Summary judgements are a rarity in patent litigation, where judges feel more confortable when grounding their decisions on expert evidence gathered during the trial phase. There are, however, some exceptions, like Nampak Plastics Europe Ltd v Alpla UK Ltd, where Birss J held that the proprietor of a very simple patent for a plastic milk bottle could not resist an application for summary judgment on non-infringement in respect of the claimant's bottle design. In this post, Jeremy allows occasional guest blogger Paul England (Taylor Wessing LLP) to report on the appeal decision of this case, rendered by the Court of Appeal for England and Wales.
Clothing retailer Duluth Holdings created an advertisement showing two t-shirts known as “henley” with the phrase “Don A Henley AND Take it Easy”. Don Henley, a former member of the Eagles, did not take it easy and sued the company before the Central District Court of California, claiming infringement of his trade marks, right of publicity, and also false advertising. Marie-Andrée tells how it went.
Who said that Continental Europe is under-represented on the IPKat? After an Eleonorian Friday Fantasia, voilà Marie-Andrée’s finesse!
The Court of Appeal for England and Wales has just issued its decision in Specsavers v Asda, a very well-known saga the previous episodes of which have been severally covered by the IPKat [on initial skirmishes, here and here; on the High Court judgment of Mann J here; on the main decision and referral to Europe by the Court of Appeal here; on the costs ruling here and then the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU ) decision here]. The dispute substantially concerns the question of whether the use of a pair of coloured overlapping ovals with a distinctive word element can save a sign constituted of two black overlapping ovals without any word sign from non-use revocation. After the CJEU gave its opinion, the controversy came back home, with David recounting how it went.
Informed by Bart van Wezenbeek of V.O. Patents & Trademarks, David recounts a change in format for the EQE (the qualifying exam to become a European Patent Attorney), which will take effect in a couple of years. Currently, the drafting and amendment papers are available in two versions: one for electrical and mechanical candidates, the other for chemists and life scientists. Is this change desirable, wonder David and Bart, leaving room for readers’ answers in the comment section.
* Apples and Oranges in the IP5 Statistics, or how to make your patent filing statistics look more fruitfulOnce again, Jeremy gives a platform to Peter Arrowsmith (partner in London-based patent attorneys Cleveland), the patent-statistics enthusiast who penned the two-part post on whether British inventors are really a disappearing breed [“The Great British Vanishing Act”, here and here]. This time round, Peter looks at the presentation of patent filing figures published in the IP5 statistical data for 2013, which is released jointly by the five largest intellectual property offices in the world (IP5, indeed).
* Finland’s Citizen Copyright Initiative In Doubt: A Sad But Necessary Win For Cross-Border Online Copyright Enforcement?In December 2012, the Finnish police raided the home of a nine-year-old girl who had illegally downloaded music on to her computer. That fact gave rise to ‘Common Sense For Copyright’, a crowd-sourced initiative which called for the expansion of copyright fair use exceptions under Finland’s Copyright Act. Alas, that the Finnish Parliament is close to rejecting the initiative, Lucas reports.Iconic shoe manufacturer Converse has brought 31 trade mark infringement proceedings against retailers and rival shoe designers in the US, claiming infringement of a trade mark covering the “distinctive midsole design made up of a toe bumper and a toe cap, plus an upper strike and/or a lower stripe”. Rebecca tells how it is going.
Jeremy breaks the news of Mr Justice Arnold of the Chancery Division of the High Court of Justice giving his decision in Cartier, Montblanc and Richemont v BSkyB, BT, TalkTalk, EE and Virgin (Open Rights Group intervening)  EWHC 3354 (Ch). The proceedings concerns right owners’ claims towards most important UK access providers to block access to websites selling infringing goods. This most Arnoldian decision considers all the key issues of the field, from jurisdiction criteria to conditions and principles that govern issuance of blocking injunctions under UK and EU law.In the French copyright wonderland, even shoes can be protected as a work of art. This is what happened recently at the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris, Marie-Andrée explains, with that Court determining whether a shoe reflects the personality of its author when French fashion house Sonia Rykiel was recently sued in this court by French shoe manufacturer Apple Shoes for copyright infringement.Kafriend Sophie Stalla-Bourdillon (University of Southampton) is looking for a logo for the new interdisciplinary Centre for Law, Internet and Culture (iCLIC) at the University of Southampton, which comprises Eleonora Rosati, Micheal O’Floinn, Marta Iljadica, with Sophie acting as iCLIC’s director. The deadline for submitting logos is 2 November. The winner will have his/her work reproduced on the IPKat, get a free ticket for the first iCLIC conference, and will be most welcome to visit the Centre. More information can be found in this Eleonora’s post.
Starting from the final chart of The Economist’s Innovation Awards, published in the 4 October issue of the magazine, Neil reflects on the criteria used to choose the winners, on the very state of innovation, and on what that concept means nowadays. Does that list reflects the idiosyncrasies of The Economist as much as the objective indicia considered? Are we in an innovation trough? Questions and possible answers are in this inspiring post.Jeremy launches a competition to write a limerick that (i) begins with the line "A talented kitten called Kate" and (ii) is on the theme of intellectual property protection other than via the patent system. The prize is complimentary registration, complete with a free lunch, at CLT's forthcoming conference -- "Intellectual Property: the 'no patents' round-up for non-techie people", organised by CLT and held in Central London on 29 October (for which further details are available here). The deadline for submitting limericks is 26 October. Read this post to know more!The creation of a unitary patent title and a common court (‘UPC’) to litigate patent infringement in Europe raises, among other things, questions of international IP law. Katfriend Henning Grosse Ruse-Khan (University of Cambridge, King’s College and Max Planck Institute), kindly hosted by Eleonora, investigates those really questions in this post.Jeremy reports on the General Court of the European Union’s decision in Case T-450/11 Galileo International Technology LLC v OHIM, the European Commission and the European Space Agency (ESA). The case concerns a device sign including the word “Galileo”, for which the EU Commission sought registration, on behalf of the European Space Agency, in relation to “research and development in the field of satellite radio navigation” in Class 42. In 2005, a company owning two earlier Community GALILEO word marks for a large number of goods and services in Classes 9, 16, 35, 38, 39, 41 and 42 opposed that registration. Like the earlier decisions in this case, the General Court goes at the very core of similarity among products and services, providing an enlightening analysis on what “research and development” means in terms of services and products.Are you terrified by the possible disasters that the UPC-related IT systems could bring into your life? Last week the Kat posted a little item encouraging readers to test out the UPC's IT prototype that the UK IPO created to design an IT interface as efficient as possible. Yesterday Annsley tested the prototype herself and, highlighting possible inconveniences that different EU approaches might trigger, re-encourages readers to give their feedback while there is still time (ie, until November 2014).
Monday, 20 October 2014
Is it really sixteen weeks since our good friend and fellow blogger Alberto Bellan commenced this series of round-ups of the previous week's IPKat blogposts? It is indeed, and our Kat-stats show that, in some cases, the number of people reading blogposts the week after they were first posted exceeds the number of folk who read them in their week of publication. Anyway, last week's posts -- which finished with quite a flurry of activity yesterday, look like this: