From October 2016 to March 2017 the team is joined by Guest Kats Rosie Burbidge and Eibhlin Vardy, and by InternKats Verónica Rodríguez Arguijo, Tian Lu and Hayleigh Bosher.

Monday, 30 September 2013

Monday miscellany

Still time to vote.  There's just one short day to go in the IPKat's sidebar poll on what should be done with the Washington Redskins brand: should supporters fight to the death to preserve its iconic status, or should it be condemned as offensive and simply not appropriate in an age in which the feelings of ethnic minorities and indigenous cultures should be prioritised over commercial expediency?  Do take the opportunity to vote -- and tell your friends to do likewise!

President John D. Smith has just informed the IPKat that the third edition of his DON’T File a Patent! ebook is now available here from the Amazon Kindle Store. Says  John, "Thanks to feedback from my patent attorney readers, this is the most accurate and up to date version. The cost for the Amazon Kindle version is just $9.99 and it is an 8.5 MB download".  Adds John: "The ebook has two distinct parts over its 228 pages: Part I (pp 17-89) has 10 Reasons not to file a Patent on an invention. These have all been vetted by patent attorneys. Part 1 also includes USPTO Patent Examiner Miss E.P.’s Third Office Action Rejection for my Storm Stoppers product, so you can see what awaits you when you file a patent. Part II (pp 90-210) has over 100 pages of tips and strategies to encourage inventors to manufacture and sell their products successfully themselves, as I have done".

INTA news 1. This Kat has just learned that the International Trademark Association (INTA) is seeking a professor to be chosen as a Table Topic moderator for the 2014 Annual Meeting, which is to be held in Hong Kong next May. Indeed,
"INTA has expressed interest in reaching out to professors who might be interested in leading Table Topic discussions in a particular area. Table Topics are two-hour discussions limited to ten participants on a wide variety of topics related to trademarks.
Participants at the Annual Meetings register (and pay) in advance for a seat at the table to discuss, and the seats typically fill up quickly, so it can be a good opportunity to generate discussion if you happen to be working on scholarship ideas that might benefit from input from diverse perspectives, particularly from an international audience. A sample of topics from the 2013 Annual Meeting can be found here. If you would like to be considered, please send a short paragraph describing the general topic to me [that's Megan Carpenter, Professor of Law and Director, Center for Law and Intellectual Property at the Texas A&M University School of Law] at, by Tuesday, October 15. INTA does not cover travel expenses".
This Kat, who will be hosting a Table Topic on Coexistence Agreements at the Hong Kong Meeting, strongly urges his academic colleagues to take every opportunity to share their ideas and perspectives with professional and commercial trade marks from all round the world. The INTA Meetings are perfect for any true trade mark enthusiast who is self-financing and/or well-funded and who can dispense with the need to sleep for the best part of a week ...

INTA News 2. The Kat has also learned that the Fifth Annual Trademark Scholarship Symposium will take place during the INTA's Annual Meeting in Hong Kong. According to the Kat's impeccably-placed sources,
"The Symposium will take place on Monday, May 12, 2014 as part of INTA’s Academic Day and is an opportunity for trademark scholars from around the world to present a complete, or near complete, work of trademark scholarship to practitioners and academics. This year we are only selecting 1-4 papers, which will be presented with a practitioner and an academic commentator, rather than in the traditional workshop setting.
Go there! Even if you have
to sell your shirt to get there
Please send an abstract (approximately 300 words) describing a current trademark or unfair competition scholarship project to Signe Naeve at and Jeremy Sheff at by November 15, 2014. The Task Force will then select a maximum of 4 papers to be presented at the Symposium. Selections will be announced by January 1, 2014. For each selected project, a near complete draft of the paper must be submitted by April 1, 2013 [Well, that should eliminate most serious applicants ...]. There is no publication obligation.
Participants will receive complimentary enrolment in the Academic Day program, including an all-professor panel exploring trademarks at the crossroads of trade and culture, a trademark professor luncheon offering perspectives from in-house counsel, a reception and other networking opportunities. Airfare and accommodations are the speaker’s responsibility. For INTA membership and Annual Meeting registration information, please contact Carin Diep-Dixon at

The symposium is organized by the INTA Professor Task Force: Symposium Co-Chairs

· Signe H. Naeve, University of Washington School of Law

· Jeremy Sheff, St. John’s University School of Law


· Barton Beebe, New York University Law School

· David C. Berry, Thomas M. Cooley Law School

· Megan M. Carpenter, Texas Wesleyan University School of Law

· Eric Goldman, Santa Clara University School of Law

· Mark Janis, Indiana University Maurer School of Law

· Susan Barbieri Montgomery, Northeastern University School of Law & College of Business Administration

· Antonio Selas, Law School of Universidad Carlos III [ooh, look, says Merpel -- a token non-US-based representative!  How about a little positive discrimination in favour of the rest of the world?  Or is trade mark scholarship the exclusive prerogative of the Americans? The IPKat would like to see more non-US representation too, but thinks that it's not going to happen till non-US trade mark academics take a more positive view of what INTA has to offer and are far more assertive when seeking funds and time to travel to this very special event].

BOIP takes the plunge.  Today's a big, big day for the European intellectual property community: according to a press release just received by this impressed and excited Kat,
"From 1 October 2013 any business with the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP) can be conducted in English. BOIP is adopting English as a third working language in addition to Dutch and French. Our clients and our partners will therefore in the future be able not only to correspond with us in English, but also to register trade marks and designs, file an opposition and conduct all other official business in English.    
BOIP is committed to offering its users a client-friendly, timely and reliable service. With our high-quality service, we were awarded the title of best trade mark office in the world by a leading international IP magazine [this accolade came from the Kat's friends at Managing Intellectual Property -- but that was in May 2010 ...]. We are making every effort to live up to this title by making additional improvements to our services. We have therefore been hard at work getting English implemented as the third working language at BOIP and this will become a reality on 1 October 2013. 
... The procedure has been set up in such a way that henceforth all business with BOIP may be conducted in English, though in procedures in which different parties are involved (oppositions) no one will actually be forced to use English. BOIP can, on request and on payment of the appropriate fee, provide a translation of any trade mark or design registration, which were filed in English. Needless to say, the language rules of the concerned jurisdiction in question shall apply to any legal procedure that may arise ..." 
This Kat is hugely impressed with the BOIP initiative. Merpel isn't: how can BOIP flaunt its prowess by conducting business in English but still neglect the linguistic needs of the Welsh, she wonders ...

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