Friday fantasies III

Bifurcation can be
a painful operation 
That unified patent court: the case against bifurcation. If you have been thinking that everything has gone quiet and that no-one cares about the proposed unified patent litigation system and the bifurcation of dispute resolution -- hearing infringement issues in one court and validity in another -- think again. Here's a paper by Nokia's head of litigation Richard Vary which seeks to demonstrate that bifurcation is not just bad for the Brits, it's bad for all European industry. This paper, delivered last week to the UK's Intellectual Property Office, can be read here. Among other things it contains reference to the famous Angora cat which readers of this weblog will recall encountering here and here.

Evidence-based research into ... clutter.  The UK Intellectual Property Office's Economics, Research and Evidence team  [yes, not content with asking everyone else for evidence, the IPO even makes its own ...] is pleased to announce the latest in its series of publications:. Trade Mark Cluttering: An Exploratory Report. The IPKat is delighted to have procured a valuable first edition of the hyperlink to it here.  It's sixty pages long but, if you don't print it out, you won't be causing any more clutter.  According to the IPO
'This report explores the problem of "cluttering" of trade mark registers. The report consists of two parts: the first presents a conceptual discussion of "cluttering" of trade mark registers. The second part provides an exploratory empirical analysis of trade mark applications at the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and the European trade mark office (OHIM). This part contains results of a descriptive and an econometric analysis. According to our definition, cluttering arises where firms hold trade marks that are overly broad or unused, raising search costs for later applicants. The report distinguishes between three mechanisms that can lead to cluttering. It also considers a series of mechanisms that work against cluttering. This discussion is based on a review of the previous literature'.

The Competition Law Association (CLA) has some interesting evening events ahead.
  • Merger Control & Article 102: Friends or Strangers? Speakers: Cristina Caffarra (CRA), Miguel De La Mano (Competition Commission) and Alastair Mordaunt (Clifford Chance) Monday 23 April 2012 Clifford Chance LLP, City office 4 Coleman Street, London EC2R 5JJ Click here for details.
  •  Harmonisation by Stealth: the ECJ and European Copyright Speaker: Professor Lionel Bently Tuesday 1 May 2012,  Bird & Bird LLP,  15 Fetter Lane, London EC4A 1JP. Click here for details.

    Workshops Discussion of two topics for LIDC Congress, Prague 2012
  • Question A: Should or could small or medium-sized undertakings be subject to other or specific competition rules? National Rapporteur: David Bailey (Competition Appeal Tribunal)
  • Question B: Should or could an undertaking obtain protection against the usage by non-competing undertakings of their trade mark, distinctive signs and other components of their image and identity? National Rapporteur: Ben Longstaff (Hogarth Chambers)

    Monday 14 May 2012, Monckton Chambers, 1 & 2 Raymond Buildings Grays Inn, London WC1R 5NR. Click here for details.

Have you ever looked at a patent drawing out of context and wondered what on earth it could possibly be? The io9 blog has: just click here. or, if you don't want the text, go straight to Tumblr here. A hearty katpat to James Gray (Withers & Rogers LLP) for this lead.
Friday fantasies III Friday fantasies III Reviewed by Jeremy on Friday, April 20, 2012 Rating: 5


  1. I trust Richard Vary's paper has found its way to the Scrutiny Committee...

  2. I do hope it gets disseminated widely, for I find it amazingly good. It jolly well ought to give the legislator pause, and I hope it does.

    It occurs to me that somebody who knows about design patents (in house counsel at Dyson, perhaps) could add insights from that area. My hunch is that well-meaning European politicians made the pan-European Design Patent quick and very cheap so that domestic industry could register everything, and thereby keep the Asian and American competition out of Europe.

    But what then happens? Domestic industry continues to snooze, while Asia and America assiduously pile up huge numbers of cheap and potent Alicante patents that will progressively squeeze European manufacturers out of their home market. Let's not repeat the mistake now, with utility patents.


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