The IPKat in indebted to his learned colleague Margaret Marks (Transblawg) for drawing his attention to the two accompanying pieces of iconography. Apparently the Spanish government paid 12,000 euros for two versions of a new logo (left), of which the lower one looks strikingly like the German one (right). The IPKat thinks it's to make the German tourists in Spain feel more at home. Merpel suspects that, what with stealing the Germans' mattresses and now nicking their logo, the Spanish are engaging in a campaign of plundering German culture.
The IPKat is lifting his glass to toast the health of the late, lamented British Protected Geographical Indication Newcastle Brown Ale. Commission Regulation 952/2007 of 9 August 2007 cancelling a registration of a name in the Register of protected designations of origin and protected geographical indications (Newcastle Brown Ale (PGI)) is now a reality. The classic Northern brew - much beloved by generations of undergraduates and others too weak to withstand its potent charms - is no longer a PGI since its owners shifted its seat of production from Newcastle to neighbouring Gateshead.
The IPKat's curiosity was prodded by a recent visit to the website of an outfit calling itself Stream IP Barristers. The website declares:
"STREAM IP Barristers provide practical intellectual property legal services to businesses, professionals and individuals.This all looks hugely impressive, but there are a couple of things that are puzzling the IPKat. First, he's been around a long time but he's never seen or heard anything of Stream before. Since the IP fraternity in London is very sociable, he's sure he'd have encountered them by now. Secondly, there doesn't seem to be any indication as to the identity of anyone at Stream. Can anyone enlighten him? Please let him know by email here.
We will represent you when you need to put your case effectively. We will advise you when you need guidance. We will draft any documents you need.
We are commercially-minded, approachable barristers who make your business our priority.
You want to know the bottom line
At the outset, your STREAM IP barrister will talk through your needs and give you an idea of the likely work involved and how much it might cost
You want a safe pair of hands
STREAM IP barristers are used to the commercial, and personal, sensitivities of business
You want things done your way
Members of STREAM will work as part of your team, fitting in with your systems and objectives
You want to save time
Members will conduct as much of your business as you like by phone and email, keeping time-consuming meetings to a minimum".
Finally, the IPKat's friend and arch Scorecard fiend Duncan Bucknell is running a new Scorecard, this time on Pharma & Biotech Compulsory Licences under Article 31 of TRIPs.
Left: compulsory pharma licensing under TRIPs has not yet been extended to Damien Hirst's Pharmacy
So far he has recorded data on 19 countries. Check it out here. Explains Duncan,
"There's been a lot of buzz lately about various developing countries ordering Compulsory Licences. This scorecard tracks the countries, the products, timing of the ordered Licences and provides updates as they arise.
Compulsory Licences (under Article 31 of TRIPs) have traditionally been ordered to enable access to medicines to people in developing countries who would otherwise not be able to afford them. The Licences have typically been granted in respect of medicines to treat diseases such HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases.
Part of the buzz which has recently arisen surrounds allegations that some countries have used the mechanism to drive down drug prices.
Other similar mechanisms, such as those under the 'Paragraph 6' system are also be tracked in this Scorecard. The Paragraph 6 system was implemented in the 30 August 2003 Decision of the WTO. Paragraph 6 refers to Paragraph 6 of the DOHA Declaration on TRIPs. The mechanism basically enables importation of cheaper medicines for countries which are too poor to manufacture the medicines themselves. Paragraph 6 states:
"6. We recognize that WTO Members with insufficient or no manufacturing capacities in the pharmaceutical sector could face difficulties in making effective use of compulsory licensing under the TRIPs Agreement. We instruct the Council for TRIPS to find an expeditious solution to this problem and to report to the General Council before the end of 2002."