Kat rages over Galileo; Australia signs up for WIPO treaties

Just when the translation situation in the European Court of Justice seems to be improving, something always seems to happen which enrages the IPKat. He has been waiting a very, very long time for an English-language translation of Case T-279/03, Galileo International Technology LLC and others v The Commission. This is the action brought by Galileo (the group of travel services companies, not the astronomist, right) to stop the use of the word Galileo in respect of the Commission's satellite navigation system project. The Court of First Instance dismissed the action on 10 May 2006 - a whole year ago - and there is STILL NO TRANSLATION IN ENGLISH ON THE CURIA WEBSITE. The decision is however translated into 18 of the 22 official languages, including Maltese.

Left: The Kat is not amused.

While he is very fond of both Malta and the Maltese, the IPKat can't help speculating as to whether there are many (or indeed any) people there who (i) really needed to know what the CFI said in its ruling and (ii) could not have understood it in any other language. Meanwhile, there are millions of English-speaking people, both in the EU and outside it, who are mightily frustrated when they don't know what the CFI says. He adds, if anyone knows of an extant translation into English, whether official or unofficial, can that kind person let the IPKat know?

Helpfully, the Court has prepared a five-paragraph summary of the ruling of the CFI, for the benefit of those people who are too busy or linguistically inept to read the 150+ paragraphs of the original - but that too is translated into only eight official EU languages, excluding English.

Merpel adds, who decides which official documents the small number of Maltese translators actually translate? And was this case so key to Maltese interests that loads of other Commission documents must remain untranslated into Maltese because this particular one has been translated?

Meanwhile, at the opposite end of the world, that haven of tranquility which is Australia - where dreamtime was invented - has signed up for the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty, both with effect from 26 July 2007. The IPKat is delighted that this bright and imaginative jurisdiction has committed itself. Merpel's not sure why it took so long. Does anyone know?

Above right: Aboriginal artwork displayed on the Digdes We Do website
Kat rages over Galileo; Australia signs up for WIPO treaties Kat rages over Galileo; Australia signs up for WIPO treaties Reviewed by Jeremy on Tuesday, May 08, 2007 Rating: 5


  1. Galileo an astronomist? Darwin, presumably, a biologer...

  2. Well I like the word. It's on the up-and-up, as 11,000+ Google hits will testify, and it provides a rhyme for "gastronomist" too.

  3. Ian Drew (Davies Collison Cave, Melbourne) has written to the IPKat as follows: "I suspect that the answer to your query in relation to why Australia had not signed the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty may be found in this following report:


    This report was very influential in Australia and considered changes to the IP system in Australia using a cost benefit analysis in relation to the impact for competition. In particular, I note that the report recommended against extension of the copyright term to life + 70 years on the basis that there appeared little justification in terms of the additional incentive it afforded (Mickey mouse was quite annoyed)". Many thanks, Ian!


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