Friday fantasies

Forthcoming events? You can check them here on the IPKat's own dedicated page for them.  If you want to list an event of your own, please let the Kat know, but PLEASE keep the information short, sweet and in the body of your email -- nothing that is PDF'd to the hilt, needs translating or can't be accessed without having to register or use a password.  

Agents Muehlendahl  and Kur
investigate EU trade marks,
but who will believe their story? 
Event of the week, though it doesn't happen till 1 February, is a gathering of the Nordic Associations for Industrial Property in the ancestral surroundings of Stockholm's Arlanda international airport,  There they will commune with nature and talk in English about trade marks. OHIM President Antonio Campinos, who is working hard to wear out his passport, will speak on Future Developments at the OHIM, while the dynamic German duo of Annette Kur and Alexander von Mühlendal are predicted to be making their first public presentation of the much-anticipated study for the EC Commission on the overall functioning of the European trade mark system. This event is listed with all the others here, so click and scroll!

Spare a thought for our IP colleagues in Queensland, Australia.  Quite apart from the dreadful loss of life and livelihoods, of treasured possessions and that feeling of security we so easily take for granted, the Brisbane Central Business District was flooded, and a large number of people are going to have to hang their computers out to dry and shake the tadpoles out of their printers before they can come close to a return to normality. Brisbane's IP community includes such notables as Professor Brian Fitzgerald and Peter Black (Queensland University of Technology), Kim Weatherall (University of Queensland) and Kay Lam-MacLeod of IDEALAW, and there are many more.  The Kat's thoughts are with all those who are suffering, IP-ers and ordinary folk. The Queensland government has set up a donation website here.  If you're uncertain which appeal sites are legitimate, there's an official Aussie scamwatch site here [thanks, Wen H Wu, for assistance in preparing this item]

The clock is ticking -- but nothing
is happening.  Why?
It is now seven days, or one whole week if you prefer it, since the IPKat growled at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)'s lookalike website at WIPD. The Kat was even more astonished to discover from the excellent Adam Smith (World Trademark Review) that he had written on this very subject as long ago as 9 November last year.  Things are however even worse than that.  WIPO must have known about theWIPD scam by 13 September, by which time they had added to their very useful WARNING: Requests for Payment of Fees page (here) the PDF of a sample WIPD form requesting payment for an international patent.

[Rant begins here] The IPKat cannot believe that this is happening.  For four months the single most important agency in the field of intellectual property, which is charged with promoting the importance of IP protection, the value of trade marks and the need to protect the public against fraud, confusion and deception, has failed to stop this outrage. It is of course wholly possible that none of the companies listed here (for patents) or here (for trade marks) has been deceived or has paid anyone anything, either before WIPO knew about this site or thereafter.  These companies include Genentech, Caterpillar Inc, Morphy Richards Ltd,  Styron Europe and Baker Tilly.

Why has nothing been done so far? Is it because WIPO lacks the legal standing to enforce its rights under Article 6ter of the Paris Convention in Member States, or because Article 6ter has no legal effect in the Czech Republic? It surely can't be because WIPO lacks intellectual property expertise and it certainly can't be because the organization doesn't think trade marks and copyrights are important.  Why has WIPO not acted? Why does WIPO not explain why it has not acted? Will WIPO acquiesce for as long as it takes for WIPD to obtain its own right to use the lookalike logo? Does WIPO propose to reimburse deceived parties who have paid WIPD in the mistaken belief that they were dealing with WIPO?  Would WIPO advise any IP owner to do as they have done? [End of rant, for now].

Are you a user of Darts-ip, ".... a unique service provider for Intellectual Property professionals, offering a complete overview of European IP case law". From Monday, posts on the IPKat weblog which are relevant to the cases stored on its vast databases will be stored on Darts-ip, so that anyone seeking comment on retrieved cases will be able to ascertain and evaluate the IPKat's analysis of them.  Eventually, the IPKat's archive -- which adds up to more than 5,800 discrete items going back to June 2003, will be uploaded into the Darts-ip system too.  For further details of Darts-ip, click here. Says the Kat, this is further evidence of the integration of serious weblog content into the mainstream of intellectual property literature and data storage.

The results of the Starbucks New Logo poll are now in.  437 people voted, the result being as follows:
* Dropping the text is a masterly ploy for pushing out into markets which don't use the Roman alphabet 43%
* The exercise is an aberration and a complete waste of time 24%
* This was just an exercise to encourage loyal customers to ask for the old logo to be reinstated 18%
* It's a blatant attempt to buy free publicity 13%
* A brilliant piece of marketing 10%
Before you rush to tell the Kats that the percentages add up to more than 100%, respondents were allowed the luxury of more than one answer -- though not many needed to.  Thanks for participating, everyone!

Around the blogs.  Canadian IP/IT blogger and expert photographer Lorraine Fleck (IP Address Blog) has drawn the Kat's attention to an IP site manned by her firm, Hoffer Adler: Intelligent IP Law -- definitely worth checking out if you have Canadian inclinations or just like IP.  And while we're on the subject, another Canadian -- this time Barry Sookman -- has navigated the world of copyright in 2010: you can discover his findings here.  The SPC Blog carries the text of the settlement of a patent dispute between Novartis and Teva in Denmark over Valsartan here.
Friday fantasies Friday fantasies Reviewed by Jeremy on Friday, January 14, 2011 Rating: 5


  1. The companies on the WIPD database are extracted from WIPO's database.

    I believe the two parties have been in mediation all week. Both are claiming to be the real world intellectual property administrator, but no-one can tell which one is telling the truth.

  2. Oh dear Kat, I understand your frustration and rant. But please, please don't advance the notion that WIPO has any responsibility for reimbursing deceived parties! Please don't make us trademark owners suffer yet more abuse for failing to police our marks beyond the loss of significance and yea, even possibly, the loss of rights altogether!! Surely you did not mean that a humble trademark owner now, if not policing quickly enough, must pay for the the harm suffered by the snookered customer? Please don't say I must also be a surety against all the wrongdoers of the world who may choose to foist their evil ways on my mark merely because the Director is on vacation and I can't get someone to approve the complaint! Say it ain't so!

  3. If we were simply talking about every-day trademark abuse you would have a point. I would not consider the Coca Cola company liable for another firm flogging me their 3rd rate cola in a Coke-style get up.

    There are more important factors at stake here and if trademark enforcement is the way to deal with it then so be it. There is precedent for such action. Individuals infringing the Viagra trademark where sent to prison in the UK. This was not an action started by the TM holder to protect their brand, but was taken to maximise the penalty for counterfeit drug producers, who would otherwise have gotten off much more lightly.

    You wouldn't be impressed if a fake-police force turned up at your home to deal with a crime and then stole your belongings. If you knew the police had been aware for several months I think you'd be asking them to compensate you when your insurance refused to pay out.

    4 Months is a nice little vacation for a Director. Could only happen in the world of international NGO's.


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