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.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Friday fantasies

The US Anti-Troll Squad prepares for action
The Adventures of Intellectual Ventures. A katpat goes to Ross Richards for forwarding this link to the news that Intellectual Ventures (that tantalising is-it-or-isn;t-it-a-troll enterprise that always does things differently), has decided once again to do things its own way.  Rather than chasing small, vulnerable companies for patent infringement and squeezing royalties of them, IV has gone where the money is by choosing to sue banks instead.  Connoisseurs of patent litigation may be in for a treat, since neither IV nor the banks are conspicuously short of funds and there are likely to be colossal sums of money at stake whatever happens.



New blog on the block. The IPKat has received news of a new intellectual property blog, IP Soundings, authored by Arent Fox partners David Gryce and James Davis. This blog seeks to highlight ways brand owners can protect themselves from cybersquatters: you can find it here.



Certificates were so much more
fun in the good old days ...
All change at WIPO.  The IPKat has learned from his dear Bulgarian friend Ventsi Stoilov (katpat!) that the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is to change the layout of the certificate of registration of international trade marks. This may not seem earth-shattering news, but since the new layout comes into effect this Thursday, 4 July, the Kat didn't want readers to get a shock or, worse, on seeing the new version, to assume that they hadn't been dealing with WIPO at all but with one of those noxious traders that masquerade as official IP bodies.  Further details of this exciting new change, which is definitely for the better, can be found here.


Fancy a trip to town?  On 18 July there's a pleasurable little conference taking place in Central London.  It's called "Intellectual Property and the Digital Entertainment Industry".  Organised by CLT, it boasts a programme cast that is literally burgeoning with IP bloggers. IPKat blogmeister Jeremy is in the chair, where he will be conducting the proceedings.  The list of speakers includes 1709 Bloggers Ben Challis and Iona Silverman, not to mention Art & Artifice co-founder Rosie Burbidge. Do click here for further details if you've nothing better to do that day. You'll be hugely welcome.


But if you'd rather stay at home ... don't forget the LLM and postgraduate diploma distance learning courses in UK, EU and US copyright offered by Kings College London in conjunction with the Informa Academy. There's a lot to be said for distance learning, as this Kat has mentioned in an earlier post.  And, if you think about it, there's an appealing symmetry: since most copyright infringement these days seems to happen at home, isn't it right that copyright law teaching should also happen at home?  Details of the programme, the faculty and registration can be found here


Only in it for the money?  Katfriend Maja Schmitt (DSM) writes as follows: "I am sure a number of readers will already be aware of this but, for those who don’t and who have inventors based in China, they may be interested in the new developments in the Inventor Reward and Remuneration Regulations. These were released for public comments in November 2012 and we are now awaiting the (final) version.  The translation is not legally binding". Well, here it is anyway:
Article 14: The entity shall, within 6 months from the service invention reporting date, decide whether to apply for intellectual property right, protect as know-how or publish and shall inform the inventor of the decision in a written notice. Where the entity fails to inform the inventor within the time limit as provided in the above paragraph, the inventor may send a written inquiry urging the entity to reply; if the entity fails to reply after 1 month of the inventor’s written inquiry, the invention shall be deemed to be protected as know-how.

Article 16: Where the entity intends to stop the process of applying for intellectual property right or abandon the intellectual property right of a service invention, it shall inform the inventor 1 month in advance. The inventor may negotiate with the entity to get the application right to intellectual property right or intellectual property right for a fee or free of charge.

Article 19: The entity may enter into an agreement with the inventor, or provide it in its policy formulated in accordance with the laws, on the procedure, manner and amount of the award and remuneration. The agreement or policy shall inform the inventor the right he is entitled to, the way to seek relief, and in accordance with Articles 20 and 23 of the Regulations. Any agreement or policy eliminating or limiting the right which the inventor is entitled with in accordance with the Regulations are invalid.

Article 25: Where the entity decides to protect the service invention as know-how, it shall pay a reasonable compensation to the inventor in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter.

Article 29: Where an entity intends to assign intellectual property rights of a service invention, the inventor is entitled to the right of first refusal under the same conditions. [similar to Article 326 contract law]
Maja goes on to explain that issues that employers are wrestling with include the fact that it is not clear if company policies will be sufficient to override some of the requirements. Currently, unless there is an agreement with the inventor to the contrary, payments are due on grant of an invention patent (minimum 3000 RMB, Art 77) and on commercialisation (not less than 2% of profit per year, Art 78).

So, for example, can rights to a payment on commercialisation be waived for a lump sum payment? Can rights be waived by students, professors or contract researchers in return for a lump sum payment in advance? What happens if an employee does not accept the policy or sign the agreement? Does “know how“ need to be patentable ? (for example an alleged breach of trade secrets can be challenged by showing they are obvious). Who can challenge decisions and when ?

Maja concludes: "If the new regulations come into force companies are going to need to put into place clear policies, more resources and good administrative procedures to ensure all ideas are recorded and allocated a status".  Thanks so much, Maja, for this really useful information.


Current rules and regulations and statistics can be found here
Online training e.g. an introduction to Chinese Patent Law can be found here



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Curious that the story Intellectual Ventures is written by a Ms Tracy Kitten.

Any relation to IPKitten?

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