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, 26 September 2011

Monday miscellany

Friday came and went -- and the IPKat was too busy chasing his tail to notice that he hadn't posted his usual reminder to check the Forthcoming Events page. There are plenty of seminars, events, conferences and other social gatherings listed, so do take a look!


Around the weblogs.  First, congratulations to IP Finance on securing its 1,000th email subscriber! Now for the serious stuff. This week's A to Z tour of official African intellectual property websites takes Afro Leo to the Republic of Djibouti, where online is evidently not the place to be.  New PatLit blogger Michael Thesen has got off to a roaring start with two excellent posts on calculation of damages via the licence analogy and the private and social costs of patent trolls.  Online publication of next month's issue of the Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice is the excuse for airing the editorial on jiplp: it's "L'Oréal, eBay and tyranny of the unknown". 1709 Blog's Ben Challis reviews some big issues relating to the new Facebook Music service here. IPKat blogger Jeremy's soulmates in pedantry on IP Draughts wax lyrical on the problems of using "will" or "shall" in contracts, many of which can be cured by using "must".


Feeling FRANDly?  The Oxford University Press quarterly Journal of Competition Law & Economics (JCLE) is something that catches this Kat's attention from time to time. Every so often it features an article that is of great interest to the IP community. One such article in the current issue (vol.7, no.3) is "Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) Terms: a Challenge for the Competition Authorities" by Mario Mariniello (a member of DG Competition's team). According to the abstract,
"Standards contribute to increase welfare to the extent that they reduce production costs and increase products' value to consumers. The adoption of a standard can, however, raise competition concerns. After the adoption of the standard, the chosen technology may lack effective substitutes. The owner of an intellectual property (IP) right essential to the technology may indeed use the additional market power that may be gained through standardization (competitors being absent ex-post) to charge higher prices to “locked-in” licensees. To mitigate such a hold-up risk, standard setting organizations usually require patent holders to disclose their relevant IP rights ex-ante and/or to commit to license IP on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms. This article suggests a methodology to assess whether FRAND commitments are violated, from a competition perspective. The proposed methodology extends the framework proposed by Cecilio Madero and Nicholas Banasevic by outlining four necessary conditions for an ex-post licensing behaviour to be considered anticompetitive, in violation of FRAND commitments".
There's no algebra and plenty for IP strategists to think about, which makes a pleasant change from some law-and-economics pieces this Kat has unsuccessfully sought to read in recent years.


ICANN has now launched a micro website for new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs), which you can access here, and is also promoting a six-minute video which you can view here. ICANN President and Chief Executive Officer Rod Beckstrom says it will be “the definitive source for any and all information relating to the gTLD program, for applicants, potential applicants or simply the curious”.  If any domain-name savvy reader would like to put this definitive source through its paces and review it for this weblog, this Kat would be happy to hear from that good soul.


Better late than never, says the IPKat [and better early than late, says the ever-realistic Merpel]. On 29 July of this year the IPKat posted this report ("When is a secret not a secret?") on the decision of Mr Justice Arnold in LG Electronics Inc v Sony Europe Ltd, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc and Sony Corporation. In so doing, the Kat lamented that the decision, which looked like an interesting one, had not yet been posted on BAILII. Well, it has now and you can read it here, thanks to a tip-off from one of the Kat's most observant friends.

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