Monday miscellany

Paul the Octopus: great
at predicting, but not much use
as a lobbyist for big business
Can you predict the future? SOLO IP arch-blogger Filemot has posted her IP Predictions for 2011 here; she challenges readers to add their own. The IPKat notes with amusement the prediction that "the Unitary but not-Community Patent Initiative will not succeed. Politicians will blame the IPKat reading masses for calling it a CRAP patent but the real reason will be that it will not have big business support". Merpel wonders whether big business support has ever been taken into account in the past: she struggles to recall the thunderous demands made by big business in favour of Europe's sui generis database right, the absurdly wide yet hopelessly narrow and largely unintelligible registered Community design, the extension of authors' copyright term, the protection scheme for three different species of geographical/traditional foods, the Information Society Directive, the Software Directive, the current version of the Technology Transfer Block Exemption -- or has Merpel just not been listening loud enough?

New hand at the steering wheel
From the IPKat's friend Ian Harvey comes  nudge towards some news he'd missed.  Davd Roberts is the new Chairman of the UK Intellectual Property Office Steering Board.  Having served time at Glaxo SmithKline plc he is believed to have some familiarity with IP in practice; this Kat is relieved to see that experience is not a bar to his appointment, and wishes David luck.

Marvo liked the idea of
patents -- but could never
figure out the idea of
an enabling disclosure
Another of the IPKat's friends, who is a bit shy about saying who he is, is collecting patent cases in which the same invention is found to be validly patented in one country but the same patent is held to be invalid in another, on account of the test for "inventive step" leading courts to contrary conclusions.

So far he only has a little list, relating to the patents for (i) Escitalopram, (ii) Lipitor, (iii) Viagra and (iv) Olanzapine, plus Conor Medsystems v Angiotech. If you have any more examples for his collection, please post them below.

Slightly dyslexic and an occasionally careless reader, the IPKat has had some trouble convincing himself that the CCC is the Copyright Clearance Center, nothing to do with Copyright Clarence at all.  Anyway, a new podcast is available from the CCC's Beyond the Book site: it features a (United States) Suffolk University Law School event in which CCC’s Chris Kenneally speaks with entertainment industry attorney Patti Jones and advertising executive Lenora Cushing; the trio ponder on the way trends in music licensing are changing how rock bands achieve fame and fortune. The podcast lives here but, if you can read more quickly than you can listen, a transcript for slow listeners can be found here.

Berenika Depo's sudden and untimely death last summer (see IPKat obituary here) was a loss not just to Polish intellectual property but to the IP community worldwide.  The Kat has just learned from her father Justyn that on 12 January the Polish Chamber of Patent Attorneys is granting Berenika a posthumous distinguished service award, to commemorate her efforts and achievements on behalf of the Polish profession.  Also, Berenika's 'Amici Berenicae' Foundation has been established, to further the education talented youngsters in Poland, Tibet and Nepal. You can donate a contribution to the 'Amici Berenicae' Foundation (PLN: 62 2490 0005 0000 4520 7616 3497; Euros - 33 2490 0005 0000 4600 4412 9303; US$ 97 2490 0005 0000 4600 4252 2413; SWIFT code: ALBPPLPW).  A book of essays in memory of Berenika is also planned: details will be supplied when they are available.
Monday miscellany Monday miscellany Reviewed by Jeremy on Monday, January 03, 2011 Rating: 5


  1. Thank you for your flattery. The goosebumps on my legs in my unheated office are indeed somewhat Pauline.

    I totally agree with Merpel that legislative creation of intellectual property rights is not driven by big business, rather government seeks to influence/moderate big business by going its own way. When I predict that the "Crap" patent will not succeed, I did not predict that it would not come to pass, but that like the database right it will be a stillbirth. It's all down to those wonderful IP strategists. They would be fine with a single court that held their patents valid but otherwise validity in one court and loss in another is a better outcome. Obviousness is not black-and-white and can depend on whether the judge has a cold that day, when the case teeters on the threshold which it so often does in those patents that are most litigated.

  2. Greetings, All IP Kats and Kittens! A nice way to start 2011 is with a nod from you to our recent podcast featuring Patti Jones and Lenora Cushing. Thanks, and I will add the blog to those I follow regularly. Part 2 of the same program with Elsevier's Mark Seeley is online, along with much more at

    Chris Kenneally

  3. The SOLO IP arch-blogger Filemot's IP Predictions for 2011 are not available on the link-page not found!!

  4. @Anonymous 7:50pm
    The SOLO IP arch-blogger Filemot's IP Predictions for 2011 are back in working order -- I've just checked them out!

  5. I have another comparative inventive step example for your anonymous collector, relating to the formulation patents for Omeprazole (Losec/Prilosec).

    In Australia, patent no. 601974 was found valid (under the former, 1952, Patents Act). The case went all the way to the High Court in Aktiebolaget Hässle v Alphapharm Pty Limited [2002] HCA 59 (available from

    In the UK, EP patent no. 0247983 was found invalid for obviousness, in Cairnstores Ltd & Anor v Aktiebolaget Hässle [2002] EWHC 309 (available from

    In the US, Patent No. 4,786,505 was found valid (non-obvious) by the District Court for the Southern District of NY in Astra Aktiebolag & Ors v Andrx Pharmaceuticals & Ors (2002). I have a PDF copy of the opinion in this case (although I have no idea now where I got it, or of a formal legal citation for it). I can be contacted through my blog ( and would be pleased to forward a copy if required.

    In fact, I would be interested in details of the list of examples, especially any others involving Australian or New Zealand patents, if the collector would be kind enough to get in touch.

  6. To IPKat's shy friend, thumb drive patent

  7. Your shiny friend may like to notice that there are more discrepancies in the assessment of obviousness between courts and EPO opposition divisions Boards of Appeal
    [2010] EWCA Civ 819 Schlumberger Holdings Limited v
    Electromagnetic Geoservices AS
    (a company incorporated in Norway)
    is one to watch which concerns EP1256019 currently with the Board of Appeals.

  8. In a preliminary opinion issued on 22 December 2010, the Dutch Court for the moment upheld EP 0 334 429 of Janssen Pharmaceutics, where the same patent was declared (partially) invalid on lack of novelty or inventive step in UK, Germany and Hungary.

  9. Thank you, shy friend of IPkat, for bringing this aspect of patents to the limelight. In the past I have heard people lament about such inequalities, often in sarcastic way, but in private. Very interesting indeed.


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