1 More PDO applications
Issue C240 of the European Commission's Official Journal announces the filing of three applications for registration under Article 6(2) of Regulation 2081/92 on the protection of geographical indications. The applications are for
The IPKat rather liked the idea of protecting products that had genuine character and were held in repute, so that other traders could not get better prices for their inferior goods by stealing the 'good' product's name. But he is more than somewhat disenchanted with the continuous trickle of PGI and PDO registrations for products that, in general, no-one except the growers and their immediate families have ever heard of and which are defined by sometimes ludicrous pseudo-technical descriptions. Merpel adds, is it still possible to buy generic products - or will prices be forced up by all producers turning themselves into growers or makers of PGI and PDO products?* CAROTA DELL'ALTOPIANO DEL FUCINO, an Italian carrot of which it is said: "Precisely because of the very loose and unstructured nature of the soil itself, the carrots produced in Fucino are notable for the shape of the vegetable which is mainly cylindrical with a rounded tip, free of root hairs and with no deep scarring where the leaves emerge, with a smooth skin and the whole root has an intense orange colour". The carrots are rich in thiamine, riboflavin and (surprise, surprise) carotene.
* PATACA DE GALICIA or PATATA DE GALICIA, for Spanish potato tubers with a diameter of 40 mm to 80 mm (calculated as the length of one side of a square mesh through which the potato just passes without forcing) and being (i) oval to round, (ii) shallow eyed, (iii) thin, smooth, bright yellow skinned, (iv) white fleshed and (v) firm to the touch.
* CLÉMENTINE DE CORSE for pipless Corsican clementines grown at an altitude of between 2 and 300 metres.
Corsican pipsqueak (right)
2 Database sui generis right review
The sui generis database right in the European Union's 25 Member States protects databases in which there has been
"qualitatively and/or quantitavely a substantial investment in either the obtaining, verification or presentation of the contents".Under Article 16(3) of the European Union's Database Directive 96/9, the Commission has to submit every three years to the European Parliament, the Council and the Economic and Social Committee
"a report on the application of this Directive, in which, inter alia, on the basis of specific information supplied by the Member States, it shall examine in particular the application of the sui generis right ... and shall verify especially whether the application of this right has led to abuse of a dominant position or other interference with free competition which would justify appropriate measures being taken, including the establishment of non-voluntary licensing arrangements. Where necessary, it shall submit proposals for adjustment of this Directive in line with developments in the area of databases".The IPKat wonders if he must have missed something, since he can't recall having seen any of these reports (which, according to his calculations, should have been submitted in 2001 and 2004), though he has heard rumours that a review of the impact of sui generis right is currently taking place. Can anyone enlighten him? If so, please feel free to post comments below or to email the IPKat here. A future blog will consolidate all responses, giving credit where due.
3 Putting the Kat out?
The IPKat's terrestrial snailmail this morning contained a very handsome brochure from the UK's Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys entitled "UK Trade Mark Professionals: Providing a Gateway to Europe and the World". The front cover contains a partial picture of the British Isles, South Wales (the location of the Trade Mark Registry) having fallen off the bottom of the page.
More sinister was the accompanying letter of welcome from the affable President of ITMA, Stephen James (right), normally the nicest of people, which closes with the menacing words "You may even consider becoming one of our many Overseas Members". The IPKat quite enjoys his occasional forays across the water but, being a staunch Londoner, he is a little alarmed at what appears to be a tacit invitation to go into exile. A word of reassurance from the Institute - which must be congratulated on its modernity - would be very much welcomed.
Join ITMA here
Another ITMA here for people who are very old