Wednesday whimsies

Environmental management.  The UK's Intellectual Property Office is taking a little time off from its serious work in order to do some house-keeping.  Says the IPO:
"We are committed to managing our estate in a sustainable manner in line with the UK Government Sustainable Development Strategy. As part of this, we will address social, economic and environmental issues when taking decisions and aim to reduce, the impact that our operations have on the environment. We have achieved ISO 14001 status for our environmental management system".
This is very impressive, says Merpel, but there must be other ways to save energy and preserving the environment.  How about recycling old inventions, instead of expecting patent applicants to provide new ones each time?

Recently published.  "Cats, dogs, bears, and mice to the slaughter?" is the title of JIPLP's December 2010 editorial, which you can read online here. It deals with the shattered expectations of many small-scale would-be licensees of merchantable characters.  The November issue of Intellectual Property Magazine carries a special focus on media and sport, but the IPKat's recommendation in this issue is "Losartan: a modern parable of pharma patent lifecycle management" by Innovate Legal's Duncan Curley and Amanda Easey. The September-October issue of World Intellectual Property Review carries interviews with MARQUES Chairman Guido Baumgartner and new European Patent Office head Benoît Battistelli, plus a fascinating piece by Arnold & Siedsma's Michiel Rijsdijk, "The Exceptio Plurium Litis Consortium", which deserves a longer treatment for the benefit of common lawyers and non-Latin speakers.

Round the blogs.  The fifth in the series of PatLit's weekly PCC Pages, covering the recently-refreshed Patents County Court for England and Wales, has been posted here.  More IP litigation wisdom comes from The Bright Spark in "Tactics -- the benefits of just giving up", on the advantages that can be gleaned from submitting to an adverse judgment at an early stage.  Writing in IP Finance, fellow Kat Neil Wilkof ("Meet the Trademark Troll") has provoked some pungent comment.  If you agree with him -- or not -- feel free to join the debate.  Finally, Filemot ("The End of Patent Agents", here) has been indulging in a little debating of her own, on SOLO IP.

The Yeti: only a little less frequently
referred to in patent litigation than
the Community Patent Convention
When is an offer? This question was answered by the Hague Court of Appeal on 2 November 2010 in GlaxoSmithKline v Pharmachemie (a member of the Teva group).  Said the court, publication of a generic pharmaceutical product in the Dutch “G-standaard” (a database for pharmaceuticals), prior to the patent's expiry, amounted to an “offer” under the Dutch Patent Act even though it was advertiser's intention to market the pharmaceutical only after the patent's expiry.  This ruling refers to the meaning of “offer” in the Community Patent Convention (which never entered into force), considering that the term should be interpreted the same way in the Netherlands because the parties negotiating the Convention agreed to implement the Convention's articles in their national laws.  Ruprecht Hermans and Daan de Lange (Brinkhof, Amsterdam, representing GlaxoSmithKline) write:
"The Dutch decision is in line with German case law. The Bundesgerichtshof in its decision of 5 December 2006 (Simvastatin) ruled that publication in the so-called Lauer-taxe (the German equivalent of the Dutch G-standaard) constitutes infringement, even if it is indicated that delivery will only take place after the expiration of the patent.

The High Court of England & Wales seems to hold a different view. In Gerber v Lectra ([1995] RPC 383 at 411), a case that did not relate to ‘offering for sale’ in a database for medicaments as the German and Dutch decisions do, the High Court (Jacob J) ruled that offering a patented product for sale within the term of the patent for supply after the expiry of the patent, does not constitute an infringing act".

Networking at an IPSoc social ...
The IPKat's good friends at IPSoc -- the organisation for IP practitioners who are too young to join organisations of IP practitioners --  tell him that the group has had an extremely successful first year and that its committee is now gearing up for year two.  In its first year IPSoc hosted four educational and four social events and had over 340 members comprising solicitors, barristers, trade mark and patent attorneys, from private practice and in-house. IPSoc is now accepting membership applications for the year 2010-2011:  a membership form and details of how to apply can be found in the membership section here, together with details of the 2009-10 events.

The heart of the matter.  An anxious reader writes to the IPKat with the following query: "I am having difficulty locating any information on a French case which deals with heart valves. As a last hope, I am emailing you the details in case this might ring a bell!  This French case relates to a patient's claim that, once the heart valve was inside him, it was not confidential, even if it was placed there as part of an experimental trial. These are all the details I have on this case".  If any kind person can assist our anxious reader by posting details below or by emailing the IPKat here, we'll all be very happy.

UEA is known for its unusual
candidate selection process
Unemployed, clever and in search of fun? If so, the Kat is pleased to inform you that two teaching positions are available at the University of East Anglia (UEA) Law School. Both jobs, which are full-time and of indefinite duration, are in the area of IP/IT/Media. You can read all about them on the IPKat's friend Daithí Mac Síthigh's weblog here.  UEA, incidentally, is where you may have the chance to encounter one of the IPKat's favourite scholars, Professor Christopher Wadlow, whose stunning Festive Feature "The Posthumous Papers of the Picric Club" adorns the December issue of JIPLP.  As the abstract explains:
"The year is 1917, and all over England, scientists engaged in top secret research for the war effort are disappearing, quite literally in a puff of smoke. In each case, the disappearance can be linked to receipt of a copy of an obscure and apparently innocuous German patent, No 12,096 of 1880, for the preparation of red, violet, and green dyestuffs by the action of chloropicrin on aromatic amines.

But this was no ordinary patent. No less a figure than the Government's leading expert on chemical warfare, Professor William Pope FRS has declared: ‘anyone who attempted to repeat the method [of the ’096 patent] would be pretty certain to kill himself during the operation'.

Will the country's favourite consulting detective (and amateur chemist) solve the mystery of the deadly dyestuff disappearances, or is Sherlock Holmes himself destined for extinction, as the latest victim of the mysterious and malevolent ‘Picric Club’?" (non-subscribers can still read this wonderful piece on a pay-per-view basis by clicking here and scrolling down ...)
Wednesday whimsies Wednesday whimsies Reviewed by Jeremy on Wednesday, November 10, 2010 Rating: 5


  1. I don't know about the French heart valve case but it does remind me of Merrel Dow v Norton (1996 RPC 76) where the acid metabolite invention (of the patent in issue) was considered to already be being worked due to terfenadine (the subject of an earlier patent) being metabolised in patient's livers.

  2. You sure that is a yeti and not a Hoth Wampa??


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