Sole Practitioners/Small Practitioners Meeting
Just to remind those of you who want to attend: 5pm till 7pm, next Thursday 16 February, upstairs in the Crown Tavern, Clerkenwell Green. Guests include Margaret Briffa and Alice Mastrovito - and it's free!. If you're planning on coming but haven't said so yet, just drop the IPKat a line here. Full details here.
Right: small practitioners enjoying the benefits of professional cooperation and support.
Enter IPKat Competition no.3 (details here) and you can win free admission to CLT's Copying Without Infringing one-day conference on 23 March 2006. All you have to do is to compose a haiku on a subject relating to the unauthorised copying of IP-protected subject-matter. You can either write about infringements or about copying that falls within the scope of a legal defence. Closing date for entries is Thursday 9 March 2006, 12pm GMT.
It seems to the IPKat that haikus are posing more of an intellectual challenge than did limericks or cat captions. Merpel adds, the fewer the number of words involved, the more reluctant are lawyers to get involved in it!
Forthcoming ECJ attractions
Next Tuesday, 14 February, the European Court of Justice is hearing arguments on a reference for a preliminary ruling by the Østre Landsret, Denmark. in Case C-479/04 Laserdisken ApS v Kulturministeriet. The ECJ has been asked to consider just two questions:
The second question is aimed at clarifying whether a Member State wishing to accord greater weight to freedom of expression and citizens' access to cultural goods than to the wish to protect national rightholders against competition may derogate from Article 4(2).
1.Is Article 4(2) of Directive 2001/29 on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society invalid?
Note: Article 4(2) reads: "The distribution right shall not be exhausted within the Community in respect of the original or copies of the work, except where the first sale or other transfer of ownership in the Community of that object is made by the rightholder or with his consent".
2.Does Article 4(2) of the same Directive preclude a Member State from retaining international exhaustion in its legislation?
On the same day the Advocate General gives his Opinion in Case C-169/05 Uradex. This is a reference from the Belgian Court of Cassation on the interpretation of Article 9(2) of Council Directive 93/83 on the coordination of certain rules concerning copyright and rights related to copyright applicable to satellite broadcasting and cable retransmission. The reference deals with (i) the extent of the powers of a collecting society which is deemed to be mandated to manage the rights of a copyright owner or holder of related rights who has not transferred the management of his rights to a collecting society and (ii) the exercise of the right to grant or refuse authorisation to a cable operator for cable retransmission.
On Thursday 16 February there are also hearings in two appeals brought by Storck in respect of its sweet-wrappers: Cases C-24 and C-25/05 Storck v Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market. The IPKat doesn't hold out much hope of these marks achieving CTM status, distinctive character and consumer recognition being major barriers in situations such as this.