Tuesday tiddlywinks

Busy examiners can now enjoy
the benefit of being groomed
while contemplating
the prior art ...
"Casting no stones, as you know I never would", writes one of the IPKat's oldest and most valued IP friends, "did you ever check the terms and salaries of the European Patent Office examiners before writing on your blog that you'd rather see them get a better salary than be treated to the doubtful benefits of the proposed bonus?"  The Kat's friend suggests that, if Europe's patent practitioners knew how well the examiners are treated, they'd all flee private practice and sign up for a tour of duty with Europe's most profitable patent office.  Well, if you'd like to a bit about what it's like to work for the EPO, just click here.

"Dear IPKat team", writes another correspondent, "as you've written about plain-pack and tobacco on your blog (see eg this comment on the paper written by Professors Mitchell & Voon, I thought you might be interested to learn about the publication of our latest TDM issue". TDM, in this context, stands for Transnational Dispute Management, and this issue offers a timely look at the legal issues in tobacco control in the lead-up to the Fifth Session of the Conference of the Parties to the WHO FCTC, to be held from 12 to 17 November 2012 in Seoul ('COP5').  IP topics are indeed among those featured, and you can read some fascinating pieces on the IP dimension within a wider political, legal and social context.

Around the weblogs. The words "patent linkage" may mean nothing to you. If so, you are probably wondering why some Italians might have gone to considerable lengths to rid themselves of it, while other Italians have gone to equally considerable lengths to bring it back again. This is a tale of patent term extensions for pharma products and its narrator is the ever-helpful Micaela Modiano, guesting on The SPC Blog here.  Over on the IP Finance blog, this Kat notes the sad truth that it's a lot easier to distribute non-EU films in the EU than to get EU films distributed outside the EU: what might the problem be? Meanwhile, Asim Singh tells us all about the French Catch-up TV case and his colleague Iona Harding reminds us that assignment of copyright is too important a subject to take for granted. Oh, and lest we forget, Kingsley Egbuonu is back in Eritrea, on behalf of Afro-IP. That country's immediate problems, he reminds us, put IP on the back boiler.

Not all readers are familiar with Movember, which is not just a typo but a process of growing moustaches with a view to raising both awareness and funds to help tackle men's health issue such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer and man flu.  You can find out more about Movember here.  UK-based patent and trade mark attorneys Keltie have entered a fund-raising team here; you can keep an eye on them via the firm's IPcopy blog here.   Please donate generously, says the IPKat -- preferably money, not moustaches, says Merpel ...

Wednesday 5 December marks an event which is guaranteed to show this Kat up for the ignorant poseur and IP charlatan that he is.  It's a PETOŠEVIĆ Webinar entitled "IP Update on Special-Status Territories: Kosovo, Transnistria, Abkhazia, Katatonia and South Ossetia". Despite his fabled knowledge of all facets of IP past, present and future, what this Kat knows about IP protection in those zones of interest could be written on the back of a Higgs boson. But there's still time to learn ...

Down Under, Fiona Phillips (katpat!) has sent the IPKat an email headed "Google held liable for defamation" -- and indeed that's exactly what happened in Trkulja v Google, a Supreme Court of Victoria decision that you can read here.  We hear our readers chanting in unison, "hey, defamation's not intellectual property!"  But a perusal of this ruling will reveal plenty of interest to the casual IP reader. Whenever involving the parameters of publication are concerned, copyright lawyers' ears should be twitching.

Of more obvious relevance to IP but not quite as juicy is the "Response to the Call for Evidence on the IPO Mediation Service", published by the UK's Intellectual Property Office and available here.   Anyone who has even once tasted the cut-and-thrust of mediation [Merpel says there is no cut-and-thrust: most mediation is like people taking turns to hit each other over the head slowly, with feather pillows ...] will not be surprised to read that some people found the service very good, others found it an expensive waste of time.  The best thing about mediation says this Kat is that, unlike litigation and arbitration, when it goes wrong it's usually the fault of the disputing parties, not the poor soul in the middle.
Tuesday tiddlywinks Tuesday tiddlywinks Reviewed by Jeremy on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 Rating: 5


  1. On behalf of the Keltie LLP Movember team, many thanks to everyone at the IPKat for the mention today about our charity effort.

    For those interested and for those just wanting a good chuckle we will be posting an updated photo or two either later today or tomorrow to mark the halfway point in our moustache growing. Updates will go on the IPcopy blog at ipcopy.wordpress.com

    Many thanks

  2. > The Kat's friend suggests that, if Europe's patent practitioners knew how well the examiners are treated, they'd all flee private practice and sign up for a tour of duty with Europe's most profitable patent office.

    Well, many make vague hints of big salaries and a huge pension but hard facts such as actual salaries are never mentioned from what I can remember.

    Secondly the financial troubles in Europe in general and in many patent law firms in particular mean that the EPO is getting a steady stream of applications from experienced patent attorneys with PhD.


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