Friday fantasies

MARQUES news. On 1 March, or yesterday if you prefer it, IPKat team member Jeremy took on a new role. He has been tasked [that's 'asked' but you get a cup of tea first] with coordinating the social media side of MARQUES, the European trade mark organisation.  He will be taking a more hands-on role with the Class 46 European trade mark weblog, as well as the Twitter account at @marques_ip which he has been babysitting for the past twelve months. He will be increasing his input in the organisation's LinkedIn group and, in the fullness of time, will be working to develop the MARQUES Facebook site too.  Jeremy has a very soft spot for MARQUES, to which he has been attached ever since the very first meeting in Vienna in 1986 in which it decided whether it wanted to be MARQUES or not (it did). He hopes that, if you are as excited by branding and trade marks in Europe as he is, you'll love MARQUES too.

Around the weblogs.  The IPKat has just been introduced to another IP blog: it's Tim Bukher's LawTechie. Tim (left), a New York internet lawyer with Handal & Morofsky, practises in what he calls "the often uncharted areas of internet, intellectual property and business law". He is believed to be a bit of an enthusiast. Back in Europe, the Kat is pleased to note that David Musker's Class 99 design law blog has reached another milestone, securing its 550th email subscriber. Over on the Kluwer Copyright Blog, eminent scholar and Katfriend Estelle Derclaye confirms the Kat's suspicions that yesterday's Football Dataco ruling was indeed a defeat for the football body on the issue of copyright in databases [Merpel says, isn't it odd that, with the exception of Football Dataco's lawyers, all the people who say FD won the case seem to be anonymous, while the people who say they lost it have names].  Staying with copyright, the 1709 Blog reports, thanks to Ben Challis, on a strange and exotic form of protest by Spanish hacktivists who are not enchanted with the country's new anti-piracy law which came into force yesterday. The jiplp weblog carries a crisp, clear account by Peter Jabaly of the US decision in Air-Freshner v Paul Getty and the limited utility of fair use defences in trade mark infringement proceedings.

The IPKat has not previously encountered Research Fortnight, so he was delighted to learn of its existence from Chris Torrero (katpat!), who unearthed the following snippet:
“Patent stalemate costs EUR425,000 per day 
Each day of the EU patent negotiation stalemate is costing European business EUR425,000 (£360,000), Eurochambres claims. According to the Brussels-based lobby group, which represents chambers of commerce and industry across the EU, EUR31 million was lost to the European economy between the agreement on 10 December and the patent discussion at the Council of Ministers on 20 and 21 February which failed to overcome the stalemate".

What we all want to know is this: how on earth did Eurochambres come up with this figure? Is there an economist or, better still, a Katonomist, who can tell us?

Speedier patent applications?
It's time for early retirement,
says Tommy the Tortoise
Patent Prosecution Autobahn. A media release from the UK's Department of Business, Innovation and Skills tells the IPKat that a new one-year pilot scheme, launched yesterday, seeks to boost growth by helping businesses speed up the processing of patent applications in the UK and Germany. It's another Patent Prosecution Highway and it will let applicants who obtain a patent from either the UK or Germany to request accelerated examination of a corresponding patent application filed in the other country. Minister for Intellectual Property Baroness Wilcox that speeding up the international patent process means that patent applications go faster, or something like that ...
Friday fantasies Friday fantasies Reviewed by Jeremy on Friday, March 02, 2012 Rating: 5


  1. The Eurochambres’ press release says that the estimate is based on figures published by the European Commission’s impact assessment related to the creation of the unitary patent in April last year" and is based on “validation costs”. €193million per year according to the impact assessment (€527.000 per day in a leap year)

  2. The estimate is totally wrong, since under the current option 3.2 of the impact assessment "The overall savings COULD reach € 50 million per year." (emphasis added)

    Moreover, these "savings" take into account the number of granted patents x average validation costs, however the average validation countries are France, Germany, UK, Spain and Italy, so that actually there should be no saving at all.

    Furthermore, validation costs include filing attorney's and official fees, so that translation costs are less than the half of the validation costs.

    Finally, the translation costs would be not saved, but just transferred to the shoulders of the public and third parties.

    Not to mention the costs of another "disastrous" European Regulations...

  3. fantasies you ask how Eurochambres came up with their 425.000 EUR/day cost of the “patent stalemate”. Here is the answer: in the Commission’s impact statement:

    it is stated on p. 28 that the annual savings for users would be 159 M EUR per annum if a patent covering the 27 member states were to be created. Dividing this by 365 yields 435.616 EUR per day. I suspect that Eurochambres lowered this to a nice round 425.000 to account for the non-participation of Italy and Spain.

  4. @Nathan Wajsman:

    Page 28 of the Impact Assessment relates to Option 2, which has been abandoned by the Commission more than one year ago.

    Sub-option 3.2 at page 34 of the same document (i.e. the enhanced cooperation) is now under discussion, so that the estimate of Eurochambres is completely wrong.


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