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.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Tuesday tiddleywinks

Ever willing to assist a fellow-blogger, the IPKat is giving some air to a request for information which IP Finance blogger Neil J. Wilkof made here last week. In short:

"... Against the sometimes overly patent-centric view of the IP world, we try to balance patents with trade secrets/know-how in the context of business management education. In that context, I like to mention to students that, to the best of my recollection, the OECD carried out a study some time ago that concluded that more technology is either created or transferred or exploited (all of the above; none of the above; other) via trade secrets than by inventions protected by patents. However, I have never succeeded in successfully locating the OECD report that supports this assertion.

Does anyone have a cite or even a lead to this putative OECD study? Or does anyone know of any other studies in this regard?"
Can someone put Neil out of his misery? Does the OECD study exist? Is the study perhaps done by some body other than the OECD? Is it actually an urban myth? If you know, please email Neil here (the IPKat's quite nosey about this, so if you don't mind you can copy him in too ...).


Another fellow blogger, former Indian patent examiner Praveen Raj, claims that a well-aimed fax from him to the Chief Justice has persuaded the Kerala High Court, India, to bring proceedings suo moto in the 'deity trade mark' issue on which he has written at length on Secular Citizen (see here for his original post). He adds: "I'm awaiting the listing of the case by the Registrar".


Redundancies at the user-friendly Intellectual Property Office (UK) remain in the news.  An anonymous informer tells the IPKat: "Although 'intellectual property' law is still the responsibility of the UK Government at Westminster, the employment of civil servants at the IPO has recently proved of considerable interest to the Welsh Assembly and its Ministers (see the debate, in Welsh and English, here).  The debate starts with questions on 'employment' from Trish Law and shows a cross-party consensus on the recent redeployment and early retirements of IPO staff, described as 'specialised' and 'well-paid'. One recurring theme is the inability of the IPO to use surplus monies carried over from good years into leaner years. This is said to be down to the conditions under which it is constituted as a 'trading fund'. Let's see if the Welsh Assembly is 'all talk' on this or whether it is genuinely able get Westminster to sit up and listen". 


Memo to European software lawyers: please amend all your records. Council Directive 91/250/EEC of 14 May 1991 on the legal protection of computer programs,EU Member States to protect computer programs as literary works and to provide for interoperability, decompilation and the making of back-up copies, is being replaced in consolidated form following the various minor amendments it has received over the years. It has now become Directive 2009/24/EC of 23 April 2009 on the legal protection of computer programs. It comes into force 20 days after publication. Full text here.


The IPKat's friend Luca Escoffier is currently writing a paper for CASRIP's 2009 High Technology Protection Summit, which convenes in Seattle at the University of Washington on 24-25 July (see here for programme). His article will highlight the peculiarities of nanotechnology innovations when dealing with patenting. The various classification systems adopted by the major patent offices will be considered as well as an examination of the patentability requirements will be performed. The article will chiefly be focused on the inventive step requirement from the European and US perspective and will ponder whether differences between the USPTO and EPO exist. If you want to know more about Luca's research in this field, you can email him here.  The IPKat looks forward to seeing this research in print.

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