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.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Wednesday whimsies

Open Up Copyright 1. "“Fair copyright for all across Europe” rallying call from libraries, archives and charities" is the strident call from the Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals (CILIP), according to a media release that was embargoed till 00:01 am this morning. It reads, in relevant part:

"In a bid for fair copyright laws that will benefit citizens and researchers across Europe organisations including the Wellcome Trust, the National Library of Scotland, the National Library of Wales, the Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals, Royal Museums Greenwich and the Open Rights Group have called for much needed reforms.

The London Manifesto calls for fair copyright for libraries and archives across Europe. The manifesto outlines needed reforms that will better support research, innovation and growth and will help create a digital single market. It focuses on the important role of libraries and archives.

The reforms would bolster the rights of disabled people by supporting equal access to knowledge. They would mean that libraries can acquire and lend commercially available digital materials and, with archives, can continue to underpin knowledgeable societies in the digital age. The reforms would allow libraries and archives to better support research through modern text and data mining techniques. They would also create a more manageable system of harmonised copyright laws across EU member states.

Non standardised copyright laws across Europe are failing to support the vision of a digital single market because they currently prevent fair access and use of digital content. This means that researchers and citizens in one country can be subject to a completely different copyright regime than in another country. For example this creates significant problems for researchers who are working collaboratively across Europe ..."
Organisations are invited to show their support for fair copyright across Europe by signing in support of the London Manifesto at Apart from using the link above, the text of the London Manifesto can also be accessed on the copyright-specialist 1709 Blog here, so that anyone wanting to discuss it is encouraged to do so there.

Open Up Copyright 2.  Merpel has always admired the European Copyright Society (ECS). If you don't already know about it, you should. According to this link:
"The European Copyright Society (ECS) was founded in January 2012 with the aim of creating a platform for critical and independent scholarly thinking on European Copyright Law. Its members are renowned scholars and academics from various countries of Europe, seeking to promote their views of the overall public interest regarding the construction of European Copyright law".
This body of leading academic thinkers has made some notable contributions to the debate over the current state of European copyright law and the direction it should be taking in the future, which is why Merpel is so pleased to learn that the ECS, which has hitherto been a cross between a closed shop and a secret society, is opening its membership to all serious European copyright scholars. Merpel thinks that this is a most welcome move, since (i) there are so many European copyright scholars who do not yet belong to the ECS (though Merpel is much too discreet to mention their names) and (ii) this smart move dispels any lingering suspicions that people might harbour that the ECS consists principally of a group of academics who regularly cite each other's works and actually diminish opportunities for debate and independent expressions of opinion by generally managing to agree with one another.

Anyway, to speed up the process of bolstering the ECS's membership, Merpel has agreed to promote the cause.  Right now, there isn't a formal application procedure for membership, so aspiring members are invited to email Merpel at with the subject line "ECS membership" and she will forward their names to her friends at ECS on their behalf.

This is what the UN Assembly chamber
looks like when the football's on TV ...
IOC, FIFA seek United Nations membership.  The IPKat learned yesterday that the United Nations Organisation is currently considering applications for full membership from the International Olympic Committee and FIFA (the governing body for world football). The two applicants base their applications on the fact that their portfolios of trade mark rights constitute de facto an intangible territory; that they have massive political power; that their income, budgets and influence substantially exceed that of many current UN member states based on "tangible" territories and on the fact that, unlike Pacific territories that are at risk of disappearing beneath the sea and being lost forever, their intangible rights can be extended in perpetuity and will continue to thrive wherever the eternal values of bribery and corruption sport are promoted.  A spokesman for the United Nations said: "While the UN Charter at present contains no provision for virtual and intangible states, it may be necessary to consider revising it in future to take account of new political and socio-economic entities". Human rights groups however fear that, once UN membership is accorded to the IOC and FIFA, it may be difficult to resist applications from the current Super-Powers, Google and Facebook.  Further details of these applications can be found here.

The PGI logo could be used
with different text, inserting
the CSA's likeness
European Commission ponders CSA Celebrity Indication scheme. Following the success of its 'GI' system for the recognition of Protected Geographical Indications, Protected Designations of Origin and Traditional Specialities Guaranteed, and in the wake of a breakdown of discussions on the possible establishment of a pan-European Right of Publicity for celebrities, the European Commission is now reviewing the establishment of a pan-European registration system for celebrity personalities based on GIs.  According to a Commission media release, the idea is simple: each EU Member State would be required to examine and approve or reject the applications of persons claiming to be celebrities, in accordance with agreed and objectively verifiable criteria. Once approved, the celebrity name would be transmitted to the European Commission which would be responsible for the maintenance of a register, checking for duplicates, conflicts of interest and possible genericity. In the absence of any ground of refusal, the person concerned would enjoy ('Celebrity Status Assured') status and would be entitled to prevent others commercialising, exploiting or using without permission the CSA's name, likeness, Twitter handle, log-in details and other personal data. Like GIs, CSAs would be required to file a Specification, indicating the precise nature of their celebrity.

Heading for the dictionary, under "G" ...  Lexicographers take note: Google Inc. has announced that it will be abandoning all of its trade mark registrations worldwide for the simple word “Google” in recognition of the fact that this word is now synonymous with the activity of searching on the Internet.  In a media statement issued from Google Inc's Googleplex headquarters in Mountain View, California, spokesperson Olaf Pirsol is quoted as saying:
“We are the world’s search engine and we organize the world’s data. We want to give something back to the online community, so we decided to acknowledge officially that ‘googling’ for information is now a legitimate usage of our company's name. From now on, our users can feel free to ‘google’ any search term, and they're even welcome to do so on another search engine. It’s all fine with us, and we're abandoning our trade mark registrations to show good faith in this regard.” 
Pirsol clarified that the company will be maintaining its registrations for the coloured Google logo and for the names of other services such as “Google Earth”, and is committed to enforcing these registrations with “unbending determination”.

When public policies collide.  Katfriend and patent term extension enthusiast Mike Snodin (Parkgrove IP) has written to tell him that his article on the Warner-Lambert and Novartis cases relating to “skinny label” generic products [on which see also Darren's excellent analyses on this weblog here, herehere and here] has finally been published. It's called “When public policies collide: the battle to enforce second medical use patents for drugs in Europe” and it was published in Scrip Regulatory Affairs on 24 March but you can read it in its entirety, thanks to Mike's kindness, here. Explains Mike:
"With the High Court for England and Wales finding no infringement (either direct or indirect) and the Gerechtshof den Haag finding indirect infringement, it is clear that the core issues are not yet settled for skinny label products.  Also, the appeal in the Warner-Lambert case that will be heard in late April will no doubt turn up some interesting new arguments – which could lead to the Court of Appeal for England and Wales disagreeing with Mr Justice Arnold on one or more points. 
Nevertheless, it may well be some time before the courts across the EU reach a settled view on the scope of protection provided by second medical use claims (particularly those in Swiss format).  In the interim, innovators will therefore need to develop strategies for dealing with difficulties that may arise when they seek to enforce their second medical use patents.  In this respect, my article outlines a number of practical lessons that I believe can already be learned from the decisions in the Warner-Lambert and Novartis cases, which lessons can be used by innovators to (hopefully) help improve the chances of their second medical use patents being enforced against skinny label generic products".

Nagoya shame. Having mentioned Darren in the previous item, this Kat just wants to express his personal disappointment that the patent community in the European Union has not become more engaged in the Nagoya Protocol. Darren's very helpful and informative post on Monday, here, on the European Union's draft provisions on compliance with the Nagoya Protocol attracted surprisingly little attention, given its potential impact on investment and innovation, not to mention patent practice in Europe. Come on folk, give it the benefit of your brain-power and your constructive criticisms!


Anonymous said...


Roufousse T. Fairfly said...

I have it on good authority that EPOnia beat the IOC and FIFA to UN membership.

It obviously meets all the criteria for adhesion: EPOnia writes and enforces her own laws, conducts her own diplomacy, and occupies a sovereign territory rivaling Vatican City in size. Her happy subjects thrive under the wise and benevolent rule of her loved and respected Prince. One could only deplore a lack of fish.

Andy J said...

Re: IOC and FIFA.
Bearing in mind that it is 1 April, let's assume this is a genuine bid by these two organisations to join the UN. Allowing admission might have some advantages. Since both (along with EPO) also exhibit all the trappings of dictatorships, it would only be a matter of time before the Security Council could be persuaded to adopt a resolution authorising military force to bring about regime change.

Anonymous said...

President Battistelli is going to anounce today his resignation as president of the EPO!!!

Sally Cooper said...

Wednesday Wishlist ? !

cyrus said...

April fools, surely... Nice try

Lynn Harris said...

Well done of the April fool, Jeremy!

michael factor said...

As documented in Victory, a group of POAs including Bobby Moore, Ausie Ardiles, Pele, Michael Caine and Sylvestor Stalone took on the Germans during the Second World War. The diplomatic iniative was memoralilized in the Goodies comunetary where Tim-Brooke taylor took on the German army, inluding tanks and Hitler, on a football field.

International diplomacy could be well served by football.

Indeed, Maradonna did a lot to restore Argentinian pride after the Falkland's campaign.

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