Monday miscellany

It's enough to make|
a Kat cry ...
WIPO trade mark "neither necessary nor useful".  It is now ten days since the Kat alerted his friends at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to the scurrilous activities of an imitator which, it now seems, WIPO has known about for months (click here for the IPKat's most recent rant).  The Kat has now received this email from a respected professional colleague:
"...  Having seen the new WIPO logo I sent a letter to the Director General of WIPO in ... April 2010 advising them to register various marks including the new logo.

I received a letter in reply from WIPO dated ... May 2010. A relevant extract from the letter is (copy typed) as follows:

"In this respect, I would like to inform you that the name, abbreviation and emblem of WIPO in its present form as well as in all its previous forms are protected under Article 6ter of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property. Consequently, separate trademark registrations for the signs in question appear to be neither necessary nor useful.""
It hardly seems worthy of mention that the WIPD's lookalike website is still up-and-running.

The Berlaymonster -- not very
impressed with the Magenta
Trade Mark litigation
Around the weblogs.  So far, the jiplp weblog poll to ascertain readers' opinions regarding the best way of abbreviating the name of the highest European Court (property called the "Court of Justice", this being a constituent part of the "Court of Justice of the European Union") has shown a marked preference for retention of "ECJ" as the short form.  There's still plenty of time for this to change, though, so you can cast your vote in that blog's side bar here. For those who prefer more intellectual content, a couple of jolly good Current Intelligence notes from JIPLP were added last week too: one on patent insufficiency from our own Matt Fisher, the other being an analysis of last year's hard-fought LEGO brick Community trade mark ruling from the ECJ, or is it the CFEU, by Jeremy Drew and Tamar Shafran. The Berlaymonster has something to say about trade marks in Europe too, in "Campest trademark battle ever reaches EU courts" which you can enjoy here - unless you work for Deutsche Telekom or TeliaSonera.  Want to give some sage advice to a copyright owner who has been ripped off in too small a manner as to make litigation worthwhile? Try the 1709 Blog here.

For those who enjoy reading research reports with "global" in their title, here's a treat.  The UK's Intellectual Property Office has has published a new report, commissioned by the late Strategic Advisory Board for Intellectual Property Policy (SABIP) and executed by the IPKat's friend and former colleague Duncan Matthews: it's called "Patents in the Global Economy".  It's 33 pages long and you can read it here.
Monday miscellany Monday miscellany Reviewed by Jeremy on Monday, January 17, 2011 Rating: 5


  1. In the 'Introduction' to the WIPD look-a-like site, I discovered the following snippet:

    "... the World Intellectual Property Database was founded with aim to promote intellectual property matters and easier the process of certain intellectual property for applicants."

    If the accuracy of the actual database mirrors the construction of this sentence, I would be extremely worried ...

  2. For those without the time or inclination to plod through the 33 pages of the "Patents in the Global Economy", a sentence from page 26 provides a useful executive summary (inexplicably absent from the actual report): "The extent to which patents will contribute to invention, innovation and economic development will depend much on local conditions."

  3. It is all very well for WIPO to claim that its name and logos are protected under Article 6ter of the Paris Convention. This is readily verified by searching the '6ter Express' database.

    The question is then, how are these 'rights' enforced? I tried to determine the extent to which Australia meets its obligations under Article 6ter, with mixed results. The Trade Marks Act 1995 prohibits the registration of signs notified under Article 6ter, although in practice this seems to be restricted to treating them as if they were registered in Australia in class 42. The Paris Convention does not appear to specify any limits to the protection in terms of particular goods or services.

    IP Australia certainly seems to believe that this meets the nation's obligations under Article 6ter (see here). However, there are no provisions in the Trade Marks Act that would enable the owner of a notified sign to take action for 'infringement', unless it were also a registered trade mark. I am not aware of any other Australia legislation that fills this gap.

    Good luck, therefore, to WIPO in enforcing its 'rights' in Australia, should it ever wish to do so. Perhaps this is something that its Australian Director General could look into?!

  4. When the new logo was announced, I sent an email to Mr Gurry offering to provide my services in registering the new logo for free in Israel. I would merely have forwarded the filing fee.

    I was concerned that there might be a problem as the seven branches are reminiscent of the Menora logo of the State of Israel. They also remind me of a tube of Sensodyne.

    That as may be, the offer was never acknowleged.

  5. WIPO might wish to remember Luke 4:23:

    'Jesus said to them, “Surely you will quote this proverb to me: ‘Physician, heal yourself!’ And you will tell me, ‘Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.’

  6. They seem to be fairly quick off the mark. One of my clients reported receiving a letter from WIPD 6 days after publication of their application (less time than it took the (paper) copy of WIPO's letter concerning publication to reach us). These organisations used to take a couple of weeks ensuring there was enough time for an agent's letter reporting publication to remind them again of the risk.

    However, the effect was diluted by a competitor of WIPD sending them a similar looking letter that arrived on the same day :-)


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