Friday whatever

The IPKat's Forthcoming Event sidebar currently lists 46 items, drawn from several different jurisdictions. As usual, FREE events are marked in BLUE.

One of the IPKat's readers, who has asked specifically not to be mentioned by name on account of his brilliant and creative personality, has drawn the Kat's attention to the availability online of the Patscan Bizarre Patent Calendars from 2004 to 2009. If you're that way inclined -- enjoy!

Eternally fascinated by the magic of Scotch whisky, but somewhat suspicious of the Canadian version, the IPKat took quite an interest in the Glen Breton affair (see earlier post here). He has now learned of further developments, thanks to his good friend and canny scholar Professor Hector MacQueen, whose article with Scott Wortley in Scots Law News ("Scotch and wry in the glens of Nova Scotia") brings him up to speed. The Canadian Federal Court of Appeal, on 22 January 2009, has apparently allowed the Glenora Distillery, of Nova Scotia (Canada) to market its product as “Glen Breton”, much to the annoyance of the Scotch Whisky Association.

The IPKat's friend Klara is a keen motorist, and spends a lot of time driving. Although she keeps her eyes on the road, she still has her ears free.  Klara therefore asked the IPKat to recommend her a good podcast on IP law done by European lawyers. Offhand he can't think of any, but he's very happy to invite readers' recommendations. Please post them below.

Right: the IPKat, suffering Pod Rage on having to listen to the terrible sound of someone disagreeing with him ...

The IPKat's friend Carolina Montero (Abril Abogados) is doing some research into the use of trade marks in "virtual worlds" such as Second Life. This is for academic (i.e. non-client) purposes and is focused on the position in terms of law and practice in Europe. If you've any useful information to share with Carolina, please email her here.  She'll be really grateful to hear from you.

How old can prior art get? The IPKat is indebted to Chris McLeod (Hammonds) for drawing his attention to Sheila Frisk's application to invalidate a UK registered design for a golf tee that was registered in the name of one Michael John St John (Case 0-023-09, available from the IPO website here).  The prior art was a patent publication dating back to 1925. Fortunately for Mr St John, his design was sufficiently different to that in the patent application for him to be able to fend off the challenge -- but it left the Kat wondering whether readers regularly find themselves confronted with prior art of such antiquity.

Right: this Kat prefers tea cups to tee cups (for more of the same, see 99 Cats and a Bird)

Another friend of the IPKat, Federico Bueno, is an attorney at law who is studying an LLMprogram in Intellectual Property at the Munich Intellectual Property Law Center (MIPLC), having previously worked as a trade mark attorney with the distinguished Mexican IP law firm of Olivares & Cia) for the past seven years.  Currently Federico is seeking a one month internship in order to complete his LLM program. He asks whether any readers of this weblog have any helpful information about internship programs in Europe "Aany information is greatly appreciated", he adds).  If you can help Federico, do please email him here.

Several readers of this blog have drawn the IPKat's attention to this masterly poetic rendering by blogmeister extraordinaire Yehuda Berlinger of sections 1 to 179 of the UK's Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. This is a sequel to his verse versions of the US copyright, patent and design codes and the Canadian copyright law (all of which are accessible via his website).

Friday whatever Friday whatever Reviewed by Jeremy on Friday, February 06, 2009 Rating: 5


  1. I recall a friend telling me about a mediaeval farm implement being cited against a patent application (don't know how old the prior art document disclosing said implement was, though).

    Category of citation - X
    Claims - 1-20
    Document - Chaucer, G etc.

  2. US5871238 (Method of modifying and arranging Bible texts) cites as prior art the Rosetta Stone. I think this would be hard to beat (196 BC!).

  3. Got a search report from the UK-IPO last year with two X citations from the 1890s. They were bang on the invention as well.

  4. I don't think the UCL talk on Competition, IP and Contractual Issues in the Media Industry is free - although it is in blue.

  5. As an EPO examiner, I remember citing quite a few XIX century prior art documents. As an attorney, I've based an opposition on a very relevant 1863 document.

    At least in mechanics, a 1920s citation is certainly nothing out of the ordinary. I'd even say that you'll find pre-WWII citations in most search reports in that field.

  6. A patent examiner told me how one application he was examining had a claim which, when read carefully, claimed water. He cited Genesis as prior art.

  7. As an anonymous reader of your blog (and as a sideline: examiner) I regularly cite patents from the 1800s and earlier, e.g. GB N° 418 AD1718 (The UKPO was so kind as to send me copy of this specification)
    You would amazed at how relevant certain inventions from antiquity still can be ;-)

  8. Does anyone know where I can get a link to a copy of patent GB 735,136 from Norwich Pharmacal?

  9. Genesis? I like it. Not that it matters, but did the examiner and the applicant get into a fight about the age of the prior art, depending on whether they took a creationist or evolutionist viewpoint?

  10. You mean this one, gyg3s? Unfortunately only the A spec appears to be online. The granted B spec could, however, be obtained by asking the UK-IPO.

  11. David (1:14:00PM) Thanks !! That's the one. I tried searching for it via espace but it didn't work for me.

  12. My friend and teacher David Zviel once pointed out this SCOTUS decision to me:
    See footnote 1:
    Footnotes Footnote 1 Among the labors of Hercules is the following: "Heracles now set out to perform his fifth Labour". That is pretty old, as prior art goes.

    And, David also called this one to my attention:
    See comment 1 there, which points out that: The printed publications include the King James version of the Bible (1611)

  13. Not as old as some, but my personal favourite is WO02/ 099684 which quotes The Merchant of Venice (1598) in the summary of the prior art.

  14. David, gyg3s - until 1977 UK patent applications were not normally published before they were granted. The document linked to appears to be the granted patent, the equivalent of the modern "B spec".

  15. refers to the 1976 US Supreme court case where a US patent for cleansing diary sheds was invalidated, as Hercules cleansing the Augean Stables with a river was cited as prior art.

  16. In the re-examination proceedings of Ariad’s US patent no 6,410,516, the USPTO cited excerpts from the King James Bible (1611).


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