Wednesday whimsies

"Taking the Pulse of the IP Industry" -- that's the title of an online survey conducted by General Patent Corporation, which explains: it's
"... our first-ever survey of the intellectual property community. And one lucky survey participant will win an Apple iPad!

The input from the survey will help us to better address the IP issues that concern our readers, and it will give us direct input into the thinking of the IP community regarding the key issues it faces, such as the America Invents Act patent legislation currently before Congress".
Whether you want the Apple iPad or prefer a Samsung product (see earlier post here), this is a perfect opportunity to tell the Americans what you think of the US patent system [and why it's not good for the US to be out of step with the rest of the world, whispers Merpel ...]

On the subject of Apple and Samsung, one of the most striking headlines of the past few days has been ""Samsung uses 2001: A Space Odyssey as prior art in Apple’s iPad lawsuit", which leads a report that

" ... Samsung is using the above clip as a piece of evidence in its defense against Apple's patent lawsuit over the Galaxy S and similar tablet computers.

Samsung notes that "the tablet disclosed in the clip has an overall rectangular shape with a dominant display screen, narrow borders, a predominately flat front surface, a flat back surface (which is evident because the tablets are lying flat on the table's surface), and a thin form factor" ...".
The IPKat, who thanks James Gray (Withers & Rogers LLP) for spotting this, wonders whether the 2001: A Space Odyssey clip constitutes an enabling disclosure.

Definitely a good deal ...

There are some special conference deals for IPKat readers right now.  In particular, Informa have 10% discounts for you at three of its forthcoming events in London:

There's no discount for this event, but at least all proceeds go to charity. It's Credits for Conservation's Advanced Patent Law Seminar: Prosecution, Litigation and Claims, which takes place on 16 and 17 October at the Four Seasons Resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. further information can be found here and the beneficiary is/are Friends of the River Teton.

Also in the US, but not in Jackson Hole this time, is a Forum featuring Chief Judge Paul Michel, a USPTO Official and other expert participants on "The Overhaul of U.S. Patent Law". This takes place in Washington D.C next week, on 29 August. You can find details here.

The IPKat has always
enjoyed dates ...
Calculating dates. The IPKat's old friend and former blogging colleague, the legendary Tufty, has just sent him a breathless missive in which he excitedly writes:
"I brought a point to my readers' attention back in June relating to the case of Rigcool v Optima Solutions (see my post here).  This related to the two year period for filing entitlement proceedings under the UK's Patents Act 1977, section 37(5), which turns out to end on the day before the anniversary date.  This has, as I predicted, caused the Intellectual Property Office to do some thinking about other time periods that also use the words "beginning with", of which there are many throughout the current Rules, which were redrafted wholesale in 2007 (for what reason I known not - see the IPKat post here).  The IPO has now issued a practice notice, in which it says that, as from now, it will consider all "beginning with" periods to be "inclusive" (i.e. a period beginning with a day of a month will end on the same day of the later month, rather than the day before).  For now, this will be done by extending the time periods using the Comptroller's discretion under Rule 107(3), but eventually they aim to have the Rules changed so that different wording is used.  
 Adds the wonderful Tufty: I can only wonder why this wasn't thought of when the Rules were originally drafted.  Thanks, Tufty, mew his friends.

Around the weblogs.  Can there be many greater pleasures than that of savouring a book review by Chris Wadlow? Here's his take on the 17th edition of Terrell on the Law of Patents, currently on the jiplp blog and soon to be published in the journal with which it shares its acronym.  Meanwhile, on IP Finance, Grégoire Marino casts an eye across Hewlett Packard's future prospects, based on its current activities in the IP market.  PatLit offers comments on three recently published books on patents, and alerts readers to the existence of a further two. Finally, a thoroughly industrious Ben Challis, writing on the 1709 Blog, reviews a controversial New York District Court decision on Cloud Lockers and 'safe harbours' against copyright infringement and asks if the DMCA is biased.

Hargreaves.  Read this once and understand it, if you can.  You are now being requested to respond to the UK government's response to the recommendations of an inquiry which were based on your earlier responses to a request for responses which was called for by the inquiry.  To put it another way:
"The Business, Innovation and Skills Committee [of the House of Commons, the lower but more powerful of the two British legislative chambers] has announced its intention to conduct an inquiry into the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property and the Government’s response to that Review.
This balloon is powered
by hot air generated by debate
over British IP reform
The Inquiry will focus on
  • The recommendations set out in the Hargreaves Review on Intellectual Property and the Government’s plans for the implementation of its recommendations.
  • The Committee will be reviewing the submissions made to the Hargreaves Review and requests that evidence be confined to points not already made in those submissions.
If you wish your evidence to remain confidential, please contact the Committee staff".
Guidance to submitting written evidence is posted here.  Written evidence must be submitted by 5 September [Merpel adds, "but it doesn't say which year :-)"].

Thanks to Antonis Papasolomontos (BioIndustry Association) for spotting this.
Wednesday whimsies Wednesday whimsies Reviewed by Jeremy on Wednesday, August 24, 2011 Rating: 5


  1. "The IPKat, who thanks James Gray (Withers & Rogers LLP) for spotting this, wonders whether the 2001: A Space Odyssey clip constitutes an enabling disclosure."

    I'm not an expert in flat displays but I believe that they did not exist in 1969, therefore no, the clip is not an enabling disclosure, and is therefore not relevant for novelty, because, under the EPC, it must be "enabled" at the date of its publication (Guidelines C-IV 9.3 & 9.4). On the other hand, it could be relevant for inventive step: it is a document showing that it is obvious to try to produce a device of a certain size and shape (I mean that it shows that the mere "idea" of a tablet PC is obvious, if that needed to be demonstrated with a document).

  2. As the clip is being used with regard a US Design I don't see the relevance of the EPC. Does a disclosure need to be enabled to be prior art for a design?

  3. From Samsung's description of the features I wonder if they're actually using it in the design cases. Presumably then it doesn't matter whether the tablet in the clip worked or not - the design is still clear for all to see and if it does not create a different overall impression on the informed user then Apple's designs lack individual character.

  4. Thanks for including my snippet (and apologies for the typo). I have now had a proper think about it, and written this post. Lots of changes to be made. I hope nobody blames me for starting it.


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