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Sunday, 19 November 2006


UK Patent Rules to change - and more to come?

The IPKat's friend and revered colleague Dave Pearce (Eric Potter Clarkson), of ukpatents wiki fame, writes as follows:

"I notice that the UK Patent Office are proposing some fairly minor changes to the Rules, intended to take effect as from 1 April next year. Their notice and consultation document is available here.

In brief, the changes will involve
(i) the removal of the 14 day period during which documents filed remain confidential, under current Rule 93(4)(a), which will be deleted;
(ii) removing the requirement for filing of duplicate copies of specifications, currently required by Rule 20(2) and
(iii) in line with changes to the PCT Rules due to come into force at the same time, allowing applicants to make a late declaration of priority within 1 month of national phase entry, by disapplying Rule 6A and including new provision in Rule 85.

(i) and ii) are the result of changing to electronic systems at the Office, whereas (iii) is to keep UK law in line with the PCT.

Quite simple really. However, there is a warning that after the Gowers review has come in there may be bigger changes on the horizon".
The IPKat feels that the Gowers review - whatever else it might achieve - will certainly keep teams of worthy civil servants employed in responding to its aftermath.

Latest ETMR

The December 2006 issue of Sweet & Maxwell's monthly law reports, the European Trade Mark Reports, has now been published - commendably early for its subscribers and conveniently early for its printers, who must by now be fully cognisant of the impending Christmas holidays. Significant cases reported in English for the first time are
* Sara Lee Meats Europe BV v Ladyberg SpA (Court of Bergamo, Italy) - infringement action involving invisible underwear for ladies and calculation of damages;

Left: not all cats wear invisible underwear, it seems

* Adidas International v FDB (Maritime and Commercial Court, Denmark) - yes, you've guessed it, it's another three-stripe case. This time round the defendant was using a four-stripe motif as an embellishment and the infringement claim was dismissed.
There are also some lovely decisions from Ireland (MILKBEARS held not confusingly similar to NESTLE'S MILKY BAR), England and Wales (a rare upset for Intel) and the various organs of European trade mark law.

Right: the Irish Patents Office said there's no such thing as a milkbear, but Mori Hiroshi has created one ...

As ever, if you come across a case you'd like to see reported in the ETMR, email the IPKat's co-blogmeisters at and let them know.

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