Monday miscellany

"Today’s students are the engineers, developers, lawyers, politicians, and managers of tomorrow". So says Noël Campling (European Patent Academy) who adds that, since awareness of what IP is and how it can be protected will stand these students in good stead for their future careers, the Academy -- an institution of the European Patent Organisation --has worked with patent experts to develop a comprehensive patent teaching kit. This explanatory kit lets university teaching staff give basic introductory lectures on patents without the need for special expertise in IP: it consists of PowerPoint slides, speaking notes and background information and is designed to be taught to students across all faculties, in particular those studying natural sciences, engineering, law, medicine and business administration. There are specific add-on modules tailored to different faculties. A free copy of the teaching kit can be obtained here, along with information on upcoming "train the trainers" workshops on lecturing with the teaching kit.

Here is a link to a film, "Patent Absurdity: how software patents broke the system". This is billed as "explor[ing] the case of software patents and the history of judicial activism that led to their rise, and the harm being done to software developers and the wider economy. The film is based on a series of interviews conducted during the Supreme Court's review of in re Bilski — a case that could have profound implications for the patenting of software. The Court's decision is due soon...". With interviews from Eben Moglen and Karen Sandler (Software Freedom Law Center), Dan Bricklin (co-creator of VisiCalc) and software freedom activist Richard Stallman (left), this was bound to be an engaging and challenging piece of viewing for supporters of software patents. Thanks, Paul Jakma, for the link.

The fight against counterfeits is the main theme of the May issue of the Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice (JIPLP) is now available online to subscribers. Brussels-based practitioner and writer Marius Schneider is this issue's guest editor. You can read his Editorial, "Counterfeiting counter-fight", here.

On the subject of software protection and exploitation, the IPKat has just received a handsome copy of issue two of the International Free and Open Source Software Review.Although its cover date is December 2009, the Kat suspects that it is of more recent provenance. This publication is available free, online, together with a list of its contents here (if you'd prefer the printed version, you can order it online from Lulu via the IFOSSLR site for a very reasonable £9.99). The IPKat's pick of the articles in this issue is "Passport Without a Visa: Open Source Licensing and Trademarks" by Tiki Dare (Sun MicroSystems) and Harvey Anderson (Mozilla): you can read it here.

"I am the Wal-Rus". No, this is nothing to do with the celebrated Beatles song with those oh-so-puzzling lyrics. This is Wal-hyphen-Rus, an altogether more sinister operation. According to the Petosevic IP newsletter, X5 Retail Group, the largest Russian retail company in terms of sales, has registered the Wal-Rus trade mark, similar to that of the American retail giant Wal-Mart, ahead of Wal-Mart’s expected arrival in the country. The supermarket chain Perekrestok, part of X5 Retail Group, reportedly secured registration of the trade mark, featuring a star between the two words, in December 2009, just two short months from application. Wal-Mart's representative in Russia points out that Wal-Mart changed its corporate identity and adopted a new logo in 2008, abandoning the star.
Monday miscellany Monday miscellany Reviewed by Jeremy on Monday, April 19, 2010 Rating: 5

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