Friday fantasies

As usual, the IPKat reminds readers of his Forthcoming Events page, which is replete with delicious seminars, lectures, conferences and other excuses for a get-together. Do remember to check them out!

Among next week's events are two in which the IPKat has had a hand. One -- at the crack of dawn on Monday morning -- is a chance to share a breakfast with the early-rising Head of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, David Kappos (details here). The other, congenially timed for Tuesday afternoon, is the MARQUES Class 46 weblog's rapid response seminar on Future Plans, which looks at the recently-published study on trade marks in Europe (details here).

There are only a couple of days to go before the poll closes on IP v freedom of expression (a.k.a. Louis Vuitton v Nadia Plesner).  You can find the poll at the top lef-hand corner of your screen if you visit the IPKat's front page -- it's at the top of the side bar.

Moussa Koussa -- whatever you may think of the man himself, it can't be denied the name has wonderful potential for a brand.  It rhymes, it rolls off the tongue easily, it has an attractive beat.  Would it be a hair preparation, perhaps, or a food product -- or even an up-market tag for fashion goods and accessories?  Readers' suggestions are welcomed, as ever.

If you ever wanted to know what the Court of Justice of the European Union actually does, you might want to take a look at the 2010 Provisional [and therefore presumably non-authentic] Version of the Curia annual report.  This document provides some handy extracts: a synopsis of the case-law of the Court of Justice, the General Court and the Civil Service Tribunal, together with loads of statistical information concerning their judicial activity. The full version of the report -- to which no link is provided -- contains in addition the members' curricula vitae [handy if you're thinking of (i) recruiting, (ii) bribing or (iii) challenging them], orders of precedence [shouldn't this item have come first?] and a summary of the institution's ancillary activities (judges' forums, judicial study visits, official visits, information visits, seminars, cocktail receptions, parties and so forth).

Now that the main event of the month -- April Fools' Day -- has passed, the IPKat respectfully reminds readers that another major event remains, in the form of World Intellectual Property Day on 26 April.  The Law Society of Scotland is holding its own WIPD event five days earlier, to beat the rush. If you fancy attending, the brochure with all the details is here. If you're squeamish about eating Scottish delivacies, don't worry. Haggis is not on the menu; to satisfy the demands of the vegetarian lobby, you can sample another notorious Scottish gastronomical invention: the deep-fried Mars bar ...

Obama: more popular than local
politicians in the Emerald Isle?
The IPKat has received a solemn guarantee from the ever-credible Niamh Hall (FRKelly) that celebrations in Ireland have already begun in advance of United States President Obama's visit to the Republic this May.  The President's itinerary may well include a visit to Moneygall, Co. Offaly, where President Obama's great x 4 grandfather was a shoemaker. Recent trade mark applications filed in the Irish Patents Office include O'BAMA Irish Coffee Stout (No. 2011/00532), O'Bama Celebration Stout (No. 2011/00527) and O'BAMA MONEYGALL STOUT (No. 2011/00530). Anyone for an Obama-tini?  Says the IPKat, it is highly important to get your US President-related trade mark strategy right: remember how BILLCLINTON was refused registration as a Community trade mark?

Mark your diaries for next week: there's an interesting-looking reference for a preliminary ruling by the Court of Justice in Europe from the Hoge Raad der Nederlanden in Case C-406/09 Realchemie Nederland BV v Bayer CropScience AG. The questions referred by the top Dutch court are these:
"1. Is the phrase 'civil and commercial matters' in Article 1 of Regulation ...44/2001 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments ... to be interpreted in such a way that this regulation applies also to the recognition and enforcement of an order for payment of 'Ordnungsgeld' (an administrative fine) pursuant to ... the German Code of Civil Procedure (Zivilprozessordnung)?
2. Is Article 14 of Directive 2004/48 on the enforcement of intellectual property rights to be interpreted as applying also to enforcement proceedings relating to
(i) an order made in another Member State concerning an infringement of intellectual property rights;
(ii) an order made in another Member State imposing a penalty or fine for breach of an injunction against infringement of intellectual property rights;
(iii) costs determination orders made in another Member State on the basis of the orders referred to at (i) and (ii) above?
The IPKat and Merpel know the answers, of course, but will wait till next week to see whether the Advocate General's Opinion is correct before they say anything, since they wouldn't want to be thought of as influencing the court.

Party time. Today the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market, Alicante, is having a party to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the filing of the first Community trade mark applications. When OHIM's doors metaphorically opened on 1 April 1996, they were hit by around 21,000 CTM applications -- well in excess of the projected demand for the full year.  The IPKat recalls that the organisation didn't have enough fax machines to cope and had to use the facilities of the local newsagent too.  Anyway, the past decade and a half have seen almost 320,000 applicants from 190 countries make 940,000 CTM applications, of which more than 713,000 have been registered [Merpel is curious to know how many of the applications made on 1 April 1996 are still in the pipeline.  Does anyone have a figure?].  This Kat may be wrong, but he has a vague recollection that 1 April 1996 was also the commencement date for the Madrid Protocol -- another success story, though you wouldn't think so to listen at everyone moaning about it.   Happy birthdays all round, say the Kats!
Friday fantasies Friday fantasies Reviewed by Jeremy on Friday, April 01, 2011 Rating: 5


  1. To assuage Merpel's curiosity - surely a dangerous trait for Kats? - the answer appears to be 16.

    The CTM-Online database lists 13 applications filed on that day with status "Application opposed" and 3 more with status "Appeal pending". Among them are some marks familiar to readers of law reports, such as 800-FLOWERS, GALILEO, VITALITE and BUD.

  2. 3 pending on absolute grounds (2 shape marks of Freixenet plus VITALITE) and 14 with unresolved opposition proceedings

  3. What about Ivan the Terrible (cheap rent-a-van), Hitler (meatballs), Idi Amin, Pol Pot (Pot Noodles) , Mussolini (night club doormen), Thatcher (company liquidations)?

    Not convinced the normal general public would buy into these brands.

  4. Thanks for the link to the annual report of Court of Justice - it will be nice to know what those guys are doing ;-)

  5. As an apropos to Scottish cuisine and April Fool's Day I rememeber back when someone tried to convince me that plural of haggis was haggi.

    Afterwards it remained oddly unclear exactly what the correct plural term should be.


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