Thursday, 10 December 2015
The IPKat was variously flattered, humbled, delighted and surprised** to be told that the IPKat blog is the top-ranked IP “Blawg” (legal blog) of all time in Justia’s Blawgsearch. The rankings are based on the number of hits and visits to a blog from the Blawgsearch engine and directories. While it may not be the last word in rankings, the IPKat is in very good company judging by the renowned names on the list.
However, it’s not all about hits and number of subscribers in the legal blogging world. Not for the first time, the IPKat reminds readers of the importance of niche IP blogs such as the SPC blog, or Art & Artifice, which serve an equally important function in reporting in depth on matters of great interest in specific sectors. Take a look for the IPKat’s cousins on the sidebar of the website to see some excellent blogs that may never have the same breadth of readership but make up for this in terms of quality reporting from experts in their specific fields.
** Being composed of multiple authors, the IPKat has no difficulty in maintaining several diverse emotions at the same time.
SPC Reference C-572/15
Speaking of SPCs, which we nearly were, the IPKat has learnt of another SPC reference to the CJEU thanks to a tweet from Carpmaels Pharma. The issue relates to SPCs in CZ, EE, CY, LV, LT, MT, PO, SI and SK granted before 1/5/04 & before 1/1/2007 in RO.
The questions are:
1. Must Article 21(2) of Regulation No 469/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 May 2009 concerning the supplementary protection certificate for medicinal products (codified version) be interpreted as shortening the duration of a supplementary protection certificate issued in a Member State which was issued under national law before the accession of the State in question to the European Union and whose duration in relation to an active substance, as stated in the supplementary protection certificate, would be longer than 15 years from the time when the first marketing authorisation in the Union was granted for a medicinal product consisting of the active substance or containing it?
2. If the answer to the first question is in the affirmative, is Article 21(2) of Regulation No 469/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 May 2009 concerning the supplementary protection certificate for medicinal products (codified version) compatible with European Union law, in particular the general principles of European Union law on the protection of acquired rights, the principle of the prohibition of retroactive effect of law, and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union?
This Kat’s more pharmaceutically-attuned colleague Darren tells him that in essence, the question is whether an SPC in an accession country should be shortened if, after accession to the EU, the period of protection would be longer than 15 years from first EU marketing authorization.
Peer-reviewed research on IP & Innovation
Further to the IPKat's recent post, "Jeremy Phillips' words of warning- and some further thoughts", Daphne Yong-D'Herve, Senior Policy Manager, Intellectual Property, at the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), has brought to the IPKat's attention a recent series of research reports that the ICC has developed on the role of IP in the innovation process.
Daphne points out that the reports are peer-reviewed and while they present findings based on the existing academic literature, they are set out in an easy-to-read (we assume that means "non-academic") format. The IPKat has taken a look at the series and finds them worthy of attention for Kat readers interested in this most timely subject. The reports are available here, and if you want to be kept updated with future paper launches you can follow @ICCWBO_ORG #ICCIP or contact Daphne Yong-d'Herve (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Can you get your Netflix fix abroad?
A press release from the UK’s Department of Business, Innovation and Skills proclaims that “For the first time, UK consumers will be able to access digital subscriptions such as Netflix when travelling in other EU countries, thanks to new European Commission proposals championed by the Government.” The emailed version of the same release confirms that that this applies not only to Netflix but also to Amazon’s digital services and Now TV (of passing-off fame), with services like BBC iPlayer able to opt-in. How exciting!
Reading more closely, the IPKat sees that this is a Commission proposal, which is supported and perhaps even driven by the UK government. It still has to go through the legislative process between the Commission, Council and Parliament -- and the aim is to have it implemented by 2017.
Prime Minister Cameron used this news (perhaps prematurely, given that there’s a considerable legislative ground to cover), to point to this as evidence of “how UK leadership can secure a flexible single market that works for EU consumers and businesses.”
The IPKat suspects, sadly, that the press release and the somewhat surprising interest shown by the PM in the nuts and bolts of copyright law have more to do with the debate on EU membership than a newfound love of IP. Indeed this raises the question: if UK citizens are to gain these new digital rights some time in 2017, will they get them before they decide to remain in or leave the EU?