This Kat has also heard from Karen Grill (Patent Watch Online) that she has arranged her collection of over 60 different scam letters in a "visual" format, which she has posted for the delectation of this blog's readers (and others!) here. Adds Karen, "If you have any others or know of other sources, I would be glad to add them to the wall". Adds Karen (whom you can email here):
"I worked at an R&D company where we routinely received these letters addressed to the "Patent Department" or "IP Office". We, of course, ignored them. One day, our accounting department came to us with an invoice and cheque, ready to pay the fee from one of these letters. We were shocked that they had begun sending the letters directly to the "Accounting Department." We were lucky that our accountant checked with us first. But I can imagine other companies easily paying these official looking invoices - and falling victim.
I hope that this display will help lawyers, or more likely, inventors and small businesses avoid becoming victims".A big katpat to Karen for her efforts! Merpel adds, is the fact that most of these letters are in English related to the perception that English-language businesses are more gullible, or do our brothers in France, Spain and beyond suffer from the same problems?
|Europe's trade mark|
practitioners don't need to go
to China to be baffled. They've
just emerged from the EU's
Year of the Rabbit
PLT Notification No. 34. The story runs like this:
"The Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) presents his compliments to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and has the honor to notify the deposit by the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina, on February 9, 2012, of its instrument of accession to the Patent Law Treaty, adopted in Geneva, on June 1, 2000.Oh why can't we can't something a little more cuddly, plus hyperlinks to (i) the Patent Law Treaty and (ii) the list of countries which have signed up for it?
The said Treaty will enter into force, with respect to Bosnia and Herzegovina, on May 9, 2012".
Catching up on their emails, the IPKat and Merpel have just discovered news of yet another juicy trade mark dispute which the German Bundesgerichtshof has decided to refer to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU): it's Case C-12/12, better known to people who can't even remember easy case numbers as Colloseum Holding AG v Levi Strauss & Co. At stake is the deeper meaning of Article 15(1) of Council Regulation 40/94 on the Community trade mark [yes, it was repealed and replaced yonks ago, but it was presumably still in force when this litigation kicked off]: can it be interpreted as meaning that a trade mark which is part of a composite mark and which has become distinctive only as a result of the use of the composite mark can be used to preserve the rights attached to it if the composite mark alone is used. The precise verbal formula, according to the website of the United Kingdom's Intellectual Property Office, runs like this:
"Is Article 15(1) of Regulation ... 40/94 to be interpreted as meaning that:
a trade mark which is part of a composite mark and has become distinctive only as a result of the use of the composite mark can be used in such a way as to preserve the rights attached to it if the composite mark alone is used?
a trade mark is being used in such a way as to preserve the rights attached to it if it is used only together with another mark, the public sees independent signs in the two marks and, in addition, both marks are registered together as a trade mark?".If you either think you know the answer and/or think the United Kingdom should get stuck in and make representations to the CJEU, you can email Carol Jenkins at firstname.lastname@example.org -- but you have to do so before Friday 24 February 2012.
Around the weblogs. The tireless Kingsley Egbuonu, trekking round official IP websites throughout his A to Z tour of Africa on behalf of Afro-IP, has now reached Namibia, from which he has some good news (here). The same blog is conducting a poll as to whether the African IP Summit agenda is lacking a development dimension: you can find the poll here. On IP Draughts, Mark Anderson asks: "When should researchers be allowed to copy each other's work?" Down on IP Finance, Charles Kerrigan strikes a gently optimistic note in discussing prospects for IP security-based media and technology finance here.