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, 12 November 2010

Friday fantasies

Tired of using the same old
PowerPoints, Arthur thought
he'd try a different approach
to the use of visual aids
Reminder: the IPKat's Forthcoming events list has relocated from the side-bar on the weblog's front page and now has a page of its very own, here. Do check it out!   


Among the choice events this week are two hardy annual: the Copying Without Infringing conference takes place on Wednesday 17 November (details here), while Standards and Patents (details here) spans two days: Tuesday 16 and Wednesday 17 November.  Both have stellar casts.  Check them out!


If you are organising an event and want it listed, please try to send the details to the IPKat by email in a form which he can easily cut-and-paste into the list -- please spare him the horrors of having to access a sometimes long and uncopyable PDF brochure which he then has to read in search of salient details.  Thank you.


Nice work, if you can get it ...  The European Union's Official Journal today advertises the post of Director-General of Translation at the Court of Justice of the European Union.  This job must go to a friend of the IPKat.  The advertisement carries a delicious little line that is destined to annoy the English, irritate the Poles and enrage the Spanish: "In the interests of the service, s/he will be required to have a very good knowledge of French and a good knowledge of English".


Pierluigi Collina: regarded by many
as the best soccer referee of all time,
but could he handle a copyright dispute?
Here's a good job for a non-lawyer.  Following discussions between the Institute of Paralegals in England and Wales, the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC), the latter has now confirmed that senior paralegals are eligible to apply to become judges of first-tier tribunals. According to the Institute,
It is not well known, but ...since 2008, it has not been necessary to have formal legal qualifications for some judicial posts in tribunals. The Lord Chancellor can decide a person has gained experience in law to make them suitable for appointment. This means that paralegals may apply for some posts and it is for the Lord Chancellor to decide if they have sufficient legal experience to proceed in the JAC selection exercise.
Some readers may be heartened by this, having concluded that, next to headless chickens and football referees, qualified lawyers serving as judges are the least likely category to reach the right results on the evidence before them.  While this announcement does not immediately affect the IP community, we should recall that we depend on many good souls who are not legally qualified but who nonetheless make legal determinations for us: these include patent and trade mark hearing officers and members of the Copyright Tribunal.


Relentless pursuit.  Good news for trade mark litigation lawyers: the Coca-Cola Company is taking a tough line against users of the word 'Relentless' (thanks, Zoe Birtle of D Young, for this BBC link).  The Relentless Steak & Lobster House is said to be "gobsmacked" at Coke's 17-page set of demands, designed to protect the soft drink giant from predatory attacks on its Relentless energy drink (here).  


Here's a job for someone with a job.  The UK's Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has announced that Professor Ian Hargreaves is to lead an independent review into "how the intellectual property system can better drive growth and innovation".  Ian holds the "current chair" [queries Merpel, is this the British equivalent of the Electric Chair?] of Digital Economy at the Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies and Cardiff Business School. Says the IPKat, this is a refreshing break with tradition: the appointee appears to know something about the subject.  Anyway, the review is expected to report in almost no time at all, in April next year [says Merpel, I hope this doesn't mean that half the review is written already and that the rest consists of blanks that will be filled in by bright young Oxbridge graddies].  It will look at
• barriers to new internet-based business models, including the costs of obtaining permissions from existing rights-holders;
• the cost and complexity of enforcing intellectual property rights within the UK and internationally;
• the interaction between IP and competition frameworks;
• The cost and complexity to SMEs of accessing services to help them protect and exploit their IP.

Around the blogs. IP Finance welcomes a new team member, barrister Patricia Edwards (20 Essex Street). Good luck, Patricia!  "Why sue when you can use social media?" is the title of TechnoLlama's excellent piece on the Cooks Source copyright saga, which has been drawn to the Kat's attention by readers, tweeters, woofers -- you name it.  This Kat endorses the TechnoLlama's sensible views and does not propose to repeat them as his own.  On the subject of copyright, there's a neat piece by Aurelia J. Schultz on the 1709 Blog on the treatment by a Belgian court of a Creative Commons licence.  Writing in IP Yorkshire [is this the world's only truly local IP blog?], Jane Lambert calls for a Patents County Court for England's proudest county.


An early example of the
Great British double entendre
Zoe Renault v Renault Zoe.  Could two charming young ladies persuade the French courts to prevent an eponymous major motor car manufacturer using their forename as a brand for one of its models?  There was only going to be one winner: here.  According to PistonHeads:
"In a fantastically po-faced statement to the press, the families' lawyer, David Koubbi, argued that the two Zoes, and Zoes all over the world, would now be subject to a lifetime of ribbing and that, as they grew older, would be prey to such quips as "Can I see your airbags?" or "Can I shine your bumper?".
This proves beyond all doubt that, while the term double entendre is French, les français are miles behind the British when it comes to making them.  Come on readers, show'em what you can do [Merpel says, please post them below: do NOT email them to the poor IPKat since it is generally known that cats have no sense of humour].

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Excuse me Jeremy. I'm a hearing officer and I'm legally qualified (well, an LLM)....but it's not something I like to boast about.

Not through false modesty you understand, it's just like well, I'd rather have done something useful like medicine or car mechanics.

Jeremy said...

@Anonymous
Excuse me, hearing officer, but an LLM isn't a legal qualification yet and isn't likely to be seen as one within our lifetimes. If it's any consolation, I've a PhD in law but that doesn't make me a qualified lawyer either.

Medicine and car mechanics are a branch of the same discipline, aren't they? I believe that both humans and cars respond much the same way to homeopathy under laboratory conditions ...

Anonymous said...

The thought that someone else has wasted even more time than me and that nothing is ever likely to change before we both go to meet our maker, is sadly, of no consolation.

Homeopathy - couldn't possibly comment save to say I'm sure it's a very scientific discipline.

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