Monday miscellany

The programme is no longer
under wraps ...
Will you be attending the half-day seminar on 7 September on Initial Interest Confusion? It's held in the pleasant and congenial Lincoln's Inn home of barristers' chambers Hardwicke and features IPKat team members Annsley (the AmeriKat) Merelle Ward and Jeremy. In case you're wondering why this topic has been chosen, it has been quite controversial in the United States and, in a recent judgment in Och-Ziff, Mr Justice Arnold considered that it was actually part of both EU and United Kingdom trade mark law.  22 good souls have signed up for it already. Will you be joining them? Early booking is advised since the Hardwicke Library has limited space.  Click  here for all the details.

Last Thursday saw the emergence of the Report on EU customs enforcement of intellectual property rights: Results at the EU border - 2010, this being the European Commission's annual account of how it fared against the folk who misguidedly seek to bring counterfeit and other IP-infringing goods across the border into the lucrative pasture of the single market.  The figures show substantial increases in customs seizures, the number of detentions rising from around 43,00 to just under 80,000, in respect of goods with a retail value of €1 billion. Goods seized per detention have fallen, since the total number of goods detained has slipped from 117 million to 103 million, suggesting that importers are deploying a larger number of smaller consignments in the hope of making it more expensive and inconvenient to deal with them; the Commission adds that it is also a consequence of more goods being bought online.  Overall, most of the counterfeit goods originate from China, though India leads the way when it comes to fake condoms and medical products [Says Merpel, the trouble with these figures is that you can't be sure what they mean: does the increased number of border seizures mean that the importation of infringing goods is on the increase, or that customs are much better at spotting and detaining them?]  You can read the report for yourself here: it is only 32 pages in length and has lots of tables and diagrams.

Dating back to the days of the
Pyramids, the oldest surviving
scrap of an ancient Egyptian IP
Manual, deals with similarity
between figurative marks
The IPKat is sure he must have posted this query from a reader before, but can't find any evidence of his having done so which is why he is posting it again. The query runs like this:
"If you register a trade mark (either in the United Kingdom or as a Community trade mark) in block capitals, does this mean that your registration covers the mark in differing typefaces and in upper and lower case letters, or a combination of the two (i.e. some letters in upper case and some in lower case)?

The UK Intellectual Property Office's Work Manual states that a UK trade mark registered in block capitals covers the mark in differing typefaces and in upper and lower case letters. However, no legal authority (e.g case law, or statute, or statutory instrument) is cited in support of this assertion. Does anyone know of a case on this point?"
Please put this reader out of his misery -- and apologies if you've already done so!

Algernon never realised quite
how stress-free patent litigation
in England and Wales could be
International High-Technology Patent Litigation is the title of a most topical conference which LexisNexis is running in London on 27 September; it caught this Kat's eye last month (here) and its theme is largely comparative, looking at patent litigation in the ICT sector in England and Wales, Germany, The Netherlands, the US and China. Today the same Kat has been correcting the proofs of an article on patent litigation forum-shopping by the McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP pair of Gary Moss and Robert Lundie Smith. This article will be published in the near future in the Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice (JIPLP). Both the conference and the article appear to strike a more positive note about patent litigation in the British Isles than one might have heard ten of 15 years ago. Add to this the listing of Patents County Court judge Colin Birss QC in the Managing Intellectual Property international list of 50 IP movers and shakers and one can detect traces of a general feeling that patent litigation in England and Wales, if not actually good cheap fun, is less painful and more beneficial than once it was.  But why, the Kat wonders, is it always the same few European jurisdictions that get compared? We hear little of patent litigation in Switzerland, Denmark or Sweden, for instance, and not a great deal about France or Spain. How do they do things there? [Never mind how, says Merpel: do they do things there?]

Around the blogs.  Congratulations to the MARQUES Class 46 weblog for welcoming its 2,200th email subscriber. This week's Afro-IP A to Z tour of national IP websites visits Burkina Faso. The 1709 Blog carries a note on a piece of litigation in which News International came out on top, Ebden v News Int;l, in which the judge held that (among other things) a nearly-completed round of negotiation to use a video clip of a footballer having a fight didn't actually count as a promise to pay a large sum for it.  Art & Artifice records the sad demise of a Banksy original and also notes the IPO's report that the UK invests more money in the creation of artistic assets than it thinks it does.  The jiplp weblog explains the activities of COPE, the Committee on Publication Ethics, which can help journals deal with IP-sensitive issues such as plagiarism and attribution of authorship. Finally, SOLO IP laments the curious assumption that IP practitioners still use headed notepaper rather than add their address and professional details when they create a document that happens to be a letter.
Monday miscellany Monday miscellany Reviewed by Jeremy on Monday, July 18, 2011 Rating: 5


  1. With regard to the typefaces enquiry, I have come across the following.

    The opposite conclusion was reached in Bravado Merchandising Ltd v Mainstream
    Publishing Ltd (“Wet Wet Wet”) (1996) FSR 205 where the Scottish court held that the
    same words in a different typeface were nevertheless identical.

    Unfortunately, I no longer have access to Fleet Street Reports to confirm it.

    The Hearing below is also relevant, but cites no relevant precedent.

  2. UKIPO comments on "notional and fair use" here:

  3. There is some useful discussion in the revocation proceedings below of whether use in a stylised form constitutes use of a word mark registered in block capitals. It does (here at least).


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