Tuesday twiglets

World Intellectual Property Day approaches (see earlier IPKat post here), but there is still a paucity of organised activity in many respectable jurisdictions -- including the UK. The WIPO website lists the events taking place in just 29 countries, which suggests either that the global recession is really depressing the IP community or that we're all suffering from a rampant attack of apathy.  Come on, roar the Kats, there's still time to organise a party!

Thanks, Hugo Cox, for drawing the IPKat's attention to this action before the little-known EFTA Court in Case E-1/09 EFTA Surveillance Authority v Principality of Liechtenstein, brought on 3 February 2009. The Surveillance Authority seeks a declaration that
"By requiring a residence, wherefrom he is able to fulfil his tasks effectively and on a regular basis, for lawyers, patent lawyers, auditors and trustees the Principality of Liechtenstein has failed to fulfil its obligations under the EEA Agreement, in particular Article 31 thereof".
The Kats will be watching this one carefully, though they doubt that the outcome will determine whether it triggers a continental drift of itinerant patent lawyers.

Right: in the light of global warming and the recession, the planned new building for the EFTA Court has been scaled down a little

Here's a reminder to entrants to the MARQUES trade mark essay competition for 2009: the deadline for submissions is 15 June, which is only a couple of months away.  There's a decent prize, the chance of a little fame/notoriety and even a day at the seaside awaiting the winner.  So get writing!

The controversial decision for a Directive to extend to 95 years the copyright term in certain works in Europe is a matter of great interest to the IPKat, who has heard from a reliable source that  (i) The plenary (first reading) vote in the European Parliament, scheduled for 23 March, was postponed and no new date has been fixed: it may still be the week beginning 21 April, or in the last plenary session in May, or not at all; (ii) In the Council of Ministers, a blocking minority of countries led by the Scandinavians prevented agreement on a compromise text (70 years) proposed by the Czech presidency (Committee of permanent representatives (COREPER), March 27).  As things stand, there appears to be no 'qualifying majority' of EU countries in favour of term extension even if the UK is counted as a "For"; (iii) Sweden has been tasked with finding a position that can be agreed during the next presidency; (iv) behind the scenes, enormous pressure is being exercised by the Commission to 'turn' some of the blocking countries. The IPKat hears that "the copyright unit of the Commission will not come out of this unscathed".

A reader asks the Kats: "Are you aware of any good studies or articles on Art 6ter Paris Convention protection (hallmarks, flags, emblems etc) ? The reason I ask is that one of my roles is attending the WIPO SCT every 6 months and it looks as though 6ter may become a focus. Some countries think it is being abused and others think the scope of protection isn't broad enough".  The reader would appreciate analyses that discuss the original aims and intentions of Art 6ter.  If you've any recommendations, can you please post them as Comments below?

Left: this sign is registered with WIPO under Art 6 ter. Do you recognise it?

The IPKat's antipodean informant Elena Szentivanyi (Henry Hughes) tells him that New Zealand's Trade Marks Act 2002 is being amended to 
• join the Nice Agreement, the Singapore Treaty, and the Madrid Protocol;
• bolster the enforcement of the criminal offence provisions in respect of counterfeit goods;
• clarify the law relating to trade mark infringement by parallel imported goods;
• remove the ability to register voluntarily licensees against trade marks (see summary here). 
Right: New Zealand Cat Fancy

The Trade Marks (International Treaties and Enforcement) Amendment Bill received its first reading in Parliament on 7 April 2009 and was referred to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee - see here and here. No date for submissions has yet been set but there is likely to be a 4-6 week period for any public submissions. Elena has promised to keep the Kat updated.
Tuesday twiglets Tuesday twiglets Reviewed by Jeremy on Tuesday, April 14, 2009 Rating: 5


  1. To be fair, the (UK) IPO is planning stuff this year, for the first time. http://www.ipo.gov.uk/ipinsight-200903-answers.htm

    Personally, I think the whole concept of "days" for topics is largely a waste of time.

    In respect of charities, where people can't be persuaded to donate without the prospect of a celebrity being humiliated, there is perhaps a justification.

    When the day is for root vegetables, legal concepts or taking dogs to work, it just seems like a large leap onto a overburdened and directionless bandwagon.

  2. The UK events do seem quite good compared to France's quiz for EDF engineers. Perhaps they are too busy organizing a revolution: www.manifestation-contre-hadopi.com

  3. In response to the Art 6ter request -
    A good starting point in Stephen Ladas' 1975 work on International IP in 3 volumes. There's a decent chapter on 6ter.
    I seem to remember the WIPO house journal - Industrial Property - also carried articles on it several years ago.

  4. Thanks Dev. Your response on Art 6ter has been noted.


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