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.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Wednesday whimsies

Thanks to the zeal of the UK's Intellectual Property Office (IPO) this Kat has just learned of a Belgian dispute which is now coming before the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) for a preliminary ruling.  It's Case C-657/11 Belgian Electronic Sorting Technology (BEST) v Bert Peelaers and Visys NV.  The question on which the  Hof van Cassatie van Belgie seeks guidance is this:
"Is the term ‘advertising’ in Article 2 of Council Directive 84/450 ... relating to the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States concerning misleading advertising and in Article 2 of Directive 2006/114 ... concerning misleading and comparative advertising to be interpreted as encompassing, on the one hand, the registration and use of a domain name and, on the other, the use of metatags in a website’s metadata?"
The Kat doesn't know the factual background to this dispute and hopes that one of his Belgian readers will let him know.  Merpel bets the CJEU will rule that (i) the registration of a domain name is not advertising; (ii) the use of a domain name may or may not be, and that this is a question for the national court to decide on the facts before it; (iii) the use of a metatag is not advertising within the meaning of the Directives concerned; (iv) the entrails of Google France will be dragged before the Advocate General and the CJEU, where they will be carefully examined for evidence as to what that court might have been thinking of back in March 2010.

If you would like to advise the IPO a to how it should advise the UK government to advise the CJEU, just email policy@ipo.gsi.gov.uk before next Thursday, 16 February 2012, and tell them the Kat sent you.


Advocate General Sharpston is
coming to London on a flying visit
Still on the subject of things with a European flavour, one lady who probably knows the answer to the question posed above is the excellent Eleanor Sharpston QC (Advocate General, CJEU). On 1 March 2012 she is forsaking the Dynamic Duchy in order to travel to London and speak on the topic of "European Competition Law, Fundamental Rights and the Luxembourg (EU) Courts". The reason for her decision to cross the Channel is her determination to participate in the Competition Law Association's 14th Annual Burrell Lecture. Details are available here so, if ever you have had the ambition to give an Advocate General your opinion rather than having to read through pages and pages of theirs, do attend!


Around the weblogs.  First, congratulations to the Art & Artifice weblog -- which is currently planning its first event.  A&A has just welcomed its 300th email subscriber, just a little over a year since its launch.  Meanwhile, there's a most entertaining post on PatLit from Michael Thesen on the introduction of electronic document-sharing facilities in the German Bundespatentgericht (Federal Patent Court). On the MARQUES Class 46 blog, Laetitia Lagarde explains the General Court's take on the distinctiveness of elephants.  Oh, and Ben Challis has directed 1709 Blog readers to the EFF's amazing "Dear Hollywood" letter from "The Internet", which has a guaranteed wind-up value ...


Readers of The 1709 Blog will know that it has a seminar coming up on Tuesday 3 April 2012.  The seminar has a speaker, a subject and a time (William Patry, "How to Fix Copyright" and breakfast, 8.30am to 10am).  What it doesn't yet have is a venue. An appeal to 1709 Blog readers didn't solve the problem so the IPKat is going to have a try.  He says:
"If you wish to offer your premises, together with a breakfast buffet spread, for a bunch of copyright enthusiasts, in return for the eternal gratitude of the 1709 Blog team and even some half-decent publicity, please email the IPKat here and let him know".

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