This Kat wishes the new team the best of luck and hopes, for all our sakes, that they do a good job. He also wonders if this team has been picked with a view to pressing the case for IP reform at truly international level in preference to the plethora of bilateral and plurilateral agreements that nations have struck (or been pressed to strike) outside the framework of global deals. Merpel notes that, if it wasn't for the Arctic fringe region of Norway, Europe would be entirely unrepresented at the top of the WIPO tree ...
- Anne Leer (Norway), Deputy Director General, Culture and Creative Industries Sector.
- Mario Matus (Chile), Deputy Director General, Development Sector.
- John Sandage (United States of America), Deputy Director General, Patents and Technology Sector.
- Wang Binying (China), Deputy Director General, Brands and Designs Sector.
- Minelik Getahun (Ethiopia), Assistant Director General, Global Issues Sector.
- Naresh Prasad (India), Assistant Director General, Chief of Staff.
- Ramanathan Ambi Sundaram (Sri Lanka), Assistant Director General, Administration and Management Sector.
- Yoshiyuki Takagi (Japan), Assistant Director General, Global Infrastructure Sector.
New man at the top for GRUR. It is with a mixture of pleasure and excitement that this Kat welcomes the news that his friend Gert Würtenberger, founding parter of the law firm WürtenbergerKunze, Munich, has been elected as the new President of the Deutsche Vereinigung für gewerblichen Rechtsschutz und Urheberrecht e.V. -- the German Association for the protection of Intellectual Property (better known by its acronym GRUR). In recent years GRUR has become a much more outgoing organisation, in particular supporting the shared seminars in which its GRUR Int publication and Oxford University Press's Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice (of which Gert is a founder member of the Editorial Board and a valued contributor) have provided a platform for airing different legal and cultural perspectives. Gert takes over from another friend, the delightful and scholarly Hans Peter Kunz-Hallstein, and this weblog wishes them both the very best for the future.
Media in the Courtroom. There's a new publication from the European Audiovisual Observatory, Media in the Courtroom, the details of which you can obtain from the Council of Europe's website here. While the focus of this short (44 page) report is not on the intellectual property aspects of the subject, it nonetheless remains a relevant issue as the need to provide a neutral forum for the administration of justice must be balanced with the individual litigant's right to privacy or, at his option, publicity and the public's interest in being kept informed on matters of public interest. Given its brevity, this work can only skim the surface of this subject -- but it spans both East and West by looking at specific problems that have arisen in Russia, Serbia, Hungary, France and the United Kingdom.
Around the weblogs. Katfriend Alberto Bellan, making his blogging debut for the 1709 Blog team, investigates the constitutionality of blocking injunctions to stop online copyright infringement in Italy, while veteran commentator Ben Challis touches on a surprising subject for rampant copyright infringement: insect photography [Merpel wishes to clarify, after all the fuss about portrait photographs taken by black-crested macaques, that "insect photography" refers to photography of insects, not by them]. On PatLit, Stefano Barazza's thoughtful post on the invalidation of a patent for lip and facial synchronisation of animated characters gives us an insight into life in the United States after Alice v CLS Bank revived the old-fashioned notion that patents are for inventive concepts and not for abstract ideas. On SOLO IP, Barbara Cookson reflects on another fun notion -- the contrast (or is it contradiction?) between ideas being protected and their light inspiring others. On Class 46, Edith Van den Eede reports on an Italian decision in which the now ubiquitous HAVAIANAS flip-flops give the boot to a figuarative mark bearing the legend HAV@NA CUBA for the same products.
Cometh the patent conference, cometh the discount ... Back at the beginning of September this Kat spotted that there were two big patent conferences coming up on the same dates: 4 and 5 December. One is a heavily practice-oriented and truly international event, the 6th International Patent Litigation Conference which was the subject of this Katpost last week. While naturally showcasing the latest European developments, his event takes in patent litigation issues in the United States, China, India, Brazil and the geographically strategic jurisdiction of Turkey. The other, “Preparing for the Unitary Patent Package”, is a different kettle of fish. Run by the Academy of European Law (ERA) in cooperation with Queen Mary, University of London, it has a focus that is narrower in geographical scope than the IBC eventm being specifically directed to the new patent regime in Europe, but which is not limited to patent litigation since it also addresses the mechanisms for operating the unitary patent system within the European Patent Office, the legal position of supplementary protection certificates and the Spanish challenge to the validity of the system itself. Like the IBC event, ERA's also offers reductions on the cost of registration: in addition to the 10% early booking discount (for bookings before 4 November) ERA is also offering a special discount of 25% to readers who quote the VIP KatCode 214R06 IPkat. For details of the programme, click here.
Latest WIPO Magazine. Even though it is still September, the October issue of the WIPO Magazine is now available online: you can view it here. It also comes in French and Spanish [Merpel thinks that this is because the English, the French and the Spanish are the three languages whose speakers are most reluctant to master any other languages, but that's another matter]. Of particular interest to this Kat is the piece by Randy Michels (co-founder of his firm's Trademarkology weblog) on branded hashtags. This Kat speculates that, once it ceases to be a novelty, the prefix "#" will end up being treated by trade mark granting authorities much the same way as the prefix "www". However, he is happy to hear readers' thoughts on this topic. There's also a feature of the prospects of a single trade mark law to cover the Gulf Cooperation Council States. The authors, Saba Al Sultani and Rob Deans (both of Clyde & Co LLP) state that this legislation was initially scheduled for enactment in 2006 but was delayed by a spot of renegotiation. This Kat vaguely recalls it first being mooted back in the late 1980s. Who can come up with the earliest date that this law was proposed?