Monday miscellany

Red Cross, not. The German Federal Government has honoured Alison Brimelow (Chair of the Intellectual Property Institute and former President of the European Patent Office) by awarding her the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit (Grosses Bundesverdienstkreuz). At the award ceremony Federal Minister of Justice Birgit Grundmann made particular mention of Alison's pioneer role as the first woman President of the EPO and her achievements in reforming and guiding the Office through a time of financial crisis, as well as her personal engagement in the life of her adopted city of Munich. The IPKat adds his own personal congratulations and is particularly pleased to see Alison get some recognition, following the rough time she had at the EPO. He notes that, having been awarded the status of Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBEfrom the British government, she is now commanding both the Germans and the British. Merpel worries about the German cross itself, which is definitely red and unquestionably a cross: is there, perchance, a likelihood of confusion with another, certainly well-known cross of the same hue, she innocently speculates ...

Changing of the guard. From the IPKat's friend Margaret Llewelyn comes news that Bart Kiewiet (the first President of the Community Plant Variety Office) has stepped down, to be replaced by the CPVO's Head of Legal Affairs Martin Ekvad. Martin also has experience of life in private practice, with Linklaters in Brussels and Magnusson Wahlin Advokatbyrå in Stockholm. The Kat wishes both Bart and Martin all the best. Merpel is hoping for an improvement at CPVO, where her site search for catnip proved quite fruitless.

Nice work, if you can get it.  The IPKat let out a little growl not long ago about the fate of the 10th edition of the Nice Classification of goods and services for trade marks.  Gratifyingly, at last week's MARQUES conference in Baveno (reported extensively on the Class 46 weblog), Marcus Höpperger, Acting Director of the World Intellectual Property Organization's Trademarks, Industrial Designs Law Division, name-checked the IPKat and the concern of his readers and gave them the good news that the 10th edition will indeed be operative from 1 January 2012. Readers can enjoy a taste of the future by clicking here, while bearing in mind the fact that, until close of play in December 2011, it is the ninth edition which remains in force.

Good luck Gillian.  For the past 16 years Gillian Ellis has masterminded a succession of intellectual property conferences for CLT conferences, including this week's Handbags at Dawn IP in the Fashion Industry event.  Now she is leaving conference organising, in search of fresh adventures. The IPKat wishes her well in her new endeavours, recalling with pleasure and affection the many polished performers on today's IP stage who began their public speaking careers on one of Gillian's programmes.

A plague on both their houses? The IPKat's official Myriad-watcher Chris Torrero has informed him that the US Federal Circuit has issued an order that would look a bit sparse even as a Tweet: with just one word—“Denied”—the Circuit has dashed both parties’ requests for a rehearing by the three-judge panel that so controversially decided the case in the first place. According to the Genomics Law Report (here), the parties have 90 days to file a certiorari petition, asking for Supreme Court review.

Around the weblogs.  The Latin American intellectual property blog IP Tango has been extraordinarily lively of late, with over 30 bright and breezy IP posts -- split between the English and Spanish languages -- over the past fortnight.  In "Venezuela: a tormenting week" (here, with links to earlier posts), Patricia Covarrubia records the ups and downs of IP protection and activity in that remarkable country.  This week's tour by Kingsley Egbuonu of African countries without an official web presence for their industrial property and copyright offices takes Afro-IP to the Republic of the Congo (not to be confused with the Democratic Republic of the Congo).  The Pirate Party's Dirk Poot takes a critical but reasoned look at the recent decision of the European Union to go for copyright extension for sound recordings, here -- and does not like what he sees. Meanwhile, IP Draughts' Mark Anderson takes up the topic of professional rankings which Kat team member Neil raised last week, and Seattle Trademark Lawyer Michael Atkins explains how there is property in the word 'Realtor' here.

"We aim to please ..." At the opening session of last week's MARQUES Conference, Shane Smyth (FRKelly, Dublin) wowed the crowd with a remarkable application to register a trade mark in Ireland which, though emanating from an individual applicant -- one John Clooney of Rathaspick, Athy, Co. Laois -- must surely have been drafted  by a patent attorney.  The hand-drawn sign for which registration was sought consisted of the words "Piddlepath & Parking" together with a PP device.  The patent attorney? Who else would dream up a specification for Class 45 like this:
"A public service system for directing motorists from outside a town to a public convenience. Incorporating a sewage system and three or more short term parking spaces adjacent to the said public convenience". 
Monday miscellany Monday miscellany Reviewed by Jeremy on Monday, September 19, 2011 Rating: 5


  1. I undrestand the term of the day for such awards as received by Ms Brimelow is "self-serving tosh".

    "first woman President of the EPO" and "following the rough time she had at the EPO". Such an achievement and persecution must go down in the annals of history.

    Please God give me strength!

  2. At least Ms Brimelow was not awarded an Iron Cross!

  3. the German Federal Minister of Justice goes by the great name of
    Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, Birgit Grundmann is her State Secretary


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