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Still on patents. AMBA -- the Association of the Members of the Boards of Appeal of the European Patent Office (EPO) -- has just launched an online questionnaire on reforms of the Boards of Appeal of the EPO. The questions are in the left hand column and follow the categories of the EPO's own questionnaire, but have a wider scope and are more closely directed towards exploring the effects of structural changes on the Boards' independence. The right hand column on the questionnaire screen contains relevant explanatory information [there is a lot of info there, and not everybody will need it or indeed be interested in it, which is why AMBA have tidied it away in collapsible sections]. AMBA's own proposal for reform [you can find it in AMBA's Report on the Reform of the Boards of Appeal] is similar to that of the epi [that's the body representing practitioners before the EPO] in that it involves a council for the judiciary, but a number of differences can be seen from the comparison table in the information section in the introduction. Do please participate if you can!
Parliament resolves, CEIPI roars. This Kat has just received a 23-page document from his friends at CEIPI in Strasbourg, this being the "Reaction of CEIPI to the Resolution on the Implementation of Directive 2001/29/EC on the Harmonisation of Copyright in the Information Society adopted by the European Parliament on the 9th July 2015". Once the various Kats have had a chance to review it properly, you may be reading more about this document. Meanwhile, this Kat brings you a sneak preview of its rousing finale:
Ordinary Europeans do not perceive the European project though ambitious political declarations but through their everyday life reality. If “an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe”106 is to be achieved in the XXI century, it cannot be done while digital curtains are maintained. It is hoped that European and national leaders will have the courage to create a common digital space, as no member state can change this by a unilateral action. Now it is the turn for the European Commission to make an ambitious proposal drawing on the Parliament’s Resolution.In the meantime, if you have read it and would like to give the benefit of your thoughts to CEIPI's Director General Christophe Geiger, do please email him here. And if you'd like to peruse a Kat's-eye view of what the European Parliament was up to on 9 July, Eleonora's post here is worth a read.
An illuminating read? This Kat's feelings about the long-outdated, stale, tired and boring metaphor of the light-bulb as a visual metaphor for invention, innovation or intellectual property as a whole are well-known. Accordingly, when he received his copy of The Economist Guide to Intellectual Property: What it is, How to protect it, How to exploit it, by Stephen Johnson, his heart sank. Fortunately, once he got past the front cover, things started looking up. This is a short, intelligently-written set of guidance for decision-makers and risk-takers in business who spend time and expend energy and emotional capital in dealing with their corporate intangible assets without actually being IP lawyers themselves, readers who often have to navigate the uncertain terrain of markets in which you have to keep eye simultaneously on your own and your competitors' IP. It's a good read by a seasoned IP expert (the author, after three decades in private practice, is now Chief IP Officer of a leading US mental health charity, One Mind. Details of this book can be found on the publisher's website here.
Short and sweet. Innovation, Competition And Collaboration, is a new title from Edward Elgar Publishing. Edited by Dana Beldiman (Professor, Bucerius Law School, Hamburg, and Professor-in-Residence, UC Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco), it is one of the shorter titles to emanate from that prolific publishing house in recent times, with just ten chapters spanning a little over 200 pages, but the quality of the contributors and their respective chapters more than compensates for that slightly sinking feeling that some people who pay for their own books get after they've divided the price by the number of pages they've received in return. The authors include many well-established analysts of IP issues, whether drawn from practice (in this case veteran commentator Thomas Vinje, now with Clifford Chance in Brussels) or from academe (Annette Kur, Ansgar Ohly Séverine Dusollier, Gustavo Ghidini and Jacques de Werra are in the line-up). To find out more about this title, just click here.