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, 10 October 2011

Monday miscellany

Can you solve the problem of the
SSS? If so, you can win a prize dinner
(see below for details)
Court of Justice references and the SSS.  "We can now confirm that the deadline to submit comments on Case C- 442/11 Novartis AG v Actavis UK Limited is 14 October 2011" writes the UK Intellectual Property Office, which adds "If you would like to comment on this case please e-mail policy@ipo.gsi.gov.uk before 14 October 2011".  This case involves supplementary protection certificates for pharmaceutical patents.  This confirmation arrived at 15.33pm on a Friday afternoon, when most right-minded IP folk are already contemplating their weekend fun and practising various work avoidance rituals on their employers' computers, which means that there are only effectively four days in which to respond to the following questions:
"Where a supplementary protection certificate has been granted for a product as defined by Regulation 469/2009 for an active ingredient, are the rights conferred by that certificate pursuant to Article 5 of the Regulation in respect of the subject matter as defined in Article 4 of the Regulation Infringed: 
i. by a medicinal product that contains that active ingredient (in this case valsartan) in combination with one or more other active ingredients (in this case hydrochlorothiazide); or 
ii. only by a medicinal product that contains that active ingredient (in this case valsartan) as the sole active ingredient?"
However, all readers of The SPC Blog should have been alerted to the existence by now since, on 16 September and following a helpful prompt from the IPO itself, that blog published two posts.  The first asked if anyone knew about this 'mystery case'; the second, later that same day, posted all the necessary information about it, thanks to Brian Cordery (Bristows).  The IPKat thanks the IPO for having at least given interested parties a chance to prepare for the SSS ("sudden summons to submit").  That's not to say that the problem of over-short [Merpel prefers under-long] response periods has been solved -- but at has at least been ameliorated.  This Kat's generous offer of a decent meal to whoever does solve it is still on the table.


Calling all economists: a follow-up.  In his initial post on Wednesday, this Kat speculated about the apparent monopoly of the economics of IP by (admittedly excellent and informative) economists from the United States. He has received, and continues to receive, responses from non-US economists. Some have been supportive, others harshly critical. The Kat is currently in correspondence with a number of economists as well as with one publisher which is interested in promoting the profile of European IP economists.  Incidentally, while Google "hits" are no real indication of influence, academic worth, professional integrity or anything else, searches under the names of the US IP economists mentioned in the original post revealed that none of them scored less than 100,000 hits, while of the five European economists whose names were mentioned on two or more occasions by email correspondents as being influential, the one whose name came up most often -- Dietmar Harhoff -- scored 36,200 hits (by way of comparison, a search for Merpel, whose sole contribution to IP is that of a fictional cat, scores 35,000). All this supports the Kat's contention that the work of European IP economists is not being picked up and discussed outside their immediate environment in the way that the work of 'normative' US IP economists is devoured by readers, libraries and publishers in the rest of the world.


Around the weblogs. Art & Artifice hosts two guest posts from art-historian-turned-lawyer Elizabeth Emerson, here and here. The 1709 Blog extols the virtues of Andreas Rahmatian's new book and trumpets the existence of this year's Music and IP conference here; also trumpeted is a visit to Glasgow by the legendary Professor Peter Jaszi to inaugurate a series of Conversations on Copyright.  David Musker gives his own design-oriented slant to the General Court's ruling in Case T-508/08 Bang & Olufsen on the Class 99 weblog.  Meanwhile Deborah Sweeney (CEO of MyCorporation.com), writing for IP Finance, takes a rosy view of the American Invents Act for small businesses which, this Kat suspects, will not be shared by all that blog's US readers. Finally, let's not forget Kingsley Egbuonu's long alphabetical trek through Africa's official IP websites on behalf of Afro-IP, which takes him, fruitlessly, to Equatorial Guinea.


Open Sourcerers are back!  A few days ago, when reviewing a recent legal ruling on a computer-implemented patent, the IPKat was asking what had happened to all those folk who preach the commercial, legal and ethical values of Open Source.  Now he knows: they're here -- or at least some of them are -- with a brand new book which you can download at no cost.  It's called The International Free and Open Source Software Law Book and, if you don't want it free you can purchase it in traditional book form from Open Source Press here.  There's a country-by-country cast of authors which has some contributors of notable pedigree, not the least of whom is the IPKat's Polish friend, colleague and enthusiast Tomasz Rychlicki. The Kat will take the free option but hopes the publishers will remember to send JIPLP a hardback copy for review.

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