Never too late! If you missed the IPKat last week ...

How swiftly time flies when you're up to your whiskers in intellectual property! This is now the sixth in the regular series of round-ups of the previous week's Katposts, carefully cultivated for your consumption by former guest Kat and occasional bicycle stunt-man Alberto.  It remains a matter of great happiness to the IPKat and Merpel that these posts have been so well received. If you away last week, or too busy to take a look -- or if you are one of the fifty or so new email subscribers who have signed up in the past few days -- this is a handy way to see what has gone before without having to trawl through all the contents of your in-box.  

Last week's posts go like this:

Darren reports another decision of the amusing Wii-console patent case of Philips v Nintendo. In the first level turn, (which IPKat reported here) Nintendo’s flagship console was held to infringe two patents, which were held to be partially valid. This ruling considers the issue of infringement of partially valid (or partially invalid, it depends from where one takes it) patents.

The European Commission releases its annual report on IPR customs enforcement: Lucas guides us through dozens of statistics regarding EU counterfeit import detentions and general enforcement activities. Which country is the main source of counterfeit goods? How do fakes most commonly reach Europe? What’s next in the customs battle against IP infringements? Place your bets -- and have a read.

* New York, New York, It’s a Wonderful… Trade Mark


A New York City retailer featuring an artistic representation of the New York City skyline on its plates, glasses, and kitchen towels was surprised to receive a cease and desist letter from the NY Port Authority. The letter claimed that, being the Authority in charge of operating some of the depicted buildings, the latter’s use as part of the skyline on the defendant’s products “interferes with the Port Authority’s control of its own reputation.” Marie-Andrée wonders: “really?!?”

* Merpel roars: the EPO responds

This is quite epic. Last week, Merpel posted a piece entitled "7,000 EPO employees in DE, NL, AT & BE ... plus one in FR?" on the lack of transparency surrounding the reappointment of Mr Battistelli as President of the EPO. Merpel herself has now received a personal reply, directly from the EPO's Principal Director Communications, Oswald Schroeder, which explains the Office’s views on this tale. The letter begins with the affectionate greeting “Dear Merpel” -- how lovely!

* Nagoya News Now - Entry into force in October 2014

Nagoya pops up from time to time -- and so does Darren, the IPKat’s official rapporteur from the magical world of the Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization. After some months of incertitude, there’s now a date for the Protocol’s coming into force. There will be an implementing regulation in the European Union, Darren explains, or at least there should be …

* German plant breeders challenge EU Nagoya Regulation - allege threatens biodiversity

… indeed, a few hours later, the very same Darren reports that a group of 17 German plant breeder companies has challenged the EU Regulation No 511/2014, which aims to implement the Protocol in the EU, before the Court of Justice of the European Union, seeking its annulment, and the same is apparently happening in the Netherlands. Will the EU and Nagoya finally marry?

* Do lean startups mean less IP?

Neil brings us into the world of lean start-ups, highly innovative companies that put the customer’s needs as the focus of product development and shape their products through continuous interaction with users in order to develop market-fit goods and services. What does this phenomenon involve IP-wise, wonders Neil?

* Changing down a gear: prestige brand opts for bargain basement court

Jeremy spots Bayerische Motoren Werke AG v Shaun Coley, a case on famous trade marks and the border which separate their descriptive use from infringement. Here the defendant operated a website with the URL and used the BMW’s trade mark “MINI” on the websites’ pages. Judge Hacon of the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court for England and Wales came up with a fair judgement and a solution that tries to bring peace between the parties.

* Clearing the ground ahead of trial: refining non-admissions of patent infringement

Jeremy pens this post on TCT Mobile Europe SAS v Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson, a decision of Mr Justice Norris in the Patents Court, England and Wale, regarding infringement of standard essential patents on 2G and 3G technology. Beyond the purely patent issues, Norris J's decision addresses issues relating to pre-trial disclosure also applicable to non-patent litigations.

Historical jewellery meets food in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York's decision in Fabergé Ltd. et al.v Yusufov et al., 1:14-cv-03519. Peter Carl Fabergé was a Russian jeweller who became famous for creating precious eggs which didn't taste so great -- but they did become iconic for the Russian imperial family after Alexander III first commissioned one to offer to his wife as an Easter present in 1885. The defendants operate restaurants in the US and Europe under the trade mark "Fabergé" and recall the jeweller’s masterpiece in their commercial communication. Marie-Andrée's luxury post explains how it went.

* Are we experiencing a "Minsky moment" in patents?

Named after the late economist Hyman Minsky, a “Minsky moment” is “a sudden major collapse of asset values which is part of the credit cycle or business cycle” that usually come after “long periods of prosperity and increasing value of investments” which “lead to increasing speculation using borrowed money”. Inspired by recent developments in the Apple v Samsung global patent battle, Neil wonders whether there has been a “Minsky-like moment” with respect to patents, in the sense that huge swathes of money and resources are being devoted to patents, diverting such money and resources from other productive (maybe even more productive) usages.

* The Case of the Black Macaque

A British photographer's camera was stolen by a crested black macaque while he was on a trip to Indonesia in 2011 and the monkey took a few shots of herself. Those pictures were then uploaded on Wikipedia, against which the photographer claimed copyright infringement. But can copyright subsist in a work created by a monkey? Jeremy leaves the floor to gallant Katfriend and distinguished academic Estelle Derclaye, who sinks her claws into the fascinating Case of the Black Macaque.
Never too late! If you missed the IPKat last week ... Never too late! If you missed the IPKat last week ... Reviewed by Jeremy on Monday, August 11, 2014 Rating: 5

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