|Stornoway Black Pudding,|
as viewed from the inside
IP Draughts. This lovely IP transaction-focused weblog has now passed the milestone of 100,000 viewings. The blog's mastermind, the excellent Mark Anderson, is celebrating by looking to appoint an IT/IP lawyer, probably 2-3 years of post-qualification experience. If you feel that you are that person, contact Mark at Anderson Law LLP. You can find his contact details here.
Martin Husovec has put his draft paper "In Rem Injunctions: Case of Website Blocking" on SSRN so that you can comment on it (you can access it here). According to the abstract:
"The paper discusses a concept of protection of the intellectual property rights by so called 'in rem injunctions' (actio in rem negatoria), i.e. tort-law-independent system of injunctive protection of absolute rights. One type of such injunctions, website blocking, is currently appearing in a spotlight around various European jurisdictions as a consequence of the implementation of Art. 8(3) of the Information Society Directive and Art. 11 of the Enforcement Directive. Website blocking injunctions are in this paper used only as a plastic and perhaps also canonical example of the paradigmatic shift we are facing. The author of this paper maintains that the theoretical framework for these injunctions is not in the tort-law, but in an old Roman law concept of so called 'in rem actions'. Thus the term in rem injunctions is coined to describe this concept. Besides the theoretical foundations, the paper explains how this system fits into the private law regulation of negative externalities of on-line technology and also what are expected dangers of derailing injunctions from the tracks of the tort law. The important question of the justification of an extension of the intellectual property entitlements by in rem injunctions however, which is author's PhD project, is left out from the paper".If you'd like to email Martin with your comments, or just to have a good argument with him -- as some of the folk at INTA did -- you can contact him here. Once again, a big thank-you to Francis Davey, Marks & Clerk, Mike Mireles and the anonymous donor in memory of David Latham, for their generosity in helping Martin attend the INTA Meeting, in which he was a resounding hit.
The Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) described last week's Queen’s Speech, outlining the forthcoming legislative programme of the United Kingdom Parliament, as a “missed opportunity” for the software industry, according to a media release. According to Alex Hilton, FAST's CEO, last week's announcement of a new bill for intellectual property could have brought in much-needed improvements in enforcement operations against intransigent IP infringers. Couching his disappointment in suitably gentlemanly terms, he said:
“While it is fair to say that the IP framework in the UK is one of the best in the world, enforcing the law is an area that needs improvement. We had hoped that this would have been reflected in Her Majesty’s most gracious speech ...”
|Queen Elizabeth II: do her|
ministers care tuppence for
the software sector?
Last week the IPKat posted this piece about trade mark bullies. In this piece he returned to the story of the much-bullied Gus and Inez Bodur, whose plucky defence of their trade marks has cost them dearly. Following that post he received an email from the Bodurs, who wrote:
"Thank you for keeping everyone informed on our dispute and we really appreciate your kind words. You are right, legal aid for small businesses probably wouldn't stop the bullies and it could still be dragged on for years. Intra Presse kept saying they wanted to negotiate over the years, but this never happened. I think it would really help if the parties could get together and try and work things out, so it doesn't go on for years to come. It's such a shame the INTA [seesion on trade mark bullying] was not busy, we would definitely have got up and spoken if we had been there".For academics and conference-goers, trade mark bullying is simply a subject of professional or theoretical interest, part of the social psychology of commercial behaviour in the brand space. But it's important to remember that every act of bullying has a human being at each end of it. How big brand owners behave is not just 'corporate activity', it's rank bad behaviour on the part of someone who should know better -- and anyone who can recall the pain of being bullied in the school playground will understand that the spectators who watch and do nothing when someone is bullied are almost as culpable for their failure to object as are those who do the bullying.