For the half-year to 30 June 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Alberto Bellan, Darren Meale and Nadia Zegze.

Two of our regular Kats are currently on blogging sabbaticals. They are David Brophy and Catherine Lee.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Friday fantasies

Coy? Not any more!
"There's so much in the pipeline,
There's so much to enjoy.
So check the sources feline --
Then sign up, don't be coy"

The list of Forthcoming IP Events is just one short click away, so make sure you check it!


Talking of forthcoming events, the IPKat's London seminar on 23 November on "IP Enforcement in the UK: appraising the new American model" (draft programme and registration details here) has already attracted 43 participants; it looks like there will be a full house, so if you are thinking of coming don't leave it too late!  One more detail of the programme the Kat can report is that Ruth Orchard (Anti-Counterfeiting Group) has agreed to join the panel, a sure way to keep discussion lively.  Meanwhile the annual IP Publishers and Editors lunch on 7 December, also in London (click here and scroll down for details) has gone one better, with 44 participants signed up from as far afield as the United States and Germany.


SPC Blog readers celebrate
their 900th email subscriber 
Around the weblogs.  Unrestrained celebration is the order of the day at the unsung, ultra-niche SPC Blog, which caters for those whose interests turn on lengthening -- or blocking the lengthening of pharmaceutical and agrochemical patents: this blog now has its 900th email subscriber, and that's more people than its authors imagined to be involved in the field.  Rossa McMahon (A Clatter of the Law) has done the entire IP world a favour by condensing the enormous Irish Court ruling of Mr Justice Feeney in Koger Inc. & Koger (Dublin) Limited v O’Donnell, Woolman, Gross & HWM Financial Solutions Limited (part 1 here, part 2 here) into a single manageable blogpost. This case is "a victory for the right of IT employees in Ireland to regard their know how and experience as their own intellectual property").  Class 99's David Musker had a purple patch on Wednesday, scoring four posts on designs including two (here and here) on mainly US-related design sources.  Following the success of its first PCC Page, PatLit looks forward to the second instalment of its series on the revamped Patents County Court for England and Wales.  Finally, Lauren V. Perez has fired off a stern rejoinder to the early-published November Editorial of JIPLP on whether morality has lost its place on the agenda for discussion of IP today.


Top 20 European trade mark decisions. The MARQUES Class 46 weblog is compiling a snapshot of readers' opinions as to which are the most important trade mark law rulings of the Court of Justice of the European Union.  This will lead to a readers' Top Twenty Cases, which Class 46 will publish for the general edification of all. Further details can be seen here.  While the list will close at midnight on 31 October, the IPKat can tell you that the five front-runners, in descending order, are Sabel v Puma, Canon, Baby-Dry, Lloyd and Silhouette.  Many big cases are trailing badly; some landmarks have not got a single vote (classics such as Hoffmann-La Roche v Centrafarm and Bristol-Meyers Squibb are devoid of supporters, it seems). Anyway, if you have strong feelings as to which are the most important ECJ cases and/or enjoy making your opinions count, do get in touch.


Less information, more European? The IPKat, who appreciates a good read now and again, notes that what used to be the Journal of Law, Information and Technology (JILT, available here) is now the the European Journal of Law and Technology (EJLT, available here). EJLT is a refereed open access journal, "focusing on issues of law and technology in a European context".  Good luck in your new persona, says the Kat.


"Baa"ing software patents:
will this deter investors
 from flocking to NZ?
Software patents are not the flavour of the month in New Zealand, where it seems that the Parliamentary Select Committee's amendment to the Patents Bill (which would completely repeal the current 1953 Act), which will exclude software inventions from patentability, has received the government's considered and total support. The proposed amendment is to insert into section 15 (“Other Exclusions”) a new subsection 3A which reads “A computer program is not a patentable invention"). Says the IPKat's friend Ken Moon (consultant, A. J. Park), the Bill still has to have its second and third readings but -- since the chair of the Select Committee is from the Opposition Labour party -- the software exclusion will face little opposition in Parliament. Friends and foes of software patents alike will be watching with interest.


Following the merger, the battle
for the desk nearest the coffee machine
was intense
The IPKat received yesterday a press release from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) on the proposed merger of the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and the Competition Commission. CBI Director of Competitive Markets Matthew Fell said:
“A robust competition regime is vital for driving innovation and growth. We welcome the announcement on the proposed merger of the OFT and Competition Commission, and it is something we had been calling for.  The planned merger would improve the efficiency of the competition regime by cutting duplication. It would also benefit businesses by speeding up merger reviews and market investigations, reducing the time firms are left in limbo.”
The IPKat thinks this is fine, but Merpel is worried: won't the merger mean that there is an uncompetitive monopoly in the market for the review and investigation of monopolies and their abuse ...?


The AmeriKat has asked the IPKat to express her thanks to the kind reader who was responsible for the rather lovely bouquet of flowers which she received today. I'm sure she feels, as we all do, that it is a pleasant surprise and a welcome change to receive anything that does not arrive as an email attachment.


"Pitch battle over Liverpool ownership moves to court 16" was the Guardian headline, but the thing that caught the observant eye of Tom St Quintin (Hogarth) was the following confection of journalistic twaddle:
"Mr Justice Floyd has presided over a number of high-profile court cases in his time. But it is unlikely that a patent dispute over the copyright to Henry Hoover, a royalties decision in favour of the session violinist who played on the Bluebells hit Young at Heart or a spat over the name of a Stella McCartney perfume will generate nearly as much heat as that seventh on the cause list for court 16 tomorrow".

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Re: "Software patents are not the flavour of the month in New Zealand".

Of course a computer program is not a patentable invention. A printed patent specification is also not a patentable invention. Both are merely ways of describing and defining an invention. There are many inventions, and some are patentable. The computer program may be the most concise way of expressing the subject matter.

It is so hard for everybody to understand the simple fact that we distinguish between those inventions that are patentable and those that are not. An invention may be patentable even without a filed application, but we cannot be certain until after application and prosecution. An invention that has been disclosed publicly before an application has been filed will in most cases by definition not be patentable any more. It can no longer be protected.

When patent people encountered plant breeder's rights the expression used for the protected subject is "variety". However that term denotes the cultivar that has already passed the stage of examination. Confusingly (to patent people) there are no unprotected varietes, and that had derailed many a discussion.

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