Not everyone is aware of the European Commission's Green Paper consultation on the Brussels Regulation 44/2001 -- and time is running out if you want to have your say, since the deadline is 30 June. Says the IPKat's friend Chris Stothers,
"Importantly for IP practitioners, the Commission is considering some fundamental changes to the conflict of laws rules applicable to IP disputes. In particular, there are proposals to deal with Italian or Belgian torpedoes and to reverse the outcomes of Case C-4/03 GAT v Luk and Case C-539/03 Roche v Primus, allowing cross-border infringement actions to proceed even where the validity of the patents is challenged before national patent offices or courts".For further details click here.
Calling all fashion fans! This year's Handbags at Dawn event, a one-day conference on intellectual property in the fashion industry, takes place on 22 September 2009 in Central London. This year the conference organisers, CLT, have been persuaded by sponsoring weblog Fashionista at Law to make a special "two places for the price of one" admission deal. For full details of the programme and registration click here.
From the Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick IP Now blog comes this link to the gory details of the dismissal of Mars' action against the manufacturers of Malt Balls (left). Mars must have felt fairly confident that, somewhere along the line one of the following causes of action -- passing off, misleading and deceptive conduct in breach of s 52 and trade mark infringement -- would bring the desired result. But it was not to be. Said the court:
"it is highly unlikely that any ordinary consumer of chocolate confectionery could mistake something which is not called a Malteser for a Malteser. In that sense, Mars is a victim of its own success. The fact that the Delfi jars carry the name “Malt Balls” and use slightly different visual features is sufficiently clear to distinguish them from the Maltesers products.Does the IPKat hear the faint murmuring of "L'Oréal, L'Oréal ..."?
The Maltesers marks are very famous. Consumers generally must be taken to be familiar with them. That is relevant to assessing a consumer’s imperfect recollection of the mark. So viewed, a comparison between the impression held in the consumer’s mind and the direct impression of Sweet Rewards’ mark is one which, in this case at least, occurs in a context in which the chances of the average consumer having forgotten the Maltesers mark are vanishingly small".
There is still just a little more than a week to the end of the IP Watchdog poll of Top Patent Blogs, drawn from the world's 50 most visited patent law weblogs. In the "Favourites" poll, the IPKat currently lies a very creditable third with 9.5% of votes cast, behind the hugely popular Patently-O (28.9%) and Patent Circle (11.6%). The Kats' noses are still ahead of Le blog du droit européen des brevets (9%) and the effervescent Spicy IP (6.9%). In the "which blogs do you read" poll the IPKat is second with 15.5%, again well behind Patently-O (46.7%) but leading IP Watchdog (14.6%), Patent Circle (14.3%) and Patent Baristas (12.5%). Another of IPKat team member Jeremy's weblogs, PatLit, is doing well for a newcomer in both polls and will be delighted to pick up sympathy votes from anyone who wants to encourage outsiders!