Friday fantasies

Coffee: not
everyone's cup
of tea ...
Feeling utopian? Well, EUtopian might be more appropriate for this position with the Court of Justice of the European Union, currently offered on the Eutopia website. The successful Reférendaire will have an excellent legal track record, clean driving licence, unblemished Facebook history, good looks, tact and diplomacy, the ability to look attentive when listening to other people speaking at length and the knack of making good coffee in both English or French, or whatever. If you get this job, remember to tell them that the IPKat sent you ...

There must be a word for it.  Many languages have words the meaning of which is difficult to convey succinctly, but Gwilym Roberts (Kilburn & Strode) has a problem that goes the other way round.  The meaning is clear: it's "a dead PCT"  -- but there isn't a word for it.  Readers' suggestions are welcome, of course.

Give Trier a try.  The Academy of European Law (ERA) is holding an event, "Internet Domain Names: from Registration to Dispute Resolution" in Trier from 21–22 March 2013.  Details of the programme and registration can be gleaned from the conference website here.  Never mind the conference, which only occupies part of each registrant's conscious mind and takes up only part of the time spent in attendance -- here's a chance to visit one of Europe's most historical cities which is every bit as lovely as nearby Luxembourg but twice as exciting [here Merpel raises an eyebrow. The words 'Luxembourg' and 'exciting' are usually found only in the presence of a third word: 'not'].

Around the weblogs.  Robin Jacob and Alexander von Muehlendahl debate Cinderella, announces the Class 99 blog: sadly it's no more than a forthcoming event, but it should be fun nonetheless.  The other 'Class' blog, MARQUES' Class 46, brings the exciting news that European trade mark organisation MARQUES is, for the first time in its history, appointing an Executive Director, Christopher Barnard (left). After 32 years' experience working with Coca-Cola, Chris can be expected to put lots of fizz into his new role. Good luck Chris, says this Kat.  Moving back to the legal meat of IP, the jiplp weblog features a take on FRAND licences from former General Court judge Bo Vesterdorf, here.  Over on the 1709 Blog, there's a short note on yet another Football DataCo database right decision, this time from the Court of Appeal, England & Wales, while Ben Challis reports on a spat between the BBC and Welsh music collecting society EOS. Finally, from fellow Kat Neil, here's another thoughtful piece on IP Finance on the financing of medical product development.

Chain reaction
of bygone days
'Did Kary Mullis 'really' invent the Polymerase Chain Reaction?' This question, which has kept most of the Kat team awake at nights for the past several years, is about to get the full treatment this coming Thursday, 14 February [yes, we know ...],thanks to a Queen Mary Centre for Commercial Law Studies (CCLS) Herchel Smith Intellectual Property Alumni seminar starring Katfriend and former Herchel Smith Senior Research Fellow Professor Graham Dutfield.
"It is a trite point that every patentable invention needs an inventor as claimant, just as every inventor needs an invention to claim possession of. However, it does not follow that objectively identifying them and then linking them together are necessarily straightforward tasks; especially in new fields like biotechnology where the creativity of nature itself provides a helping hand and inherent complexity and unpredictability may obfuscate matters further. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR), which enables small pieces of DNA to be amplified exponentially, is one of the foundational techniques in molecular biology and a vital research tool. Its (alleged) inventor, Kary Mullis, won a Nobel prize for it and was named as an inventor on the two main patents. Yet, his association with the invention was subject to continued dispute and a controversial court case, which, in the view of some highly qualified critics, resolved nothing. Using PCR as an example, this seminar offers some new interdisciplinary perspectives on the contested nature of attribution and credit in the life sciences, both within and outside patent law".
Full details are available here,
Friday fantasies Friday fantasies Reviewed by Jeremy on Friday, February 08, 2013 Rating: 5


  1. Re 'Dead PCTs', well, I'm not going to give a solution, just make the question more complicated. It will depend on what Mr Roberts wishes to mean by 'dead'. Is it simply that (I) we are now beyond the 30/31 months, or is it a case that (II) it cannot give rise to national/regional phasings in any territory. Clearly (II) can be much later than (I) and will vary from territory to territory, depending on their generosity and how willing they are to accept the excuse you have for missing the initial national phasing deadline. It's probably best that we don't have a standard term for this, as then attorneys are forced to go into the details, hopefully correcting client assumptions about either what is still possible or how cautious they should be about third party cases.

  2. Defining inventorship for biotech cases is often a very vague art. I was once told that when drafting
    biotech cases the attorney's technical input should be such that one would be considered an inventor, if the test was applied to that situation. However one should never 'formally' become an inventor on a client's case given the complexities it would lead to.


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