Monday miscellany

Maybe what the IP community
needs is an all-action team ...
The October issue of Oxford University Press's monthly Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice (JIPLP) has just come out (table of contents here). The Editorial, "Time for a Tsar - and a Tsar for Our Time?", seeks to further debate on the desirability or otherwise of appointing "IP Tsars", whether on the United States model or on the basis of other criteria, to ease communication between IP industry and government and to help initiative improvements in the IP environment. The IPKat is going to be pushing this topic in the coming weeks and hopes very soon to announce the details of a seminar on that very issue. Meanwhile you can read the Editorial, penned by IPKat team member Jeremy, here.

It might sound like the name of a new credit card, but IP Advantage is the name of a new World Intellectual Property Organization database which "profiles the intellectual property experiences of inventors, creators, entrepreneurs, and researchers". According to the IPKat's best information, this tool aims to promote a better understanding of how IP is created and protected, and how inventors, creators and society at large benefit from the IP system. IP Advantage is said to be "a fully searchable one-stop gateway to the wealth of case study material available on WIPO’s website", the case studies being handy for promoting innovation in both developed and developing countries. Further details are available here.  Merpel says, great idea -- but how long will it be before IP's detractors are running an IP Disadvantage database of things that, well, don't cast IP in such a favourable light? And how can the IP community get its positive message to the widest possible audience? This is a step in the right direction, but it's just the first step: its success will depend on how it's followed up, and how case studies tackle thorny subjects like biopiracy (is there a neutral, non-judgmental name for it?) and dealing with peer-to-peer file sharing?

Only one task is more impossible
for the Commission than solving
the EU's IP problems: that's
recognising that there are any ...
Can anything be more ground-breaking, earth-shattering and paradigm-shifting? The European Parliament, having listened to the combined complaints of the IPKat and Merpel here, has adopted Resolution (2009/21789INI) on the enforcement of intellectual property rights in the internal market.  Europe's elected representatives say the European Commission's communication of 11 September 2009 (COM(2009)0467) on enhancing the enforcement of IP rights in the EU does not go far enough, since current law is insufficiently harmonised for the proper functioning of the internal market. The Commission is told to create a directly enforceable EU-wide copyright law [Parliament may as well have told the Commission to invent a way of making children eat spinach] and to assess how to strengthen and upgrade the legal framework with respect to the internet [without, presumably, spoiling the effects of the E-Commerce Directive and the Court of Justice rulings relating to trade marks as keywords]. This may take the Commission a little while ... [Thank you, Antonio Selas (Cremades & Calvo-Sotelo) for links to the European Parliament's adoption of this report by MEP Marielle Gallo].

These Golden Balls are best avoided
Something else that's going to take a little while is the horrendous task of translating vast quantities of French into English that faces gutsy fighters Inez and Gus Bodur.  The story so far: small traders Inez and Gus sought Community trade mark protection for the word mark GOLDEN BALLS; Intra Presse, owners of the BALLON D'OR mark, opposed, citing a likelihood of confusion.  The OHIM Opposition Division dismissed the opposition on the basis that the marks simply weren't similar -- which indeed they're not (see earlier post here).  Intra Presse has now submitted its Grounds for Appeal (39 pages), supported by over 600 pages of evidence -- in French. Please see attached grounds. The Bodurs, who have already lost their shop and faced major expenses in getting this far, not surprisingly consider this somewhat oppressive. The IPKat accordingly asks if there's anyone out there who (i) can cope with the French and (ii) knows anything about trade mark law who can give them a hand in translating the Grounds for Appeal into English.  If so, can they please email Inez and Gus here and let them know. Merpel adds, if anyone wants to say "hi" to them, they'll be at the Brand Licensing Exhibition at Olympia, Stand B050, from today till Thursday 30 September 2010.

Here are two quick reminders, for those of who need them.
* Wednesday is the closing date for the IPKat's poll on the controversial question of how to pronounce "patent".  By way of background, last week's post ("Say it the way it is ...", here) has attracted a remarkable diversity of learning on the subject via readers' comments on the etymology, sociology, psychology and history of the subject. The Kats hope that you'll add your knowledge to this growing resource too.
* There's still some room for anyone who wants to register for the "How to Write an Effective IP Press Release" seminar which is taking place next Tuesday, 5 October at the London office of Olswang LLP.  Click here for details.
Monday miscellany Monday miscellany Reviewed by Jeremy on Monday, September 27, 2010 Rating: 5


  1. "bioprospecting" is a little softer than "biopiracy". Alternatively, "biobuccaneering" sounds a little more romantic and swashbuckling.

  2. Thumbs up for Prof. Kageyama whose piece has finally been published!

  3. If we are going to adopt neutral, non-judgmental nomenclature, might I suggest "peer-to-peer file copying" or "peer-to-peer file reproduction"? "Sharing" is inaccurate.

  4. The term "biosquatting" has already been proposed to replace "biopiracy" for designating the (mis)appropriation of knowledge embodied in biological resources.


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