From October 2016 to March 2017 the team is joined by Guest Kats Rosie Burbidge and Eibhlin Vardy, and by InternKats Verónica Rodríguez Arguijo, Tian Lu and Hayleigh Bosher.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Friday fantasies

It's Friday again, a great day to check the IPKat's Forthcoming Events page in case there's anything listed that takes your fancy.  Some of the event listed are free to attend or carry registration fee discounts for blog readers or others.  Do take a look!


Joff and Neil: great
ambassadors for IP
"Patents and Value: a dialogue".  While we're on the subject of forthcoming events, this coming Tuesday 16 September, we have one of our own when IPKat and IP Finance blogger Neil J. Wilkof engages Intellectual Asset Management editor Joff Wild in a dialogue about patent litigation and its impact on the value of individual patents and patent portfolios. This chaired discussion is being kindly hosted in the London office of EIP, in London's IP-friendly Holborn district. Full details of this lovely little event, which will be followed by discussion and refreshments, can be found here. If you want to attend this dialogue, which is free, there's still space -- though we now have 42 good souls attending, including some from the financial sector as well as our IP friends.


Kats are biologically programmed to take a great interest in birds, so it was no surprise for this Kat to hear that one of our former guest Kats, Miri Frankel, had spotted an item on BananaIP's SiNApSE blog (here) about Angry Birds that excited her sufficiently to write about it. Says Miri:
Angry Birds sought to chomp
Angry Bite out of the market
"A recent ruling from the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) determined that “Angry Bite” snack foods do not bear a confusing similarity to Rovio Entertainment’s “Angry Birds” brand. The dispute arose when Kimanis Food Industries, a Malaysian snack food manufacturer, applied for a trade mark for its snack brand, Angry Bite (comparison pictured on the right). Rovio opposed the Angry Bite trade mark application on the basis that its characters, branding and trade marks were well known in Singapore and that consumers would be confused due to the similarity of the applied-for Angry Bite trade marks. 
Merpel responds to a sudden
pang of hunger ...
Unfortunately for Rovio, IPOS did not recognize any similarity, visual or conceptual, between the marks. IPOSwent further: even if similarity existed, Rovio had not shown that there was a reasonable likelihood of consumer confusion. Why? Because consumers exercise due caution for safety reasons prior to purchasing food which they will subsequently ingest. Merpel wonders whether the examiners at IPOS have never purchased food snacks without the exercise of due caution, for example when seeking to satisfy an urgent need to quell their hunger".


The IPKat and Merpel have both come in for some criticism, much all of it being entirely undeserved, for trying to preserve the integrity of this blog as a place where people can engage in IP debate and discussion without being subject to (mainly anonymous) personal insult and abuse on the part of readers who post offensive comments (on which see earlier posts here and here). They both therefore welcome the position taken by the excellent Dennis Crouch in his recent blogpost "Moving Toward a Better Patently-O Ecosphere", here.  Dennis writes, of his experience with Patently-O:
The editor as nanny?
Practically perfect!
" ... the comments have often strayed away from proactive discussion of law, policy, and practice — moving instead into the less productive rhetoric of meta-bickering and inside-shorthand only accessible the handful of individuals who constantly monitor the site. I have never watched any party win these arguments and the eventual result is offense to the participants and Patently-O. This situation has discouraged many from reading the comments and has discouraged even more from participating in the discussion by writing their own comments. And, it has put me in the unenviable position of de facto comment editor and nanny. The anonymity factor of internet communications has, in my view, encouraged frank discussions but has also allowed for bad behavior. ...  Thoughtful, respectful comments are welcomed and encouraged on Patently-O, but we’re also not going to tolerate repeated disruptive behavior".
Dennis then offers some constructive comments, which include the following:
* As you post, think about the tone of your comments. Be polite and avoid all name-calling (both implicit and explicit). 
* Think about writing longer more substantive comments rather than one-liner criticisms and, when you disagree, do not be rude but instead provide constructive and helpful feedback. 
* ... prepare a post that truly explains your position or question. 
* Recognize very few (if any) readers read all of the comments and most of us (including myself) do not understand shorthand references to arguments found on other threads or obscure cases. 
* Re-read your comment before you hit submit–think before you send! And, although you may be writing anonymously, post written work that you would be willing to attach to your professional name. 
* Do not launch an avalanche of comments in quick succession. 
* Stay on topic ... and avoid meta-bickering 
* When you can, provide positive statements (what is correct about another post/comment or correct about the way to think about an issue) rather than only criticisms. That gives us something to build from rather than only tearing-down. To be clear, I want to encourage debate and sometimes the best outcome is to be able to define the points on which we agree/disagree ..."
The IPKat endorses these suggestions and hopes that readers will take them to heart, including the sourpuss who thinks that we have deprived him/her of an entitlement to free speech and keeps trying to re-open the debate by posting anonymous comments to that effect.


Latest JIPLP.  Since five of this weblog's regular team either edit the Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice (JIPLP) or serve on its editorial board, and a number of guest Kats and blog contributors write for it, it seems not inappropriate to mention that the September issue (contents here) leads with a guest editorial by Neil Wilkof, "The second Green Revolution: when no-one seems to take the lead", which you can read at no expense or inconvenience by just clicking here.  Additionally, the JIPLP Readers and Writers LinkedIn Group calls for articles on various subjects from time to time; one topic on which contributions are keenly sought, from any jurisdiction, is the possibility of bringing an action for wrongfully filing oppositions to applications to register trade marks, patents or other registered rights; another such topic is overlap issues in figurative trade mark infringement actions where a parody defence may be open for copyright in the work but not for the trade mark.  If you're interested in writing about these, or other topics, why not join the group?


The SPC phoenix
Around the weblogs. The SPC Blog has finally managed to advertise its annual seminar, a sort of Alcoholics Anonymous for supplementary patent certificate addicts to which all are welcome. Elsewhere, Valentina Torelli gives her version of the Advocate General's ruling in Art & Allposters, an Opinion which has many virtues even though it is not yet available in English.  Finally, on Spicy IP, Shamnad Basheer pens some pertinent points on law-making in India, at a time when it's unclear whether that country is the IP world's poster child or pariah.


Good food where
you see this sign
Feeding frenzy? Dinners are becoming very popular these days in intellectual property circles. It seems like only yesterday that we announced the Dinner Meeting of TIPLO [that's because it was yesterday, chides Merpel], and now it's the turn of Union.  Says Katfriend and local Union boss Gwilym Roberts: “Union are delighted to welcome Mr Wim Van der Eijk, Enlarged Board of Appeal Chairman at the European Patent Office, as speaker at their next dinner on 23 September 2014. As ever this is an opportunity for the audience to see speakers relax and speak their mind, and ask a few probing questions. If you’re interested please email dinners@union-gb.com for further details”.  The IPKat has no details of the venue. Could this be a secret dinner, he wonders?

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