Friday fantasies

Has the law taken all the fun
out of retail branding?
Coming soon: IP and Retail. Here's a little reminder that a couple of Kats past and present are participating in this year's IP and Retail 2014 Conference, which is being held in London on 13 February.  You can check the programme out here. Last year's event was most instructive, for participants and speakers alike, and we hope to continue in the same vein this year, when the topics covered include protection of shop names and get up, turning a successful retail business model into money, retailers going online, Specsavers v Asda: anatomy of a retailers’ dispute,  importation and sale of third party brands – issues involving grey goods, and some of ther economic and legal issues involved in development of own-brand products. See you there?

Applying through the PCT? Fancy a Guide?  Great news has just reached the IPKat from Rosina Bisi Kurkdjian (Head, WIPO's Patent Cooperation Treaty Knowledge Management Section), who reminds him: "IPKat readers have expressed an interest in knowing when the special edition of the PCT Applicant’s Guide, prepared for students sitting the EQE exams, will be available. You may therefore be interested to hear that this has just been published and is and available for download here".  Thanks, Rosina! With a Guide like this, we need never be perplexed again".

Around the weblogs. The past few days have been exceptionally busy for the IP blogosphere.  IP Finance carries a note by Jonathan Band on infringement risk in copyright-intensive industries which raises the question whether the risk is not so bad or whether people merely underestimate it.  JIPLP's February 2014 issue is trumpeted here on the jiplp weblog, along with Neil Wilkof's guest editorial on the econometrics of IP: the case of patents and innovation. On Class 46, Laetitia Lagarde explains what happens when figurative marks containing the words Sunparks Holiday Park and Sun Park Holiday Park get regrettably in one another's way, while Pedro Malaquias reports on the continued bout of hyperactivity concerning trade mark litigation in normally sleepy Portugal. Finally, the SinApSE blog (thanks to a prompt from Chris Torrero) contemplates a topic that appeals little to Kats who like to dry-clean their fur: swimming. There is however a more appealing to the watersport: is swimming patentable?

Are we talking about IP here, or about
European competition policy ...?
"Is the treatment of IP rights in European Commission competition cases harming innovation?" Well, the IPKat and Merpel already know the answer to that question, but not everyone is so fortunate.   If you'd like to know what various experts have to say on that issue later this month, on Monday, 27 January 2014, the Kats' friends at Bristows are hosting an event at which Henri Piffaut (Head of Unit, Pharma & Health Services, DG Competition),  Bo Vesterdorf (former President of the European Court of First Instance), Alison Brimelow (ex-resident, European Patent Office), Ian S. Forrester QC (Partner, White & Case) and Philip Strassburger (Vice President and General Counsel, Purdue Pharma L.P.) will be giving of their best.  Click here for further details and here to reserve your seat.  You'd better hurry, since space is limited -- inside the venue, at any rate.

Designed to keep patent examiners in
... and cynical critics out?
Another stronghold for Fortress Europe? "New peak at the European Patent Office" is the happy message from that organisation, which reports that it received more than 265,000 patent filings in 2013, this being a 2.8% increase over 2012 and a new all-time high. Last year, adds the office, which would never dream of praising itself, "after a high-quality search and examination process, the EPO granted and published 66,700 patents, which was 1.7% more than in 2012. “The figures underline Europe's importance as a stronghold of global innovation”, said EPO President Benoît Battistelli. Really? Perhaps they underline the fact that more people are filing patent applications now that we are beginning to emerge from the deep chill of recession, says Merpel. Anyway, you read a bit more about these figures, which are preliminary and will be confirmed and added to on 6 March, here.
Friday fantasies Friday fantasies Reviewed by Jeremy on Friday, January 17, 2014 Rating: 5


  1. As I pointed out in a letter to the CIPA journal last year (April, p.224), these EPO figures are misleading. They count as a "filing" the mere designation of the EPO on a PCT application that has not yet been processed, and may never be processed, into the EPO. The figures to be published in March will include the true figure for EPO filings (termed "applications" by the EPO, although making a distinction between a 'filing' and an 'application' seems to be unique to the EPO).

  2. In order to try and help maintain a photographer's rights, the castle shown is Bodiam castle, with the author of the photo being a certain Antony McCallum.

  3. Ah, imagine the future, when there will be 66,700 patents minimum per year in Greece and other countries where validations have been strangely wanting.

    Kind regards,

    George Brock-Nannestad

  4. Excellent!

    Just the same observation again:

    These editions of the PCT guides contain respectively 1072 and 718 pages for the international and national phases, for a total of 1790 pages. There's a reason why EQE candidates show up to paper D with a trolley... (And for those who must fly in, that cruel Irish airman will certainly take pleasure in torturing you and your wallet).

    The PCT guide proper is only 130 pages long, and will certainly save you for a couple of questions.

    The rest could be printed two-up or even 4 up, if your eyesight and printer are good enough, and you bring a magnifier along. That would still chew up a ream of paper.

    But how much of it might you actually need?

    You could perhaps get away in the international phase with all EP member states, and the larger RO/ISA/IPEAs (US, CN, JP, KR, AU, BR) as well as IB.

    But can you take a chance and leave the Mongolia or Antigua ROs out? Or could there be some sadistic question about the particular designations that don't have the 31 month entry delay?

    Ditto for the national phase.

  5. "all time high" surely implies that the figures cover the pre-recession era and therefore such self-praise has basis in statistics if nothing else?


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