For the half-year to 31 December 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie-Andrée Weiss.

Regular round-ups of the previous week's blogposts are kindly compiled by Alberto Bellan.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Friday fantasies

How will some of our slower
patents fare in the fast lane?
"New global patent pilot will save businesses time and money" is the happy prospect promised by a media release from the UK Intellectual Property Office. The substance of the news is good, but maybe not quite as exciting as the headline suggests:
"A new pilot for the Global Patent Prosecution Highway (GPPH) was launched today by 17 international intellectual property offices, including the UK Intellectual Property Office.

The new pilot works on the same basis as existing bilateral Patent Prosecution Highway agreements but allows applicants who have had a set of claims found allowable by one participating office to ask that pending applications at any or all of the other participating offices be accelerated. This will significantly simplify the process for businesses, and help to cut the time and cost of seeking patent protection in key global markets. It will also help cut the global problem of patent backlogs. ...

PPH: not a mug's game
Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) arrangements already exist as a series of bilateral agreements between two patent offices. Although the use of bilateral PPH arrangements is increasing (the UK recently signed an agreement with China during the Prime Minister’s visit in December) the UK has been working to establish a PPH framework that covers multiple countries to better allow businesses to protect their intellectual property in overseas markets. The UK has existing bilateral PPH arrangements in place with the United States, Japan, South Korea, Germany, and Canada. Of these agreements, those with the United States, Japan, South Korea and Canada will be superseded by the GPPH for the duration of the pilot".
According to the Notes for Editors,
"The secret of life is honesty and fair
dealing: if you can fake that, you've
got it made": Groucho Marx
"... the full list of participating offices includes IP Australia (IP Australia), Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO), Danish Patent and Trademark Office (DKPTO), National Board of Patents and Registration of Finland (NBPR), Hungarian Intellectual Property Office (HIPO), Icelandic Patent Office (IPO), Israel Patent Office (ILPO), Japan Patent Office (JPO), Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), Nordic Patent Institute (NPI), Norwegian Industrial Property Office (NIPO), Portuguese Institute of Industrial Property (INPI), Russian Federal Service for Intellectual Property (ROSPATENT), Spanish Patent and Trademark Office (SPTO), Swedish Patent and Registration Office (PRV), United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)".
This Kat hopes that this will deliver the goods and that speed will increase without a corresponding drop in quality.  Merpel, ever the cynic, hopes that IPO, HIPO and NIPO will not turn out to be a comic sequel to HARPO, GROUCHO and CHICO ...


Not quite enough seats to go round ...
That JIPLP-GRUR Int seminar on passing off and unfair competition (details here) is an event which is close to the IPKat's heart, since team bloggers Jeremy and Birgit are both participating in it. Kindly hosted in the London office of Baker & McKenzie, it takes place on Thursday 23 January.  The good news, or bad news (depending on your perspective) is that this event is over-subscribed.  JIPLP is appealing to anyone who has registered and then discovers that he or can't attend: "please tell us as soon as you know you can't come, so we can allocate your place to some dear soul whose name is on the reserve list!"


Around the weblogs. Systematic thievery, or a royalty accounting problem? Ben Challis investigates heritage artistes and their labels on the 1709 Blog here. Meanwhile, over on Class 46, Pedro Malaquias reports on the Winhouse trade mark application, which nearly sneaked a recognisable image of the European Union's star emblem on to the trade mark register in Portugal, and on SOLO IP Barbara Cookson warns readers not to be fooled by UK patent examination deadlines.


Farewell Ed. Merpel recently published a list of headlines for articles she'd like to write in 2014.  The following title was not among them, notes the IPKat, being the work of Andrew Orlowski writing in The Reporter. It reads like this: "UK 'copyright czar' Edmund Quilty quits as Blighty's Director of Copyright Enforcement: IPO Tour of Destruction 2008-2014".  You can read the text in full here.  Too young to retire, Ed is reportedly moving on: "We can confirm that Ed Quilty, the current Director, will be moving on to another post in the civil service and that the post for Copyright and Enforcement Director has been advertised".  Where will Ed go next?  Readers' suggestions are warmly welcomed.  Both Ed and his successor are wished the best of luck in their new roles.


Long time Katfriend and generally very useful person Roya Ghafele has told us that she will be giving a presentation in London on 24 January upon the invitation of The Economist magazine on 'Boardroom strategies to Optimise IP Portfolios".  Sounds like a good topic, though.some folk might say that the favoured strategy of many companies, especially those that operate online and in the digital space, is to optimise their use of other people's IP portfolios. Anyway, here's a link to the details, plus an alarming and somewhat inappropriate image of a boardroom plus a row of empty chairs.  Merpel supposes that this has some deep symbolism, representing the absenteeist approach to IP portfolio optimisation that has been displayed so often in the past.


Mark your diaries and don't dare to forget that 26 April is World Intellectual Property Day, this date being specially selected on account of it being Sir Robin Jacob's birthday.  To show that Scotland is cultivating a progressive image on account of its forthcoming independence referendum, the Law Society of Scotland and the Faculty of Advocates are celebrating 26 April on Friday 25 April (details here). 

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

"... the full list of participating offices includes IP Australia (IP Australia), Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO), Danish Patent and Trademark Office (DKPTO), National Board of Patents and Registration of Finland (NBPR), Hungarian Intellectual Property Office (HIPO), Icelandic Patent Office (IPO), Israel Patent Office (ILPO), Japan Patent Office (JPO), Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), Nordic Patent Institute (NPI), Norwegian Industrial Property Office (NIPO), Portuguese Institute of Industrial Property (INPI), Russian Federal Service for Intellectual Property (ROSPATENT), Spanish Patent and Trademark Office (SPTO), Swedish Patent and Registration Office (PRV), United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)"

And conspicuously absent from that list, which comprises a great many European NPOs, is the European Patent Office (EPO)...

Now, I'm quite aware of the general dislike of frontline patent examiners, not just at the EPO, for these PPH schemes. I also notice the absence of the half-ton gorilla among European NPOs, the German DPMA. Is the readiness of other European NPOs, mostly comparative minnows, to join this scheme independently really reasonable?

Anonymous said...

Applicants at the EPO can do a PACE request to get accelerated processing. The PPH adds nothing to do that except for a lot of paperwork for everybody and perhaps the utter delusion on the side of the applicant that having a claim granted in the US is accepted as an argument to get that same claim granted by the EPO.

Btw, PACE requests are possible at any stage in the procedure, whereas PPH is only possible if no first communication has yet been issued and the claims are amended to those that were granted by another office. That will usually mean the applicant has to file a divisional at great cost for no practical benefit.

Politically these schemes are important, I guess.

Dave said...

It's also my Mum's birthday. She must be very proud that I can celebrate the source of both me and my income in such an efficient manner...

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