Monday miscellany Part 1

That World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) survey.  If you've not yet completed the WIPO survey on Stakeholders' Perceptions, please do. It's a golden opportunity to tell the world's highest-profile intellectual property agency what you think of it. Whether it's praise or scorn, helpful hints or critical comments, your opinion does count, if you don't mind it being aggregated with everyone else's, that is.  The IPKat doesn't know the closing date for completing the survey, which is why he urges haste.  Merpel will get round to completing it soon, once she has finished trying to recall whether any other United Nations agency has taken the trouble to ask everyone what they think of it. Does any reader know?

More secret legislation?  In contrast with WIPO's determination to be as open as the burden of diplomacy permits, the IPKat scents some more depressing news about the hatching of plans for legislation via deliberately secret means. Following in the footsteps of ACTA, it seems from Ars Technica that the Intellectual Property chapter of the Trans Pacific Partnership, a regional trade treaty, is also to be negotiated behind closed doors [Merpel wonders, shouldn't that read "even more closed doors than usual"? It's easier to get ringside seats for the Olympic Beach Volleyball event than to get in to watch any IP treaty being agreed ...]. The IPKat is reluctant to raise his voice, so he hopes that his readers will do it for him and that they will respectfully draw to the attention the fact that, if those who are negotiating it are doing nothing wrong, they have nothing to hide -- and everything to gain.

Prepared for every eventuality. The Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM) has helpfully issued an Alert relating to The Manual of Trade Mark Practice, for Part M. (International Marks).
Page 36: The Manual on International Marks has been changed in order to reflect Rule 17 (2) (v) Common Regulations that require that when an opposition is filed against and international registration, the International Bureau shall be notified, among other, of the list of all the goods and services of the earlier mark on which the opposition is based. 
The Office has incorporated their newly published Classication [Merpel thinks this should be Classification, but you can't be sure ...] Manual in the Examination Manual as part B.3. which entered into force on 01.02.2012. The document reflects the current practice of the Office and has also been brought in line with the 10th edition of the Nice Classification. The Office is, nevertheless, aware of Case C-307/10 “IP TRANSLATOR” [click here for a note on the Advocate General's Opinion] and the fact that the preliminary ruling, which will be handed down, may affect it. The Office is also working with a number of National Offices in the Class Headings Project with a view, precisely, to converge with them on a common approach to the interpretation of the Nice Classification Class Headings. Whenever any of the two issues described matures previously the Office will certainly, and without delay, take the necessary steps to amend the practice as reflected in this manual [Merpel's not certain what this means, in the English version at any rate, but it sounds like good news and she welcomes it]."

While on the subject of OHIM, the IPKat has discovered that Phase II of the new OHIM Building has now got underway. The information was posted on the OHIM website on 4 January (at least, that's the date of the notice) but expressions of interest had to be submitted by 9 January. This would appear to be a fairly ungenerous window of opportunity for telling the lads and lasses in Alicante that you want to construct a new building extension, especially since some people were still on their Christmas holidays and, if this Kat remembers correctly, 7 and 8 January were, respectively, a Saturday and Sunday.

The truth is that, while the identity of the building contractor is still unknown, the design for the building has already been decided.  Anyone who knows a thing or two about building in Spain can tell you that, in a city that gets about 360 days of blinding, sweltering sun every year, you want to minimise the number of windows in order to keep the place comfortably cool.  The current OHIM HQ is however about as full of windows as you can get.  The plan is therefore to build an extension (left) which has no windows at all and in which Examiners, Board of Appeal Members and even Legal Department staff can, er, chill out ...

The IPKat has noted with great interest the travails of Inez and Gus Bodur in their various legal battles with those who have caused them hassle, not least in the continuing saga of their GOLDEN BALLS Community trade mark, to which the owners of the BALLON D'OR have taken a deep and meaningful dislike. The Bodurs won before the Opposition Division (here) but lost before the Board of Appeal (the dispute is now before the General Court).  Meanwhile, various people have asked whether David Beckham, whose nickname is  "Golden Balls" (see eg here), objects to Inez and Gus making commercial use of that august appellation.  Now the truth can be told: David and Inez are on the best of terms, as the picture on the right shows. Merpel reminds readers that Inez and Gus are no strangers to legal controversy: in 2010 they successfully fended off the might of Gucci, which considered its famous GUCCI brand was jeopardised by their UK registration of a word-and-device mark for GUSSY THE ICE CREAM MAN (here).

Last month the IPKat noted that Moldova was denouncing the Eurasian Patent Convention. Now it seems there is a specific reason for it to do so.  The archival records of the European Patent Office (EPO) reveal that the little Central European state has been authorised to enter into negotiations on a validation and co-operation agreement with the EPO. A kat-pat goes to Nick Bassil (Kilburn & Strode) for spotting this.

Around the weblogs.  Visiting Morocco, Afro-IP's Kingsley Egbuonu finds some positive news to report from that country's official IP websites here.  The excellent Mark Anderson has emailed the IPKat with news that, this January, his firm's IP Draughts weblog, which is dedicated to those messy things that come unexpectedly apart and which we affectionately call contracts, achieved its best ever month, with 3,660 hits. The 1709 Blog asks readers if they know anything of Takedown Piracy and its business model, while Keith Mallinson (WiseHarbor) returns as a guest contributor to the IP Finance blog with his latest piece, "ICT esperanto and competition among standards".

If you've nothing to do on 25 and 26 June and you're feeling vaguely historical, take note: the fourth annual workshop of ISHTIP, the International Society for the History and Theory of Intellectual Property, will be held at the Department of Law, London School of Economics. The theme is Intellectual Property as Cultural Technology and the call for papers is open until 1 March 2012. Further details are available here.
Monday miscellany Part 1 Monday miscellany Part 1 Reviewed by Jeremy on Monday, February 06, 2012 Rating: 5


  1. Epiphany (January 6) is an official holiday in Spain.......

  2. On the delphic utterance of WIPO re class headings... OHIM gave a little insight at the ITMA/OHIM day a few weeks ago. It's all about a common taxonomy - WIPO, OHIM and the national offices are cooperating.


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