Wednesday whimsies

Happy mid-week, everyone! As the count-down to the weekend begins,the Kats are making themselves unusually industrious in trying to ensure that none of their readers take a break without plenty of exciting IP issues to ponder over.

Copywatch, the compliance arm of the UK's Copyright Licensing Agency Ltd (CLA), offers a reward of up to £100,000 for any employee who blows the whistle on unlawful copying of books, magazines or journals by his employer. The IPKat, who is always hard up for cash, was looking enviously at all his friends who had regular jobs and wondered how tempted they'd be to divulge the unlawful workplace copying. Obviously, they'd want to keep a low profile -- but it seems that infringing employers are also given a low profile, since a brief internet search could not identify any instances of pay-outs or embarrassed businesses. More depressingly, if you search 'copywatch' your results are largely made up of what look like illicit traders in copy watches which imitate genuine Rolex, Cartier et al. Readers, if you know of any pay-outs, do let the Kats know ...

If you've always wanted patent protection in Montenegro but were too shy to ask, there's some good news for you. According to the Petosevic Newsletter, a new law of 14 October came into force a month later, on 14 November, extending European patents to that small but attractive Balkan state. If you want to know precisely how, you'd better ask a local expert.

UPDATE: The IPKat has been advised by the Director of the Montenegro Office that, although the agreement between Montenegro and the EPO entered into force on November 14, the date of the entry into force of the Extension Agreement will be determined by an exchange of notes between the EPO and Montenegro. This exchange has not yet taken place. You will therefore have to wait a little while longer before being able to designate Montenegro as an extension state for a European application. The IPKat's advice is to keep an eye on the EPO website for announcements.

A press release from WIPO yesterday, "WIPO Director General Stresses Role of Innovation in Addressing Global Challenges at WTO Ministerial" (here), raises an interesting possibility. Citing (i) the path to economic growth and (ii) climate change as the world's two most pressing problems, WIPO Director General Francis Gurry observed that "fifteen years ago, North East Asia – Japan, Republic of Korea and China – produced 7.6% of international patent applications. In 2008, they accounted for 26.2% of all international patent applications". The IPKat remembers reading recently that the past 15 years or so have coincided with a serious acceleration of the melt-rate of American glaciers. As Francis Gurry says, "Innovation is the space between problem and solution". The obvious solution to the American glacier melt-down is therefore either to reduce the rate at which the Asians file international patent applications or increase the rate at which others do so ...

Here's announcing the 2010 Annual Intellectual Property Law Conference, organised by CLT Conferences and featuring for the first time IPKat team member David Pearce (owner of the fabled Tufty). David speaks on "Patentable Subject-Matter: Where Are We Now?", a topic on which, readers of this weblog may recall, David has occasionally ventured an opinion or two. Other bloggers on the programme are Michael Burdon (Olswang, and part of the PatLit team) tackling "Faster and Cheaper? A Current View of IP Litigation Reform" and David Musker (Jenkins), from the Class 99 design law weblog, speaking on "Registered and Unregistered Designs". The date: Thursday 28 January; the venue: somewhere in Central London. The programme: here. There's even a new competition, for which please see the next item in this post.

Proverbs is the name of the game. The IPKat loves the wisdom encapsulated in proverbs such as "Every cloud has a silver lining", "A fool and his money are soon parted" and "You can't teach an old dog new tricks". He even likes the proverbs that contradict one another like "Many hands make light work" and "Too many cooks spoil the broth". His only disappointment is that there don't seem to be any wise old proverbs that are based on intellectual property concepts. The entrant who comes up with the best new proverb for a world in which IP is supreme will be given complimentary registration to the Annual Intellectual Property Law Conference 2010 (that's worth £495 + VAT), plus the six CPD points received for attending it. Please send your proverbs to the IPKat by email here, using the subject line "Proverbs", by not later than midnight (GMT) on Thursday 14 January 2010. All are eligible to enter, including Asda employees and George ...

That Canon Mystery Case just refuses to go away. On Monday the IPKat speculated that a new reference for a preliminary ruling, Case C-449/09, might be a fresh version of the Canon reference on a point of trade mark law that the Court of Justice of the European Union [as we must now call it] ruled to be "manifestly inadmissible" in that the reference contained the question but not much else. The Kat has since heard from his Bulgarian friend Emil the Cordial, who tells him: "Dear IPKat: The mystery is going on. Case C-449/09 Canon is a rebound of the Canon Mystery Case. Another well-informed source says that this reference might be even more manifestly inadmissible: this time it's the question which is missing".
Wednesday whimsies Wednesday whimsies Reviewed by Jeremy on Wednesday, December 02, 2009 Rating: 5


  1. Many fake bags each day, find their way on eBay?

    Don't keep a Dagg and litigate yourself (if you have £9M to spare)

  2. The clever chihuahua knows when to stop barking lie with the great dane

  3. I found one wise old proverb based on IP concepts - in Qohelet. It expresses a rather pessimist view on patentability: "There is nothing new under the sun."

  4. Simple extrapolation of filing rates over the last few years suggests that within the next decade China's share of the total will be at least 117%.

  5. Too many Cook(e)s make light work.


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