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.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Never too late! If you missed the IPKat last week ...

This is the fifth in the regular series of round-ups of the previous week's Katposts, lovingly prepared by our esteemed and greatly valued former guest Kat Alberto.  It is a matter of great happiness to the IPKat and Merpel that these posts have been so well received. If you away last week, or too busy to take a look -- or if you are one of the fifty or so new email subscribers who have signed up in the past few days -- this is a handy way to see what has gone before without having to trawl through all the contents of your in-box.  

Last week's posts look like this:

The IPKat’s email inbox is a regular target for all sorts of marketing material. One email falling into that category triggered Jeremy’s attention and inspired his first post of the week: it came from a UK-based company whose core business is intermediation of patent fee renewals. While “the amount payable is usually modest (£100 or so)”, the company argued, greedy patent attorneys and other renewals companies can “charge up to 4 times the actual cost to make these payments”. It is a legalized “daylight robbery”, the company stressed. But is this true? Many readers have already participated in some heated discussion in this blogpost's comment section.


Professional trade mark infringers are getting more sophisticated day by day. Exploiting search engine optimisation, some of them sell fake goods via websites similar to the legitimate trade mark owner’s and evade customs detection by using third-party payment systems and shipping their products in small quantities directly to final purchasers. Recent trade mark infringement cases in the US suggest that obtaining favourable decisions in the target jurisdiction might not be enough. To fight global infringers, global enforcement is in order, says Lucas in this post.


Jeremy hosts a guest post from Suleman Ali (Holly IP) about a patent for a collapsible device for filling holes in the heart and a conflict between national court decision and those of the EPO. In AGA Medical Corporation v Occlutech (UK) Limited [2014] EWHC 2506 (Pat), Mr Justice Roth (Patents Court, England and Wales) addressed a number of issues like the ability of a confidential trial to destroy novelty and the effect of disclosing features not presented as ‘inventively distinct’. Last year, an EPO Opposition Division revoked the very same patent, coming to utterly different conclusions. Is harmony between national courts and the EPO only a mirage, wonders Jeremy, with many readers telling their views in the comments section.


City of London police inaugurate a new way of tackling online infringement. “Following the Ads”, they overpost paid-for advertising with warning messages bearing the Police logo and inviting users to leave the pirate website as soon as they are still in time. Good idea, say the IPKat and Merpel, but will it actually work?


Hip hop culture’s relationship with money (either desired, earned or proudly exhibited on black Hammers jumping on powerful suspensions) is intriguing, and no less intriguing is the story of the iconic rapper Kanye West bringing trade mark infringement proceedings against a company that launched a new crypto-currency curiously named COINYE WEST (or COINYE, or COYE). The Southern District of New York just decided the case, and Marie-Andrée couldn’t miss the chance to pen this story.


Managing Intellectual Property magazine backs a two-phased event, the European Patent Reform Forum, which will take place in Munich on 9 September and in Paris on 11 September. The line-ups of these events [Munich and Paris] feature a convincing blend of in-housers, private practitioners and bureaucrats, as well as a good mix of industrial sectors. According to the programmes [Munich and Paris], they will put their paws in the hottest patent topics of the moment. Attendance is free for academics, in-house counsel, patent counsel and R&D professionals. Those who don't fall within such categories will have either to pay the full whack -- €1,095 -- or benefit from the 25% DISCOUNT if they demonstrate that they are IPKat readers through the procedure detailed in Jeremy’s post.


IPKat readers will recall of the saga of Greek Yogurt Fage UK Ltd & Another v Chobani UK Ltd & Another, a passing off case concerning the use of Hellenic-sounding labelling for yogurt made quite far away from the Pelopponnese [the decision of Briggs J at trial is at [2013] EWHC 630 (Ch), noted by the IPKat here; the appeal decision, at [2014] EWCA Civ 5, featuring Lords Justices Lewison, Kitchin and Longmore, is noted by the IPKat here]. Just before the summer holidays, Jeremy breaks the news of the Supreme Court having the final word on this tasty case.


Eleonora breaks the news of new exceptions on private copying, broader quotation and parody to enter into force in the UK on 1 October 2014. After some anxiety [here and herethat UK Government could have decided not to introduce them at all, last month this blog reported that the "missing" exceptions were back with basically unchanged draft Statutory Instruments (SIs) [here and here]. Following the House of Lords’ approval of the draft SIs [you can read an early statement from the Open Rights Group here], the copyright Kat par excellence explains what the new IP Minister Baroness Neville-Rolfe says about the reform and tries to figure out what will actually change forthe UK copyright system.


Merpel sinks her claws again into another hot EPO issue, this time focusing on the lack of transparency of Mr Benoît Battistelli’s renewal as Sun-King of Eponia President of one of this weblog’s favourite IP International institutions. Nobody (apart from Mr B and the Chairman of the EPO Administrative Council) reputedly knows the terms of the President’s contract, the negotiations for which are as mysterious as a Dan Brown novel. That is quite odd for an Institution operating in the century of open data -- but not that weird for the glorious fiefdom of Eponia, Merpel notes.


David reports a couple of referrals to the EPO Enlarged Board of Appeals that have slipped past the nose of the IPKat in recent months. The time limit for comments to the Enlarged Board is still running, so a look to David’s post is in order if you want to have your say on: (i) G 3/14: Examination of clarity objections (comments invited by end of August 2014); G 1/14 and G 2/14: consequences of filing of the notice of appeal/paying the appeal fee after the deadline provided by Article 108 EPC (comments invited by end of September 2014).


Jeremy grabs and edits a blogpost by Sarah Wright and Kaisa Mattila (Olswang LLP) which first appeared in a slightly different version on that firm's Fashionista-at-Law weblog) on Birss J’s judgment in Thomas Pink Ltd v Victoria's Secret UK Ltd [2014] EWHC 2631 (Ch). This is about the UK fashion company Thomas Pink claiming Victoria’s Secret’s infringement of the trade mark “Pink”. Among other things, an interesting point concerns the probative value of plaintiff employees’ witness evidence about members of the public being utterly confused by the alleged use of Victoria’s Secret’s “pink”. Conflict of trade marks or conflict of interests? Take a look and form your own opinion.


"Christopher Rennie-Smith talks to a Kat" is the new IPKat seminar that will take place on Thursday, 4 September 2014 from 5 P.M. at Collyer Bristow, 4 Bedford Row, London WC1R 4TF, United Kingdom. The Kat at stake is the brilliant Darren, the Christopher Rennie-Smith at stake is Katfriend Christopher Rennie-Smith of Collyer-Bristow. There are many reasons to attend, the most prominent being: (i) it's rumoured that Christopher will face questions like “What really happens when the Board prepares for Oral Proceedings?” and “Do Oral Proceedings ever change the outcome?”; (ii) IPKat blogmeister Jeremy will wander down from to keep order and ensure that fair play prevails; (iii) it’s utterly free; (iv) refreshments will follow. Considering these elements of attraction and the limited space, do your best to register ASAP by emailing the IPKat at theipkat@gmail.com with the subject line "Kat Chat".

* The proposed Trade Secrets directive: comments from the Max Planck Institute


As readers will recall, on 28 November 2013 the EU Commission submitted to the Council and to the Parliament a Draft Directive on Trade Secrets protection, then followed on 27 May by a quite divergent version of the Council [on which see this former guest Kat’s blogpost here]. In this post, Katfriend Nuno Sousa e Silva reports about the Max Planck Institute’s comments on the latter. Although “the latter” here means “the Council’s version”, Merpel is honoured that an iconic institution like the Max Planck shares the point first made in Alberto's earlier note about the TS Directive being the possible start of a true harmonisation of unfair competition law on a European level.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

"unfair completion law" -is that intended?

Jeremy said...

Whoops! Thanks, Anonymous, for picking up this typo, which has now been corrected. We don't yet have a law on unfair completion, but I'm sure that someone in Brussels is planning a harmonised one ...

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