From March to September 2016 the team is joined by Guest Kats Emma Perot and Mike Mireles.

From April to September 2016 the team is also joined by InternKats Eleanor Wilson and Nick Smallwood.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Friday fantasies

Hors de combit?  Case C-223/15 combit Software is yet another reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union.  The referring court is the Oberlandesgericht Düsseldorf (a German Court which is often called upon in computer program copyright cases) and this case regards Community trade marks (CTMs) and the perception of the average consumer when it comes to likelihood of confusion.  The questions, as helpfully translated into English by Axel Paul Ringelhann (Katpat!), look like this:
(1)      The referring Court requests to know the consequences for the assessment of likelihood of confusion of a CTM consisting of a word viewed from the perspective of the average consumer of a part of a Member State when the phonetic similarity between a CTM and an allegedly infringing sign is neutralized. In contrast, from the perspective of the average consumer of other Member States in which such a neutralisation does not occur:
 (a)      which part is essential for the assessment of likelihood of confusion? The perception of one part of the average consumer or the other part, or the perception of a fictitious average consumer encompassing all Member States?
 (b)      where the likelihood of confusion is given in one part only, is the CTM infringed in the whole territory of the EU, or does a differentiation between the Member States need to be undertaken?
We all look forward to learning the answers. 


Around the weblogs.  Congratulations to transactional intellectual property law weblog IP Draughts on reaching the 1,000 email subscriber mark, an achievement which in this Kat's view is long overdue.  Congratulations too to the MARQUES Class 99 weblog on reaching the 1,700 mark [it's strange, notes Merpel, that while 1,700 is a higher number than 1,000, the latter sounds more important because it's rounder]. Elsewhere, the MARQUES Class 46 blog announces an EDB Forum, where EDB turns out to stand for "Enforcement Database" and this is a handy event for IP owners who like to pool their thoughts, their efforts and their resources when discussing enforcement issues in a safe environment in which their sector-specific chats presumably will nip under the radar of the EU's always suspicious competition authorities.  Finally, Caroline Ncube on Afro-IP asks you to spare a thought for creators of struggle images, copyright, attribution and the right of photographers to stay alive.


Grumpy Cat printed very well, but Merpel
doesn't understand how they kept him so
still while he was being printed ...
3D printing and the law -- but what about industry?  The IPKat recently published two pieces, "3D printing and the law: three recent studies and some recommendations" (here), in which Dinusha Mendis reported on  some initiatives of the UK Intellectual Property Office to kick-start some serious thought on the subject, and "3D printing and the law: three recent studies -- and a critical review" (here), in which Andy Johnstone gave a candid view of these studies.  This prompted a short, sweet question from Katfriend Julian Heathcote Hobbins (General Counsel & Deputy Chairman, FLAG), who asks:
"I see the reference to 3D CAD files. Do you know if the software industry is engaging?"

Well, software industry -- are you? 


Another reader, known to us as "Rickmentor", has contacted us with a few questions which, with luck, readers may be able to answer.  He writes:
"It seems that a little-heralded tender is closing at the European Patent Organisation (EPO) for human translation of Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Russan and Spanish patents into English, as reported by the EPO here. 

The EPO already has a section which procures translations of patents cited by EPO examiners, when required. So does anyone know what is this tender about? Does the EPO propose to close the existing section handling examiner requests, or is the office expecting a deluge of demand following on from some new rule that examiner/patentee citations must be translated to English?
Whatever the answer, it would be good to know what's happening and why, says this Kat who, like all curious felines, is all in favour of transparency ...


Scripted.  The most recent issue of Scripted, the excellent online international and interdisciplinary IP/IT journal from Edinburgh, is now published. You can get a sample of the imaginative and thought-provoking content of Scripted from contributions such as "Disability and the Dancing Body: A symposium on ownership, identity and difference in dance" by Shawn Harmon, Hannah Donaldson, Abbe Brown, Kate Marsh, Mathilde Pavis, Charlotte Waelde, Sarah Whatley and Karen Wood. This reports on the work of the InVisible Difference Project -- not your run-of-the-mill IP article.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

TheInvisibleHand says: The tender could simply be an outsourcing strategy that is the norm within private enterprise for over 30 years. Keep your core business (assessing the validity of patents and patent applications), and divest/outsource support functions which can then be subject to price/quality control of the market. Since there is a mature ad well-functioning market for patent translation services, there is no need for the EPO to maintain this capability in-house, at potentially greater cost.

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