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, 2 January 2014

Thursday thingies

Around the weblogs. The past week has been a relatively quiet one on the IP blogosphere, but there have definitely been some signs of life.  On the MARQUES Class 46, Laetitia our former guest Kat writes about an attempt to register MATRIX ENERGETIX as a Community trade mark. What? You didn't know what Matrix Energetics is? According to its website
"Matrix Energetics® is a complete system of transformation that produces observable and verifiable changes which can be taught to anyone. Matrix Energetics encompasses a new state of being, a new way of experiencing the world we live in, and a more expansive way of accessing new possibilities - a consciousness shift".
Funny, says the IPKat: that seems to be a fairly good functional definition of IP blogging.  Merpel notes that there's no Community or UK trade mark registration in place and wonders which country or countries account for the '®'. Presumably the United States is among them, she guesses.  Incidentally, MARQUES doesn't just have a trade mark blog and, as of a couple of months ago, the Class 99 design law blog -- it also has quite a jolly Facebook page that's devoted to some fascinating trade mark issues.

Elsewhere, the indefatigable Ben Challis explains the arrangements for playing Welsh music on the BBC [this post comes with a "rather more interesting than you might have thought" warning]. On IP Tango, Patricia Covarrubia notes the partying that appears to break out whenever another Brazilian wine-making region gets its own geographical indication protection (in this case Aprobelo).  Also partying, no doubt, is Katfriend and fellow blogger Mark Anderson, whose IP Draughts weblog records his thoughts as victor in the IPKat's recent anagram competition (discussed at little further on, below).


Will the Danes deign to disdain the Unified Patent Court?  Thanks to the eagle-eyed Nick Bassil (Kilburn & Strode, katpat!) this Kat has been pondering a piece from EurActiv.com, which you can read in its entirety here:
Red-Green Party alliance
"Danes will vote in May next year on whether or not to join the EU's Unified Patent Court, the Danish government confirmed on Thursday evening (19 December). As Denmark has an opt-out from EU legislation on justice, more than 80% of MPs have to support Denmark joining the patent court, or the government must call a referendum. While the Danish centre-left government is in favour of joining the patent court next June, the anti-EU parties in the parliament, the semi-communist Red-Green Alliance and the right-wing nationalist Danish People's Party, have been blocking an agreement [can we borrow them when the Danes have finished with them, wonders the ever-sceptical Merpel: they might come in handy elsewhere too]. ... 
In August, Danish opposition leader Lars Løkke Rasmussen told Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt to give the Danish People's Party "whatever it takes" to get the party to support the patent court. However, on Thursday evening Danish Minister for EU Affairs Nick Hækkerup confirmed that a referendum would take place on 25 May, the same day as the European Parliament elections in Denmark.

"Of course it would have been easier if the Danish People's Party or the Red-Green Alliance had said that they agree that this [the patent court] is a really good idea. But now we will get a referendum and a good debate," [which is a lot more than most of us could ever hope for in the People's Democratic Republic of the EU] Hækkerup told Danish Broadcasting. ...
Great Danes: "We need
to avoid copies ..."
 
Hækkerup added that he hoped for a Danish 'yes' in May. "This is about protecting the ideas we come up with in Denmark. When Danish companies produce something, we don't want other countries to steal these ideas. We need to avoid copies," he stated [it's also about making sure the Danes don't steal anyone else's ideas either -- and about making sure they don't much chance to litigate their patent issues in Denmark, in Danish, a small feline voice pipes up].  Pia Adelsteen, EU spokesperson of the Danish People's Party, said she was "delighted" that the Danish government had "given up" in the negotiations. "When we give up sovereignty, we need to ask the Danes first. There have been many times where we wanted a referendum but couldn't get it because we weren't giving up sovereignty to the EU," she said."

Sadly, Katfriend Richard Ashmead confesses to having missed the earlier stages of the IPKat's competition to find an (un)suitable anagram for the words "Intellectual Property Enterprise Court" (in respect of which you can read a selection of entries here), otherwise known as the IPEC. However, Richard has an idea or two of his own. He writes:
Fish sales were great till BNFL came along ...
"While admitting a great unlikelihood of having been able to improve on the impressive, if occasionally impenetrable, results, I wonder if I could suggest a follow-on backronym competition for IPEC.  For those of fewer years and/or failing memory New Scientist magazine had, I think in the 1990s, a backronym competition for the best wording from which, eg, IPEC should have been derived. The best example I can recall was "Buy no fish locally" for the noted nuclear fuel reprocessor BNFL [alias British Nuclear Fuels Ltd, here]. Other winners would I am sure bear research, as would I suppose checking whether BACKRONYM is a registered trade mark [it isn't, says Merpel, at least it isn't in the EU or the UK], but a lack of such a competition for a profession so partial to alphabet soup seems almost remiss".
Related to PeterRabbit, by any chance?
This Kat agrees, though he thinks the word 'backronym' rather clumsy and wishes that it had been 'retrogram'.  His favourite backronym is the long-time classic for ALITALIA (not really an acronym, but a contraction of 'ali', wings and 'Italia') which was always taken to stand for "All landed in Turin, all luggage in Athens" or a local variation thereof.  Merpel, who has no intention of being eaten, notes the dnagers of backronyms, citing the US litigation over the parodic transposition of the acronym PETA from "People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals" to "People Eating Tasty Animals", here.  The world of intellectual property is replete with acronyms, so don't be surprised if one day the Kats launch a backronym competition of their own ...


Katfriend and eminent IP scholar Jacques de Werra has written to tell the Kat family all about the next IP conference that he is organizing in the lovely city of Geneva, this time on the topic of unfair competition law.  This event will take place on the thoroughly romantic date of St Valentine's day, 14 February 2014.  Merpel, a true romantic who always goes weak at the knees when she reads the magic words "unfair competition law", hopes that lots of her friends and not-yet-friends will be there.  Details are available here.  Adds the IPKat, if you have to travel to Geneva for this event and need something to read on the journey, what could be better than the latest volume of Jacques' IP book series -- this being on trade secrets.  The book will be noted on this webloh in greater detail in due course and will get a full review in the Journal of Intellectual Law & Practice too.  Meanwhile you can access the details here.


An interesting copyright idea ...
Another Katfriend and eminent scholar, Michael Birnhack, is running a two-day event next Monday and Tuesday, 6 and 7 January: this is the "Cegla-British-Israeli Workshop on Fair Copyright Law: Limitations & Exceptions", starring all sorts of distinguished copyright people including and not limited to the quite "exceptional" Lionel Bently.  The venue is the Law Faculty, Tel Aviv University, and you can get all the relevant details here. Some good papers are coming out of this event, this Kat understands ...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Re: Danish referendum on Unified Patent Court

Denmark correctly considers adhering to the Unified Patent Court as infringing on our national sovereignty, and the proper proceedings are in place, including a referendum.

Public Denmark and the large industrial organisations all back it as a huge benefit to Danish industry. The profession has gone from a negative attitude to a positive, because they are afraid of being left out in the cold, as it is most likely that sufficient ratifications will occur for the agreement to be activated.

Nobody at all in the Danish “debate” or lack of same has mentioned that at the same time as ratification occurs, two European Union Regulations, 1257/2012 and 1260/2012 will also enter into force, and simple statistics suggest that per year the number of new EP based patents in Denmark will essentially rise from an average of 6,400 per year (out of 58,700 granted European patents in the period 2003-2012) to an average of ca. 64,000 per year (a reasonable prediction from the figures of the latest years from EPO).

Presently, the totality of European patents that were granted in the period 2003-2012 only represents a total of 22,000 Danish patents that are alive. We shall be swamped three times over within a year! Everybody will be caught unawares, and it shall be an interesting development to observe. Other small markets and language areas will be similarly affected but I have not looked at the figures. Does this constitute a reason for concern or a profession that may look forward to brisk business? “Noooo!”, I can hear from a chorus of adherents, “obviously somebody has to pay when big businesses want to save on their patent budgets. Danes are big boys now!”

Kind regards and Happy New Year,


George Brock-Nannestad

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