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, 3 October 2011

Monday miscellany

Daniels in the Lions' Den: the Swedish dimension.  Last week, in "Daniels in the Lions' Den", the IPKat reported on the Warsaw conference on the Unified Patent Court. He roared against the apparent deafness or indifference of the European Union's movers and shakers to the entreaties of most of Europe's patent experts that they should stop steamrollering the current proposals for a Draft Unified Patent Court for at least as long as it takes to listen to them and think twice as to whether the proposal is fit for purpose.  Reference was made in passing to a paper from Sweden -- a response to the consultation paper from the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise to the Swedish Ministry of Justice -- which also raised anxieties concerning the Draft.  The IPKat has now been supplied with the document in question, which you can read, in English translation, here.


Around the weblogs.  PatLit hosts a guest post from Patents County Court's Judge Birss QC on the first full year of the new rules regime. Afro-IP's A to Z of official intellectual property websites has now progressed to "E", where Kingsley Egbuonu finds some evidence of real online activity in Egypt. Almost absurdly and against all rational expectation, that niche-est of IP blogs, The SPC Blog, which carries data and comment only on supplementary protection certificates and patent term extensions, has just reached the 1,200 subscriber mark. IP Draughts carries a well-aimed attack on "muppetry" in a powerful piece on negotiating licences and other transactions on the back of documentary templates that are not properly understood.


Last week's AIPPI UK event, kindly hosted in the smart new London office of Taylor Wessing, was entitled "Are you sitting comfortably?"  The subject was the this year (so far) in turbulent perspective. The speaker was Daniel Alexander QC. Taking notes for the IPKat was TW trainee Till Vere-Hodge, who takes up the tale:
Daniel Alexander QC
"This event was a swift run-through session touching on the main IP cases in the UK and European courts in an eventful year 2011. Such an ambitious task necessitated a "legal wizard and master raconteur" and Daniel Alexander QC duly obliged, noting at the beginning of his talk that its title "Are you sitting comfortably?" was designed to reflect a fascinating 2011 -- and not that he was bent on sending the audience to sleep.

Patent cases. Having briefly summarised Ranbaxy v AstraZeneca, Datacard Corporation v Eagle and Gedeon Richter v Bayer Schering Pharma AG, Mr Alexander stressed that the prior art status of commonly accessible documents marked confidential in LG Electronics v Sony was yet to be conclusively determined – "watch this space". In addition, Mr Alexander talked the packed auditorium through some interesting procedural decisions, such as Virgin Atlantic v Delta Air on summary judgment, Cephalon v Orchid on interim injunctions or MedImmune v Novartis on expert evidence.

Copyright and Trade Marks. In relation to copyright, the speaker focussed on copyright in news headlines (Newspaper Licensing Agency v Meltwater) and issues of jurisdiction, while the trade marks cases that drew his attention included matters of infringement (32Red), keyword advertising (L’Oréal) and territorial scope of relief (DHL).

Q and A session. Despite the invitation to sit comfortably, the audience showed substantial interest in the topics mentioned above -- it being particularly intrigued by the IPKat's threat to "European and judicial serenity"".

Well done! The IPKat has in the past been critical of the Hungarian AIPPI Group for its apparent reluctance to publish its annual Proceedings in a web-friendly, user-friendly format.  He has now learned, from his friend József Tálas (Sar & Partners), that Volume 36 of the Proceedings of the Hungarian Group has been placed online. Readers can check the Proceedings out for themselves here on this handsome pdf; they can peruse the contents at their leisure, or go on word-searches for their favourite topics. As has been the case in recent years, the English version has been revised to a thoroughly acceptable standard.  This Kat hopes his readers will take a look for themselves -- and will encourage our Hungarian friends and colleagues to make haste and get the earlier volumes of the Proceedings online too, where everyone can read them.


Looking for a hand-out?  A media release from the UK's Department for Business, Innovation and Skills announces this year's Fast Forward Competition, which encourages Higher Education Institutions and Public Sector Research Establishments to work together with businesses and local communities to share research, innovation and intellectual property:
"The aim is to invest in research and knowledge transfer projects that have the potential to create new companies or services which benefit both the UK economy and society. 
A total prize fund of £760,000 has been allocated. Applicants can bid for funding ranging from £10,000 to £100,000 for proposals that will improve the way in which their intellectual property and knowledge exchange is managed".
One of the previous winners, The University of Nottingham, is working with the Design Council to develop a national programme to help universities use design to commercialise technology and other intellectual property. They jointly won the top Fast Forward grant of £100,000. The closing date for competition proposals to be received is 30 December 2011 and the application details can be found here.  This Kat is generally very sceptical about the value of competitions like these. Prove him wrong and do something useful!

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