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The third edition of the MARQUES Designs Team Review of the First 400 Decisions on the Invalidity of Registered Community Designs has just been launched today, at the MARQUES midwinter meeting in Venice. The text of the review covers 47 pages: you can download it here. Illustrated coverage is given to the 63 OHIM Board of Appeal decisions that deal with appeals from the Invalidity Division (there were during the relevant period 80 Board of Appeal decisions, but 17 of them are from examination, not invalidity); you can download this material here. Finally, Annex C consists of a summary chart of decisions of courts in Member States (sitting as Community Design Courts or national courts) and Switzerland; this Annex is available here. Well done, MARQUES Designs Team. This elite squad, led by David Stone (Simmons & Simmons) is to be commended for its huge effort to compile this data and make it available.
More news of designs in Europe -- OHIM has changed the way in which it examines priority documents before the registration of Community designs. No longer will the Design Department examine whether the subject matter of the priority application and the registered Community design application are the same. So if you send in a priority document that doesn't have any pretty pictures, like a German registration certificate, the examiner will still rely on it. This change, which is in line with the practice in most EU member states, will speed up the registration process.
Patentbuddy.com has proudly informed the IPKat that it now holds 3.5 million inventor records. You can check them out for yourself here. According to Merpel, if you read one a day, that will take you, er, a very long time ...
Meanwhile, freepatentsonline has equally proudly informed the same fictional feline that it has just logged its one millionth user. Slightly alarmed, Merpel thought that logging was something best left to lumberjacks. Anyway, you can check out freepatentsonline here.
A word of warning to air travellers in Germany comes from Patentanwalt Rainer Boeckelen, who writes from Munich -- home to the much-visited European Patent Office:
"The Higher District Court of Duesseldorf given a ruling (here) on the reimbursement of legal costs to the extent that business class flight tickets shall not be reimbursable.
... I think that the court disregards the actual situation. The costs of the economy class flight tickets referred to in the decision relate to a non-flexible ticket. The price difference between economy flex and business is actually 30 Euro on inner German flights.
Furthermore, the decision disregards the fact that the flights MUC -DUS -MUC are permanently fully booked. Thus the traveller does not only have the risk to pay for another ticket in case of a delay, but risks returning home late, or not at all, because of a delay in the oral proceedings. This is the only reason why I still book business, certainly not because of the extra sandwich. Frequent travellers can sing a nice song about the "Warteliste". Economy travellers rank as last on the list.
The court might forget that attorneys are usually not travelling for fun. And what happens to the economy ticket if the oral proceedings are cancelled? Who will pay for it?"
There's a conference coming up on 7 and 7 October in the lovely if sometimes expensive city of Vienna. It's the Conference on Patent Statistics for Decision Makers, “New Technologies, Patent Quality and Entrepreneurship”, organised by the European Patent Office and by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, with lots of other bodies cooperating too. Anyway, the organisers are now calling for papers. Topics of interest are
§ Emerging and evolving technology fields e.g. clean technologies: What do patenting trends imply for the rate and direction of the dissemination of new technologies. Do patents affect the price of clean technologies? As to how far do patents co-exist with new and alternative protection measures in these technology fields?
§ Patent quality: Too many different understandings of the patent quality exist according to the functional definition of quality. What are the statistically reliable elements of patent quality that can be identified? What are useful measurements and indicators?
§ Patenting fees: Are fees a good means to influence applicants' behaviour? What is the impact in terms of volume and quality of applications that procedural fees have? What is the fee sensitivity of applicants in general and of SMEs in particular? Does the current fee structure of the patent system spur innovation and steer applicants' behaviour?
§ Business dynamics and entrepreneurship: Entry and exit of companies and their relationship to technology; innovation strategies by companies (e.g. interfirm co-operation, merger and acquisitions).
§ Shining a light on uncertainty in the patent system: Patent applicants use increasingly the patent system in a way it was not designed for (e.g. increase pendency time of applications; enlarge the scope of claims etc.). Many of these critical practices lead to uncertainty for third parties and the society as a whole. What could be reliable indicators for patenting strategies in this respect?
§ Impact of economic crisis on patenting activity: Patenting is seen as an important element for innovation and economic growth but the recent economic and financial crisis gives reason to ask as to how far patenting activities are dependent on scarce resources (patenting budget). What can be learned from past crises in this respect and in how far react big companies and SMEs different with patenting activities in times of economic crisis?Details may be found on the IPKat's left-hand side bar.