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.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Wednesday whimsies

The principle of equal treatment.  On Monday this Kat asked about the invocation of breach of the principle of equal treatment as a ground of appeal in trade mark proceedings. No comments were posted, but the Kat's correspondence included a fascinating email from a lawyer who is currently representing a client in a Community trade mark appeal to the General Court.  In case any of the judges (or indeed, his client) are reading this, the Kat thought it best to withhold his name. Anyway, he is pleading this argument and writes this apologetic confession to the Kat: "Sorry, but I´ve not found any appeal on this ground that ever succeeded".


Around the blogs. Art & Artifice welcomes a new team member in the shape and form of Angela Saltarelli (Jacobacci Sterpi Francetti Regali de Haas); the Kat wishes her the best of luck with her new task. PatLit's PCC Pages series continues to explore the seemingly unending ramifications of the law relating to disclosure of allegedly privileged documents in proceedings before the Patents County Court.  IP Tango supports the plucky President of Brazil for standing up to Fifa in refusing its unconstitutional demands for wider IP and market power in controlling the soccer World Cup 2014.  Ben Challis, writing on the 1709 Blog, reports a not entirely unsurprising but nonetheless significant ruling from the United States that a download is not a performance for the purposes of copyright law.


Long in the Truth. While the Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice (JIPLP) continues its mission to keep journal articles on IP matters down to a manageable length, it also follows the wise old rule for publishing journals: this is the rule that you should break any of your rules if it will result in an improvement or benefit over their enforcement. It is with this in mind that this Kat, who edits the journal, explains that "The European Commission's proposal for a regulation concerning Customs enforcement of IP rights", by Olivier Vrins (Altius) is considerably longer than any article hitherto entertained for possible publication.  The decision to publish it was based on its very considerable merit, the authority of its author (Oliver is co-author of the leading legal reference work on customs enforcement, reviewed in the WIPO Magazine here) and its extreme topicality -- given that the Commission's proposal was published while we were all awaiting the ruling of the Court of Justice on a customs case that has major ramifications for businesses outside Europe as well as within it, Joined Cases C-446 and 495/09 Nokia and Philips. What's it all about? Let the abstract explain:
On 25 May 2011, the European Commission released a Proposal for a new Regulation concerning customs enforcement of IPRs. The Proposal aims to reinforce customs actions in fighting the trade in IPR infringing goods. It also responds to some concerns which had been raised by emerging countries. Finally, it strives to balance taking the rights of all interested parties into consideration. Olivier takes a toothcomb to the Proposal and measures it closely against existing law and practice. Non-subscribers can purchase short term access to this article by clicking here.

From the IPKat's friends at Petosevic comes this little snippet: the Czech Supreme Court has recently ruled against an entrepreneur Přemysl Chmelař, who has been demanding approximately 235,195 euros [How lovely, says Merpel, to read that someone still wants euros] in damages from the State for its allegedly wrongful refusal to register his copyright [What! Is registration required? Whatever happened to the Berne Convention's bar on formalities? Merpel suspects that 'copyright' might just be a false term for 'trade mark'] for the popular board game “Člověče, nezlob se” (translated as "Don’t get angry, man", but known to many English readers as ludo). The Czech Patent and Trade Mark Office and the Prague Municipal Court were equally unimpressed. Perhaps rather strangely pronouncing that "Člověče, nezlob se” was a game of the same rank as chess or draughts/checkers, they then explained this similarity as meaning that the game was in the public domain. Not just that -- but the phrase “Člověče, nezlob se” was part of colloquial Czech. Apparently Chmelař is just one of many people who have tried to secure rights to this game which, having reputedly originated in ancient India, now thrives under numerous names and versions all round the world.  So far as the IPKat is concerned, whenever he sees letters like z, v, c and b all hanging around in each other's company, the only game he can think of is the very considerably-protected Scrabble.

1 comment:

Huťko said...

As IPKat correctly presumed that application was filled for trade mark protection - in this case word mark for "Člověče, nezlob se". Application was refused on the basis of genericness and devoid of distinctive character; Other past unsuccessful applicants were Tofa Holding, Caneton, toy manufacturer Ravensburger or media company FremantleMedia.

This court proceedings was however about the liability of the state for unlawful decision of the Industrial Property Office.

Subscribe to the IPKat's posts by email here

Just pop your email address into the box and click 'Subscribe':