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.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Monday miscellany

The European Communities Trade Mark Association (ECTA), fresh from its recent Round Table in Alicante, has another Round Table coming up -- this time in Brussels, Belgium. The IPKat learns from his friend and trade mark attorney Claire Lazenby that this one is a Workshop on Trade Marks, Packaging and Lifestyle Regulation and it takes place on 12 March.  The programme is here. From the rubric of the registration form, here, it looks as though attendance is free; however, it is also binding -- so if you do sign up, you'd better not fail to put in an appearance [Merpel is most perplexed. She knows all about the Community Trade Mark and Design Regulations, the E-Commerce Regulation and the Regulation on GIs -- but when did the Lifestyle Regulation come into force?].


Many years ago, when the world was young and there was hardly any law on European trade marks, this Kat compiled and self-published the European Trade Mark Companion 1996-7, a slender tome that sought to summarise and pass comment on early decisions under the EU's new trade mark law regime.  Nearly two decades later, the world is not quite so young, but Young (D Young & Co, that is) has produced a handsome volume entitled European Trade Mark Decisions, the second edition of which has fallen into his paws.  This book, well illustrated and clearly written, provides in pocket-book format a handy and attractively-illustrated summary of not only the main decisions of the Court of Justice of the European Union on Community and national trade mark matters, but also a selection of some of the more important General Court decisions -- around 200 pages worth.  Authorship has been split between a team of 17 contributors, the list of which contains an assortment of Katfriends and blog readers. If you are not already reviewing it or scrounging a copy from the firm, you can buy it for £60 on Amazon, here.


To commit one capital offence is bad enough, without compounding the felony by committing another at the same time.  This Kat is therefore most seriously disappointed that the British Library has taken it upon itself to host a Talkscience event with the horrendously cliché'd title "Patently obvious?" and then have the audacity to illustrate it with the equally cliché'd image of an old-fashioned lightbulb.   The subject-matter of the event is not without merit, however. As the rubric explains:
"Scientists have long used patents to protect their inventions and allow them opportunities to commercialise their work. However, recent attempts to patent human gene sequences have raised questions over whether a sequence of DNA is an invention or a discovery and highlighted some of the challenges in assessing the patentability of biomedical developments. Proponents argue that we need biomedical patents to provide the incentive for innovation but others believe that they could stifle scientific progress. Recent controversies in cancer and stem cell research have highlighted the social and ethical, as well as the economic implications of biomedical patents".
If you are thinking of attending, the date is Tuesday 4 March 2014, from 6 pm to 8.30 pm in the Terrace Restaurant, and admission costs just £5. Full details can be found here. -- and while you are in the vicinity, why not enjoy the "Beautiful Science" exhibition, here? A katpat to James Heald for letting us know.


Around the weblogs.  Lisa Mueller, an IP attorney with US practice Michael Best & Friedrich in Chicago, has recently started the BRIC Wall. a blog that promises to focus on IP developments in based on but not limited to Brazil, Russia, India and China. The emphasis will be on the chemical and life science areas, and therefore on patents too. We wish Lisa the best of luck!  Elsewhere, over on PatLit David Berry has posted a handsome piece on the latest US jurisprudence on de novo review standard for revisiting a District Court's efforts at patent claim interpretation, while on IP Tango Patricia Covarrubia observes that INDECOPI, the Peruvian IP Institute, seems to be more than usually sensitive to piracy issues as the launch of a major Peruvian movie and the country's first "psychological thriller", El Vientre ("The Womb") approaches. Finally, on Class 46 Laetitia Lagarde explains the parameters of goodwill of the English word "free" in a General Court tussle between Czech and French brand owners.


FICPI's logo looks
a bit like this ...
FICPI is the French acronym of the International Federation of Intellectual Property Attorneys, an organisation that gets a mention on this blog less often than its importance suggests it should. Anyway, the British branch, FICPI-UK, has announced its Annual Seminar, which combines updates on the Unified Patent Court, plus trade mark and design law changes from the IPO (with plenty of time for questions) with four presentations from Chinese attorneys who are members of their sister organisation (FICPI-CN) – a delegation of no fewer than nine attorneys is coming from China for this visit.  Details, the Kat learns from Robert Watson, can be found on the FICPI-UK website here [be quick or be disappointed, says Merpel, the closing date for bookings is this Friday, 28 February].

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