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, 11 February 2013

Monday miscellany

Have you checked the IPKat's Forthcoming Events page recently? There are loads of conferences, seminars, lectures and pleasant encounters ahead. Do take a look!


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"The Strange World of IP Consents", the IPKat's seminar next Tuesday, 19 February featuring Neil J. Wilkof and Mark Anderson and hosted in the London office of Olswang LLP, is totally booked up and there'n now quite a waiting list.  If you have registered for this exciting prospect but find that you can't attend, do please email the Kat here and let him know so that one of the good, patient folk who live on the waiting list can attend in your place.

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The results of the IPKat's IP Puns competition will be posted later this week.  The IPKat planned to have them posted already, but has been deluged by incoming mail again. Sorry!

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Around the weblogs. It is only this week that the IPKat has discovered Lady Trademark, this being the work of Spanish blogger Carolina Sanchez: those who are more linguistically talented may appreciate its nuances more than this Kat, who is obliged to use the services of an online translator.  Not far from Spain is Portugal, which recently featured on the MARQUES Class 46 weblog when Pedro Malaquias reported on a keenly-fought dispute over possession of the words 'The National Liquor'.  The jiplp weblog offers a Current Intelligence note on the Canadian patent litigation that resulted in the cancellation of the Viagra patent for insufficiency. Kingsley Egbuonu's return to Africa's official IP websites for Afro-IP takes him back to Mali, while Ron Coleman's Likelihood of Confusion takes us on a trip to a crazy world -- this one -- in which it is possible to contemplate the existence of a brand that its owner doesn't even want people to mention.  Incidentally, if you have loads of time and nothing to do, you might want to check out the Intellogist's list of IP blogs here.  Even though it's missing some that are regularly mentioned here (Class 46, Class 99, Art & Artifice ...), it's a fine compendium.


Is the IPKat a legal authority?  From our much-admired former guest Kat and respected blogger Norman Siebrasse comes news that the IPKat has been judicially cited by Hughes J of the Federal Court of Canada in Pfizer Canada Inc v Pharmascience Inc 2013 FC 120 at paragraph 75, for the Kat's explanation of the "Angora cat" approach to claim construction (the cited url is not exactly right -- it says "com-uk" rather than "co.uk"). Adds Norman, "The decision itself is under the our pharmaceutical patent linkage regime, and concerns pregabalin/LYRICA".  You can read his take on it here.  Our esteemed colleague asks: " Is this the first time the Kat has been judicially cited?"  The answer is "no", it's the third time, following earlier cites in South Africa and Finland.  That means that the IPKat has been cited in three continents ...


Saints and sinners? From Gill Grassie (Brodies LLP) comes news, via the Scotsman, of an unseemly spat over a literally iconic name, together with what looks like a workable and mutually beneficial outcome:
The original St Andrew
"For fans of golf the name "St Andrews" will be a well known one and to some will regard it as 'the home of golf' -- but should that name be owned by any one party as a trade mark? That is the issue which appears to have arisen in the small Fife town between St Andrews Links Limited and a local business, St Andrews Golf Company [note the absence of apostrophes, says this Kat. St Andrews is the correct spelling].

St Andrews Links Limited is a trust which manages the seven golf courses in the town, including the Old Course. It seems to have objected to applications made for registered trade marks by St Andrews Golf Company Limited, which is local to St Andrews, and makes high quality golf clubs. It has been doing so for over 130 years.

Clearly there is huge value in the St Andrews name when used as a brand but, given that it is descriptive and/or an indication of geographic origin, is there a case here for a Certification Mark and/or PGI/PDO? The trust may well operate its existing rights in the name in the interests of the town's community and aim to maintain the integrity of the brand, but the existence of a St Andrews certification mark might also serve that purpose".

Patents County Court update.  The IPKat commented recently on the sudden and unexpected news that the cheap (especially if someone else is paying) and cheerful (if you're successful) Patents County Court for England and Wales (PCC) was about to be absorbed into the never-cheap-and-rarely-cheerful High Court.  Since then the Kat has been reassured by his friend and colleague Michael Burdon (Olswang LLP) that the PCC is destined to perform a specialist function within the Chancery Division, and that, receiving legislative approval this summer via the Crime and Courts Bill, it would be operating in its new guise by the Michaelmas term in 2013 -- not that this is guaranteed.  Watch this space for further information ...

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