Next Tuesday 14 July, from 5.30pm to 7pm, Australian practitioner Julian Gyngell will be addressing an informal meeting of the IP Finance blog group. He'll be raising some interesting issues on the topic of "Phonewords and Finance". Says Julian,
"Organisations pay handsomely (sometimes millions of dollars) for phonewords because they believe that the phoneword will help increase telephone communications with their business (and hence increase sales and their goodwill with customers). However, the rights of use conferred by the issuing authority in the country in question are limited to the specific underlying telephone number itself and the purchaser’s proprietary rights in the phoneword (if any) will depend on the phoneword in question and, in particular, whether
a. the purchaser owns a trade mark (registered or unregistered) which corresponds to the phoneword (or the key word in the phoneword) or
b. conversely, another organisation owns a trade mark (registered or unregistered) that corresponds to the phoneword (or the key word in the phoneword).
I plan to review a number of recent cases, including some very recent WIPO domain name decisions involving phonewords, and advise that a purchaser of a telephone number that is a phoneword needs to be acutely aware of a number of important factors if it is to maximise the potential return on its investment, namely
a. the scope of the rights of use that it has acquired (and those that it hasn’t acquired);
b. the rights of third parties that might conflict with its use of the phoneword and
c. the steps that it should take to further protect its investment".McDermott Will & Emery have kindly agreed to provide a venue in their City office at 7 Bishopsgate (here). If you're coming, please email me here and let me know so I'll have a rough idea of how many bodies will be putting in an appearance. Everyone is welcome and admission is FREE.
The Class 46 weblog, which has specialised in European trade mark law since its inception in December 2007, has just collected its 700th email subscriber (702, to be exact, and rising). Well done! If you'd like to take a look at Class 46, you'll find it here. Perhaps an even bigger achievement, though paradoxically a smaller one, is the tally of 500 email subscribers attained by The SPC Blog which, as its name suggests, just deals with a single IP subject: the extension of term of pharmaceutical and agrochemical patents through the grant of supplementary protection certificates and paediatric extensions. You can see this blog here.
Last week this member of the IPKat team wrote
"As a British author of some antiquity, many of whose books are now no longer available and who has here: >generated a lengthy list of publications in periodicals, this member of the IPKat team is becoming increasingly perplexed about what precisely the proposed Google Book settlement might mean to him personally .... Knowing that many readers of this blog are in much the same position, he guesses that he can't be alone. If enough readers -- and even their publishers -- would like to get together with him during the summer to discuss the legal and commercial dimensions, can they please email him here with the subject heading 'Google Book'. If there's enough interest, we can get together for a drink and a chat".
Finally, an appeal for patience: between his various email accounts this member of the IPKat team currently receives between 200 and 300 emails a day. If you email either the IPKat or Jeremy and don't get an immediate reply, please don't take it as a personal slight or rebuff: we'll get back to you when we can. Hot news that is sent to the IPKat on firstname.lastname@example.org should also be sent to any team member by whom it is intended to be actioned, since the Kat's box is often only cleaned out once a day.