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Regular round-ups of the previous week's blogposts are kindly compiled by Alberto Bellan.

Sunday, 16 July 2006

SYNTHON QUESTION FOR THE ECJ; TRIPs REGIME FOR TRADE MARKS AND DESIGNS


Synthon question for the ECJ

R (on the application of Synthon BV) v Licensing Authority [2006] EWHC 1759 (Admin), noted on LexisNexis Butterworths' subscription service and not yet available on BAILII, is an Administrative Court decision of Mr Justice Newman from 13 July ("IP Thursday").

So far as the IPKat can see (for the note is by no means crystal-clear), Synthon sought judicial review of the Licensing Authority's refusal to accept its application for a marketing authorisation for its medicinal product even though, since it possessed authorisation from the Danish Medicines Agency (DMA), it was entitled to authorisation in the UK under the mutual recognition procedure established in European law. In February 2004 these proceedings were stayed pending patent proceedings related to the product brought by Synthon against another company. Synthon was eventually granted a marketing authorisation, following which it pursued a claim for declaratory relief and damages.

Newman J held that, on the facts, Synthon had a good arguable case for contending that the Authority had breached the mutual recognition procedure. Since its response to that claim - that it was entitled to do what it did under the validation process - raised an issue of general importance for the operation of the mutual recognition procedure in the EU, a reference to the European Court of Justice (left) would be made for a preliminary ruling.

The IPKat's not 100% sure what's going on here, but promises to bring news of the question(s) referred to the ECJ once he knows what they are.

Earlier IPKat posts involving Synthon here and here
Medical and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency here


TRIPs regime for trade marks and designs

The TRIPS Regime of Trademarks and Designs, by Nuno Pires de Carvalho, is among the books that the IPKat has been perusing recently. It was published earlier this year by Kluwer Law International.
Kluwer's cover designs for its intellectual property books are notoriously boring, so the Kat has substituted this pretty picture on the right instead.

What the publisher says:

"The same author who wrote The TRIPs Regime of Patent Rights, a thorough commentary on the patent and test data-related provisions of the TRIPS Agreement that in just three years has become a classic work in its field (already in its second edition), offers us now The TRIPs Regime of Trademarks and Designs. With the authority and in-depth experience of a WIPO official whose daily work is to assist developing countries implementing TRIPs obligations in the area of industrial property, the author examines with the same accuracy and expertise the intrincacies of the TRIPs provisions concerning trademarks and industrial designs. Associating practical experience with academic scholarship, this book provides simple and enlightening guidance to complex questions, such as:

Can WTO Members envisage a third modality of exhaustion that retains the benefits of the two known modalities (national and international exhaustion) and yet overcomes the shortcomings of both?
Are WTO Members obliged to register color marks? And what about sounds, smells and tastes?
What are WTO Members obligations as regards marks that relate to goods and services that offend religious and moral values? Are they obliged to register and protect them?
What are the requisites for marks to become well-known? Is notoriety enough? Can a WTO Member require that they convey some sort of reputation? Can a WTO Member make protection of well-known marks dependent on actual use in their territory?
How strict is the TRIPs Agreement as regards the use of industrial property in relation to public policies? Are private rights limitless? Are they enforceable no matter what?
How can WTO Members meet their obligations as regards the facilitated registration of textile designs?

Lawyers, judges, scholars and government officials will find a wealth of information and legal analysis in The TRIPs Regime of Trademarks and Designs that will help them identify new approaches and solutions to problems of trademark and design law posed by the implementation of the TRIPs Agreement. This book combines a practically-focused article-by-article commentary on the TRIPs Agreement with a theoretical scholarly analysis that makes of it an invaluable resource to all those who wish to understand industrial property at a deeper level".

What the IPKat says: Inevitably, the books focuses far more on TRIPs and trade marks than on designs. Given the huge disparity between the two forms of IP protection at present, this is only to be expected. But as design rights continue to grow in importance and their overlap with trade mark registration becomes more apparent, their economic impact will grow too and the next edition of this book will almost certainly demand that more of the author's attention is devoted to that topic.

One senses the author's excitement about his subject of study, too. Although it would be easy to hide behind the serious nature of the subject matter and produce a text of stultifying gravitas, the author has allowed his lively and inquisitive mind to govern his prose style, which is as pleasant and engaging as can be hoped for. Examples, personal opinions and judgments and some creatively individual insights await the reader. What a shame the TRIPs regime isn't as enjoyable to read as is this excellent commentary.

Bibliographical details. List Price US$250.00; Euro Price: €195.00; ISBN: 9041123571. Hardback, xviii + 537 pages. Rupture factor: medium-low - the book looks big enough for the reader to prepare himself for its weight, which is not excessive.

IPKat review of the same author's The TRIPs Regime of Patent Rights here.

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