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.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Monday miscellany

In the best of (unprotected) taste. "Pizzeria Attempts To Trademark The Flavor Of Pizza. Yes, Seriously" is Techdirt's account of the New York Pizzeria's scrap with Gina's Italian Kitchen, which foodandwine.com writes up as "Court Rules You Can't Trademark Flavor".  Good news for those who are offended by the notion that the taste of a pizza can ever end up as private property comes in the form of a couple of judicial soundbytes (bites?) from Judge Gregg Costa: "As with colors, it is unlikely that flavors can ever be inherently distinctive, because they do not 'automatically' suggest a product's source" and "Functional product features are not protectable". Katpats to Chris Torrero and other friends who have sent links.


UPC Rules OK.  The Unified Patent Court, that strange and wondrous organism which seems to be looming over the territory of much of the European Union like a hapless Gruffalo, appears to have generated a 17th draft of its Rules of Procedure.  Details of this fresh development, plus access to the 17th draft, is just one click away, here.  As the UPC's web page explains:
The Legal Group of the Preparatory Committee has completed its examination of the 16th draft of the UPC Rules of Procedure – which the Expert Group had finished at the end of January 2014 – presenting the resulting 17th draft at the end of October. In accordance with the Roadmap of the Preparatory Committee and as announced in the note published on this website on 6 March 2014 an oral hearing will be held on the 17th draft of the Rules of Procedure. This hearing will take place on 26 November 2014 at the European Law Academy (ERA) in Trier from 9:00 to 18:00 o’clock.

Around the weblogs. PatLit announces Larry M. Goldstein's new book, Litigation-Proof Patents, a concept the existence of which is open to doubt.  A review will follow on this weblog in due course, once this Kat has a copy of the book between his paws.  IP Finance hosts a guest post from Ron (Inflexion Point) Laurie on IP as assets, reminding us that IP is not a homogeneous asset class and that patents are far riskier than trade marks and copyrights.  Class 46, via the excellent and informative Laetitia Lagarde, reports on two recent trade mark rulings from the European Union's General Court involving one of this Kat's favourite shops, Spanish retailers El Corte Inglés. In the first, its BAS3TRES figurative mark was ruled not to be confusingly similar to the word mark BAUSS. In the second, in a ruling that will overjoy every reader who is hoping that GOLDEN BALLS will come out on top in its Court of Justice tussle with BALLON D'OR later this month, the General Court deemed the word mark THE ENGLISH CUT not to be confusingly similar to figurative marks containing the words El Corte Inglés: the fact that the words had some conceptual similarity couldn't make them sufficiently close to confuse anyone.


ISIS chocolate terror.  "Belgian chocolate trade mark changed in fear of confusion with terrorist organization" is a story carried by TASS last week.  In short, Belgian company Isis has changed its trade mark for fear that its customers might associate the name of its chocolate brand with the name of the Islamic State terrorist organization responsible for atrocious terrorism and war crimes in Syria and Iraq.  Said the company, the reason behind the change was that chocolate produced under the Isis brand might be associated in the minds of Isis chocolate lovers with the English abbreviation for the terrorist organization of Islamic State militants often still known by its old name ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria).  The product's new trade mark is Libeert [another Katpat for Chris Torrero].  Merpel notes that loads of businesses have trade mark registrations for the word ISIS or for marks that are very similar [see eg EU and UK registrations here]: will they all be changing? She doubts it.


The Commission: will it listen to the voice
of the IP community? And will it understand ...?
Public consultation on patents and standards. Following the publication in March 2014 of a study on the issue of patents and standards commissioned in 2013 by DG Enterprise and Industry, on 14 October the European Commission issued a Public Consultation on Patents and Standards, to gather information and views on the interplay between standardisation and intellectual property rights such as patents. Responses are requested from stakeholders on big issues such as the standard-setting process, ownership transparency and transfer, patent pools, fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) determination and standard-essential patent litigation and enforcement. If you plan to respond, you can mull over your key points while enjoying your seasonal turkey, since the closing date for submissions isn't till 31 January 2015.


The IPKat was pleased to get a plug on this post on "Legal Bloggers You Should be Following" by Law Absolute, a firm of recruitment specialists.  Thank you!

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