Wednesday whimsies

If you downloaded the original version of the unofficial Simmons & Simmons English translation of the Opinion of the assembled Advocates General in Case 1/09 (on whether the proposed scheme for a European and European Union patent court was lawful: see earlier IPKat post here), please note that it has been superseded by a later version, which you can read here.

The IPKat is delighted to inform his readers that the public proposal phase of the European Inventor Award 2011 is now open: the whole of Europe can join in the search for its finest inventors. The European Commission and the European Patent Office have been presenting the European Inventor Award to outstanding inventors since 2006. Anyone can put forward inventions and inventors: individuals, small and large enterprises, universities and research institutions -- even patent trolls -- can enter themselves or propose another inventor for the Award. A jury featuring prominent figures from science and business will judge entries on their degree of innovation and commercial impact and on their contribution to social and economic progress.

The 2011 Awards fall into five categories - Industry, SMEs, Research, Non-European Countries and Lifetime Achievement. Three finalists in each category will be invited to the awards ceremony in Budapest in May 2011, where the winners will be announced. Information about how to take part and entry forms are available here. The deadline for submissions is 16 September 2010.

"IPO unveils new research programme" is the big news this week from the UK's Intellectual Property Office. According to yesterday's press release, the new programme on IP and its value to the British economy has been unveiled by Intellectual Property Minister Baroness Wilcox, for the edification of the great British public (left). There wasn't anything else of substance in it, except for the skilful deployment of the usual words 'key', 'role', 'proper evidence', 'innovation, 'assessment', 'returns', in such a manner as to comfort the reader that, er, today's programme looks pretty much the same as yesterday's. Well, almost. The tail-end of the press release says there will be "... a look at firms using alternatives to patents to protect innovation". Can this be a serious commitment to evaluate second-tier patent protection at last, wonders the Kat.

If you are based in China and are reading this post, can you please email the IPKat here and let him know? He has been receiving reports that this blog is being blocked by the Chinese. The IPKat assumes that this must be retaliation for the criticisms which this weblog has from time to time dished out to the British government, which has a cordial relationship with China, since the Kat can't think of anything he has written about the Chinese themselves that would merit such a response. Merpel adds: for people who like statistics, China ranks 51st in the list of 143 countries from which IP enthusiasts visit the IPKat website.

This Kat has been among those who have sided with Lord Justice Jacob in his vitriolic criticism of the reasoning of the Court of Justice of the European Union in Case C-487/07 L'Oréal v Bellure when the case returned from that Court to the referring court for final determination (see IPKat post, "Trade mark ruling muzzles free and honest speech, says Court of Appeal", here). There is another side to the argument though, one which is eloquently and succinctly articulated by the Kat's friend Gert Würtenberger in a piece to be published in JIPLP and which, on account of its contribution to the debate, is being made available to everyone on the jiplp weblog here.

Trade marks for the blind. Last Friday the IPKat asked readers here if they could contact law student Alex Pope if they had any information or advice for him on "Trade marks for the blind". Alex tells me that the response has been magnificent. He has sweetly thanked the IPKat, who takes this opportunity to thank you all for your kindness in assisting him. Meanwhile, presumably under the byline "Trade marks for the blind drunk", only from the inimitable Christopher Morcom QC (Hogarth Chambers) could the IPKat have expected to receive the following neat parody of a well-known limerick:
"On the chest of a barmaid from Yale,
Were tattoed some brands of good ale.
While on her behind,
For the sake of the blind,
Was the same information in braille"
Now the IPKat understands what it really means to be called to the Bar ...
Wednesday whimsies Wednesday whimsies Reviewed by Jeremy on Wednesday, August 25, 2010 Rating: 5


  1. "since the Kat can't think of anything he has written about the Chinese themselves that would merit such a response."

    Not true. See for example

  2. @Dr Evil: I think the Chinese would have been pleased with the fair and balanced report -- don't you?

  3. @Jeremy:

    china censors websites which contain any criticism of the government. The following lines are contained in the report:

    "Both parties can lobby and pressurise the courts -- which are also vulnerable to pressures from government."

    "Jennifer Choe Groves (Hughes Hubbard & Reed) observed that China was able to suppress counterfeit products during the Beijing Olympics. If this could be done then (presumably without upsetting local cultural sensitivities), why could it not be done on other occasions too? Peter Yu thought otherwise: fake products might not have been on view in Beijing, but they were still on offer everywhere else, since the political will to get them off the streets could not be matched on the ground."

    This may hardly seem critical but the Chinese can be quite touchy.


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