Wednesday whimsies

Getting fresh.  The SPC Blog has traded in the phoenix logo which it has used since its launch in 2008.  In place of the old bird -- a rather tired piece of clip-art which some other folk also use -- the blog now boasts a brand-new, handsome and dynamic phoenix (right), commissioned from web designer Chana Simons. Incidentally, this blog is always in search of information, news and views concerning patent term extensions. If there's anything you'd like to share with an enthusiastic readership (the blog has over 1,100 email subscribers, for a start), do let its blog team know.

North Sea oil: more lucrative than IP?
"A World in Change -- Changing IPR?" is the title of a two-day centennial celebration of the Norwegian Industrial Property Office, Oslo. The event takes place on 12 and 13 October and full programme details are available from the conference website here. The IPKat congratulates the Office for reaching this milestone. It is true that IP offices, which are not particularly subject to market local forces, do generally reach their 100th birthdays if the country they serve is still in existence a century after they're founded, they still have to cope with legal and technological change as well as with enhanced public expectations as to what they're supposed to be doing -- and, from what he hears, the Norwegian office manages that pretty well. Merpel wonders how many years it will take between Norway running out of North Sea oil and joining the European Union ...

A student from a small, non-mountainous European country which is celebrated for its chocolates and waffles is currently studying for a Masters degree in intellectual property law in London. He writes:
In training: the IPKat prepares
for the 2012 Sleep Marathon
"Dear IPKat, I am writing my dissertation about Ambush Marketing, particularly about the London Olympic Games Act and whether this Act violates article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (freedom of commercial speech). This is a more difficult question than I first thought. The issue of Art 10 and anti-ambush marketing laws (such as those protecting the London Olympics) have not been subject to judicial consideration as far as I am aware [This is true, says Merpel, but the Games are still a year away and there hasn't been much opportunity to litigate the laws in question]. Do you have any idea if this is correct? [Yes, I do, says the Kat -- but I'll give readers a chance to air their opinions first] Is it even crystal clear that Art. 10 of the European Convention on Human rights
applies (directly)?

In my view the freedom of expression issues arise by virtue of the severe restrictions on the ability of local businesses to make reference to a major event taking place within the community. There may be other issues as well -- certainly the time and space restrictions on commercial expression by anyone other than official sponsors in certain zones and corridors around event venues may be suspect [might the laws in question be a disproportionately anticompetitive response to the need to protect investment, wonders Merpel ...]. 
Do you have any idea if there is any case law or statutory provision which could prove there is an infringement of art.10 as regards the London Olympic Games Act?". 
Readers -- this is your chance! If (i) you hate the Olympics, (ii) love the Olympics but hate the ambush marketing provisions or (iii) want your name to be gratefully acknowledged in an LLM dissertation, please post your comments below.

If you thought this could be you
after 14 July -- think again!
Copyright 1: a small correction. In this week's Monday Miscellany the IPKat reported that the Irish Orphan Works consultation closed on Thursday 14 July. However, Richard Nugent has pointed out that, if you click here, you will discover that the closing date for submissions on orphan works is 30 September 2011. This is of course bad news for all of you who thought you'd be let off having to make submissions simply because there wasn't enough time, and that you'd be able to nip off to the beach for a bit of rest and recuperation.  Anyway, thanks so much, Richard, for letting us know!

Copyright 2: a big debate.  A report on yesterday's debate on whether we come to bury copyright or to praise it is currently under preparation and will be posted on the 1709 Blog (readers of this blog will be tipped off when this happens). Suffice it to say that a gratifyingly large audience of some 200 enthusiasts enjoyed the cut and thrust of debate and that a gratifyingly large sum was raised for the Royal National Institute of Blind People following a charity auction of a to-die-for Glastonbury Festival swag-bag. Thank you, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, for your superb hospitality -- and a huge thank-you to all the speakers and to Mr Justice Arnold for entering into the spirit of the event by demonstrating a lightness of touch while never letting the debate and subsequent Q&A session overboil.

Feeling dyspeptic? Last week the District Court of The Hague gave judgment in Stada and Sandoz v AstraZeneca, a big pharma patent case concerning esomeprazole The patent at issue, EP 1 020 461, relates to the S-enantiomer of the well-known blockbuster gastric acid secretion inhibitor omeprazole, in a specific purity grade (> 99.8 enantiomeric excess). Stada and Sandoz sought to invalidate the patent for lack of inventive step, insufficiency and inadmissible added matter -- but the District Court thought otherwise. The interesting thing here is that the patent was revoked last month in opposition proceedings before the EPO, but the revocation was not brought to the attention of the District Court since the case was already closed and awaiting judgment. The IPKat's friends Marleen H.J. van den Horst and Jaap Bremer (BarentsKrans NV), who represented Stada in the Dutch proceedings, have kindly gone to the effort of rendering the District Court's decision into English and you can read it here.

Never mind photography -- primates
have been churning out literary
works ever since the invention
of the typewriter ...
Around the weblogs.   There's a stunning not-to-be-missed post on the 1709 Blog here by the positively regal Aurelia J. Schultz on copyright in photos taken by monkeys. The A to Z tour of official African IP websites, which Kingsley Egbuonu is undertaking for Afro-IP, has now reached its fourth port of call, Botswana.  PatLit's latest PCC Page touches upon such intimate matters as what to call the judge -- and what to wear when appearing in the Patents County Court.  The MARQUES Class 46 blog announces the publication of the latest revision of Providers of Warning Information -- which gives further details of how national and international IP Offices advise users of scams and unsolicited requests for payments.  The Kat salutes IP Draughts on notching up its 100th email subscriber and hopes it won't be long before this must-read transaction-driven blog doubles this tally.
Wednesday whimsies Wednesday whimsies Reviewed by Jeremy on Wednesday, July 13, 2011 Rating: 5


  1. Re. the post concerning ambush marketing we have the Major Events Management Act 2007 here in New Zealand. The legislation was introduced in anticipation of the Rugby World Cup to be held here later this year. It's enforcement during this tournament may provide some case law of interest for comparative purposes at least...

  2. Macaque monkeys taking photos? You should see the 2010 story on BBC Earth News about chimpanzees shooting a film:

  3. Thanks, Jeremy, for your comments about IP Draughts. We welcome suggestions from your readers for blog topics relating to transactional IP. Please contact me at


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