Friday fantasies

IP editors and publishers, hold the date! Following a hiatus last year, the IPKat weblog's annual IP editors and publishers meeting and buffet lunch takes place on 25 November 2014, from 12.30 pm to 2.30 pm, at the offices of London law firm Bircham Dyson Bell LLP.  We have a list of people who have attended the previous event, back in 2012, but it's now somewhat out-of-date: promotions, career moves and maternity leave being the main culprits.  So if you are professionally involved in publishing or editing IP journals, books, online services and the like -- or if you are part of the IP media scene, supplying information, text or media releases for IP news sources -- and you'd like to be invited when we've finalised our arrangements, just email the IPKat at with the subject heading "IPPub" and we'll do the rest!  Merpel's already excited to find out who this year's keynote speaker is, but she'll just have to wait ...

Whatever happened to Astellas? Readers may still be looking forward to a ruling from the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Case C-661/13 Astellas Pharma Inc. v Polpharma SA Pharmaceutical Works, which was excitedly publicised by this Kat here and here on account of its potential for clarifying the scope of Bolar exemptions from patent infringement in favour of experimental use.  However, it appears that the Oberlandesgericht Düsseldorf informed the CJEU that it was withdrawing its request for a preliminary ruling. Th request for a reference has now been removed from the register. Does anyone know why? Merpel guesses that it's because the Oberlandesgericht Düsseldorf decided it knew the answers after all, but this Kat thinks there may be a more prosaic answer ...

Here's a different sort
of ice bucket challenge
Bucketing down. A katpat goes to Richard Holmes (Marks & Clerk) for spotting this item in the Washington Post on the ALS (that's amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) Association's plan to register the words "Ice bucket challenge" as a US trade mark. Fellow IP blogger Erik Pelton (who has already written on this issue here and here) is quoted as saying: "The reason in general one seeks to protect a trademark is to prevent others from using it.  I find this to be shameful, because I hope that they would never consider … preventing some other charity from using the phrase.” This Kat is somewhat inclined to agree, which is why he thinks the charity's other target trade mark, "ALS ice bucket challenge", is more appropriate. He is also amazed that the ALS ice bucket challenge has raised more than US$ 94 million in such a short time and thinks it's a great idea -- but it's unlikely to produce a result like this more than once in a generation, so she doubts that it will be done again in a hurry.  Merpel however suspects that the ALS Association may have had grand schemes to earn more money not by preventing the use of "ice bucket challenge" by other charities but by profitably licensing the term and its associated know-how.

Around the weblogs. SOLO IP has been industriously posting away this week: there's speculation as to how one might address a judge of the soon-to-be-constituted Unified Patent Court, while Sally Cooper frets about background copyright and Barbara Cookson writes about diversity and skill sets in the patent profession.  The 1709 Blog's sidebar poll on that blessed black-crested photo-taking macaque, with three days left till the close, now has 334 respondents. Meanwhile, on the Class 46 trade mark law blog, former guest Kat Laetitia spots some non-confusingly similar diamond marks, here, and Katfriend Pedro Malaquias points to a recent Portuguese opposition involving "KART"-based marks. Finally, Stefano Barazza reports on research that reveals that the behaviour of patent trolls can be somewhat opportunistic.

The Once and Future Narrative.  Although he is far too modest to tell everyone, fellow Kat Neil has just had an article published in the International Trademark Association (INTA) Trademark Reporter. Titled "Trademark Licensing: The Once and Future Narrative", it appears in volume.104, issue 4 of that venerable publication and its abstract reads as follows:
"This article sets out the narrative of trademark licensing on the basis of the following: (i) the ever-evolving nature of licensing in response to changing uses of marks in commerce; (ii) challenges to the legal validity of licensing under classic trademark doctrine; (iii) the role of quality control; (iv) diversity in the legal approach, even between countries that are part of the common law tradition; (v) blurred boundaries between licensed use of marks and other forms of use of marks by third parties; and (vi) the future directions of trademark licensing".
Readers who are INTA members, or who can access the Trademark Reporter, and who have a soft spot for Neil's pet subject of trade mark licensing, are in for a treat!
Friday fantasies Friday fantasies Reviewed by Jeremy on Friday, August 29, 2014 Rating: 5

1 comment:

  1. Regarding the reason why the Oberlandesgericht Düsseldorf has informed the CJEU that it was withdrawing its request for a preliminary ruling (which in turn led to the removal of the request for a reference from the CJEU register), I understand that this is due to the fact that Astellas has since withdrawn its request for a preliminary injunction against Polpharma. In view of such withdrawal, I presume that the Oberlandesgericht Düsseldorf probably cannot go forward with the case and thus had to withdraw the request for a preliminary ruling.


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