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, 21 March 2011

Monday miscellany

The United Kingdom's Chancellor of the Exchequer presents his budget this Wednesday 23 March, at 12.30pm.  The IPKat will be otherwise engaged at that precise moment, but reminds readers who want to check on anything that affects intellectual property that Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs will be providing information on this page, and there is every possibility that juicy IP bits will be covered on IP Finance too.  IPKat team member Jeremy's friends at Olswang LLP have their own budget blog too -- you can find it here.


In a rare piece of good news for small businesses that face major hassles from big businesses that should behave themselves better, the IPKat can report that international style-setters Guccio Gucci SpA have dropped their opposition to the application of GI Productions (alias Gus and Inez Bodur, of Golden Balls fame) to register as a Community trade mark a figurative trade mark containing the words GUSSY THE ICE CREAM MAN.  For some unfathomable reason, Gucci considered that this mark was either confusingly similar to its own GUCCI mark or might perchance be free-riding on its coat-tails.  Gus and Inez tell the Kat, not a little proudly, "We don't have to pay legal fees as we did it ourselves".  Well done, says the IPKat, you're an inspiration to all those small businesses that find themselves, through no fault of their own, fighting battles that should never need to be fought in the first place.


"Innovation and commercialisation: better, smarter, faster" is the title of this year's Licensing Executives Society International meeting, which takes place in London from 5 to 8 June.  The venue is the Park Plaza Hotel, where the views are almost as stunning as the prices -- but the LESI has good news for anyone who is price-sensitive: an early-bird reduced-rate registration fee is available up to and including this Friday, 25 March.  For full details of the programme and booking arrangements, click here.


The adult entertainment world is presumably celebrating the approval by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) of the .xxx top level domain name (TLD) as the "progressive new home for adult entertainment online". The approval gives .xxx the same legal status as .com, .net, .co.uk and other TLDs. The new domain is administered by ICM Registry.  While the .xxx domain will enable porno sites and other unsavoury cyberlocations to be clearly flagged and filtered, it will also provide another raft of registrations for cyber-speculators who will be swift to spot the potential for tacking .xxx on to any number of fashion, cosmetic and leisure brands that have overplayed the sexual content of their advertising and marketing content, while likely remaining slower to detect and deal with since they often be inconveniently filtered and difficult for the brand-based businesses themselves to access.


IP function at the Junction.  An ever-so-excited IPKat has learned that "a new facility at the Welsh Assembly Government’s Llandudno Junction [population 7,000] office will help businesses and individuals in Wales become even more innovative [than ...?]", according to the Principality's Deputy Minister for Science, Innovation and Skills, Lesley Griffiths.  According to a media release last Friday,
"The Llandudno Junction PATLIB, or patent library, will provide local access to patent information and practical assistance on a variety of Intellectual Property issues, including one-to-one consultations with Intellectual Property experts. The service is part-financed by the European Union’s Convergence European Regional Development Fund. 
It is the first of a planned network across Wales and is part of the European PATLIB network.
 ...
The Llandudno Junction PATLIB will complement the support available through the existing business support programmes such as Business Innovation. It will provide access to support for the development of the next generation of products as well as identifying and commercialising IP.
Businesses and individuals will be able to use the public access computers in the office’s public area, Y Bont, to make initial patent information searches and check on trade marks, design and copyright issues. They will also be able to book on to one of the regular patent clinics held by qualified and experienced staff. The centre also holds a supply of free literature on various aspects of intellectual property".
The IPKat thinks this is a lovely idea and gives it his blessing.  Merpel wonders what sort of metric has been established for local PATLIB initiatives, but hopes that they're not going to be judged on instant results: innovation may happen in a flash, but there's a lot of need for facilities like this both before and after the flash of creativity occurs.


Sweet & Maxwell spring offer.  The IPKat has long argued that subscriptions to many IP periodicals are far too expensive.  Sweet & Maxwell's Spring Offer (below), with reductions of at least 30% per title, would appear to recognise that cost is a disincentive to subscribe, as well as an incentive to unsubscribe,

THE LATEST ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW 

Ensure you are kept up to date with the ever-changing complexities of intellectual property law. Subscribe now and save at least 30% off a new 2011 subscription to the following journals:



Title
ISSN  
Was
Now   

European Copyright and Design Reports
1467-6656
£578
£404

European Copyright and Design Reports: issues and bound volumes
1467-66BV
£802
£560

European Intellectual Property Review
0142-0461
£1,118
£782

European Intellectual Property Review: issues and bound volumes
0142-04BV
£1,443
£1,010

European Patent Office Reports
0269-0802
£909
£636

European Patent Office Reports: issues and bound volumes
0269-08BV
£1,123
£786

European Trade Mark Reports
 1363-4542
£998
£698

European Trade Mark Reports: issues and bound volumes
 1363-45BV
£1,213
£849

Fleet Street Reports
 0141-9455
£1,125
£787

Fleet Street Reports: issues and bound volumes
 0141-94BV
£1,341
£938

Intellectual Property Quarterly
 1364-906X
£477
£333

Intellectual Property Quarterly: issues and bound volumes 
 1364-90BV
£693
£485

WIPO Journal: Analysis & Debate Global IP Issues 
 2041-2029
£44
£30 

ORDER NOW
To take advantage of this offer please quote the reference number 0631805A when ordering. Place your order by the following means:

Contact your Sweet & Maxwell Account Manager
Call 0845 600 9355 (UK)
Email sweetandmaxwell.orders@thomson.com
 

This offer is not available on the Sweet & Maxwell website.


TERMS OF OFFER
Please note: this offer is only valid on selected new journal subscription orders placed on or before 30th April 2011.

The IPKat can't resist pointing out that not all journals have a deterrent pricing policy: his own beloved Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice (JIPLP) carries an annual subscription of just £582 for the print and online subscriptions combined -- and that's not much more than half the discounted cost of the European Intellectual Property Review. If journal articles are to be of value to readers and authors alike, they deserve a wide distribution. High pricing discourages this. Sweet & Maxwell's offer should be welcomed -- but it doesn't ease the burden of renewal next year.

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