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.

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Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Differential treatment and WTO; German copyright law update; UKIPO to channel comments on ECJ references

The IPKat's scholarly friend Amin Alavi has written to inform him that he shortly to be holding the seminar at which he will be defending his PhD thesis, "Studying Legalization: Special and Differential Treatments of Developing Countries in the WTO". This seminar takes place on Thursday 6 December at 1400pm in the University of Copenhagen's Department of Political Science, Øster Farimagsgade 5, 1353 Copenhagen K. Room: 4.2.26.

Right: the IPKat hopes that Amin's reception will be held in Copenhagen's delightful Tivoli ...

Following the seminar, the institute is holding a reception. Says Amin, for practical/logistical reasons if you would like to attend the seminar and/or propose to stay for the reception, which will be at 1600pm, can you please email him here and let him know.
If you can't attend but want to know more about the subject, you can buy a copy of the thesis now from Akademisk Forlag for 150 Danish kr. The official book, based on a revised version of the thesis, will be published by Kluwer in 2008.


In July the IPKat mentioned (here) that the German Bundestag had voted in favour of the German Government’s proposed amendments to the Copyright Act for the Information Society.

He has since learned from his friend Kathrin Vowinckel that the new German Copyright Act was published on 31 October 2007 and will come into force on 1 January 2008.


The European Court of Justice has been asked to give a preliminary ruling in Case C-442/07, Verein Radetzky-Orden (portrayed, right). The question is whether

"Article 12(1) of Directive 89/104 concerning trade marks ... should be construed as meaning that a trade mark is put to (genuine) use to distinguish goods and services of one undertaking from those of other undertakings in the case where a non-profit-making association uses the trade mark in announcements for events, on business paper and on advertising material and that trade mark is used by the association's members when collecting and distributing donations inasmuch as those members wear badges featuring that trade mark".
Says the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (UK IPO), if you would like to comment on this case then please contact barbara.squires@ipo.gov.uk before 15 November 2007. The UK-IPO is providing a sounding-board for users of its website to comment on IP references to the European Court of Justice. It warns, however:

"You are welcome to express your views .... We will consider these views when deciding whether to submit a government response to the Court. However, you should be aware of the tight timescales we face.

Member states get 2 months from receiving notification of the case from the court to make written observations. The ... UK gets a further 2 weeks because of our distance from Luxembourg. Most references on intellectual property law find their way to us, via the Treasury Solicitor, within 2 weeks of receipt in the UK.

Within the 2-month period we must take a view on whether the UK should make observations and, if so, make the case for intervention to the relevant Minister. Only after political agreement has been obtained can a barrister be instructed to prepare the observations.

This process typically takes about 5 weeks. Thus we have a maximum of 3 weeks to decide upon the advice it should offer to the Minister.

Intellectual Property references are posted on this website, but there may be short delays in updates being recorded. Given the timescale described above, submissions are more likely to have the potential to influence our thinking if they are received within 7-10 days of the notice being posted.

It would not be appropriate for us to engage in discussions with interested parties as to the merit of any particular argument put forward, but we do consider carefully all points of view expressed to us".

The IPKat welcomes this service, which seems to him to be highly sensible. Merpel demurs: would a wiki be a better means of doing this, she asks? That way, people need to keep making the same comments as those already received but can simpy endorse them.

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