George Brock-Nannestad has been trying to attract the IPKat's attention for long enough to get his katty head around STOA (Scientific Technology Options Assessment). This has been a tough job, partly because he (the IPKat, not George) can't understand why the term "scientific technology" is used (is it simply to distinguish it from "information technology"?) and partly because he initially succeeded in misreading it as Scientology.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, STOA appears to be something to do with the European Parliament. Precisely what is unclear, though this connection leads Merpel to assume that she, being a lawful taxpayer, is probably funding it. STOA has just launched the MEP-Scientist Pairing Scheme, which will link Members of the European Parliament with distinguished scientists in order to enhance mutual understanding (hmm, says the IPKat, why not put the politicians in touch with patent attorneys? There's no better way of putting legislators in touch with the techno-consequences of their activities).
Right: the original Stoa, Athens. It was actually destroyed by the French, who suspected it of being put forward as a rival to Strasbourg for the prestigious Superfluous European Parliament Building project
STOA has also just held a Workshop, "Policy options for the improvement of the European patent system", at which some very well respected academics have been given the opportunity to enlighten not only the MEPs but, given their range of disciplines, each other. Participants included Robin Cowan (Professor of Economics of Technical Change, University of Maastricht), Peter Lotz (Head of Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy, Copenhagen Business School), Geertrui Van Overwalle (Professor of Law at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven), Francesco Lissoni (Professor of Applied Economics at the University of Brescia) and Jens Schovsbo (Professor, University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Law).
George also drew the IPKat's attention to the 63 page document, Policy options for the improvement of the European patent system: FINAL DRAFT, which looks like a pretty big read if it is to be appreciated and understood properly. If any of the readers of this blog has read this document and wants to comment on it - or would like to review it for the Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice, please email the IPKat here and let him know.
The jumbo-sized double issue of the Sweet & Maxwell series European Trade Mark Reports for July-August 2007 has once again come out ahead of schedule (well done, says the IPKat). It's bulging with 184 pages of full reports of recent European and national judgments, lovingly garnished with headnotes. Cases reported in English for the first time are
* Starbucks Corp v Photiades Foodstuff Suppliers (District Court of Nicosia, Cyprus): the ETMR's first ever report of a case from Cyprus, and quite an amazing dispute in which a powerful international company has to struggle to gain the upper hand against a resourceful and mischievous infringer whose "CHINO frappechino" coffee vending machines were ultimately held to have infringed the FRAPPUCCINO trade mark;As usual, there are lots more cases besides these. If you know of, or are involved in, any really good trade mark actions please let the IPKat know by email here. He is reputed to have some influence with the editor ...
* A v X AG (First Civil Chamber of the Swiss Federal Court) - an interesting ruling on acquiescence and forfeiture of rights where a trader delays too long before taking action against an alleged infringer;
* Vigla Olympou v Galaktoviomichania Larisis (Administrative Trade Mark Committee, Athens, Greece), a battle over a complex mark including the word OLYMPOS in relation to milk: does the use of the word suggest that the milk comes from the region around Mount Olympus?
* Impuls Medienmarketing GmbH's application (Bundesgerichtshof, Germany), an attempt to obtain a cease and desist order against the unauthorised use of part of a company's trade name as a metatag.