Thursday thingies

Mother knows best
Southampton, alma mater ...  This week's Monday Miscellany excitedly announced that fellow Kat Eleonora was taking up a lectureship in IP Law at the University of Southampton, mentioning a couple of famous IP lawyers who had emanated from this notable establishment. In his excitement he overlooked mention of IP omnivore Trevor Cook (now with WilmerHale) and James Tumbridge (Pillsbury). There are surely others too so, if you are heavily into IP and Southampton is your alma mater [translated by Wikipedia as "nourishing mother"] do let us  know!  Meanwhile, Eleonora's own unique form of intellectual nutrition continues to benefit us all. For the second time in recent weeks, one of her Katposts has been avidly seized upon by leading professional law magazine Legal Week, this time on the question whether taking a selfie inside London's National Gallery [a place where lots of selfies from pre-digital days are exhibited] a copyright infringement? You can read Legal Week's take on the subject here.  Oh, and here and here are a couple of Rembrandt selfies, hanging in that very institution.

Monkey selfie poll.  The 1709 Blog's sidebar poll on the ideal resolution of the copyright issues relating to the now celebrated selfie taken by a black-crested macaque is now close to receiving its 300th response.  At present, marginally more than half those who have participated are of the opinion that there should be no copyright at all in such a work.  This is the position taken by Wikipedia and endorsed by the US Copyright Office. However, there are still four days to go and there is not inconsiderable support for the proposition that copyright should subsist and be enjoyed by what one might describe as the nearest available human.  Do please participate if you have not done so already!

Kat-chats and dialogues.  Next Thursday's Kat Chat between Christopher Rennie-Smith and Darren Smyth about life in the fast lane at the European Patent Office, detailed here, is now pretty well full to capacity. We have however opened a reserve list for people who can come if someone else has to cancel (there are are usually a few on-the-day cancellations as work, illness and unexpected occurrences take their toll) so, if you've not yet signed up there might still be a chance for you.  In contrast, the dialogue on Tuesday 16 September between IAM editor Joff Wild and IP guru Neil Wilkof about the impact of patent litigation on patent values, a joint IPKat-IP Finance blog production which is detailed here, still has spaces available. If you'd like to come, just sign up!

Question 1: "How many
European Courts are there?"
Error of their ways.  The IPKat's friends at the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) did a bit of a whoopsie last week when they somehow managed to confuse with that tyrannical tiger of a court, the Court of Justice of the European Union with that tired and toothless tabby, the EFTA Court [see "Court in the act: how many European courts are there?", here]. Fortunately. no doubt having read Monday's blogpost, the UKIPO has put matters right, confirming that Case E-16/14 Pharmaq SA v Intervet International is indeed an EFTA Court case which involves some fascinating questions (six in all, of which some are more fascinating than others ...) involving marketing authorisations for veterinary medical products upon which supplementary patent certificates for patent term extension may be based.  Better still, the closing date for interested parties [proprietary drug manufacturers, their generic competitors and pet owners, says Merpel] to make their comments, thus indicating to the UK government what position it should take on the questions, has been extended from tomorrow, 29 August, to 4 September.  Thanks, UKIPO, says this Kat: you've done the noble thing.

PAEs: do they come in
peace -- and should they
go in pieces ...?
Around the weblogs.It isn't really a blog, but Way Better Patents looks and feels like one. Here, on "Let the Dance Begin: the FTC PAE Study is On", Arleen Malley Zank writes on the fact that, in the US, the Federal Trade Commission has received the go-ahead for a major review of patent assertion entities: the budget allows for nearly 30,000 person-hours between now and the end of August 2017 to examine the impact of PAEs on the IP monetisation ecosystem (katpat to Nigel Sywcher for unearthing the link).  Elsewhere, a couple of new books have been given the once-over: PatLit opens the covers of the latest England and Wales IP litigation thriller, Intellectual Property Enterprise Court: Practice and Procedure by Angela Fox, while Art & Artifice ponders a slim but subtle new title, Comic Art, Creativity and the Law, a decidedly US-pitched tome by Marc Greenberg and none the worse for that.   IP Finance asks some questions about Singapore's imaginative IP ValueLab, while the 1709 Blog's post on Portuguese proposals to expand the scope of that country's private copying levy indicates that this notion is not universally welcomed.
Thursday thingies Thursday thingies Reviewed by Jeremy on Thursday, August 28, 2014 Rating: 5


  1. US Library of Congress has weighed in: no US copyright for monkey-selfies.

  2. There's one easy way to sidestep the unfortunate uncertainty over whether copyright subsists in such photos: legislatures should revert to the default positon prevailing in the United Kingdom between 1912 and 1957 namely that the author (and so the copyright owner) was the owner of the negative from which the photograph was made. The current equivalent would of course be the owner of the camera. Copinger and Skone James on Copyright (16th Edition) acknowledge that this earlier situation was one where 'certainty was achieved at the price of potential capriciousness' but perhaps this is what our shifting copyright environment needs today.

  3. If we went back to the 'all photos on negatives' position it would provide TV dramas with the ability to run with the traditional blackmail plots. The embarrassed individual having some confidence that once in possession of the negatives they would know their dirty deeds are safe.

    It would also have stopped all those embarrassing photos of Jeremy from being spread across the internet, uncontrolled.

  4. Robin,

    Unfortunately (for your idea), there is a world of difference between the negative and the device, and your attempt to switch backwards in time cannot achieve that which you view as a simple answer.

    In a derivative of the American television classic Seinfeld: No copyright fix for you.


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