It's not often that an intellectual property blog finds itself in the thick of litigation, but that's just what has happened to the quiet, inoffensive Afro-IP weblog. SAMRO (the Southern African Music Rights Organisation) is bringing proceedings for defamation against the respected South African copyright expert Graeme Gilfillan in what has now become known as the Brenda Fassie affair (you can read all the details of the dispute if you read this item on Afro-IP and follow the various links). The allegedly defamatory words were circulated through Afro-IP's increasingly popular Google Group. Afro-IP will of course keep readers informed of subsequent developments.
The ever-vigilant Hugo Cox has spotted that the European Court of Human Rights is launching a new website to commemorate its 50th anniversary. The ECHR, better known for the endless stream of cases brought against East European governments by suffering humans, is also the tribunal that determined that the human rights of Anheuser-Busch Inc were not trampled on by Portugal when it magicked away one of that company's trade mark applications (see earlier post here). Merpel hopes the new website proves more user-friendly than the old one.
If you like answering questions anonymously and don't have an iPod, this is for you. IP Review magazine is conducting a "state of the industry" survey. Says editor Emma Jones: "A growing awareness of the importance of intellectual property rights to business success has led to unprecedented growth and transformation in the IP sector in the past two decades, but where does the industry go now? In the current financial climate, IP professionals are coming under increasing pressure to reduce their management spend, while generating increased profits from their existing assets, but how are they meeting this challenge? IP Review’s anonymous state of the industry survey would like to track your views on the sector and its future, and your own management approach to IP and associated IP Rights. To take part, visit this site by 8 May 2009 and you will also be entered into our free prize draw to win an iPod Touch 8B and music surround system". Results will be released at this year’s INTA conference in Seattle and available here from 16 May.