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.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

European trade marks: a house built of Plancks?

Any email from the IPKat's friend Professor Doctor Alexander von Mühlendahl (at present a Rechtsanwalt with the leading German IP practice of Bardehle Pagenberg but formerly the physical manifestation of all that was lawful in Community trade mark practice) always generates a frisson of excitement in this Kat's inbox. Whether it is merely a pleasant greeting from across the Continent, a scholarly emendation of real or imagined errors in a recent blogpost or a triumphalist missive (as this Kat received after the Court of Justice gave its decision in Case C-191/01 P OHIM v Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company (DOUBLEMINT) [see note below]), an email from the good Herr Doktor is always opened with care -- and read with even more care. Anyway, this latest email reads as follows:

"While we are waiting for the Commission to present its proposals for the revision or reform of European trade mark law, you will recall that the Munich Max Planck Institute, having been commissioned by the European Commission to make a “Study” of the European trade mark system, presented its Report to the Commission and published the Study on its website [noted by the IPKat here]. That happened in March 2011. The Institute also went beyond the original mandate [how very European, murmurs Merpel] and prepared actual legislative proposals transforming the recommendations of its Study into texts for the Trade Mark Directive and the Community Trade Mark Regulation. In the meantime, these proposals have been updated and integrated into a synoptical presentation of Directive and Regulation, which allows readers to see old and new (proposed texts) at the same time [how very efficient, Merpel adds]. These texts have also been “linked” to the Study, which permits users not only to read the proposed texts, but also to understand the background for the proposals. 
Here is the link to the “top” page of the Institute’s presentation of the Study. That top page offers links to the synopses ... [nice comments about the IPKat deleted in the interests of modesty, humility and honesty]". 
The IPKat is as impressed as Merpel with the smooth and elegant efficiency of this operation and hopes that this method of presenting legislative reform proposals will at least in part replace the currently popular methods that involve shouting at people and calling them names if they disagree with you. This is of course without prejudice to the proposals themselves, which will now be scrutinised and analysed at a micro-level by all good lawyers, litigants, lobbyists and their uncles and aunts until the Commission declares that the proposals were their own idea in the first place and their enactment is assured in exchange for a fresh EU deal on North Sea herring.

Katfriends Annette Kur and Roland Knaak (Max-Planckers with impeccable academic pedigrees), the named authors of the Study, deserve our admiration for all their hard work. Someone else was working too, thinks Merpel, who suspects that she has found traces of Doktor A's fingerprints on her download ...

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Note: with the passage of time, this Kat's recall of the message he received has lost some of its clarity: it was either to the effect of "so what do you think of your precious decision in BABY-DRY now?" or it was a witty suggestion as to where this Kat could stick his precious BABY-DRY/

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