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.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Monday miscellany

The only people to have colleges named after them in both
Oxford and Cambridge are Jesus, St John, Wolfson ...
and CATS!
Holy Cats! IP scholar Justine Pila, much revered and respected by the IPKat, has informed him that she and the equally revered Graeme Dinwoodie are running a half-day seminar on Comparative Perspectives on Protecting Products by Patents.  This is just one of a series of events with this dynamic due is organising over the next few years around the theme "The Common Law of Intellectual Property in an Era of Europeanisation" [That's a mouthful, says Merpel, but I like the acronym, CLIPEE!].  Speaking will be Mr Justice Floyd, Daniel Alexander QC, and Professor Rochelle Dreyfuss on issues relating to the patentability of products and the scope of protection which patents confer on products. The first seminar takes place from 2 pm to 5 pm at St Catherine's College, Oxford (here) this Saturday, 4 December 2010. Says Justine: "It is free and all are welcome; CPD accreditation has also been applied for".


Extended passing off: an extended
headache for makers of drinks that sound
like generic products
What with all the fuss and excitement about the forthcoming Royal Wedding and IP conference, the IPKat has quite forgotten to remind readers of another event that is close to his heart: the 15th annual Intellectual Property Law Developments conference, which takes place on 24 January in Central London.  Unusually for a serious event, this programme features some very serious bloggers among the speakers: Matt Fisher (from the IPKat team), David Musker (Class 99) and Hugo Cox (The 1709 Blog).  Two of this year's biggest attractions, however, lie outside the blogosphere: Tony Clayton (Chief Economist, Intellectual Property Office) speaks on "IP and Government Spending" and Baker & Mackenzie's Ben Allgrove, no doubt still celebrating the recent acceptance by the High Court that there is such a thing as initial interest confusion in British and European trade mark law, tackles the scope of the recently-extended tort of passing off.  And now for the competition! JK Rowling seeks your advice as to the title of the next Harry Potter book (the one she said she'd never write) on how Harry and his friends graduate from Hogwarts and secure gainful employment within in the World Intellectual Property Organization. The title must begin with the words "Harry Potter and the ...", but the rest is up to you.  The prize: free registration for the IP Law Developments conference and an even freer lunch! Email your entries (which won't be acknowledged unless there aren't very many of them) to the IPKat here, with the subject line "". Closing date, 10 January 2011.


Not all games in court end
with an order of indemnity costs
Around the blogs. The Kat's friend Richard Kempner (Kempner & Partners) has provided PatLit with a juicy item: a claimant in patent litigation proceedings, reprimanded by a normally mild-mannered judge for playing games in court and being ordered to pay indemnity costs.  IP Finance carries a report on a court ruling on assessment of "user" damages for trade mark infringement, just one week after this note on calculating damages for loss of brand value.  Russians and Cypriots who wonder whether the US Federal Court has personal jurisdiction over them in patent infringement actions might find this note on PatentlyO worth reading.  The 1709 Blog succinctly summarises the issues and the ruling in NLA v Meltwater here on whether end-users of an online media monitoring service require a licence from the owners of copyright in the works monitored and.


Several readers, of whom Barry Teobald was first, have been nudging the IPKat to tell the world about Facebook's application to register the word FACE as a US trade mark.  According to Techcrunch
"Facebook is just a payment away from trademarking the word “Face.” As of today the U.S. Patent And Trademark Office has sent the social networking site a Notice of Allowance, which means they have agreed to grant the “Face” trademark to Facebook under certain conditions.

All Facebook needs to do is pay the issue fee within three months of today and the “Face” trademark will be issued and be published in the official USPTO gazette ....

For all intents and purposes today’s status update bodes well for Facebook’s hold over “Face” usages in “Telecommunication services, namely, providing online chat rooms and electronic bulletin boards for transmission of messages among computer users in the field of general interest and concerning social and entertainment subject matter, none primarily featuring or relating to motoring or to cars.”

While it seems so bizarre that a company should have the right to trademark a word as common as “Face” apparently the USPTO isn’t at all disturbed (what’s with the “related to motoring or cars” restrictions?). ...

Update: A commenter points out that aside from the issue fee, Facebook will have file a Statement of Use and use the trademark on its own in commerce before it has actual legal claim over the word “Face.” Right now it only uses the word “Face” in conjunction with “book,” but that will have to change if it wants to have any right to the trademark".
The IPKat doesn't think that any corresponding application has been filed in Europe, but is prepared to be corrected by his readers.  Merpel also thought it odd that the application sailed through without any oppositions or objections, but couldn't think offhand of any existing registrations or brands that would be threatened by use of the word FACE for the Class 38 services listed.  Again, readers' responses are welcome.  Perhaps the last word should do to Aidan Clarke (Marks & Clerk), who is quoted in a media release as saying:
"“... not every company with the word ‘face’ as part of its brand should necessarily be worried. The protection in the US at least covers only a very specific category of commercial enterprises within a sub-sector of the telecommunications space, namely the sorts of activities that comprise online social networking. ‘Fatface’ the clothing company and Apple’s ‘FaceTime’ software, to name but a few examples, have nothing to be concerned about. Not unless Facebook begins extending its brand beyond the social networking sphere.”".


Never mind FACE -- Warner Bros has run off with the trade mark the name of the Harry Potter school-game QUIDDITCH for lingerie, reports the eagle-eyed Kingsley Egbuonu on the basis of this Reuters report. Not just lingerie either, but dust ruffles [What on earth! exclaims the IPKat]. This doesn't actually seem to be red-hot news, since Warner Bros has been quietly registering QUIDDITCH for a variety of items since 1999 -- but what's news is the plans the long-dead Brothers have been making for keeping their coffers flowing even once the world tires of the Harry Potter film sequence.


Recently published.  Release 33 of Sweet & Maxwell's European Patent Decisions, which updates the Looseleaf to August 2010, has now been dispatched and should be in the hands of subscribers soon, if they have not already received them.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Facebook already has CTM 3852779 "FACE" applied for on 24/05/2004 and registered on 03/10/2006 for the same services in class 38.

Anonymous said...

What coould one do if one is jobless, obviously has to control the purse strings, yet is keen on atteding the forthcoming Royal Wedding and IP conference as well as the 15th annual Intellectual Property Law Developments. Should lack of money deprive an IP enthusiast from attending such informative IP events?

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