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.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Friday fantasies

Good day for maple leaf growers? Well, maybe not quite, but the IPKat's friends at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) have just told him in UPOV Notification 117 that Canada has ratified the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (the UPOV Convention), which comes into effect for Canada on 19 July. A full list of countries that have signed up for this convention can be found here.

Also from WIPO, but this time from our Katfriends in WIPO's Communications Division, comes a request to remind everyone of a couple of things: (i) last week saw the first edition of the new WIPO Wire newsletter, which aims to help busy WIPO-watchers stay abreast of what the organisation is doing, with a short-and-sweet, fortnightly selection of news, features and resources [this Kat understands that the WIPO folk warmly welcome feedback on this initiative from the IP community, so don't be shy to tell them what you think]; (ii) in case you have forgotten, WIPO has revamped its entire suite of newsletter offerings, from the specialist updates on global IP services, to news on various law, policy and cooperation-related programmes. Details are available from a new mailing platform, which makes it easier for users to sign up and manage their preferences. This new central subscription page provides an at-a-glance overview of all the different newsletters on offer.

Just a red herring -- or the ultimate truth?  "The Unitary Patent Package, the Court of Justice, Union Law & a further response to the academics" is the latest salvo in the battle between respected Dutch patent practitioner Wouter Pors (who heads Bird & Bird's Netherlands IP practice) and the equally respected and somewhat more numerous collection of the good and great from Europe's academic and practising intellectual property community, spearheaded by Alain Strowel.   The original shot in this battle, arguing that the new patent package was setting a dangerous precedent since the EU Member States were stripping the Union of its powers, can be read here.  Wouter responded here, to the effect that the critics had got it all wrong. "Oh no we haven't", they responded here.  Dutch IP magazine Berichten IE then asked Wouter to write his surrejoinder, which you can read here.

Ukraine police in big clean-up.  Once upon a time it was money-laundering that everyone was worried about. Now, it seems, something quite different is being "laundered" -- leading brands of washing powder and shampoo.  According to an article in the most recent Petosevic Eastern Europe news letter, authorities from the city of Chernivtsi recently uncovered an illegal production plant where two individuals, having purchased cheap washing powder in bulk through wholesale distributors, repackaged it in plastic buckets weighing 5.6 kg apiece for sale online as a popular consumer brand. The police raided the premises, where they found  6.7 tons of washing powder, not to mention 3,800 shampoo bottles and 210 disposable razor packages. Criminal proceedings were then launched under Article 229 of the Criminal Code, which makes it an offence to trade unlawfully through the use of trade marks, brand names, and appellations of origin. Penalties range from fines of 7,000-11,000 euro to the seizure and destruction of counterfeit goods, equipment and materials used for their production.  Says Merpel, while lighter sentences may be appropriate for people who have a previously clean criminal record, it is possible that the courts may wish to impose a heavier fine in the hope that it will have a detergent deterrent effect on others.

The sight of one hand being registered ..  In "Should EU Courts know national statute law and case law? A comparative reprise", guest Kat Alberto Bellan discussed reactions to the decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Case C-530/12 P OHIM v National Lottery Commission, [explained in his earlier Katpost herein which that court set aside a decision of the General Court that had effectively allowed the cancellation of National Lottery's Community trade mark on the basis of evidence which was plainly fake but which was presumptively valid under domestic Italian law. This palpable nonsense has now finally been laid to rest since, on Tuesday, in Case T-404/10 RENV the General Court to which these proceedings was remitted has nullified the cancellation decision of the Board of Appeal -- which was made a full five years ago, following the application for cancellation that was made nearly eight years ago. What a shame that it has taken so long to reach this point, adds Merpel, who hopes that this decision will not be subject to a further appeal. 

German IP blogs.  A reader whom this Kat presumes to be German, or at least German-speaking (though his written English is excellent) has contacted the Kat family to ask if they have any recommendations as to the best German-language intellectual property blogs. This Kat is not a talented modern linguist and, while he has taken an active interest in learning what his German colleagues have been thinking and writing, this has always been on the basis that their blogs have been in the English language.  Accordingly, readers are invited to post, using the comments facility below, recommendations of German-language IP blogs -- whether from Germany, Austria, Switzerland or anywhere else that German is spoken. For the convenience of readers, it would be appreciated if respondents could specify the area(s) of IP covered by recommended blogs if that information is not apparent from the title.  Thanks!

Hero with
conservative leanings
Hero status conferred. Mike Weatherley, Vice Chairman at the Motion Picture Licensing Company, former Conservative Member of Parliament and till recently the IP adviser to British prime minister David Cameron, has been awarded the Hero Award from the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) for his impact on consumer protection while in parliament. He recently campaigned in support of the work of local trading standards authorities in tackling intellectual property crime and supported the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) and managed to help squeeze an additional £3 million out of the Home Secretary, Prime Minister and Intellectual Property Office in order to secure PIPCU's future until 2017. Well done Mike, says this Kat, who rather liked his Rock the House competition -- an imaginative and not unsuccessful attempt to sensitise British parliamentarians to the importance of fostering a live and growing musical culture based on the existence of fair and enforceable intellectual property rights.

Around the weblogs. PatLit carries two pieces of interest: one, by Michael Thesen, addresses patent claim construction in Germany following the Bundesgerichtshof ruling in Rotorelemente. The other, by Jeremy, looks at a recent judicial comment about the absence of a "long-felt want" argument in a patent obviousness action and asks whether that rule of thumb isn't really a bit obsolete.  Elsewhere, the 1709 Blog picks up a light and readable article by Lucinda Hawksley, a direct descendant of Charles Dickens, on her celebrated forebear's contribution to copyright law reform.


Anonymous said...

not in German language, but German nonetheless, the GermanIP blog ( used to publish some interesting patent related news, until it apparently made the fatal mistake of publishing an April fools joke in February ("EPO to revise strike regulations" lol!)

Anonymous said...

Found one:

Subscribe to the IPKat's posts by email here

Just pop your email address into the box and click 'Subscribe':