For the half-year to 30 June 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Alberto Bellan, Darren Meale and Nadia Zegze.

Two of our regular Kats are currently on blogging sabbaticals. They are David Brophy and Catherine Lee.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Friday fantasies

It's Friday again, time to take stock of a week full of vigorous activity -- and to plan ahead for some more, by checking out the IPKat's Forthcoming Events Page.


The joys of Google Image:
this was found on the first
page of search results for
WIPO + magazine + cover
 Jeremy had a paw
in this issue: "10
Tips for Keeping Down
the cost of IP litigation"
WIPO Magazine: Reader Survey.  The IPKat's friends in the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) produce a pretty magazine six times a year; many of articles are interesting -- and all are both well-written and agreeably short.  The IPKat has even had a paw in some of the magazine's special issues in the past. The IPKat  -- who is agreeably generous with his opinions-- has often told WIPO Magazine what he thinks of it, but apparently the powers-that-be want to receive opinions from other people too. That's why they've organised a reader survey which you can access here.  If you want to take part, you've still got some time on your hands: the survey doesn't close till 22 January 2012.


Around the weblogs. In a busy week for blogging, there's plenty to choose from.  PatLit's David C. Berry brings us up to speed with regard to Apple's so-far-unsuccessful efforts to tame Samsung's tablets by seeking interim relief for patent and design patent infringement.  The 1709 Blog covers Hodgson v Isaac, a Patents County Court ruling in which the reproduction in the defendant's work of a somewhat unsavoury football chant in which the claimant had no copyright was however treated as evidence of copying of the claimant's work as a whole. Via jiplp comes free access to this year's Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice Christmas Special, Professor Chris Wadlow's magnificent tale of The Marmite Election. There's also an appeal from Rosie Burbidge, writing for Art & Artifice, to support the House of Illustration project.


Meanwhile, with global warming on the way, the IPKat -- who prefers to keep his fur warm and dry wherever possible -- has long been concerned about the long-term fate of Vanuatu.  Like all right-thinking citizens of our little planet, he would hate to see this ocean paradise disappear between the waves; indeed, it's nowhere near to qualifying for his shortlist of countries which he has occasionally contemplated towing out to sea and leaving them there. Anyway, he very much hopes that acceding to the Convention establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization is not going to be one of the last things Vanuatu does.  For the record, Vanuatu's accession takes effect on 2 March 2012 [which gives WIPO Magazine just under three months to launch its first issue with waterproof pages, says the heartless Merpel].


A long way from Vanuatu, but in many respects equally desperate, is the Law Commission for England and Wales, which is currently recruiting for legal research assistants to work in their law reform and statute law repeals teams on one-year fixed term contracts starting in September 2012 (click here for details).  The IPKat's friend Kingsley Egbuonu, who sent him this snippet, explains that the Law Commission runs five teams, one of which is for Commercial and Common Law. He adds: the good news on joining this team is that you will eventually get involved in some intellectual property law but the sad news is that this research may well see the end of one of his favourite provision. Here is an overview of what the IP side of the project entails:
Unjustified threats in trade mark litigation 
The law currently seeks to protect traders against unjustified threats of trade mark or design litigation. The provisions are: section 26 of the Registered Designs Act 1949; section 253 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988; section 21 of the Trade Marks Act 1994; and paragraph 6 of The Community Trade Mark Regulations 1996.

This project considers whether to repeal, reform, or extend these four provisions. Although it is important to stop rights holders from bullying third parties, these protections have become problematic. The statutes use a wide concept of a “threat”, which may encourage litigation, contrary to the spirit of the Civil Procedure Rules. Lawyers are also worried that they may be liable personally.

With the sort of copyright infringement claims seen in recent times, some of us might wish see statutory provision for unjustified threats in copyright litigation - at least for the sake of its impact on innocent members of the public (see this).

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