Friday frolics

South African actress and celebrity Charlize Theron is being sued for wearing a Dior watch, after accepting a large sum of money for agreeing to endorse Raymond Weil's watches. The IPKat wonders if she'll end up on the US Trade Representative's Watch List ... Merpel adds, this gives a new meaning to the term "two-timing".

Are you planning to celebrate World Intellectual Property Day on 26 April? In previous years it's been largely ignored. If we're stuck with it, we may as well make the most of it - particularly those of us who are Party Animals. The IPKat has received an email from an IP adviser who has approached various IP related bodies on a personal basis, such as the TMA, CIPA, FAST, FACT, CLA, NLA, CBI, BPI, BVA, MCPS, MPA, DTI and HM Treasury, asking what they are doing, but who still awaits a reply.

The Lawyer and Legal Week were also approached but only The Lawyer replied.

Possible options suggested include results from an IP survey on the day, conferences and seminars around the country, a soundbite from the PM, Chancellor or Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on the day and the Patent Office mentioning WIPD on their website and indicating what they are doing this year.

WIPO do not have details for 2007 on their website as yet and it seems that anyone contacted may be either too busy or think it is all too far in the future to worry about and then leave it until it is too late.

Above: This delicious depiction of Party Animals comes from The Rubber Band's Xmas catalogue

The IPKat is going to stir up some interest, so watch this space. Also, if you have any grand ideas for how to celebrate the Day, email the IPKat here and let him know. Best answers will be posted on this weblog.

The US Supreme Court has exercised a major influence on all areas of IP in recent times (the Napster, Grokster, Victoria's Secret and eBay v MercExchange rulings, to name but a few). So can you get rid of US Supreme Court judges if you don't like them? This question is raised in The Straight Dope, which takes a playful prod at the ageing process and mental decrepitude among the judiciary. Says the IPKat, not all judges are like Judge Rich who, at 95, was still resolving issues in the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Says Merpel, what Judge Rich was actually trying to do was to outlive his own copyright term ...

Last year was another bumper year for Patent Cooperation Treaty applications, according to data revealed in a press release from the World Intellectual Property Organization. Top line figures show

"a record 145,3001 applications filed in 2006, representing a 6.4% growth over the previous year. The most remarkable growth rates came from countries in north east Asia for the third year running and represented over a quarter (25.3%) of all international applications under the PCT. In 2006, the list was topped by applications from the United States of America (USA), Japan, Germany, Republic of Korea and France.

“The number of international patent applications continues to rise with impressive growth from north east Asian countries. ...

The Republic of Korea, which experienced 26.6% growth in 2006 as compared to 2005, overtook the United Kingdom and France to become the 4th biggest country of origin of PCT filings, and applicants from China, whose use grew by 56.8%, dislodged Switzerland and Sweden to take the position of 8th largest country of origin".

The IPKat notes that four of the top five patent-filing companies are European, the fifth Japanese. Highest-flying US PCT user in the 50-strong list is 3M, at sixth. The list, alas, was not long enough to include any British companies.

Peer-to-Patent is on its way, according to a post on Dennis Crouch's free-speech-friendly Patently-O blog. Read Dennis's piece and the comments and judge for yourselves whether this experiment is going to work. The IPKat likes it and thinks that Peer-to-Patent advocate Beth Noveck makes a lot more sense than most of the contorted claims that this particular P2P project is designed to expose.

Right: posting up patent applications on the internet, where their detractors can throw prior art and critical comments at them, will make some applicants think twice about what they're claiming.

The IPKat's friend Simon Haslam (Abel & Imray) has sent him this BBC link to news of more Research in Motion litigation over the BlackBerry, this time leading to a settlement with Samsung of a claim relating to the latter's use of the allegedly confusing name BlackJack for a hand-held email device.
Friday frolics Friday frolics Reviewed by Jeremy on Friday, February 09, 2007 Rating: 5


  1. erm...there wasn't a US Supreme Court Napster decision...

  2. Quite right, it was a 9th Circuit ruling. But if there had been a US Supreme Court decision in Napster it would likely have been pretty influential ...


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