For the half-year to 31 December 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie-Andrée Weiss.

Regular round-ups of the previous week's blogposts are kindly compiled by Alberto Bellan.

Thursday, 1 March 2007

Tidings from Tirana; Chinese Taipei comes under EU CD-R scrutiny

No longer the Forbidden Land of Europe, Albania has just thrust itself into the commercial foreground, with effect from 19 May 2007. That's the date when the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs (Geneva Act) enters into force. Before that date, on 19 March 2007, the Hague Act (1960) enters into force and Albania, becoming bound by Articles 1 to 7 of the Stockholm (Complementary) Act (1967), will become a member of the Hague Union.

Everything you wanted to know about the Hague Agreement here
Albania, according to Wikipedia, the Albanian Foreign Ministry and the CIA


Today's Official Journal of the European Commission carries a "Notice of initiation of an examination procedure concerning obstacles to trade within the meaning of Council Regulation (EC) No 3286/94, consisting of measures adopted by the Separate customs territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu affecting patent protection in respect of recordable compact discs". Not having seen one of these things before, the IPKat was naturally curious to know a little more about it.

On 15 January 2007 Koninklijke Philips Electronics filed a complaint. Its grievance was that it had invented some of the core technologies for recordable compact discs, for which it held some patents. Taiwan etc (a.k.a. "Chinese Taipei") has granted compulsory licences in respect of those patents, illegally in Philips' opinion. The licensee is a local manufacturer, Gigastorage Corporation. Article 76 of the Patent Act of Chinese Taipei provides for the granting of compulsory licences in certain specified circumstances. According to Philips, Article 76 is inconsistent with Article 28(1)(a) of the TRIPs Agreement because the patent owner's exclusive rights have not been respected. Article 31 of TRIPs permits the granting of compulsory patent licences, but only under certain conditions that have not been fulfilled in this instance. The Commission agrees that a prima facie case has been made out and a full investigation will now take place.

The IPKat is fascinated to see how this all works out and will do his best to see whether the Commission's own TRIPs enforcement measures will be sufficient to resolve the dispute without recourse to the World Trade Organization's own dispute resolution procedure. Merpel says, gosh, that's the first I've ever heard of Chinese Taipei - but not, I suspect, the last ... Silly, says the IPKat, "Chinese Taipei" is the English for the Chinese way of saying "Taiwan".

Right: Philips' history stretches back to the days of non-compact, non-recordable discs - which still seemed pretty cool at the time

How recordable CDs work here
Chinese Taipei here
Taiwan here
Formosa here

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