Wednesday whimsies

There's a storm brewing in the United Kingdom over who will have rights of audience before the Unified Patent Court (UPC) and what sort of training they will have to be put through if, despite their professional training and expertise, they are not technically "lawyers". Following Darren Smyth's post yesterday on this subject, IPKat is delighted to hear this news from Vicki Salmon:
'Audience' means more than just being
a spectator when the UPC opens its doors
The Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) and the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO are holding a joint seminar to discuss this consultation on Wednesday 2 July 2014 [and not, as previously planned, on 24 June, so as to avoid a clash with England v  Costa Rica in the World Cup], in CIPA Hall. Registration begins at 4.30 in anticipation of a 5 pm start, with drinks and networking provisionally to start at 6.30 pm. There will be no charge. Although this has been planned for a while, it could not be advertised until the new draft was published and the consultation open -- so apologies for the short notice. The event will be recorded and that will be made available afterwards to those who could not attend.

The panel will include Mr Justice Birss and a representative from the IPO. Vicki Salmon will be chairing. To book your place, click here.
Sorry, says Vicki, there will be no live webinar for this event. Sorry, says this Kat, it should be possible to do more than merely record the event for those who can't attend and participate.  We are now in the year 2014 and webinars have been around since the turn of the century.  The technology that makes webinars possible is both available and affordable.  This consultation is part of a process that may be lead to a potentially important source of work for some CIPA members being curtailed, lost entirely or subject to onerous requirements.  Important meetings at relatively short notice are a great way of disenfranchising those who do not practise in the London area, who may be attending European Patent Office hearings in Munich, racing to meet office deadlines or doing other work that cannot be conveniently dropped.   Surely CIPA owes it to its members to help them participate.

Last month this Kat found himself pleasurably occupied in Alicante at the first Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM) IP Mediation Conference.  He has now heard from conference organiser and mastermind Sven Stürmann that while, for technical reasons, OHIM initially had to postpone the uploading of the various presentations on the conference website, you can now find a batch of conference PowerPoints here.

Only a few days ago, only a few discerning copyright law enthusiasts were likely to have heard of Katarzyna Gracz (European University Institute, Florence) -- but now she has achieved virtual celebrity status following the discussion (see Katposts here and here) that even now continues over the role of abstracts in IP writing and beyond, a discussion triggered by "Regulatory failure of copyright law through the lenses of autopoietic systems theory" which she wrote together with Primavera De Filippi. For those of you who are curious about the article behind the controversial abstract, Katarzyna writes: "For anyone who would be interested in reading the article in full, here is the link to my profile where you can (legally!) connect to the whole version of the article published in the International Journal of Law and Information Technology". Thanks so much, Katarzyna!

Have you heard of the International Association of Lawyers for Creative Industries (ialci)?  No?  Nor had this Kat, till a day or two ago. Anyway, ialci are co-organising a seminar,  part of the "law of luxury goods" series, on how to market products through celebrities & music bands: endorsement deals, private placement & publicity rights. This event will be held in Central London during the morning of 22 July 2014, at the earliest convenience, in your fantastic blog. Booking details for this seminar, which costs 210 euro but offers some upmarket refreshments and pastries, can be found here.

Red skinned and blight-proof,
unlike some brands ...
Redskins "disparaging to Native Indians".  From the New York Post comes news that the controversial Washington Redskins trade mark registrations have been cancelled. The legal niceties of this decision may be covered by a further blogpost, though the Kat may give it a miss if everyone else is blogging about it unless he has something fresh to add.  This Kat however reminds readers that he was all in favour of the American football team changing its name, irrespective of whether the name was disparaging or not, on the basis that a substantial and increasing number of people think it is disparaging -- and it's better to rebrand while the going is good than to wait and watch while a once-valuable brand becomes increasingly toxic. Thank you, everyone who sent us links to this information, by the way!
Wednesday whimsies Wednesday whimsies Reviewed by Jeremy on Wednesday, June 18, 2014 Rating: 5


  1. The consultation on UPC representation rights is pretty short already so it's nice to see CIPA has got its priorities right by not bumping the seminar for a sodding football match. Oh no, wait. They have.

    What happens for people who have booked under the original Tuesday 24 June date?

  2. I don't believe that the Redskins copyright cancellation will result in a name change.

    Official merchandise can include graphics (including stylized fonts, but certainly including logos) that can be protected by copyright law for 70 years. By making minor changes, the design protection clock can be restarted. It is a sort of reverse Disney effect.

    As evidenced by the Mein Kamf issue, racist and offensive material can be protected by copyright.

    One would assume that the lack of ability to sue for trademark infringement will only make unofficial souvenirs cheaper and thus more common. The fans will determine whether the name lives on, and I suspect that the Native American lobby is too small to make a difference.

  3. "on the basis that a substantial and increasing number of people think it is disparaging"

    The ONE reason that I would find NOT acceptable - as this leads directly to giving more power to a "political correctness" stand that threatens those items that happen (at the moment) to be disfavored - for whatever reason.

    That way lay peril.

  4. Having beaten my breast, thrown away all my redskin peanuts, and then recovered from my horrendous guilt, I did note a few other mark problems in the world at large.
    "12 Trademarks Declared Less Offensive Than Redskins", found at:

  5. I intensely dislike the bowdlerising of public historic documents even though they were created during a revolting historical period: all headers of German patents issued from ca. 1940-45 that are accessible through the Espacenet database have been given a speedmarker blob on the swastika that sometimes even bleeds through to make text matter on the subsequent pages unreadable. This means that not even photocopies are historically correct, because this was done before scanning.

    Those who display this kind of political correctness live in denial, and that is the worst kind of self-delusion. I know that the law in Germany forbids the use of this symbol, but there are also some quite legal exceptions.

    I prefer historical correctness to political correctness any day.

    Kind regards,

    George Brock-Nannestad

  6. George,

    I disagree with you, but only to a degree.

    I would not place "living in denial" as the worst kind of political correctness.

    Instead, I would place, as more worse, the kind of political correctness that masquerades as "progress" and empowers the very engine of political correctness as seen by one of the blog's posters in relation to the Washington Redskin's situation.

    Let's remove the virulent enabling mechanism first (drain the swamp, lest fighting alligators never ends).

    Methinks that the novel "1984" is due for another reading. Before it has been, um, "corrected."


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