Monday miscellany

The European Parliament, in some of its glory
The Monday Miscellany is not the place you would expect to find anything about the ongoing crises at the European Patent Office, but so many people have sent the IPKat and Merpel the YouTube clip entitled "European Patent Office breaches human rights and claims immunity - James Carver MEP" (which has also been posted as a comment with by several readers) that it seems almost churlish not to draw the attention of readers to it. You can watch it here or here. The Member of the European Parliament in question, James Carver, has no previous record of involvement in intellectual property matters, though the subjects which he has raised in the European Parliament include EU expansionism and military confrontation [two topics that might be quite relevant if the EU were to annex the European Patent Office and seek to install their own management, says Merpel].

MARQUES, the European trade mark organisation, has been running an online survey to find out what sort of experiences people have had of the first year of operation of the European Union's new Customs Regulation which came into force in January 2014.  The IPKat understands that, while the initial date by which responses should be received was 27 February, the survey is being held open for a bit longer.  Further details are available here if you'd like to participate in it.

Copyright Aware cogitation
Around the weblogs.  Over on the 1709 Blog, John Enser tells readers all about a new venture the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC): it's a website called Copyright Aware [a much less threatening title than Copyright Beware, which this Kat suspects the BBC must have thought about before opting for the name they now use].  PatLit records a decision of a European Patent Office (EPO) Enlarged Board of Appeal that reminds bad losers that the facility of petitioning for a review of a decision of an EPO Technical Board is not simply another tier of appeal: it is more like an emergency cord that you can pull in the case of an intolerable procedural violation -- and they don't happen so often. Class 46's Fidel Porcuna brings news of a Spanish ruling on likelihood of confusion in a trade mark case where Kelloggs established that the fact that the applicant for a similar mark is a private label business doesn't vitiate the risk that consumers will be confused.

"Patent: Changes in language requirements" is the sort of news that makes many a patent attorney groan. Surely not more changes, and not more language issues! But the news is good -- at least if you are or speak English. That title heads a news item that the Norwegian Industrial Property Office (NIPO) has confirmed that, from the beginning of the year, it has been possible to submit national patent applications and PCT applications to NIPO in English as well as in Norwegian. While Norwegian is still the official language for all correspondence, if the patent application is submitted in English and the applicant wishes to correspond in English, the language of correspondence will be English. If the patent application is submitted in Norwegian and the applicant wants to correspond in English, written opinions and the investigation report will be written in English. As for European patents, if you want yours to be validated in Norway, you have three months from grant in which to submit a translation of the claims into Norwegian. A katpat goes to Chris Torrero for sending us this link.

The Baha'i Gardens, Haifa
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is off on its travels again, with its popular "Roving Seminar and Workshop" series. Whether you own IP rights or act for someone who does, these seminars -- which are absolutely free -- are a great way to learn about the latest developments in global IP systems, to find out what WIPO can do for you [and to have a good moan and be sure someone from WIPO will be listening, adds Merpel]. WIPO Roving Seminar team has been in New Zealand and Australia already this month and it will soon be heading out to Israel with full day gigs planned for Be’er Sheva (13 April) and Haifa (15 April). To register your interest, fill in the form here. Space is limited, so don't leave it too late.

More appealing than huESCs
Not a humph but a huESC. From Kristina Cornish (Partner, Kilburn & Strode) comes news that her firm is co-hosting, together with Schlich Ltd and Carpmaels & Ransford, an open discussion on the patentability of huESCs in Europe. In case you were wondering, a huESC is a Human Embryonic Stem Cell. The date is 25 March 2015, the venue is the office of Kilburn & Strode (round the corner from The Old Nick), London and admission is free.  Kick-off is 5.15 pm and, for those of you who get stuck in tube or traffic, drinks start at 6.45 pm. Further details, including RSVP arrangements, can be found by clicking here.
Monday miscellany Monday miscellany Reviewed by Jeremy on Monday, March 16, 2015 Rating: 5


  1. Dear Kittens,

    please spare us any additional publicity for people like the Honourable James Carver, whose obvious and only mission is to find bits and pieces in the world that can be turned into discredit for the European idea and institutions.

    The Western-Asian region a.k.a. Europe has enough actual crises at hand that we can really (really) do without pushing a bogus crisis such as the EPO events with the relish the IPKat evinces lately.

    Yours sincerely,
    IP Lawyer in Berlin

  2. What's your problem John?

    So you don't like the hon. James Carver's politics. But where are the politicians whose views are presumably acceptable to you? I can't hear them calling for actions on EPO human rights abuses. Can you?

    If your house was on fire and the hon. James Carver gave the alert, you presumably wouldn't want the fire services to turn up on your doorstep to put it out.

  3. Dear John (IP lawyer in Berlin)

    Gimme a break, whatever Mr Carver's other positions on the issues may be, he is one of the few willing to stand up and point out the human rights violations going on at the EPO. It is not a mere allegation. The Dutch court has spoken. And for those people in the EPO it is a real crisis.

    As someone once said, politics may make for strange bedfellows... And perhaps there is some situational irony in a right wing party defending human rights. But please don't trivialise the message because you don't entirely agree with the politics of the messenger.

  4. John (IP lawyer inBerlin) said:
    James Carver, whose obvious and only mission is to find bits and pieces in the world that can be turned into discredit for the European idea and institutions.

    Two observations:

    1. With regard to discrediting European institutions, well, as my grandmother always said, if the shoe fits...

    2. With regard to "whose obvious and only mission...", perhaps you have some super power that allows you to divine people's single mission in life, but if you had researched the facts and not allowed yourself to be blinded by prejudice, you may find that Mr Carver is not so easily pigeon-holed and actually has several missions...

    According to Mr Carver's Wikipedia entry:

    - Carver is of Romanichal descent on his grandmother's side, giving rise to his interest in fostering better relationships with traveller communities.

    - Mr Carver has also helped raise both money and awareness for the Scleroderma Society following the death of his first wife from scleroderma. He has a lifelong commitment to raise awareness of this relatively unknown connective tissue disease.

    Carver raises a number of topics in the European Parliament covering:

    - EU expansionism and military confrontation[3][4][5][6][7]
    - Economic issues and hardships arising from the eurozone [8]
    - The role of the EU operating outside of international law either at home and abroad[9]

    He also supports:

    - Fostering better understanding of the gypsy communities and how to integrate with mainstream society[10]
    - Recognition of Somaliland[12][13]
    - Addressing the rise of extremism in the Middle East and Europe[14]

    And, according to Mr Carver's website:

    Jim’s parents separated when he was eleven due to his father’s alcoholism, so, when Jim’s mum fell ill with terminal cancer, the burden of caring for her fell on his adolescent shoulders.

    Mr Carver runs a family umbrella business and takes great pride in having turned the fortunes of his family business around.

    * * *

    John, surely you're an intelligent person. Please leave the ad hominem attacks to those who cannot muster any better argument.

  5. Dear John the lawyer,

    imagine that the Board of Appeal will decide that your right to be heard has been violated. After that, however, the Examining division will refuse once again your application by saying that said decision is "not legally admissible" ...

    Oh, but wait: this could never happen, because the ED would be immediately reprimanded, or worst ... unlike what is happening at the EPO.

    Did I put the situation in a perspective that you can understand?

    Best regards.


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