Monday miscellany

Forthcoming events. Here's another reminder that the IPKat's Forthcoming Events page contains all sorts of attractive distractions from the grind of daily life: conferences, lectures, seminars, even the occasional webinar. Do check out the Forthcoming Events page, which you will find conveniently located at the other end of this hyperlink. You may find some delightfully stimulating and none-too-strenuous ways of making friends, exchanging ideas and even acquiring the occasional continuing professional education credit.

Copyright and Technology.  While on the subject of forthcoming events, Copyright and Technology 2014 is on its way.  This exciting and definitely fun event, hosted on 1 October next in the comfy offices of ReedSmith [formerly Reed Smith, but they must have been short of space], is to be to graced by fellow feline Eleonora, who has posted this notice on the 1709 Blog concerning prospects for participating in the programme.  If you are feeling bright, brave, breezy and full of initiative, this is the ideal chance for you to get involved!

Around the weblogs.  Writing on the 1709 Blog, Ben Challis asks whether Disney's hitherto hard-line attitude towards user-generated content-type infringement and collateral damage caused by fans is softening, in light of the company's apparent tolerance of an admittedly money-spinning spate of imaginative uses of bits of its Frozen animated hit movie by ordinary folk with an affection for YouTube and other such spaces. Over on the MARQUES Class 46 weblog, Tiina Komppa narrates a Finnish saga of an apparently innocuous trade mark that turns out to be literally brimming with generic or descriptive elements, while Nikos Prentoulis writes up a recent Greek ruling on the principle of proportionality as it affects interim injunctive relief for trade mark infringement, in an action brought by Hard Rock Cafe.

Unitary patents and the Spanish challenge: the battle isn't over. "'Unitary patent' and court system – Prof. Tilmann, the old Roman god Janus and the requirements of Article 118(1) TFEU" is the title of a powerful article by Katfriend Rechtsanwalt and Fachanwalt für gewerblichen Rechtsschutz Ingve Björn Stjerna. Ingve has cultivated a website that provides a remarkable resource on the unitary patent and the unified patent court system and the article which he has just drawn to this Kat's attention considers the Spanish nullity actions against the Unitary Patent Regulations and some remarkable recent developments. You can read it in English and in German. The Prof. Tilmann in question, also a Katfriend, has written extensively on this topic and his English writings will be familiar to readers of the Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice and the European Intellectual Property Review.  This Kat strongly suspects that Professor Tilmann will respond and looks forward to his doing so.  It says much for German scholarship that these two writers have expended so much careful thought and effort in researching and explaining the ramifications of this topic, when so many of the rest of us simply sit on the sidelines and say why the proposed system won't work.

More plaudits for Edward Elgar Publishing.  This Kat is delighted to learn that his friends at Edward Elgar Publishing [disclosure: he edits its Research Handbooks in Intellectual Property Law series and the same company publishes fellow Kat Eleonora's excellent tome on copyright and originality in the EU] were presented with the Independent Academic, Educational and Professional Publisher of the Year Award at The Bookseller Industry Awards' annual dinner [Merpel is appalled at the thought of an annual dinner: she expects at least one dinner each day]. This publishing house has a clear appetite for IP titles: you can see the current list in its catalogue here.  This Kat hopes that, now his friends are winning all these awards, they'll make a big, big effort to put handy lists of cases and legislation into some of their collections of IP essays, to make it easier for readers to navigate them and see who is referring to what.
Monday miscellany Monday miscellany Reviewed by Jeremy on Monday, May 26, 2014 Rating: 5


  1. Mr Stjerna's article is remarkable, in that it for the large part is completely ad hominem, instead of an evaluation of the facts and the merits of the court case.

    By the way, contrary to Mr. Stjerna's beliefs, amicus curiae briefs are often published, at least if submitted by NGO's.

    Mr. Stjerna's publication is interesting from a perspective of political history; indeed, law making bodies adopt and adapt views very often for other purposes than academic legal purity. What he seems to be fighting against however, is progress in the way legal issues are handled. He simply seems to deny that the law is also an instrument to achieve and regulate progress in society and thus the law does need to adapt to new circumstances where needed.

    It is indeed interesting what the Court will do with the Spanish arguments. However, while lawyers in Europe may moan about imperfections in the proposed system, the rest of the world is impatiently waiting for Europe to become a modern, harmonized region.

    Let's not devote the energy of IP specialists to fighting ancient windmills, but to developing and protecting innovative turbunes.

    Wouter Pors
    Bird & Bird

  2. Truly a remarkable statement from Mr Pors.

    If a partner of an international law firm declares that the law should adopt to the circumstances “where needed”, this speaks for itself. I always thought that, at least in states abiding by the Rule of Law, it was the law setting the standards and forming the framework for legislative activity on “what is needed”.

    For Mr Pors, an end which he deems desirable seems to justify the means, even if this involves sacrificing some very fundamental democratic rights and principles, e. g. transparency. I am not sure whether such legislation can really be called “progress”, as Mr Pors claims.

    We shall see what the European Court of Justice's position is.


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