search engines may advantageously replace them.

Regarding the patentability of software: What matters now is not to list case law about possible protection of software under patent law (everybody knows about that), but to be aware that some points in international agreements should be modified to rebalance the system (nobody speaks about that), so that the problem we have faced with software is not repeated to the detriment of inventors, society and economy".
The IPKat thanks Dr Mancini for her comments and agrees with her that law books should be more thoughtful, but he begs to disagree with her about the case law. First, a large volume of case law is not available on the internet, or anywhere else, in many countries. Also, when it is available, it's not always available in the language of people who want to know about it - and sometimes cases are written in a language called Legalese, which means that even people who are quite clever and very interested in the subject will still need guidance and commentary as to what it means. You can't modify the system unless you know what the system is and what it can achieve. Merpel says, I'm staying out of this one - two against one isn't fair!

Legalese here, here and here

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