Monday miscellany II

Here's a note on a topic that has not been greatly appreciated in IP circles: the recent decision of the UK Supreme Court in R (on the application of Prudential plc and another) v Special Commissioner of Income Tax and another [2013] UKSC 1.  The IPKat is however pleased to put this right, thanks to this note from his learned friend and AIPPI UK stalwart Justin Watts:
AIPPI UK intervened in the recent Supreme Court Prudential decision, on behalf of the IP professions, aiming (successfully) to avoid changes to the law of privilege that might lead to inadvertent consequences for IP. The judgment deals fairly briefly with the points, with the background and full detail being in AIPPI UK's Case (here). The Case, prepared by the  pro bono legal team of Michael Edenborough QC and James Tumbridge, instructed by Gowlings, it is a masterful exposition of privilege in IP, as it is and as it should be. It's not only a great read in its own right -- it is likely to be a useful resource for anyone looking at privilege problems in future.

INTA 2013 Dallas Tweetup  A Tweetup has been organised for the 135th Annual Meeting of the International Trademark Association in Dallas.  Date: Monday, 6 May 2013;  Time: 1:30pm.Location: Starbucks, Dallas Convention Center.  Organised by Dr Chong-Yee Khoo, Cantab IP. If this is for your, you can sign up here to join this event.

In keeping with its commitment to evidence-based
policy, the UKIPO proudly announces the launch
of its new economics laboratory, where policy can
be tested under sterile, lawyer-free conditions
From the reliable source that is Andy Smith, grandly entitled Executive Business Coordinator of the Economics, Research and Evidence Team, comes news that the UK's Intellectual Property Office is floating some new evidence and research projects. The official line runs like this:
... For the past two years, the IPO has worked with academia and industry to help develop the economic evidence base and forge [an unfortunate choice of words, some might say] relationships in the intellectual property ... research community, nationally and internationally. The programme proposed for 2013 /14 builds on this work. New research projects and areas of investigation will include: 
• The role of IP in facilitating business finance and economic growth [this is more than just a project or a research area, Merpel thinks -- it's almost the history of the Western World from 1945]
• A long-term series of projects to develop an economic approach to evaluating the impact of IP enforcement measures, including educational campaigns [hmm. Educational campaigns, both in school and beyond it, are apt to have a strong ethical content that seems hard to assess via an economic approach]
• Patent framework and competitiveness and whether this is supporting the competitiveness of UK business sectors 
• The growth and demand of trade mark applications. This will examine the reasons behind the 40% increase in UK trade mark applications since the downturn [this one could be fun, particularly if other national and regional offices in Europe also examine why they have not experienced a 40% increase. Merpel thinks that the explanations for different national rates of increase or decrease could teach us more about what businesses do, and what they think trade marks do, than almost anything else]
• The impact of potential European Union policy-wide influence on the copyright framework [Why 'potential', wonders Merpel. Surely there is some mileage to be gained by examining the impact of actual EU policy-wide influence -- and shouldn't it be ''European Union-wide policy influence? Does anyone know what 'policy-wide' means?]
• An assessment of the costs and benefits of using mediation rather than the court service for IP disputes [great, if done properly -- and if all different types of dispute aren't lumped together]
Further information is available via the UK IPO's IP Research main page here.

The words "greens" and "Brussels" are indissolubly united in the minds of many a good soul who was treated to the joys of Brussel sprouts as part of his school dinners in postwar England. Fortunately, both words have secondary meanings -- particularly within the context of the European Parliament.

Coming up this Wednesday is the Greens/EFA 3rd Document Freedom Day, focusing on Data portability and privacy in the eHealth sector. It looks like an engaging event, in which the competing interests of personal privacy, data protection, public health and public responsibility converge.

Details of this event can be obtained here. The venue is the European Parliament's fabled Room A1G3, 60 rue Wiertz 1047 Brussels, Belgium, if you happen to be passing. Oh, and it finishes at 1pm so, if you are planning to attend, you'd better make your own arrangements for lunch ...

Via Graham Titley ( Information Specialist, Technology and Information Services, Charles Seale Hayne Library, Plymouth University) comes a gentle reminder that this Kat has failed to make mention of a number of recent (2013) Statutory Instruments that might be of interest.
* Trade Marks and Registered Designs (Amendment) Rules 2013 (2013 No.444); explanatory note here 
* Trade Marks (International Registration) (Amendment) Order 2013 (2013 No.445); this SI corrects errors in SI 2008/2206 and is issued free of charge to all known recipients;
* Copyright and Performances (Application to Other Countries) Order 2013 (2013 No.536, which deals with reciprocity of protection under Part II of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, ‘Performances’)
* Patents (Convention Countries) (Amendment) Order 2013 (2013 No.538, which adds Samoa & Vanuatu to the lengthy list of countries in which applicants for UK patents can enjoy priority based on their UK filing, and vice versa)
* Designs (Convention Countries) (Amendment) Order 2013 (2013 No.539, as above, but for design applications) 
Thanks so much, Graham, you've earned your katpat!

Around the weblogs. The second in the guest series of Brave New World posts written by Don McCombie (Latham & Watkins) for PatLit deals with jurisdiction and the Unified Patent Court. Still on patents, The SPC Blog reports on Mr Justice Arnold's criticism of Europe's system for extending patent term via supplementary protection certificates as "dysfunctional" as he refers further questions to the Court of Justice for preliminary rulings. For Afro-IP, Kingsley Egbuonu reports that, sadly, there is nothing to report in terms of improvements in Niger's provision of official IP websites since last year. Over on the 1709 Blog, Ben Challis relates the cheering news for Emma Thompson that a US court says her Effie Gray script is not copied from an earlier work. Finally, the irrepressible Barbara Cookson gives SOLO IP readers her own personal evidence-based perspective on UK trade mark oppositions as we brace ourselves for another round of  consultations.
Monday miscellany II Monday miscellany II Reviewed by Jeremy on Monday, March 25, 2013 Rating: 5


  1. I wonder if the Greens/EFA are aware that using a red cross as shown on their bird emblems contravenes the Geneva Conventions (specifically Art. 44 of the Convention of 1949). As the EU is not a signatory to the Conventions, maybe it doesn't think it (or political bodies within it) need to abide by this piece of international law. However in the UK such use would contravene s 6 of the Geneva Conventions Act 1957

  2. I understand that the red cross has been registered as trade mark in the USA (I forget which Paracutical company owns it), which is possibly why the international First Aid logo is now a green cross.

    The credits at the end of the film "The War Horse" include an acknowledgement that the red cross symbol (which appears on the Army Ambulances)is used with the permission of the trade mark owners, no doubt necessary for distributing the film in the USA.


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