Tuesday tiddlywinks

News-flash. The BBC website has reported the news ("Dutch ministers Opstelten and Teeven quit over payment to drug-trafficker") that the Dutch Minister of Justice Ivo Opstelten -- the man who famously intervened in the civil suit brought against the European Patent Organization by the union SUEPO [see Katpost, "Dutch Minister trumps Court of Appeal ruling, reasserts EPO immunity", here], has just resigned from his office of state.  The resignation itself has nothing to do with the Minister's controversial and arguably unconstitutional activity, but the IPKat is posting the information here because it will save more readers the trouble of emailing him to let him know!

Good policy for would-be
Comment-posters: do you feel hard-done-by?  Readers of this weblog, particularly some of the recent features concerning the European Patent Office, will know that controversial and topical posts may attract scores of comments from readers. Sometimes these comments have matured into valuable discussion strings, but on other occasions they have degenerated into displays of personal abuse -- whether of other comment-posters or of the blog and its authors.  In the past weeks the IPKat and Merpel have received a good deal of criticism, all of it from anonymous comment-posters, to the effect that this blog has been suppressing comments that are hostile to its alleged "policy" [this blog's comment moderation policy is explained here].  Tired of merely denying frequently repeated and unsupported allegations -- which may emanate from only one reader for all they can tell -- they have done something about it.  From now on, if any reader, anonymous or otherwise, feels that he or she has been unfairly blocked from having a comment posted, that person should refer any complaint in confidence to Dr Danny Friedmann, of the IP Dragon weblog. If Danny concludes that the blocked comment is fair and should be posted, he will then tell the Kats, who will make an appropriate response.  The IPKat is currently discussing with two other neutrals the possibility of their doing the same, so that anyone who is disgruntled will have a choice of people to whom complaints can be addressed.

Mark your diaries. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) gets excited each year about World Intellectual Property Day.  While the official date, specially contrived to coincide with Sir Robin Jacob's birthday. is 26 April, it is quite normal, and indeed acceptable, to spend the days leading up to and down from that date in grateful celebration.  This year's theme is "Get up, Stand up. For music", as indicated by the organisation's dedicated web page. The IPKat urges readers to make arrangements to mark the day, especially if they can bring together not just IP owners but those of us who consume IP, often in great quantities, for work and leisure purposes.  Further, in an act of kindness, the IPKat has decided to save veteran bass guitarist and campaigner Les Hurdle the trouble of sending him an email and to remind all readers of the message that Les tirelessly delivers to anyone who will listen (and to many who won't): "what about the performers?" They have a tough time of it, whether in terms of cash or getting the credit, and we should never forget them.

Around the weblogs.  SOLO IP has been busy of late.  The blog's founder Barbara Cookson attended last Saturday's "Use it or Lose it" seminar in Cambridge. Barbara's take? "Use it AND Lose It", of course. Today she's back in action, posting and annotating some thoughts of Sally Cooper on IP infringement damages in England and Wales' Intellectual Property Enterprise Court.  Does Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines infringe Marvin Gaye's Got to Give It Up? Ben Challis narrates a classic US copyright dispute on the 1709 Blog. Going regional, Patricia Covarrubia on IP Tango reports on Chile's efforts to promote the country's folk and national music, while Afro Leo brings welcome news that, following 18 months' assistance from the (South) Korea International Cooperation Agency, the African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation, a.k.a. ARIPO, now has its own fully searchable online IP tool -- though this Kat is saddened that ARIPO has had to wait so long.

Followers of another European saga, the proposed new unitary patent and unified patent court, may already be familiar with Ingve Stjerna's article of 15 January, "'Unitary patent' and court system – Advocate General’s Statements of Position: Superseded by reality". Ingve has drawn to the IPKat's attention the fact that, in light of some significant recent developments, notably that the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) seems to be rejecting the notion of taking into account the EPO “house ban” incident in its forthcoming judgments in Spain’s nullity actions, as well as some of the implications of decision R 2/14 highlighted on the IPKat blog here, not to mention the publication of “official” English versions of the Attorney General's Opinions, he has updated and expanded his article, which you can find here.

A lot can happen
in three months
Civil service.  Also from the persuasive pen of Ingve comes a record of the remarkable correspondence which he had with the CJEU's Translation Unit as to the astonishingly long gap between the publication on 18 November 2014 of the Advocate General's Opinion in Cases C-146/13 and C-147/13 [Spain's challenges to the legal basis upon which the new European patent order is based] and the making available of the English language version more than three months later. You can read the correspondence here and should certainly do so if you ever thought that the public institutions of the European Union and its employees were actually there to help us.
Tuesday tiddlywinks Tuesday tiddlywinks Reviewed by Jeremy on Tuesday, March 10, 2015 Rating: 5


  1. I am so depressed to read that people get upset about comments not appearing. Personally I value the idea that the comment moderators would intervene to cut the number of comments on long stories, preferably leaving only those that are intelligent, courteous and advancing of the debate. Such editing saves me time and avoids unnecessary recourse to blood pressure pills.

  2. Great way to assure the independence of the Kat. What are the rules of procedure for appeals to Dr Friedmann ;-)

  3. Anonymous at 10:01 -- there are some rudimentary instructions in the side bar, under the rubric "Want to complain".

    A second tier for appeals against Dr Friedmann may of course be necessary. We may be seeking guidance from the European Patent Office on these matters :-)

  4. Any truth in rumour that appeals will be held in Riga, Warsaw or Berlin?


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