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.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Wednesday whimsies

"Future Plans". The impending seminar organised for MARQUES by its Class 46 weblog on the notorious Max Planck Study commissioned by the European Commission is turning into a triumph for marketing via the social media. The seminar, ""Future Plans: next steps for trade marks in Europe", was launched only mid-day yesterday, but now has more than 60 people registered to attend on the afternoon of Tuesday 5 April at the London office of law firm Simmons & Simmons.  While the final programme is yet to be confirmed, it is known that it will include IPKat blogmeister Jeremy Phillips (who is a long-time MARQUES supporter and helped set up Class 46), leading European trade mark counsel Michael Edenborough QC, Professor Spyros Maniatis, French practitioner Jean-Michel Flu, trade mark attorney Richard Ashmead, Appointed Person and solicitor Anna Carboni, Birgit Clark (who needs no introduction to readers of this blog!) and serial MARQUES activists Adrian Smith and David Stone.  The event is free and will carry CPD points.  See you there?


Scams and misleading demands.   A revised version of the little guide put together by MARQUES Class 46, listing the various websites that provide useful information about businesses that try to extract money from intellectual property proprietors and applicants for rights, is now available here.  It lists 14 official sites and a further four from organisations and businesses.  The compiler is very keen to add more countries to the list (he has now been told that similar 'warning' sites exist via the Czech and Slovak intellectual property offices -- but there seem to be hundreds of countries that offer neither information nor guidance to people who receive horrendously official-looking demands of fees and who will pay up unless they know they don't have to.  An example of the sort of thing we're talking about can be seen on this site which the IPKat received from his friend Sophie Lachowsky (Arnold & Porter) only this morning.  If your client was directed to a site calling itself Intellectual Property Agency and looking like this, bearing a "scales of justice" logo, would he or she not think it was official?


"What happens to works when they fall into the public domain?"  The 1709 Blog hosts Professor Paul J. Heald next Wednesday, 23 March, at the London office of Olswang LLP.  Details of the seminar, which is free, together with an 'appetiser' from Paul himself, can be found here.  23 folk have already signed up, which means that the critical mass for a decent reception has been achieved in comfort.  Do join us!



The IPKat was impressed to receive this week a media release headed "IPO Green Channel nominated for Climate Week Award".  It told him that the United Kingdom's Intellectual Property Office is in the running for a Climate Week Award for fast-tracking green patent applications.  The Kat was a little less impressed when he discovered that the nomination was for the "Best Initiative by a Government or Statutory Body", since he doesn't think there's much competition from most of the public sector bodies he has to deal with. Anyway, the winner will be announced on 21 March at the official Climate Week launch event. If you were wondering about the Green Channel,
"The Green Channel was launched in May 2009. The scheme allows applicants to request fast-track processing for any patent where the invention has an environmental benefit. Since its launch, the IPO has accelerated over 350 applications through the scheme in technologies such as wind, solar and hydro power, as well as energy saving devices and vehicles. 
The aim of the Green Channel is to help businesses get environmentally-sound technologies into the market place quickly by ensuring that they do not face undue delays in gaining patent protection. So far 74 patents have been granted under this scheme, in an average time of 8 months from acceleration request to grant. It usually takes an average of 2-3 years to grant a patent in the UK".
Merpel adds: Intellectual Property Minister Baroness Wilcox said something which, in the tradition of IPO press releases quoting IP ministers over the past few years, wasn't worth repeating on this weblog. Says the Kat, if this happens again, this blog will supply its own ministerial quote, much more interesting and enjoyable quote, which will certainly draw far more attention to the Minister than the usual, cautiously banal fare.



Around the blogs. This week PatLit posts the twentieth in its series of PCC Pages, reviewing and explaining the ins and outs of low-cost litigation in England and Wales via the Patents County Court. This week's episode deals with one of the most expensive and often unsatisfactory aspects of any IP litigation, anywhere: expert evidence [note for all those who are baffled by references to the PCC Pages -- a consolidated list of all twenty will soon be posted on the PatLit weblog; the Kat will tell you when this has happened].  The latest offering from the jiplp weblog, which offers free extracts from the Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice (JIPLP), is this Current Intelligence note by editorial board member Charles Macedo on patent eligibility in the US and the protection of abstract ideas, arising from Research Corporation Technologies Inc v Microsoft Corp.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Considering that Baroness Wilcox is prepared to do this http://www.flickr.com/photos/bisgovuk/4770665751/ it seems a bit churlish to complain that her quotes are a bit banal...

Regarding the Intellectual Property Agency, yes, the name and logo do look a bit naughty. Though to be fair, clicking on "about us" seems to give a clear enough explanation. Interesting, the site is blocked from my work on the grounds it is a "disease vector"!

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