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.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Thursday thingies

Alice Cooper: with
friends like this ...
Weatherley in Westminster.  The IPKat has learned from a US-based PR agency that British Member of Parliament Mike Weatherley just had an article published in the latest WIPO Magazine that talks about protecting IP rights and gives a little background as to about how the UK has gone about doing so.  It's entitled "Protecting IP: Striking a balance", and you can read it here. According to Mike's Wikipedia entry, he
"has an interest in protecting intellectual property rights and is a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Intellectual Property Group. In 2010, he launched a national music competition, "Rock the House", one of the main objectives of which is to highlight intellectual property rights. The campaign has gained support from musicians such as Alice Cooper".
It's obvious that Mike has friends in high places, so this Kat suggests that we be nice to him ...


ScriptedThe fourth and final issue of scripted for 2013 has now been published online.  You can check out the contents of this excellent free publication, now in its 10th year of existence, here. Pride of place in this issue goes to a very clever piece by University of East Anglia PhD student Simone Schroff, "The (Non) Convergence of Copyright Policies – A Quantitative Approach to Convergence in Copyright", in which the author seeks to test the widely-held view that national common-law and civil-law based copyright laws are continuing to converge against the evidence of the law as it is actually enforced, concluding that convergence between UK and US copyright law is limited, at best, and that German law appears to be doing a spot of deconverging diconverging diverging.


Greeks probe competition dimension of EU trade mark law. Case C-535/13 Honda Giken Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha v Maria Patmanidi SA is a request by the Monomeles Protodikeio Athinon (Greece) to the Court of Justice of the European Union for a preliminary ruling on the following question:

What is the scope of ... Article 7 of Directive 89/104 (now Article 7 of Directive 2008/95) and of Article 13 of Regulation 40/94 (now Article 13 of Regulation 207/2009) in relation to the right of a trade mark proprietor to prohibit parallel imports into the EU and the EEA of its products which were first supplied or put on the market in a country outside the EU and the EEA, especially in the case of products with a large profit margin and price squeezing, as evidenced by large fluctuations in pricing policy, and/or where parallel imports may result in considerable reductions in prices to end consumers, for their benefit and the benefit of competition, as in the case of all types of spare parts for motor vehicles, in light of the effect, in isolation or combination, of: (a) the provisions of Articles 101 and 102 TFEU; (b) the provisions of Articles I, XI.1, ΙΙΙ.4 and XX(d) and GATT 1994 law in general; and (c) Articles I and [Χ]XIV GΑΤΤ 1994, especially as they extend the scope of the provisions of Article 7(1) of Directive 2008/95 and of Article 13(1) of Regulation 207/2009 to products put on the market in contracting parties of the GΑΤΤ 1994 and reciprocity issues arise between them?

Do any readers know anything about the factual background to this reference, or anything about the position taken by the Greek court ahead of its decision to make this very IP-meets-competition reference?


Another step in the Nestec saga.  The IPKat thanks Stephen Garner (Mathys & Squire LLP) for telling him of the publication of the decision of the European Patent Office Board of Appeal to revoke EP patent No. 2 103 236.  Sounds familiar? The UK part of this patent was the subject of the April 2013 ruling of Mr Justice Arnold in Nestec v Dualit (on which see Katposts by the AmeriKat here and by Darren here) to the effect that Nestec's Nespresso coffee machine patent was invalid and that in any event Dualit's compatible capsules didn't infringe it.  The UK case was notable, in part, for the judge's approach to partial priorities, leading to a finding anticipation of the claims by the patent’s own priority application – so-called “poisonous priority”.   Stephen points out that the Board of Appeal did not appear to address the priority/novelty issue.  The reasons for revocation are limited to added subject-matter in respect of granted claim 1 (alternative claims submitted during the hearing by Nestec were not admitted into the proceedings).  Given the vigorous debate that followed the UK ruling, it would have been great to know what the Board of Appeal thought about the issue of poisonous priority.  Nevertheless, in view of the recent divergence of the Boards of Appeal on this point, Stephen wonders whether a referral to the Enlarged Board might still be in order for 2014 [yes of course it would be in order, says Merpel, but that's no guarantee that it will happen ...]. 

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