US-Japan patent pact
The Boston Globe reports that Japan and the US have agreed on measures to harmonise their patent systems, improve procedure, and jointly fight ‘piracy’.
Said the Japanese trade minister:
"This will shorten and expedite considerably the period that will be required from application to actual granting of a patent by measures such as both countries sharing each other's examination results…The whole world will be able to benefit from this endeavor by having Japan and the United States create a global model which will be expanded to other countries".The IPKat suspects that the European national may have missed a trick in competing for business for their patent offices by not being a part of this.
Spam, spam, spam, spam
Emediawire reports that the US TTAB will decide the fate of the SPAM ARREST trade mark in February. The mark, owned by Spam Arrest LLP, which produces anti-junk mail software, is said to be the only company, other than Hormel, to have registered a US trade mark containing the word ‘spam’.
The IPKat’s sympathies are split on this one. It’s pretty hard luck for Hormel to have had its mark fettered with a meaning that it neither sought nor encouraged. However, to recognise the mark as the exclusive ‘property’ of Hormel is to ignore the reality of the way the English language has developed.