STOP PRESS: shortly after this item was posted, the "invisible" images miraculously appeared in the German version, but still haven't appeared in the French one. Can some kind reader offer to assist Curia in these matters? Even if they were using primitive software like Blogger they wouldn't have these problems.
While patent people pontificate on the linguistic issues that beset the countries of the European Union, trade mark practitioners and their clients still suffer in silence. But now, courtesy of the IPKat, here comes a massive miaou of rage.
Today on the Curia website [note for non-Europeans: that's the website of the Court of Justice of the European Union] a decision of the General Court was posted. The case is T‑253/09 and T‑254/09, Wilo SE v Office de l’harmonisation dans le marché intérieur (marques, dessins et modèles) (OHMI). Alternatively it's Wilo SE v Harmonisierungsamt für den Binnenmarkt (Marken, Muster und Modelle) (HABM). By now you may be suspecting that, of the 23 official languages of the European Union, this decision is posted in just two of them, French and German. Normally that would be quite enough to complain about, but this time it's much worse. This case involves an application to register as a three-dimensional Community trade mark a sign representing the casing of a motor of a heating pump, for goods in Classes 7 and 11. The examiner said it wasn't registrable because it was devoid of distinctive character; the Board of Appeal agreed. And now, the IPKat guesses, Wilo's appeal has been dismissed too.
When you click on to the webpage, you will discover that there are two representations of what the IPKat knows to be images -- but all he can see is two boxes, each of which bears the legend "Image not found". He has checked, using different internet browsers, in case the Curia website has been trained to refuse access to some of the more popular ones, and there is definitely nothing there.
Says the IPKat, what on earth is the point of making available to the international community of trade mark users, owners and practitioners a report on the outcome of an appeal which is available in only two languages out of the official 23 and which does not even trouble to show the image which the applicant has been expending so much effort and energy trying to register? He calls for the following action:
(i) the person at Curia who is responsible for maintaining the website should please make the image available, if possible now;Merpel says, I don't know what all the linguistic fuss is about. The decision may only be available in French and German, but the little sign that says "Image not found" is definitely in English.
(ii) the authority or person responsible for supervising the content of the Curia website should take the necessary measures to ensure that this doesn't happen again [it has happened on numerous occasions in the past too. Readers may remember this];
(iii) Curia should give the contact details of the person responsible, so that when things like this happen we all know whom to contact. The Kat is not looking for a scapegoat to shoot -- he just wants to know whom he can gently contact and see, "Bonjour (or whatever), it's Le Chat calling. Just thought you ought to know that. malheureusement, one of your illustrations has just dropped off the page ..."
There's a little mini-poll on the top of the Kat's side bar. Can you try the link to this appeal decision and then let him know if you can see the images?