Monday miscellany

Around the weblogs.  Afro-IP's itinerant e-traveller Kingsley Egbuonu leaves the promising online IP environment of Kenya for the altogether more disappointing jurisdiction of Lesotho here. On the MARQUES Class 46 weblog, Laetitia Lagarde brings comforting news that the respective marks ONLY GIVENCHY (this being a figurative mark) and the word ONLY have been ruled unlikely be confused with one another by the General Court.  Two more books are available for review in the Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice: details from the jiplp weblog here.  PatLit reports on recent guidance as to when (potentially expensive) experiments may be allowed in the (ideally cheap) Patents County Court, England and Wales.

Infringements in Transit: current law, future prospects.  Readers of this weblog will by now be well acquainted with the forthcoming seminar, organised by the Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice and hosted at the London office of law firm Olswang LLP on Wednesday 18 January on "Infringements in Transit: current law, future prospects".  This event, for which admission is free, now has 55 registrants.  It's still not too late to sign up for it, but don't leave it too late! Full details of personnel and on how to register can be found here.

The Patents, Registered Rights,
Intellectual Property and Marks
Court was a bit long, but consumers
were happy with an abbreviation
connoting low cost litigation
With huge and humble apologies the IPKat delivers, somewhat late, this cry for assistance from his friends at the UK's Intellectual Property Office. According to the IPO's Hargreaves page,
"In its response to Hargreaves the Government committed to consider renaming the Patents County Court to the Intellectual Property County Court by Autumn 2011. We have been considering the issues and require further evidence to establish the case for change [Says Merpel, I know Kats have short memories, but wasn't there evidence to establish the case for changing the name of the Patent Office to the Intellectual Property Office? Or was the need self-evident?]. We continue to look for a low-cost way to change its name, which will enable businesses to readily identify which court resolves intellectual property cases [Is it seriously contended that businesses are roaming round the country in search of a court with the right name so they can sue?]. The change of name would build on a number of initiatives we have worked on to improve small business' access to justice such as the announcement of a small claims track to the Patents County Court".

Greek veto? The Gordian "not"
Also in a tizzy over names is the lovely, romantic and financially-challenged (aren't we all?) home of democracy, Greece, whose national knuckles have been rapped by the International Court of Justice for an infraction of international law when it vetoed the entry of M******** to Nato in result of an ongoing bilateral name dispute. The formal name of the country in question is "The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" which is a bit of a mouthful, apart from consuming 41 characters of the 140 capacity of Twitter.  Greece is said to be in breach of an obligation under an interim accord of September 1995 which prohibited Greece from using the name dispute to block M********'s accession to international organisations. The M-country prefers to use the name "Republic of Macedonia" and has been winding the Greeks up by naming both a highway and an airport "Alexander the Great" after the ancient [Greek] king whom Macedonians claim to be their ancestor. The passions generated by this dispute are pretty local and, it has to be said, are viewed with a mixture of embarrassment (among Greece's friends) and amusement (among Greece's not-yet-friends and not-quite friends).  The truth is that virtually everyone refers to M******** as Macedonia, particularly when there aren't any Greeks in earshot and sometimes even when they are. Elsewhere in the world. Georgia has been partitioned between the Americans and the Eurasians; Galicia is split between the Spanish and the Ukrainians and Poles.  There are two Congos, not to mention Guinea, Guinea-Bissau and New Guinea. We can cope!

Never mind the razor:
someone's doing a brisk
trade in fake moustaches
Meanwhile, in M'donia itself, things are looking up if you're an IP owner. Via the IPKat's Balkan friends at Petosevic comes news that Macedonian Customs have been busily seizing suspected counterfeit razors, eaux de toilette and batteries (among other things). According to this news item, "the goods, which were found in trucks with Macedonian, Albanian and Bulgarian licence plates, originated in Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, China and Vietnam, and were intended for the Macedonian and Kosovo markets".  The IPKat is wondering whether there is any subtle connection between razors, eau de toilette and batteries, some curious ritual which has somehow escaped his notice. Perhaps readers will advise.  Merpel says, it's a sad reflection on the economic crisis and lack of consumer confidence in the leading market economies of Western Europe that importers of counterfeits should find it more profitable to drive their goods all the way from China to Albania and Kosovo rather than ship them to England, France or Germany ...
Monday miscellany Monday miscellany Reviewed by Jeremy on Monday, December 12, 2011 Rating: 5


  1. Macedonia, not Freedonia.

    You go-a Uraguay and I'll go-a Paraguay!

  2. Would a private company willingly have relinquished the use of a long-established and universally-understood name whose exclusivity was protected by Act of Parliament?

    I wonder if the ramifications of the IPO's change of "trading name" on PA1977, S. 112, have been considered? I understand that a number of organizations were using names that include "IP" or "Intellectual Property" in their names well before the Patent Office (to use its legally-prescribed name) decided to use it as well.

    I understand that S. 62 of the 1907 Act, which remains unrepealed, continues to unambiguously prescribe that it shall be called "the Patent Office".

  3. I ALWAYS call it the Patent Office. That is what it was and as you say, that is what it legally is.

  4. I suggest a compromise to my Greek friends: let's call it fruit salad.

  5. Every gal in Constantinople
    lives in Istanbul, not Constantinople;
    so if you've a date in Constantinople,
    she'll be waiting in Istanbul


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