"Global Innovation Index 2014: Switzerland, UK and Sweden lead Rankings with Encouraging Signs from Sub-Saharan Africa" is the excited message from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in its press release here. You can check out your favourite countries in this list and see how they fare. The full rankings feature 143 jurisdictions and there are quite a few surprises. No doubt the fact that the UK comes second in the list is something to do with the fact that its recent ratings in the Eurovision Song Contest have nothing to do with innovation and are therefore excluded.
Merpel is most miffed at not being shortlisted as a potential judge and will not therefore cast her reassuring shadow over the proceedings when the Unified Patent Court opens its doors to hear your cases. Those of you who would like to know more about the shortlist of judges for the Unified Patent Court may like to take a look at this piece which Pieter Callens (Eubelius) wrote for the Kluwer Patent Blog. Says Peter:
"It came for a lot of people as a surprise that more than 354 candidates were found with potential to become a legally qualified judge. However, it should be taken into account that the UPC Agreement clearly states that legally qualified judges have to possess the “qualifications required for appointment to judicial offices in a Contracting Member State”. A literal reading of this requirement implies that to become a judge in the UPC, it is sufficient to have the qualifications in a Contracting Member State to become a judge. It is not required to actually be or have been a judge in one of the member states. Article 15 of the UPC Agreement further specifies that judges should ensure the highest standards of competence and have proven experience in the field of patent litigation. Therefore, lawyers that have a proven experience in patent litigation and possess the qualifications required for appointment to judicial offices in a Contracting Member State, could be a candidate and can appear on the shortlist.
When will the UPC open its doors? What was predicted to be the beginning of 2015 has now slipped back to the end of that year. Might it be that even this prediction is somewhat optimistic?
A technically qualified judge needs a university degree, a proven expertise in a field of technology and a proven knowledge of civil law and procedure relevant in patent litigation. It is to be expected that a lot of patent attorneys applied for technically qualified judge.
Despite his long-standing and deeply-felt dislike of the manner in which the UK Intellectual Property Office continues to trivialise innovation in the eyes of innocent children by fusing it in their minds with the antics of Wallace & Gromit, this Kat is keeping his promise to his friends in that otherwise sane and sensible institution to make mention of Cracking Ideas (an "educational resource for 4-16 year olds encouraging innovation, enterprise, creativity and knowledge of intellectual property rights"). You can check it out here. There's also a Facebook page here and a five-minute YouTube clip on Cracking Ideas 2014, here.
. There was plenty being posted on the IP blogosphere over the past few days. IPKat blogmeister Jeremy, writing on the SOLO IP blog, is in mischievous mood when invited by LinkedIn to picture himself working for Freshfields. On Art & Artifice Rachel Buker mulls over the difference between flexibility and inconsistency when it comes to applying fair use principles in artistic copyright cases. The SPC Blog carries a hot-off-the-press piece from victorious law firm Powell Gilbert following judgment in Eli Lilly v Human Genome Science. For IP Finance, Mike Mireles writes on the tribulations of YUM brands in China while, still in Asia, Althaf Marsoof on the jiplp weblog explains how a court in Sri Lanka chose to balance the interests of tobacco brand owners and public health. Finally, on Excess Copyright, Canadian blogger and Katfriend Howard Knopf catches a Red Bus to take him on a journey to the same issues as Rachel Buker, above.