For the half-year to 31 December 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie-Andrée Weiss.

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

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Slovenia's plans for European IP

Thanks to the IPKat's friend Bonita Trimmer (Wragge & Co) he now knows what the Slovenian Presidency of the European Union for the next few months means for those of us who toil ceaselessly in the field of intellectual property.

Right: a new European technique for achieving consensus on IP issues involves everyone keeping their mouths shut ...

Slovenia's secret plans have been presented to the European Parliament by the country's Economy Minister, Andrej Vizjak, who says:

"The Council is well aware of the importance the European Parliament attributes to a better patent system in Europe. Our goal is to find consensus on a system which takes account of the needs of industry and which can also lead to an agreement on Community patents".
The Minister also drew attention to the Directive on spare parts "on which the Council has not yet succeeded in reaching an agreement due to a lack of sufficient support for the original Commission proposal". The Slovenian Presidency will soon convene a meeting of the competent Council working party [IPKat note: 'competent' in this context merely means that the working party has met the legal criteria and has been vested with the necessary powers to do its job, not that it's any good at doing it] to study the options for reaching an agreement with the European Parliament.

The IPKat notes that the Slovenian Presidency is in favour of consensus-based solutions. He hopes that the Presidency will appreciate something that has often eluded its predecessors: consensus isn't something that happens overnight, particularly in fields of IP protection in which the interests of the various sides involved are in conflict with one another and where what is agreeable to one industrial sector may not be agreeable to another (in other words, for example, the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries may find their point of consensus as between IP owners, their competitors, industry regulators and consumers, but it might be a different point of consensus to that struck within the electronics, engineering or other industries). Please don't impose arbitrary deadlines and talk about "last chances" to reach consensus: it's childish and fails to appreciate the complexity of the issues involved.

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