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, 13 February 2012

Monday miscellany

When February comes, the IPKat is always kindly reminded by his readers that World Intellectual Property Day, celebrated each year on 26 April and often for several days before and after, is again on the agenda.  World IP Day, which has been carefully planned to fall on the birthday of Professor Sir Robin Jacob, seeks to celebrate "innovation and creativity and how intellectual property fosters and encourages them" [Merpel notes that WIPO was founded in the 1970s, which makes this august international institution many, many years younger than Sir Robin ...].  According to WIPO,
"The theme for 2012 focuses on Visionary Innovators – individuals whose ingenuity and artistry have broken molds, opened new horizons and made a lasting impact.

You can see the themes from previous years, as well as the related artwork, Director General’s messages and member states’ activities, in the World IP Day archives".
World IP Day now has its own Facebook page.


One of the IPKat's friends, Vittorio Aversano, has emailed him to say that he has been offered the role of creating and managing an intellectual property blog for a Linkiesta,a subscription-driven online newspaper founded in January 2011 (www.linkiesta.com).  Vittorio tells the Kats that he is currently searching for inspiration for a brilliant name for his blog which, he says, is "no easy job".  The blog will focus mainly on design, copyright and trade marks issues.  If you have any suggestions, email the IPKat here with the subject line "Blognaise".  The prize? A pint of Badger at the Old Nick with Vittorio (or a drink courtesy of Vittorio when he is next in your area).


Around the blogs. It's all been happening on The 1709 Blog again.  First a warning, via this post from Eleonora Rosati, of the possible copyright risks if you decide to crowd-source the ideas for your next advertising campaign. On the same blog, if you think the Four Seasons is just an expensive hotel, a fancy piece by Vivaldi or a tasty pizza, check out Ben Challis's post here on the Nevada litigation brought by the band of that name in the wake of the huge success of Jersey Boys.  Over the other side of the world, on the East Coast of Africa, Afro-IP's Kingsley Egbuonu's tour of official IP websites has taken him all the way to Mozambique [Merpel marvels at Mozambique: is it the only country in the world that has (i) both a Z and a Q in its name and (ii) A Kalashnikov rifle on its flag?].  Finally, if you ever thought that the legal position concerning patent term extension in your jurisdiction was confused, spare a thought for your IP colleagues and their clients in Jersey and Guerney, thanks to The SPC Blog here.


Hot on the heels of Cat the Kat's post, "Are all spots the same?: Sainsbury's renames Tiger Bread" (here), on the rebranding of UK supermarket chain's Tiger bread as Giraffe bread after a small child commented that the pattern on the bread's crust (left) looked more like a giraffe than a tiger, the Kats have received news of a spoof item, "Lidl rename cheese ‘yummy moo lumps’ after letter from moron", which you can read on NewsBiscuit here.  It's strong stuff.  A Kat-pat goes to David England for spotting it.


INTIPSA vacancy: are you the person to fill the role?  Yesterday's IP Finance weblog carried details of an advertisement for a new Chief Ooperating Officer (or "coo", to you) for INTIPSA -- the International IP Strategists Association [this piece of information at least puts Merpel's mind at rest: she had wondered what the "N" and the "T" stood for ...].  Since not so many people are yet aware of this body, the IPKat is happy to draw it to his readers' attention: its informative website is worth a visit.


You can't suppress a radish cress.  The IPKat has learned from his friends at the Dutch law firm of Banning that the Court of The Hague gave judgment at the end of January in an exciting patent dispute between Taste of Nature (Koppert Cress) and Cresco on the patentability of a plant (raphanus sativus) which had been obtained by an essential biological process.This was the first time that a Dutch court had ever examined such a case. According to information received:
"Taste of Nature commenced summary proceedings in early December 2011 on the basis that Cresco, by selling its red radish cress (purple radish sprouts), infringed its patent. Taste of Nature’s patent relates to radish sprouts with a specific level of anthocyanins (antioxidants), obtained by essentially biological methods such as crossing, selecting and breeding. The latter are excluded from patentability as defined by the European Patent Office in the so-called Tomato and Broccoli cases (G2/07 and G1/08) [on which see the IPKat's posts here and here]. 
The important ethical question in this matter (as also seen in the Tomato and Broccoli cases) is the extent to which patent protection can be obtained on a plant or plant material if the process for obtaining this plant or material is barred from patentability. Given that patent law states that products obtained by a protected method also fall under the scope of that protection, this would indicate the existence of an important loophole in the law. 
According to the Court, allowing the protection of a plant obtained solely by a non-patentable, essentially biological method is contrary to the European Patent Convention. Tastes of Nature’s claims were therefore dismissed. 
Cresco has now decided to start nullity proceedings, which will commence this spring". 
The IPKat thanks the crew at Banning for preparing an English translation of the Court's judgment.

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