For the half-year to 31 December 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie-Andrée Weiss.

Regular round-ups of the previous week's blogposts are kindly compiled by Alberto Bellan.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Monday miscellany

Tuesday's Big Copyright Debate.  We're up to 212 people attending the debate on whether we come to bury copyright or to praise it (details here), which is quite amazing.  If you are attending, please (i) be there on time for a 5pm start -- doors open for registration from 4.30pm; (ii) remember to use the Tudor Street entrance to Frshfields Bruckhaus Deringer's office; (iii) if you suddenly decide you want to come, or have any last-minute questions or problems, can you email Lucy Wymark and let her know, so that a badge can be made up for you? You can copy the IPKat in if you want by emailing him here, but he will be away from his desk for most of the next day and won't be able to do anything useful ...


You know when you've
had too much to drink at
the Hogarth seminar. All
the barristers start to look
like this ...
Last week we reported here on the very exciting seminar which the Trademark Law Institute of the Free University of Amsterdam is running on Thursday 14 July on tomorrow's Court of Justice of the European Union ruling in Case C-324/09 L’Oréal SA and others v eBay International AG and others. This seminar has an all-star which includes the right (Dirk) Visser, not the wrong (in this context: he's a patent expert, Derk).  Little did the Kats appreciate that this coming Wednesday 13 July, virtually at their own front door, their friends at Hogarth Chambers would be addressing the same case in their 10th Anniversary Summer Seminar "Oh What a Tangled Web We Weave -- IP and Privacy in the Digital World."  So if you want to know what Amanda Michaels and Guy Tritton have to say on this controversial decision, contact Catherine Hanley by email here or phone her on 020 74040404.


It's not an intellectual property ruling but a case involving the French monopoly on horse-racing betting.  However, Case C-212/08 Zeturf Ltd v Premier Ministre, seems to cast an interesting light on internet trading. The impression that the Court of Justice gives is that the internet is not a market in itself but a channel -- and therefore, if blocked, an obstacle -- by which a particular activity may be marketed.  This Kat finds himself wondering whether the all-embracing medium of the internet, especially where it is the medium through which a market for online services is served, is blurring the hitherto easy-to-identify distinction between a market and a channel.  Readers' thoughts are welcomed.


Thanks go to everyone who has let the IPKat know about the finally-published 27 January 2011 decision of the Technical Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office in T-1244/07, 1-Click/AMAZON, upholding the decision of the Examining Division, that Amazon's "one-click" method of ordering was devoid of inventive step and that, accordingly, Amazon's application for a European patent for it should be refused.  This application was one of two divisionals. According to the Board of Appeal, the stumbling block here was prior art relating to the use of cookies -- which the US Patent and Trademark Office had not considered in its own re-examination proceedings.


It has been a rare old time for Schütz (UK) Ltd this year.  Rarely in the legal limelight till recently, the company -- which is now indelibly associated in the minds of the great British public with caged bulk containers -- won an exciting patent infringement appeal  against Werit in late March (you can read all about it via Matt the Kat here).  Now, at [2011] EWHC 1712 (Ch), 5 July 2011, Mr Justice Briggs of the Chancery Division (England and Wales) has held that the practice of another company, Delta Containers, of replacing used bottles in Schütz's trade mark protected caged bulk containers with new bottles produced by different manufacturers, then selling those re-bottled containers, infringed Schütz's trade marks and amounted to passing off.  Said Briggs J, Delta's cross-bottling and sale of a Schütz bulk container with someone else's bottle in it infringed the trade marks in relation to both the bottle and to the bulk container as a whole, since the average end-user of a Delta re-bottled bulk container in a Schütz cage was likely to perceive that the Schütz trade marks on the cage were being used in relation to the container as a whole, including the bottle. Delta's various disclaimers didn't let it off the hook: they were ambiguous, lacked prominence and were stuck onwith adhesive labels that could come off. Katnote: Delta earlier sought unsuccessfully to get the trade mark and passing off action stayed pending the patent infringement action against Werit. Mr Justice Kitchin's refusal to stay, which has a handy summary of the long and complex history to this dispute, can be read here.


"Beware of people who dislike cats" (Irish sayng).
On sale from Etsy, along with other super cats, here
If Irish copyright law doesn't get as properly reformed as it ought to be, part of the blame must go to this weblog.  The IPKat's friend, barrister-at-law  Gemma O'Farrell, did tell him to remind everyone that the Irish government was having a consultation or two and that, following a number of requests for an extension of time, the closing date for receipt of submissions has been extended to 5.00pm on Thursday 14 July 2011 (for orphan works) and Friday 29 July 2011 (for InfoSoc Directive 2001 and/or IP Enforcement Directive 2004 issues).  He never quite got round to warning everyone, though.  If you're either Irish or affected by what happens in Ireland, you've not got a second to lose! Consultation details are here.

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