Saturday snippets

The IPKat found this fascinating post on Patent Baristas via Ria Schalnat (Frost Brown Todd, Cincinnati): in short, the US House of Representatives has approved a pilot program (HR 5418) for specialized patent trial judges. The idea is to develop some patent expertise at the trial level, thus reducing the number of cases that get reversed by the Federal Circuit (currently about 50%).

Right: a panel of judges marking patent counsel for content, performance and originality ...

If successful, the program could reduce uncertainty and cost associated with patent litigation. The pilot programme will last 10 years in at least five courts (if possible those experiencing the highest number of patent cases). Says the IPKat, a 50% reversal rate's not so serious, is it? Presumably it's only in cases of genuine doubt that an appeal will be needed. Merpel demurs: the only good thing about a 50% reversal rate is that it proves the appeal court is listening at least 50% of the time ...

The March 2007 issue of Sweet & Maxwell's Journal of Business Law has a good article by Sarah Green and Djakhongir Saidov on the topic "Software as Goods". The authors, who both lecture in law at the University of Birmingham (that's in England's Midlands region, not Alabama ...) argue persuasively that the chameleonesque character of software - which may be seen as goods or services, as physical or intangible - entitles it to a sui generis set of rules relation to international trade.

Further to yesterday's post on the Dutch reference of three more trade mark questions for a preliminary ruling by the European Court of Justice, Gino van Roeyen has sent the IPKat this picture of a garment over which, it appears, Adidas has been fighting H&M since 1997. He asks, "Can you see three stripes if you don't put the sleeves together?".
Saturday snippets Saturday snippets Reviewed by Jeremy on Saturday, February 17, 2007 Rating: 5

1 comment:

  1. On a related note to the US bill to develop patent trial judges, is the story of Marshall, Texas. This small town in East Texas is the site of "[m]ore patent lawsuits ... than in federal district courts in San Francisco, Chicago, New York and Washington. Only the Central District of California, in Los Angeles, will handle more patent infringement cases." I wonder if they will be targeted for extra training?
    NY Times story on Marshall.


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