International Patent Forum 2014. This Kat will be out of the country on 18 and 19 March, when this jolly interesting event takes place (click "A touch of the Waldorfs ...", here, for further details). He is hoping to hear from any reader(s) who are attending and who might be tempted to take some notes with a view to getting some of them primed for blogging purposes. If you fancy the challenge, do email him here. And remember: IPKat blog readers enjoy a £300 discount on registration, while in-housers get in free.
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has still to reveal to an excited world the theme for World IP Day 2014 -- which is celebrated annually on 26 April and, in some places where IP is truly appreciated -- on a number of other days around that time. At the time of composing this blogpost, WIPO's website still has details of the 2013 event on display, but the Kats are sure that this will soon change. In the meantime this Kat is happy to remind readers that, if you can't wait till 26 April, the canny Scots are marking the day a little earlier, in Edinburgh on Friday 25 April (details here). Merpel mischievously reports the rumour that the hosts will buy free drinks for anyone attending from South of the Border ...
You can have any colour you like, so long as it's not green and yellow. Toby Mak (Tee & Howe Intellectual Property Attorneys, Beijing) has drawn this Kat's attention to what he says is the first trade mark infringement decision in China based on a combination of colours, which can be found from the link here. The happy claimant was John Deere, with its resplendent green and yellow livery; the hapless defendant was a tractor manufacturer called JOTEC. Apart from reminding us that it's worth keeping one's records in good trim, Toby says: "Good compensation awards can be obtained from the Beijing Second Intermediate People's Court". Thanks, Toby, you've earned your katpat!
From the British Brand Group's diplomatic dynamo, Katfriend John Noble comes the following information. He writes:
Following the IPKat’s last post on lookalikes last November ["What is the lookalike effect, and why don't we know if the Germans do things better?", here] you may be interested in a further development in this long-running(!) saga.
During the recent Committee Stage of the IP Bill [currently before the UK Parliament, here], David Willetts MP, Minister for Universities and Skills, announced a review of the consumer protection regulations. The review will examine whether there is a need to give businesses a private right of action to help protect brand owners from lookalikes. This review is an important and significant step towards an effective solution to such copying. The debate is recorded in Hansard. As an aside, you will note that Jim Dowd MP receives a bit of heat over Henderson’s Relish. The background to this can be found here. It indicates just how deeply and personally people care about their brands).
Brief is best. Finally, Katfriend and recent colleague Miri Frankel reminds us that Twitter is buying 900 patents from IBM to settle a patent infringement claim threatened by IBM. Miri first mentioned the claim on this very blog here. Details of the deal can be found here. There is no truth in the tale that the deal was conditional on the contract being no more than 140 characters in length. Merpel closes with the thought that, while no-one ever got fired for buying IBM, people do get sacked for tweeting (here).