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, 25 March 2013

Monday miscellany I

What with seasonal holidays, the Fordham IP Conference and the OHIM Community Designs Tenth Anniversary Conference, IPKat team member Jeremy is going to be in short supply for regular blogging purposes between now and 10th April.  Fortunately the blog team is in good shape and service to the IP community should continue as usual.  Equally fortunately, many of the world's most active courts and legislatures are taking a break too.

Anyway, if you have any news and views for Jeremy while he is on his travels, do feel free to email him -- but please forgive him if he takes longer to reply than is usually the case, since he will be online a lot less often than usual between now and then.


Moderated comments and censorship.  Like many other blogs, the IPKat allows comments but moderates them, allowing those that appear to be genuine while blocking those that do not enrich the reader's understanding of the issues we discuss.  If we did not do this, the comments under each blogpost would soon be filled with advertisements for real estate, weight loss, model kits, fake luxury products, sex toys and prescription-only medicines from Canada, not to mention some feeble attempts at search engine optimisation. Rarely does this blog interfere with other posts, but recently we received some unpleasant, persistent and anonymous criticism of a member of the blog team.  I then added this note to the original blog:
I am not going to accept any more spiteful and mean-spirited anonymous comments about the function of this blog in drawing the early attention of readers to the publication of cases which members of the blogging team may not yet have had the time or the opportunity to read. Will any reader who wishes to continue this line of commenting please give a verifiable name.
To this, the anonymous blogger sought to post the following response:
Luckily, Chinese dissidents, Female Afghan schoolchildren and those reporting on the deaths of their families in Syria, don't submit their anonymous reports via this website.

Still, if what they had to say was of importance, I'm sure they'd leave their name and address. Censorship exists for the good of the people! As long as those people are "of the establishment". How does the ditty go? "If you like a lot of one-sided comments on your blog posts, join our club"?
If any reader of this blog seriously believes that attempts to post anonymous carping and unmerited criticism of one of our blog team should be allowed, I'd be grateful to hear from them and to find out precisely why.  Likewise, I'd like to hear from anyone who seriously believes that asking the author of such attacks on any blogger to identify himself when making criticisms is an any sense to be equated with the dreadful position of Chinese dissidents, Female Afghan schoolchildren and those reporting on the deaths of their families in Syria.  Finally, here's a message to the anonymous critic: you are perfectly free to post whatever you want, for anyone to read, and to remain as anonymous as you want: all you have to do is  create your own weblog for the purpose.


It's all in French, but it looks jolly relevant. "Chers amis, J'ai le plaisir de vous annoncer la parution de Droit de la propriété intellectuelle, aux éditions PUF". So says Laure Marino, here. Laure, who is also something of an IP/IT law blogger, explains about her book:
Les diverses branches du droit de la propriété intellectuelle sont traditionnellement étudiées séparément : droit d’auteur, brevets, marques, etc. Les importantes différences d’une branche à l’autre le justifient pleinement et c’est pourquoi la seconde partie de cet ouvrage présente, les unes après les autres, toutes les propriétés intellectuelles. 
Pour autant, il existe suffisamment de traits communs aux diverses propriétés intellectuelles pour nous inciter à les examiner ensemble. C’est l’objet de la première partie dont l’approche transversale conduit à dégager les grandes lignes : elle révèle un tronc commun qui traduit l’unité de la matière et permet de mieux en comprendre l’esprit. 
Sur le fond, le manuel expose le droit interne, le droit de l’Union européenne et le droit international de la propriété intellectuelle, et rend compte des évolutions les plus récentes. Sur la forme, il est clair, concis et agréable à lire, afin que le lecteur puisse aisément découvrir et mieux apprendre cette matière passionnante, en la comprenant bien.

So, if you are fed up with the usual Anglo-oriented commentaries, why not try something deliciously Gallic for a change?
 

Dutifully attending a certain other event last Thursday, a number of Kats past and present missed the pre-International Trademark Meeting Meeting which is traditionally held annually in London. However, that event generated its own narrative, which runs as follows:
"“The Pre-INTA reception for Londoners hosted by Rouse at Searcy’s Champagne Bar turned out to be a buzzing event despite the clashes with Professor Sir Robin Jacobs’s inaugural lecture at UCL, the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys' gala dinner not to mention the Archbishop of Canterbury’s enthronement. The star attraction was newly-elected INTA President, Toe Su Aung, General Counsel at BAT. Although Toe Su has been based in the UK for many years, Karen Fong, partner at Rouse was quick to claim Toe Su for Singapore where they both originated and attended university together. Toe Su, who has the distinction of being the first INTA president from Asia, swiftly pointed out that she saw her presidency as representing all those in the UK as well and encouraged the IP community -- and all those interested in IP issues -- to engage and collaborate with her and INTA to raise the issues that are important to them.

Toe Su gave a rousing speech, exhorting all those who work in the field of IP to be better prepared to defend the important purpose served by intellectual property laws: for a long time IP professionals have been busy talking about how important and valuable an asset IP is to businesses -- but more focus is now needed on defending the merits of IP protection in the face of current challenges.

She also spoke about how Governments are becoming increasingly interested in IP and indeed many delegates attending this year’s conference in Dallas will be from various government agencies around the world. Toe Su and INTA were involved in assisting Myanmar in drafting its very first piece of IP legislation, which is not only a landmark event but was extra special for Toe Su herself who has Burmese roots.

Toe Su spoke passionately and with enthusiasm and left delegates feeling inspired about her term as INTA President and looking forward to a great conference in Dallas"

Are you in Ireland on 16 April, or do you fancy being there? If so, there's a conference coming up, under the very Irish auspices of the country's Law Society. What might you expect? According to the organisers:
During the morning session, the speakers will consider the impact on industry, the economy and the legal profession of the EU proposals to establish a Unified Patent Court. An agreement to form the EU Unified Patent Court was signed by the Government in February. If the agreement is ratified, which is likely, the concern is that Ireland will become irrelevant in patent litigation terms and the consequences are likely to be detrimental to industry, the economy and the legal profession and will have a negative effect on investment in Ireland and Ireland’s endeavours to brand itself as a knowledge economy [Merpel wonders: if this candid assessment of Ireland's prospects is accurate, how many other countries can be said to be in the same position?]. In addition, the transfer of litigation from the Irish Courts to courts in Munich, Paris and London will have constitutional implications, necessitating a referendum scheduled to take place later this year.

The afternoon sessions will focus on copyright and trade marks. During the copyright session, Jeremy Phillips [speaking in favour of extending permitted uses] and Professor Robert Clark [arguing for a more restrictive approach] will present both sides of the argument to limit copyright protection in the information age by the possible introduction of a US style doctrine of “fair use” instead of the existing “by exception” approach of fair dealing [though it's only a debate, and each might just have well been arguing the other side ...]. The final session on trade marks will look at the impact of the proposed private member’s bill before the Dáil concerning plain packing in the tobacco industry and the possible knock-on effects for other industry sectors and the implications for trade mark law and for brand owners. Confirmed speakers include representatives from industry as well as IP lawyers from Ireland and the UK. This conference aims to encourage discussion and open up the debate on these critical topics.
More information about this programme can be found here.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is it still possible to post a comment anonymously?

Anonymous said...

Re "Censored". Well said, Jeremy. Those issues are undoubtedly relevant and important, but not on a forum for IP discussion. And neither has personal carping and sniping any place in a reasoned discussion. Let them start their own forum - and then see how long it lasts...

Jeremy said...

To anonymous 09:24 -- yes, it's certainly possible to continue to post anonymously, but not if the person is just using the facility as a means of abusing or insulting members of the blog team.

todd glassey said...

J - I think its important to be able to tie words to people. Therefore I while I appreciate the anonymous value I think people should stand behind what they say.

That said - as the co-victim of the largest IP fraud in the history of the world - I wanted to let the world know its time to clean the IP Kittylitter...

And FWIW this Kat plans on making that happen globally.

Todd//
tglassey AT earthlink dot net

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