Wednesday whimsies

It's not yet known whether The Old Nick allows this
sort of thing, but a pint of Badger is always available
This Thursday, 15 March, IPKat blogmeister Jeremy will be at The Old Nick, just off High Holborn, London, from 5.00pm to 6.30pm. Do join him, together with some of his blogging friends, for a drink and a chat about current IP issues. 

What do you think of the IPKat's weekly "Looking for something?" posts which list the previous week's featured articles? There's a little poll at the top of the side bar on this weblog's home page. Do take the opportunity to visit it and give us your opinion as to whether "Looking for something?" should be enthusiastically continued or speedily scrapped -- or as to whether you really couldn't care two hoots! The poll closes tomorrow night, so you've not a minute to lose ...

14 March is not just a random date: it is one whole week away from 21 March which, you may not yet know, is the closing date for applications for a very tempting Lectureship/Senior Lectureship in the law of digital media at the School of Law in Edinburgh. Full details of this post, which carries a decent salary even though the Kat is sure that many applicants would happily take the job for nothing other than the joy of working with some of IP's nicest people, can be found here. Preference will be given to candidates who (i) are prepared to teach, supervise other people's research and do their own while demonstrating the qualities of leadership in developing new initiatives, (ii) are willing to pretend for the sake of the interview that EU law, international law and world trade law are cognate areas to digital media law and (iii) since it's Edinburgh, have a high tolerance of a bracing climate for ten months of the year and who like the colour grey.

"Will it fly or will it flop?" was the question posed by the IPKat when he reviewed US attitudes towards the America Invents Act in the light of a forthcoming Forum on US Patent Reform (you can read the Kat's pensées on the topic here). Anyway, here's a little reminder to anyone who might be in or near Washington DC on 27 March that this excellent event (for which full details are available here) is well worth the effort to attend.  Speakers David Kappos (Undersecretary of Commerce for IP; Director, USPTO), Judge Paul Michel, Q. Todd Dickinson (executive director, AIPLA) and the person everyone really wants to hear -- Allied Security Trust CEO Dan McCurdy -- are all nervously straightening their ties and brushing up their PowerPoints in readiness for the dialogue in which a deeply concerned and highly curious patent public is looking forward to engaging them.  A stellar cast of corporations, including those who create their own IP and those who thrive by using the IP of others, is attending: BAE Systems, Boeing Company, Caterpillar, Colgate-Palmolive [will they give a speakers a pasting, wonders Merpel], Eli Lilly, Hitachi, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Mastercard, Microsoft, NASA, Pfizer,Rambus, Teva, and many more, too numerous to sue list.  The IPKat isn't flying over for this event in case people who see him on the plane think he is being extradited for IP offences, but his ears will be generally pointed in this event's direction. Be there!

My mat, my space*
Around the weblogs.  The MARQUES Class 46 blog is now back online after its hosts did some seasonal spring-cleaning on their website: sorry about the inconvenience!  Writing on IP Finance, IPKat team member Jeremy had a fair bit to say about Yahoo's patent infringement assault on upwardly mobile Facebook. There's a review of the second edition of Simon Stokes' Art & Copyright on Art & Artifice here.  David C. Berry posts a thoughtful review of the ruling in MySpace v GraphOn for PatLit, while the jiplp weblog proudly announces the publication of the special Geographical Indications issue of JIPLP, complete with editorial by guest editors Miguel Ángel Medina González (Elzaburu, Spain) and Keri Johnston (Johnston & Wassenaar, Toronto). Finally, 1709 Blog's Eleonora Rosati reports that rappers Kanye West and Jay-Z have settled their dispute with Syl Johnson.

Everything else was devoured, but no-one had
the heart to eat the Hello Kitty cupcakes ...
Having recently celebrated an upturn in international patent filing figures, the IPKat's many friends at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) had only just about put away their party hats, dabbed the cake-crumbs from their lips and scraped the remains of the meringue off their lavishly marbled floor when, hey presto, it was time to party again. The occasion this time was the achievement in 2011 of a new world record for the number of international trade mark applications ever to have been filed in a single year under the Madrid system.  According to the WIPO media release, last year produced
"...  42,270 applications, or a 6.5 % increase compared to 2010. Applications from the member states of the European Union (EU) accounted for more than half (57.4%) of all international trademark applications, and China remained the most designated country for trademark protection. ...

The largest growth rates amongst the top ten countries in the system came from the Russian Federation (+35.6%), followed by the European Union (+24.5%), the United States of America (+15.5%) and China (+11.5%).

International registrations recorded in the International Trademark Register increased by 8.5%, with a total 40,711 new registrations issued in 2011. WIPO also recorded 21,754 international trademark renewals in 2011, reflecting the continued value that businesses place in their established brands, at a time when there is a level of uncertainty in the global economic situation.

International design activity also grew in 2011 with WIPO receiving 2,521 applications under the 59-member Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs, or a 5.7% increase over the previous year".
Merpel notes that, by combining their excellent design figures with the trade mark data, WIPO missed the chance to crack open yet more bottles of bubbly.  This is surprising, since she thought our international brethren were all in training for World Intellectual Property Day, on 26 April.

Brimelow at Bournemouth. From the IPKat's friend Professor Martin Kretschmer comes news that Alison Brimelow CBE, former President of the European Patent Office and UK IP Office head, will give a CIPPM lecture on Thursday, 22 March on the struggle for a unitary patent right in Europe. The title is "In pursuit of the Grail: the unitary European patent: aspiration meets reality?" [Merpel notes that it just says "Grail", not "Holy Grail" which is the usual appellation. Is this a reflection of her view of unitary patent rights, or is it just that grails are inherently holy and Alison's just excising a tautology? Do let us know]. According to the publicity material for her talk, Alison will argue that
*the unitary European patent has become an internal obsession, and the real problems are global;
*the terms of the debate are historic and uninformed by the last decade or so of empirical work on how the patent system works, and we are imprisoned by policy mantras about cost and volume;
*national prestige remains oddly glued to the patent system;
*the prestige of location beats substance any day;
*language and litigation remain problematic, for different reasons;
*pressing on regardless has the hallmarks of a vanity project, and its advocates will not be around to see the long term consequences.
This is the second of the three annual Spring lectures organised by the Centre for Intellectual Property Policy & Management ( The lecture is free, but places are limited, and admission to the building closes at 18:15. If you wish to reserve a place, please contact Mandy Lenihan.

* This cat image is from one of a range of animal-theme cards on sale here.
Wednesday whimsies Wednesday whimsies Reviewed by Jeremy on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 Rating: 5

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