Friday fantasies

... unless you pay
Pay to opt-out: is it legal?  Yesterday PatLit carried a short note referring to a post by European patent package-watcher Ingve Stjerna, in which he asked whether there was any legal basis on which litigants who chose not to use the Unified Patent Court (UPC) would have to pay a fee in order not to use it but to use a national court with concurrent judicial competence. Today the same blog discovered that Benedikt Migdal (Bristows) has been asking much the same question in a piece on his firm's UPC blog.  This Kat thinks that the case made by Ingve and Benedikt is worth serious consideration and he hopes that the European Union's Member States and the Commission will address it.  Merpel thinks this is wishful thinking ...

Still on patents. AMBA -- the Association of the Members of the Boards of Appeal of the European Patent Office (EPO) -- has just launched an online questionnaire on reforms of the Boards of Appeal of the EPO. The questions are in the left hand column and follow the categories of the EPO's own questionnaire, but have a wider scope and are more closely directed towards exploring the effects of structural changes on the Boards' independence. The right hand column on the questionnaire screen contains relevant explanatory information [there is a lot of info there, and not everybody will need it or indeed be interested in it, which is why AMBA have tidied it away in collapsible sections]. AMBA's own proposal for reform [you can find it in AMBA's Report on the Reform of the Boards of Appeal] is similar to that of the epi [that's the body representing practitioners before the EPO] in that it involves a council for the judiciary, but a number of differences can be seen from the comparison table in the information section in the introduction. Do please participate if you can!

Parliament resolves, CEIPI roars. This Kat has just received a 23-page document from his friends at CEIPI in Strasbourg, this being the "Reaction of CEIPI to the Resolution on the Implementation of Directive 2001/29/EC on the Harmonisation of Copyright in the Information Society adopted by the European Parliament on the 9th July 2015". Once the various Kats have had a chance to review it properly, you may be reading more about this document.  Meanwhile, this Kat brings you a sneak preview of its rousing finale:
Creating a common digital space was a far
tougher job than was first imagined
Ordinary Europeans do not perceive the European project though ambitious political declarations but through their everyday life reality. If “an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe”106 is to be achieved in the XXI century, it cannot be done while digital curtains are maintained. It is hoped that European and national leaders will have the courage to create a common digital space, as no member state can change this by a unilateral action. Now it is the turn for the European Commission to make an ambitious proposal drawing on the Parliament’s Resolution. 
In the meantime, if you have read it and would like to give the benefit of your thoughts to CEIPI's Director General Christophe Geiger, do please email him here. And if you'd like to peruse a Kat's-eye view of what the European Parliament was up to on 9 July, Eleonora's post here is worth a read.

An illuminating read?  This Kat's feelings about the long-outdated, stale, tired and boring metaphor of the light-bulb as a visual metaphor for invention, innovation or intellectual property as a whole are well-known.  Accordingly, when he received his copy of The Economist Guide to Intellectual Property: What it is, How to protect it, How to exploit it, by Stephen Johnson, his heart sank.  Fortunately, once he got past the front cover, things started looking up. This is a short, intelligently-written set of guidance for decision-makers and risk-takers in business who spend time and expend energy and emotional capital in dealing with their corporate intangible assets without actually being IP lawyers themselves, readers who often have to navigate the uncertain terrain of markets in which you have to keep eye simultaneously on your own and your competitors' IP.  It's a good read by a seasoned IP expert (the author, after three decades in private practice, is now Chief IP Officer of a leading US mental health charity, One Mind.  Details of this book can be found on the publisher's website here.

Short and sweet. Innovation, Competition And Collaboration, is a new title from Edward Elgar Publishing.  Edited by Dana Beldiman (Professor, Bucerius Law School, Hamburg, and Professor-in-Residence, UC Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco), it is one of the shorter titles to emanate from that prolific publishing house in recent times, with just ten chapters spanning a little over 200 pages, but the quality of the contributors and their respective chapters more than compensates for that slightly sinking feeling that some people who pay for their own books get after they've divided the price by the number of pages they've received in return. The authors include many well-established analysts of IP issues, whether drawn from practice (in this case veteran commentator Thomas Vinje, now with Clifford Chance in Brussels) or from academe (Annette Kur, Ansgar Ohly Séverine Dusollier, Gustavo Ghidini and Jacques de Werra are in the line-up). To find out more about this title, just click here.
Friday fantasies Friday fantasies Reviewed by Jeremy on Friday, July 24, 2015 Rating: 5


  1. The AMBA reform proposal link is defective.

    The correct one has an "L" in the end:

  2. "This Kat's feelings about the long-outdated, stale, tired and boring metaphor of the light-bulb as a visual metaphor for invention, innovation or intellectual property as a whole are well-known."
    Is it time for a new competition (hint) to find an updated image to represent IP?

  3. We should keep the light bulb and also the MS clip art of the man bending over with the magnifying glass. For future proofing we simply need to complete the IP trinity by adding a pictorial representation of the new contributors to the industry - the IP Strategist. Not the old fashioned strategist, your common or garden patent attorney who was responsible developing IP portfolios, maximising protection, building thickets, brainstorming, advising and ensuring IP awareness, risks, benefits.

    The IP stratagist I want to honour is the new breed of no-nothing know it alls, who talk a good game down the wine bar to like minded individuals busy contributing nothing to other apsects of business life.

    A picture of a large bull leaving gifts for the minions would be appropriate.

  4. Meldrew, I was expecting a wry picture by following your link, but instead the link itself is awry.

  5. Meldrew, is your image of the old crinkly, bent over with pants down, intended to represent the new breed of IP strategist?

  6. Great article from Ingve on the constitutional problems in Germany associated with the opt-out fee. Although I am certainly not an expert on the German constitution, I find it hard to fault Ingve's logic.

    Is there any information available on how (or when) Germany is proposing to amend its national law in preparation for ratification of the UPC Agreement? It will be very interesting to see whether the issue raised by Ingve has any impact on this, as well as how the legislators handle the inconsistencies between the "Bolar" provision in German national law and that in the UPCA.

  7. Anonymous 9:23 - You may think that, but I could not possibly comment, particularly as this crinkly finds it difficult to get the mirror in place to see.

  8. I've seen some selfies in my time, but Mr Medlrew's takes things to a different level.

  9. Looks more like Lord Sewel than Meldrew, or so a little Kat tells me.


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