The IPKat's superbly-updated 'Forthcoming Events' feature, which occupies a large slice of space on the left-hand side-bar of this weblog's front page, currently lists 30 conferences, seminars and events for your delectation. FREE events are listed in a cheerful blue.
For those who love design registration, the good news is that a new edition of the International Classification for Industrial Designs (Locarno Classification) enters into force at the beginning of next year. OHIM will apply the 9th edition of the Locarno Classification as of 1 January 2009 for all the applications for registered Community designs filed on or after that date. Pending RCD applications and already-registered Community designs with a filing date before 1 January 2009 will not be reclassified. Nor will any option for their reclassification be available to the RCD applicant or proprietor -- not even at the time of renewal of the RCD. The major changes introduced are (i) introduction of a new class 32-00 with title “Graphic symbols and logos, surface patterns, ornamentation” for the products like get-up, graphic designs, graphic symbols, logos, ornamentation and surface patterns [the IPKat remains very unhappy about the registration of trade marks as designs. He's sure it wasn't something demanded by industry, and it certainly gives industry a few headaches]; (ii) the deletion of class 99-00 and reclassification of its products to other classes and (iii) the introduction of 99 new product terms [Merpel says, couldn't they have thought up another one and made it up to a nice round 100?]. For more detailed information visit the WIPO website here,
For those of you who really, really love design registration, MARQUES, the association of European trade mark owners, is hosting a Designs Forum in London next Thursday, 4 December 2008. The price is reasonable, the forum highly focused and the programme attractive (it's a rare chance to hear Martin Schlöttelburg who, although he modestly denies it, has been instrumental in the development of OHIM jurisprudence on design validity). Details and registration here.
The IPKat's friend Danny Friedmann has been productive again, this time writing a formidable article, "How do the People's Republic of China and Hong Kong Relate to each other regarding IPRs", which you can read here on his IP Dragon weblog.
A monster of a rather different calibre to the IP Dragon is Godzilla, who is the subject of an entertaining article by David Kravets, "Think Godzilla's Scary? Meet His Lawyers", published on Wired and brought to the Kat's attention by the vigilant Tomasz Rychlicki. The article opens promisingly:
"It's been 54 years since an atomic blast awakened the slumbering reptilian monster Godzilla, and the fire-breathing, fin-tailed beast has been terrorizing downtown Tokyo ever since — in more than two dozen movies, on television and in comics and cartoons. But Godzilla is a pussycat compared to the coterie of lawyers and investigators in Los Angeles and Japan who aggressively protect the radioactive behemoth from anyone who dares to appropriate his lizardly image for profit".Who can resist the temptation to read on? This piece certainly explains the oft-noted phenomenon that IP lawyers tend to be at their busiest when there's a recession.
While the lawyers are busy, the super-heroes are having to struggle. Batman, the BBC reports, is going to have to fight the evil-doers of Gotham City without the comfort of being able to slip into his alter ego Bruce Wayne, who is about to be killed off. A quick thought here: does this count as abandonment? If the current owners of the goodwill manifest their intention to ditch the name, will there be a goldrush to register and otherwise exploit it, possibly for nefarious purposes? Meanwhile, Mr Wayne is reported to be seeing his lawyers about the possibility of an appeal against his death sentence.
Duncan Bucknell's IP ThinkTank is now operating a weekly podcast. Each Monday Duncan will host a call with one or more IP-ish people, including Shamnad Basheer and IPKat team blogger Jeremy, to talk about the latest developments in the world of IP (Duncan also promises other guests from time to time, such as Dennis Crouch). You can listen to the first podcast here. Duncan looks forward to receiving listeners' comments. The rest of us just cringe at the sound of our own voices and realise how good the 'real' professionals are when it comes to presentation.