Monday maladies

This was going to be the IPKat's Friday round-up, but Friday came a little too quickly for him ...

The IPKat's superbly-updated 'Forthcoming Events' feature, which occupies a large slice of space on the left-hand side-bar of this weblog's front page, currently lists 25 conferences, seminars and events for your delectation. FREE events are listed in a cheerful blue.

Now that the UK government has declared its surprising and illogical support for a 70-year copyright term for sound recordings (see IPKat here), there has never been a better time to attend tomorrow afternoon's IP Finance weblog meeting "IP term: what it means in finance terms", a discussion on the financial implications of the duration of IP protection. Anna Feros (Shepherd & Wedderburn) discusses patent term, while John Enser (Olswang) deals with copyright term. Details: Tuesday 16 December, 5pm till 6.30pm at Shepherd & Wedderburn's London office (here). If you're coming, email Anna Feros here so that we can all be forewarned. PS, it's FREE! Networking opportunities are good too, since there are already 25 good folk signed up.

For those whose tastes are more obscure, The SPC Blog's seminar on 29 January 2009 is also doing fine. With a remarkable 36 participants already registered, this threatens to break all records for the number of supplementary protection certificate enthusiasts in the same room at the same time. Further details are available here.

Translation of court rulings and OHIM decisions into English and indeed other European languages has been exercising the readers of this weblog again.

Right: there is no truth in the rumour that Luxembourg has been devastated by rowdy hordes of English 'translation tourists' ...

The IPKat's friend Steve Barr has written to tell him:

"During a recent visit in Luxemburg I mentioned the "lack of English translations problem" to my host, who has insider knowledge of the workings of the Luxemburg based Institutions. Apparently the reason for the "no English" translations situation is the reduced number of "English Translators" working at the Court of Justice . He informed me that, to work at the Court of Justice, there is a twin pronged requirement of a Law qualification and language translation skills . He suggested that not enough candidates are offering themselves for the posts available because those with a law qualification can earn more in the UK legal professions without having to leave "Blighty" and also that there has been a drop in numbers of (foreign) language students in the UK, making the recruitment of (mother tongue English ) translators a general problem. Perhaps an interim solution to the problem would be for the ECJ to publish "unofficial" computer-generated translations in those cases where they have been unable to produce an official translation".
As a useful afterthought, Steve gives the IPKat this link to the Curia "English language legal translators" page. So, says the Kat, if you're English, linguistically talented, legally educated and currently or prospectively unemployed within the UK legal professions, this might be the ideal job for you.

Last month ("A katty query on service of documents") the IPKat posed a reader's question: "Can you serve legal documents over MySpace? [or indeed over any other social networking facility]". The Kat received various responses at the time, and has now been referred to an article by Nick Abrahams (Deacons) in the Sydney Morning Herald, "Australian court serves documents via Facebook". Thank you Quincy Wong, for spotting this!
Monday maladies Monday maladies Reviewed by Jeremy on Monday, December 15, 2008 Rating: 5


  1. RE: foreign language issue: there are plenty of "foreign" lawyers that could do the translation work - often with a much better knowledge of English grammar.... just an idea.

  2. Another thought. Having English as a mother tongue doesn't always mean the person is English. Those far-flung & mysterious places to the north & west pop into mind (Wales, Scotland, Ireland if anyone's wondering)....

  3. The answer from Luxembourg rings true, for anybody looking in on the tri-lingual EPO. Hardly anybody there has English as first language (why's that then?). What other Patent Office Examiner in the world decides whether a prosecution amendment adds subject matter without being a native speaker of the language of the Applicant? All those in the UK who whinge about EPO Examiners being unable to accept that a re-written appln is devoid of new matter should imagine how they would deal with such a situation if they were suddenly parachuted into the German, Japanese, Korean or Chinese Patent Office. They would probably do what EPO Examiners do, and look for verbatim support in the original filing, no?

  4. In the EPO an examiner receives more points for examining a case which is not in his or her mother tongue. For this reason English language cases are often dealt with by examiners who do not have English as their mother tongue. Those that do have English mother tongue are busy examining French and German language cases. This is the basis for the whinge.

  5. Can any other reader confirm that last comment from Anonymous, that the few English mother tongue Exrs in the EPO spend their time doing FR and DE stuff, rather than contributing to the 75%+ of the inflow of work that's in English? Strikes me as far-fetched (although brushing up their language skills is a reasonable thing for an English native speaker to do, inside the EPO). Is it yet another Euro-myth, or is it really true?

  6. I wonder, how many of the IPKat's readers do in fact make use of the free language course provided by the EPO and read the Official Journal in a non-mother tongue? It will not earn you points but confidence.

  7. "PO an examiner receives more points for examining a case which is not in his or her mother tongue."


    Just the opposite: You tend to get more points for files in your mother tongue -if it is one of the official languages - simply because you are likely to be quicker. English examiner are not known for seeking German or French files, allowing for some exceptions doing it for l'amour de l'art.
    Most of the people on a fast-track career are English speaking people. It helps a lot.

  8. " the Official Journal in a non-mother tongue? "
    The non-English people have no choice, at least for the Gazette: since the communication bloated lately - oops, I mean professionalized- 99% of the content is English only.


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