Friday fantasies

The IPKat's Friday Fantasies round-up always exhorts readers to check out the Forthcoming Events list -- and this week's is no exception. There is a subtle change this week: the Kat wants to jog a few memories about two specific events:
1.  "When Intellectual Property Meets Competition Law", coming up this Thursday, 12 May, in Central London. This event is intended to be user-friendly for IP folk who have to know a bit more about competition law than they really want to. Details here.
Intellectual property bloggers and their readers having
fun (artist's impression)
2. The annual Meet the Bloggers informal get-together, which takes place on Tuesday 17 May at 8pm at Swig, 561 Geary Street, San Francisco.  It's free and anyone who reads, writes or is written about on intellectual property blogs is welcome to attend.

3. "Standards and Patents in ICT", an attractive programme in London on Thursday 9 June from the Kat's friends at Butterworths Conferences. There's a strong international cast of speakers on an informative, useful and potentially provocative platform. the date's a Jewish holiday, which means that the Kat can't attend, but he hopes some kind soul will prepare some juicy notes which he can turn into a report. Further details and the Kat's comments can be found here.

The IPKat has learned this morning that the Pirate Party UK has claimed a notable electoral success through council candidate Graeme Lambert picking up over 3% of the vote in the Moorside ward, Bury. Lambert secured a 3.62% share of the votes cast (this being 119 of a total of 3,286 votes cast).  While this figure may not look impressive, it adds up to one-third of the Liberal Democrat vote.  Says the Kat, let's not get carried away: according to my calculations some 96.38% of voters did not vote for the PPUK, so we are still some way away from what might be termed a sweeping public endorsement of the party's policies.

If variety is the spice of life, plant varieties are the sort that are guaranteed to give headaches to IP enthusiasts. The IPKat reports that there is a reference for a preliminary ruling winging its way to Luxembourg from the Oberlandesgericht Düsseldorf (Germany) on a plant varieties protection issue -- it's Case C-56/11 Raiffeisen-Waren-Zentrale Rhein-Main e.G. v Saatgut-Treuhandverwaltungs GmbH. The questions referred in this case are these:
"1. Does the obligation of the supplier of processing services to provide information laid down in the sixth indent of Article 14(3) of Regulation No 2100/941 and Article 9(2) and (3) of Regulation No 1768/952 become established only if the request for information from the holder of the variety right is received by the supplier of processing services before the expiry of the marketing year (or the most recent marketing year where there are several) concerned by the request? 
2. If Question 1 is answered in the affirmative: 
Is there a request for information 'complying with the time-limit' where the holder claims in his request that he has some indication that the supplier of processing services has processed or intends to process for planting harvested material of the protected variety which the farmer named in the request has obtained by planting from propagating material of the protected variety, or must the supplier of the processing services also be furnished with evidence of the claimed indication in the request for information (for example, by providing a copy of the farmer's statements of planting the product of the harvest)? 
3. Can indications establishing the obligation of the supplier of processing services to provide information be derived from the fact that the supplier of processing services, as the agent of the holder of the plant variety right, performs a propagation contract for the production of consumption-related seed of the protected variety, which the holder of the plant variety right has concluded with the farmer effecting propagation, where and because the farmer is in fact granted the possibility, in performing the propagation contract, of using some of the propagation seed for planting?"
This Kat does not propose to stay awake in eager anticipation of the ruling, though he is sure that there are many several some one or two people who will.

Why is a Swiss claim like
a piece of Swiss cheese ...?
For many readers within Europe, the concept of the Swiss claim in patent law may already be fading from their memory, a cross between an unfulfilled aspiration and a recurrent nightmare. However, readers from other jurisdictions are not so lucky: some still have to cope with this tricky concept.  One such reader writes, in all innocence, for some helpful guidance as to the precise significance of the difference, if any, between the following:
1. Use of substance X in the manufacture of a medicament for the treatment of condition Y".
2. Use of substance X for the preparation of a medicament for the treatment of condition Y".
Readers are welcome to post their answers, preferably in limerick format but prose will do.

Another iconic and politically
symbolic handbag: this was
Margaret Thatcher's.
Louis Vuitton v Plesner. A full English translation of the Darfurnica decision of The Hague District Court this Wednesday, which was reported by the IPKat yesterday, has been posted here by Jens van den Brink, a member of the victorious Kennedy Van der Laan team which acted for Ms Plesner.

The IPKat is always delighted to receive links to English-language texts of IP decisions which he can share with his readers -- particularly where the rights concerned are pan-European or harmonised, so that we can all learn from each other's experiences of litigating them.

Merpel is troubled by something.  She asks: should we say

  • "decision of the Hague District Court"
  • "decision of The Hague District Court"
  • "decision of the The Hague District Court"?

And is this a problem which troubles anyone except the British?
Friday fantasies Friday fantasies Reviewed by Jeremy on Friday, May 06, 2011 Rating: 5


  1. The name of the place is "The Hague", so I would say

    decision of the The Hague District Court.

  2. Although it's a proper noun, the article is not capitalised in correct English. We do not talk about The Queen, or The Prime Minister. Nor do we talk about The British Virgin Islands, The United States of America, or The Wirral. When we go to the Hague, we do so without redundant capitalisation.

    So, elegantly, we refer to decisions of the District Court of the Hague, avoiding duplication or loss of articles.

  3. Why not simply avoid this conundrum and say "decision of the District Court of The Hague"?

  4. Or "decision of the District Court of The Hague"

  5. With regards to manufacture and preparation: I assume 'manufacture' must take place in a manufactory where there is clearly industrial applicability, but 'preparation' can take place in a pharmacy...locations rarely known for their industry!

  6. Manus = hand. Use machines (instead of sweat-shop labourers), and you won't be manufacturing.

  7. In the UK, preparation in a pharmacy would of course not be infringement if it were an extemporaneous preparation for an individual in accordance with a doctor's prescription: S.60(5)(c) PA1977.

  8. Anonymous at 12:03pm: I agree that the definite article preceding a proper noun is generally not capitalised in English. Exceptions to this rule include where the definite article forms part of a name, or where protocol requires the definite article to be capitalised. For example, the Court Circular refers to "HM The Queen" and as her son, the Earl of Wessex's title is "HRH The Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex". Similarly, the proper name of the London Times is not "Times" but "The Times".

    In this case the proper name of the city in Dutch is "Den Haag", not "Haag". There is therefore no redundant capitalisation as the correct English translation is "The Hague".

    I would refer to "the decisions of the District Court of The Hague".

  9. Anon of 4:59pm - so you would never talk about an article in today's Times, preferring to talk about an article in today's The Times? I'm not sure I've ever heard that one.

  10. @Anonymous Saïd ...Friday, May 06, 2011 2:21:00 PM:

    I feel confident that this last vestige of the general public's protection against all-encompassing rights will disappear as well. Personal medications are on the up, and who wants this profitable area to be free for anybody who can get a prescription with a recipe based on a precise diagnosis?

    Kind regards,

    George Brock-Nannestad

  11. Rules of English grammar:

    Rule 1: There are no rules.
    Rule 2: See rule 1.

  12. The Oxford Dictionary has The Hague, so with two capitals (as opposed to the Netherlands). My (Dutch) Dutch-English dictionary gives "Hague" as translation for the adjective "Haags", with as example "the Hague School". So that would make "decision of the Hague District Court".

  13. why not mention the court's name in its original language? you do it for the German BGH...


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