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, 14 May 2012

Monday miscellany I

Back from his trip to the International Trademark Association's Meeting last week in Washington DC, this Kat is wasting no time bringing readers back up to speed after what seems like an absolute age without his regular update posts. He had hoped to do plenty of reporting on the event while he was out there, but couldn't get his hotel wifi to work. Just before he left DC he discovered why: it wasn't the fault of his trusty notebook after all, but it turned out that the local workmen had severed the cable to his hotel with their earth-digging equipment.

Can the Kat have his
camera back, please?
Suffice it to say that the Meeting was, as ever, highly stimulating and educative.  His own personal highlights of the trip to the US capital-- apart from the Meet the Bloggers session (can whoever accidentally took his camera please return it?) --  were (i) the professorial and scholarly sessions, which demonstrated both how far academic thought is from practical reality and how great a contribution it can make to it, (ii) the Premier Cercle briefing session at which Miriam Sapiro (Deputy United States Trade Representative) and others spoke frankly about ACTA, national provisions for tackling international infringements and the difficult piggy-in-the-middle position of the computer and communications sectors and (iii) the massed meeting of various LinkedIn and My Powerful Network groups at the Council for Foreign Relations, organised by Alfred Strahlberg, at which a panel of this Kat's friends gave their views on crowding of the trade mark register, based on in-house and private practice experience, anecdote and statistics.


Around the weblogs. Las Marcas en Internet is a neat weblog from the genial Argentine IP lawyer Pablo Palazzi,whom it was this Kat's pleasure to meet at INTA; he's delighted to see this blog, which covers trade mark law, unfair competition, UDRP cases and Google AdWords, and hopes that Spanish-speaking readers will give it their support.  IP Draughts' Mark Anderson asks the important question "Which law should govern my IP contract?" here.  Rachel Montagnon's guest editorial for the Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice (JIPLP) is entitled "Olympic bias": it's reproduced in full on the jiplp weblog here.  If you fancy attending a pharma law conference in the lovely city of Copenhagen this summer, details can be accessed via The SPC Blog.


Reminders. In case you need reminding ...

Art & Artifice is having a meeting on Thursday 24 May in the historical venue of Dr Johnson's House, London (details here). The speakers are described as "lovely"; the organisers are even more so.  There are still a few spaces for this fun event, so if you're planning to attend you'll have to be quick! 
* If you find yourself in Amsterdam on 21 May and you have grown tired of the excellent shopping facilities at Schiphol Airport, why not join the debate on ACTA, organized by the Institute for Information Law at the University of Amsterdam, in conjunction with the School for Audio Engineering? Attendance is free of charge, but registration is necessary. You can get full details here
* The AIPPI's UK Group is getting together on 29 May to discuss plain packaging. Speakers are Christopher Morcom QC (Hogarth Chambers) and Spyros Maniatis (Queen Mary). Merpel observes that the branded tobacco product versus plain packaging debate generally seems to divide along smoking/non-smoking lines rather than looking at the legal issues, though she feels that these should be two distinct debates.  How will the AIPPI handle this? To find out, you'll have to attend. Details from the Group's website here.
* On Friday 15 June you can practise your Spanish and learn a good deal about trade marks in Europe at the MARQUES Meeting with Spanish Community Trade Mark judges.  Details of the programme may be found here and you can register here.

Flower of France.  By UPOV Notification No.113 the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has announced the ratification by the French Government of the 1991 Act of of the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants -- the UPOV Convention -- thus bringing to 70 the number of countries that have signed up. The operative date is 27 May.  Merpel wonders if this is just another ruse to establish even more protection for that ubiquitous plant, the fleur-de-lis, which has haunted English fabric design for longer than she can remember.


Recent publications.  The May 2012 issue of Intellectual Property Magazine has a very pretty cover (right). The content has some interesting features too. Of particular interest is "Is Lex Google the new protective right for newspaper publishers in Germany?" by Martin Gramsch (Simmons & Simmons, Duesseldorf), while Katharine Stephens (Bird & Bird) continues the debate over plain-packaging, the Paris Convention and TRIPS. Not to be confused with the title above, the Intellectual Property Quarterly (IPQ) contains two pieces from Jordan: one, jointly authored by Mohammad Amin Naser and Suhail Haitham Haddadin, is on the public domain and intellectual creations under Islamic Sharia, while the other is Bashar H. Malkawi's account of trade secrets law in Jordan.  Issue 3 of volume 12 of Lawtext Publishing's BioScience Law Review (BSLR) has now hatched out, giving us a good overview of the proposed UK legislative framework for the Patent Box by Mayer Brown International LLP's Sangeeta Puran.

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