Wednesday whimsies

Waxing lyrical again
Definite article 1. On Monday this Kat waxed lyrical about Rhys Morgan's article for JIPLP, "Ensuring greater legal certainty in OHIM decision-taking by abandoning legal formalism". He has been chewing the ears of all his friends at the journal's publishers, Oxford University Press (OUP), and urging them to make this article freely accessible to non-subscribers too, on account of its importance and in the hope of widening the debate about decision-making under Community and European trade mark law.  To his great delight, OUP have kindly obliged.  A link to Rhys's article can be found on the jiplp weblog here.

Definite article 2. "Be Careful What You Wish For" is a piece of advice which most of us are happier to give others than to receive, but don't let that stop you reading this piece for the Royal Society of Chemistry's Chemistry World by one of our current guest Kats, Darren Smyth.  The "be careful" advice is a caveat for those who expect that their problems will be solved rather than increased, time-shifted or otherwise adversely affected by the drive towards a unitary EU patent and unified patent court which has occupied the time and attention of so many of us in recent months.  Darren's article, complete with a photo of the author wearing an indescribable shirt, can be found here.

Definite article 3. Not so much an article as a thoughtful and well-reasoned paper, "Repairing FRAND: Recreating Open Access to Telecoms Standards" is a piece by Sharaz Gill (Associate Vice-President and Licensing EMEA, HTC Belgium's Middle East Branch). The position from which Sharaz starts is this:
"Since the 1990s, telecoms standard-setting in Europe has been based on the assumption that two measures will be sufficient to enable the best standards to be adopted and to prevent anti-competitive exclusion from the standards:
* early declaration of essential patents; and
* a commitment to license essential patents on Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory [i.e. FRAND] terms. 
2. The current proliferation of patent infringement litigation against manufacturers of handsets and other telecoms equipment, especially in relation to essential patents, the constant stream of extraordinary royalty demands from various patent owners, and the complete uncertainty as to whether total royalties payable on LTE devices will render that technology economically unfeasible, demonstrate that this FRAND model is no longer effective".
This doesn't mean that FRAND is the wrong way to go about things, but rather that it needs some functional adjustment to enable the reality to match the theory. You can read the full text here.  If you are a FRAND enthusiast, don't forget to check out the many articles on the IP Finance weblog that cover that topic -- particularly those guested by Keith Mallinson.  There are also some litigation-oriented pieces on FRAND to be found on the PatLit weblog.

MARQUES, the European trade mark organisation which is much loved by IPKat team blogger Jeremy, has been getting a little more adventurous with its social media, which he is coordinating. Following a question to MARQUES's LinkedIn Group about whether anyone knew of a good course on how to draft trade mark coexistence agreements, a little blogging and tweeting ascertained that there was quite a bit of untapped demand for such a course around Europe.  If you'd like to attend such a course (or if you'd like to volunteer to run it!), click here.

Around the weblogs. The jiplp weblog is busily flaunting the Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice's very own QR Code (right). Meanwhile, Afro-IP has just published news of a major pharmaceutical trade mark dispute in South Africa over whether ZEMAX and ZETOMAX are confusingly similar (with some interesting asides about the industry itself).  Criticism and review are grounds on which the reproduction of another's work may be excused copyright infringement, but they won't help you gain access to an art exhibition if you're an art critic to whom the exhibiting gallery has taken objection, explains Elizabeth Emerson in Art & Artifice.

E-Commerce and IT Handbook: can you help?  IPKat team blogger Jeremy is consultant editor of the Butterworths E-Commerce and Information Technology Handbook, published by LexisNexis here.  The fifth edition came out at the very end of 2009, so some freshening-up is needed. If any readers who use this book have suggestions for things they'd like to see in the sixth edition [Merpel adds, what about readers who haven't bought it because it doesn't have what they're looking for?], can they please let Jeremy know by email here so he can do his best to bring their wish into fruition.

It's 122 pages long and full of fascinating stuff: that's right, it's the 2011 US Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator's Annual Report on Intellectual Property Enforcement. The IPKat laments the fact that he hasn't yet had the chance to read it, let alone shrink it to the manageable dimensions of a haiku for the benefit of his less patient readers, though he does plan to return to it when time permits. His initial reaction is that this document is hugely more readable, accessible and proof of joined-up thinking on IP coordination than anything you'll find on his side of the Atlantic. You can read it in full here (katpat to Chris Torrero for the link).
Wednesday whimsies Wednesday whimsies Reviewed by Jeremy on Wednesday, April 04, 2012 Rating: 5


  1. I disagree strongly! I can think of a number of ways to describe Darren's shirt.

  2. I'm not sure I understand the basis for the RSC article. To the majority of RSC members such an article pointing out the serious flaws with the present system will do more harm than good. This is purely because the present system is not seriously flawed and the RSC readership will not appreciate this fact. The article may have been written for a little self-promotion of a firm, but it is more likely to discourage business for all as opposed to promote it for one.


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