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, 14 March 2011

Monday miscellany

Towards the end of December the IPKat reported on a curious case from Nigeria in which a court had to decide whether to grant interim injunctive relief in a patent infringement action involving voting machines, where the effect of granting an injunction might well have been to prevent the holding of national elections. The court did grant interim injunctive relief, but the injunction has since been lifted. Writing for Afro-IP, Kingsley Egbuonu takes up the story here.


With Hercule Poirot,
who needs a saisie?
Have you ever had problems grasping saisie-contrefaçon? If so, be assured that even those suave continentals from Belgium and France, imbued with a rich civil law tradition, can apply this discovery procedure in different ways -- with interesting results.  Kristof Neefs (Altius, Brussels) explains that the Belgians get it right and the French get it wrong: "The French Cour de Cassation has ruled in Sandoz/Daiichi Sankyo that a so-called saisie-contrefaçon, a discovery procedure for intellectual property holders, cannot be awarded after the patent has expired, even when the petitioner seeks evidence of acts that allegedly occurred during the patent's term. This judgment is at odds with case law on saisie-contrefaçon in Belgium and it is discriminatory. Furthermore, it appears it cannot be reconciled with Directive 2004/48 on the enforcement of intellectual property rights".  For further analysis, read on.


IP Film Festival: not Cannes but Leeds.  Last year a series of videos -- part of the White Rose IPBio Project -- was filmed at the University of Leeds, up in the southern part of the north-east of England, as part of the "Intellectual Property and the Biosciences" symposium. All the videos are open access to stream or download, together with a number of papers. There is an all-star cast, though Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman etc never quite made the list. Berris Charnley (Centre for History and Philosophy of Science, University of Leeds) tells the IPKat that you can help yourself to all these goodies here.  A cultured Kat, the IPKat explains that "White Rose" is an allusion to the symbol of Yorkshire, the county in which Leeds is situated.  Merpel's not so sure; she thinks the White Rose is the name of a fairly congenial pub.


Some Modest Proposals 4.0. A Conference, Pouring Academic Ideas into Legislative Bottles, is being run in New York by Cardozo Law School's Intellectual Property and Information Program. This event invites academics known for advocating thoughtful ways to improve IP, technology, and information law to present ideas from their writing in the form of actual statutory, regulatory, or treaty language. Each proposal receives both scholarly and political commentary in a free-wheeling discussion among professors, current and former Capitol Hill staff, administration officials, and Washington activists. The forthcoming round on Friday 8 April, Modest Proposals 4.0, will have a set of copyright, patent, trade mark, and information law proposals. You can email the IP Program here for more information.



Magnetic appeal. The IPKat learns from his friend Brian Cordery (Bristows) that the Supreme Court has granted permission to appeal in Schlumberger v Electromagnetic Services (noted by the IPKat here).  The main issues here relate to a patent for the location of undersea oil and gas and ask (i) is the composition of the skilled team the same for all issues (e.g. obviousness and insufficiency) and (ii) how much weight should be placed on so-called "secondary evidence" of inventive step?  If you are planning your holidays and don't want to be away at the time, the hearing is likely to be at the end of November 2011.  Predicts Brian, "we should have a decision just before or just after the beginning of 2012".




The IPKat's friend, IP practitioner and fellow blogger Peter Groves is very excited that his IP Dictionary has now been published by Edward Elgar Publishing.  To this end, he writes: "l give a bottle of Champagne to the first barrister (or other advocate - but not a judge) to secure for it a mention in a judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction (not just in England and Wales) which is published online. Not a tribunal, a hearing in the IPO or anything like that. Of course, professional ethics surely dictate that to refer to it in court merely with an eye to a prize would be improper. The judge will act as a filter, of course, so if it is cited one can assume the citation is valid and objective - the gift of the bottle will be a token of my appreciation, not a prize. The quality of the Champagne will be entirely dependent on how well, in my absolute discretion, sales of the book are going".  Merpel cheekily offers an additional bottle of wine to the first qualifying person to cite Peter's Dictionary under the terms stipulated above and still end up on the winning side.


Airfield questions are up in the air. This Thursday sees the Court of Justice of the European Union receive the Advocate General's Opinion in Case C-431/09 Airfield NV and Canal Digitaal BV v Belgische Vereniging van Auteurs, Componisten en Uitgevers CVBA (Sabam), a reference for a preliminary ruling from the Hof van Beroep te Brussel (Belgium), lodged on 2 November 2009.   Just a reminder of the questions:

Does Directive 93/83 [on the coordination of certain rules concerning copyright and rights related to copyright applicable to satellite broadcasting and cable retransmission] preclude the requirement that a supplier of digital satellite television must obtain the consent of the copyright holders in the case where a broadcasting organisation transmits its programme-carrying signals, either by a fixed link or by an encrypted satellite signal, to a supplier of digital satellite television which is independent of the broadcasting organisation, and that supplier has those signals encrypted and beamed to a satellite by a company associated with it, after which those signals are beamed down, with the consent of the broadcasting organisation, as part of a package of television programmes and therefore bundled, to the satellite television supplier's subscribers, who are able to view the programmes simultaneously and unaltered by means of a decryption card or smart card provided by the satellite television supplier?
Does Directive 93/83 preclude the requirement that a supplier of digital satellite television must obtain the consent of the copyright holders in the case where a broadcasting organisation transmits its programme-carrying signals to a satellite in accordance with the instructions of a digital television supplier which is independent of the broadcasting organisation, after which those signals are beamed down, with the consent of the broadcasting organisation, as part of a package of television programmes and therefore bundled, to the satellite television supplier's subscribers, who are able to view the programmes simultaneously and unaltered by means of a decryption card or smart card provided by the satellite television supplier?

The background to this reference is briefly noted on the 1709 Blog here.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Peter Groves's Champagne (and Merpel's wine) look very safe to me.

1. He's ruled out the 'lower' tribunals (IPO and, presumably APs ?). What an insult...:)

2. It has to be judge citing so the citation is "valid and objective". No comment, save to say that's an awful lot of other people who, by implication, would do anything for a bottle of Champagne !

3. Can't remember the last case I read when a judge found the need to refer to a legal dictionary.

4. Presumably, Peter won't cough up if the judge cites his book disapprovingly ?

Anonymous said...

How about a reward for the first reference to IPKat by a tribunal?

PatentlyO and its readers was recently awarded that honour.

Peter Groves said...

No insult intended - just wanting to ensure it's widely noticed. I too doubt any judge would need to refer to it, but you never know - and whether approving or not is immaterial. Just so long as people are talking about it - and guess what ...

Anonymous said...

I seem to recall a UK court decision being revised to take into account a posting by IPKat of a decision issued by the Enlarged Board at the EPO. The details escape me at the moment.

Anonymous said...

Re Anon on March 16 - the decision was the Appeal Court decision in the Actavis v. Merck dosage regime case. While not mentioned by name, the Kat's posting on the day fixed for the handing down

http://ipkitten.blogspot.com/2008/05/new-eba-referral.html

appeared to have resulted in a postscript to the decision being inserted.

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