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.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Wednesday whimsies

The European Union has ratified the misnamed “Internet Treaties” - the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT) - which establish the basic standards of protection for copyright and related rights in the digital environment. The IPKat looks forward to real internet treaties, which deal with matters of liability, jurisdiction, cloud computing and the parameters of infringement full-on.



Intellectual Property Law in Denmark is the title of a slender but appealing little book by Copenhagen academic Thomas Riis, the second revised edition of which has just been published -- in English -- by Kluwer Law International. Readers may have encountered it in a rather different context, though, as a monograph in the same publisher's International Encyclopaedia of Laws/Intellectual Property (here). According to the publishers:
"... this convenient volume updates its coverage of Danish intellectual property law, with continued emphasis on developments and trends connected with electronic and broadband media and the process of internationalisation in this burgeoning area of business and economic law. It provides a clear overview of the field, and, at the same time, offers practical guidance on which sound preliminary decisions may be based. The author expertly discusses all legally salient facets of the protection of copyrights, patents, trademarks, trade names, trade secrets and confidential information, utility models, industrial designs, chips, and plant varieties. Due attention is paid to the weight given in Denmark to the ownership and transfer of intellectual property rights, registration procedures, limitations and exemptions, and remedies for infringement. For a broad, reliable understanding of Danish intellectual property law, this new edition of Intellectual Property Law in Denmark is the ideal quick reference book for both practitioners and students".
The IPKat was a little surprised at that last assertion. While the book is plainly useful for practitioners whose clients have Danish business interests and IP problems, he assumed that Danish students would be studying Danish tomes while non-Danish students would probably have few opportunities to study Danish IP law even in postgraduate courses. The bits of the book he enjoyed the best were those that explained utility model law (where there is no UK analogue), copyright (where national variation has not yet been placed within the straitjacket of pan-European harmonisation and miscellaneous Danish data. The Kat would have liked more on Denmark's Marketing Practice Act and unfair competition concepts, but that was not the principal focus of this publication. He'd also have liked some handy tables of statutory materials and cases. Quite a few decided Danish cases are now known to a wider audience in Europe through their being reported in the European Trade Mark Reports, the European Copyright and Design Reports, International Law Office, and the World Trade Mark Review, as well as featuring on the Class 46 weblog -- but there's no easy way of finding them in this book (apart from reading it). Anyway, overall it's a good and informative read, well referenced and well explained.

The book's web page, replete with bibliographic data, is here.


If you love intellectual property law the way it is, here's some more news to spoil your winterval: an Global Economic Governance (GEG) Programme expert taskforce, based at the University of Oxford, is now on the loose. According to the rubric on the website,
"Exploring the Reform Agenda: An Expert Taskforce on Global Knowledge Governance

The global intellectual property (IP) rules that govern trade in knowledge-related goods and services have become a source of profound tension. These tensions over global knowledge governance have fundamental implications for our response to some of the most pressing global challenges of our time – from climate change to human health and the eradication of poverty. To illuminate the core principles and challenges at stake, and amidst continuing calls for reform of processes and institutions through which these rules are created and applied, GEG has convened an Expert Taskforce on Global Knowledge Governance".
The website, which carries a great deal more information too, names Dr Carolyn Deere-Birkbeck as its Director. She has a fascinating CV and a substantial track record that suggests that her expertise lies more in the direction of allocating intellectual resources which are the source of the tension than in investing or creating them in the first place, so the Kat guesses that other members of the task force will be selected with a view to complementing these talents. At any rate he will be watching with interest for exciting solutions to the problem of ensuring that the IP goose keeps laying those golden eggs which cause so much tension ...


A little bit of FRAND activity has been spotted here by the IPKat's friends Nikos Prentoulis and Nancy G. Gerakinis, in the form of the welcome given by the European Commission to the public declaration by German IP licensing company IPCom that it is ready to take over Bosch's previous commitment to grant irrevocable licences on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms to patents held by IPCom which are essential for various standards set by the European Telecommunications Standard Institute (ETSI) and Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS). IPCom acquired these patents from Bosch, which had previously made the same commitment when the standards in question were developed. The Commission considers that it is important that, when patents essential to a standard are transferred from one owner to another, so should any relevant FRAND commitments. Indeed, says the IPKat.

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