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, 8 June 2012

Friday fantasies

SX appeal. Only two days ago this Kat was making his feelings known about small, exotic islands. Well, here's another one, Sint Maarten -- a small Caribbean island with a potentially “big” top-level domain (TLD), ".SX". Those who are illiterate or literate in textese will instantly recognise "sx" as being highly similar to the word “sex”. Might this be marketed as a domain name for the adult entertainment industry, the Kats' friends at Lexsynergy speculate. The same TLD also sounds the name as "Essex", birthplace of intellectual property icon Victoria Beckham (born 1974 in Harlow, which fortuitously is an anagram of another IP icon, Warhol) ...


Spurred into action by the IPKat's cogent criticisms and scepticism as to its likelihood of the European Observatory's benefiting anyone (see earlier posts here and here), the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM) OHIM has launched a consultation on the tasks and activities of the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights following the formal entrustment of the organisation to OHIM on 5 June. You can find further details here.  A katpat to the excellent Magali Delhaye, for spotting this.


It might seem a trifle long-winded, almost a plot-spoiler, but even a title like "Danish Minister ‘perpetuating half-truths and distortions’ at European Competitiveness Council press conference, say UK patent attorneys" can stimulate the appetite rather than satiate it. The title comes from a June 1 media release from the UK's Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys, which states (among other things):
"Statements made at the European Competitiveness Council’s press conference on Wednesday (30 May) were ‘half-truths and distortions’, says the newly-elected President of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys, Chris Mercer.

“The Danish Minister for Business and Growth, Ole Sohn, repeated the claim that ‘today, it costs about €36,000 to obtain a patent in Europe whereas it only costs €2,000 in the US and €600 in China’,” quoted Chris Mercer. “That is manifestly not true. Even big multinational automotive or pharmaceutical companies hardly ever take out patents in every single European country. Small businesses would never do it. He’s quoting a maximum theoretical cost for Europe and quoting minimum costs for the USA and China. The real average figure for obtaining a patent in Europe is very much lower. The minister has his facts wrong and – intentionally or not - he is misleading the Competitiveness Council ...”.
The IPKat would love to see the arithmetic and the premises upon which the logic of these figures is built.  If any reader has nothing to do this weekend, this is a handy hint ...


Aussies take the Markman route. News from Down Under is that interesting things have been happening  -- interesting, if you are one of those folk who make their living by reading patents and deciding what they mean.  Britax Childcare Pty Ltd v Infa-Secure Pty Ltd [2012] FCA 467.  The plot-spoiler is "Australian Federal Court hands down Markman-like decision on patent construction" by Chris Carter and Simon Reynolds (Davies Collison Cave).  They explain: "A recent judgment of the Federal Court of Australia has shown a willingness to hear and decide upon patent infringement cases in a phased manner—first ruling on the manner in which patent claims should be constructed and only then (if the parties choose to continue) hearing and deciding upon resultant issues of patent infringement or validity. This approach is a common practice in US patent litigation (and where it is referred to as a Markman hearing) but until now has been largely absent from Australian patent litigation".  You can read the rest here.


The SPC Blog
Around the weblogs. Another week, another new blog on the block -- and what a blogger! The IPKat welcomes the awesome Thilo C. Agthe whose blog, The Transatlantic Trademark Lawyer, has just opened its account with "Is the Jig up? USPTO Revises Rules Regarding Specimens of Use and Initiates Pilot Project" which you can read here.  Meanwhile, on the 1709 Blog Eleonora Rosati explains the European Union's flirtation with a curiously informal (and, some observe, curiously illegal) solution to the "orphan work" problem [or, some would say, "non-problem", notes Merpel], and Mira T. Sundara Rajan issues a crisp rejoinder to her critics on the theme of payment for authors and the limits to what Creative Commons can do for them.  For patent term extension enthusiasts, the Powerpoints and video footage of the annual SPC Blog seminar are now available for all to enjoy.

2 comments:

CheapAsChips said...

Perhaps the Danish Minister for Business and Growth would like to see some of our bills for IP costs...2000 Euro for a US patent? I would like to know who his representative is; it can cost more than that just to have a draft response to one Office Action prepared! 600 Euro for China? Again this is significantly less than the cost of having a Chinese representative prepare a response. Dream on Ole!

Anonymous said...

And the fact that registration might be cheap is not necessarily a good thing. We could make it free to register patents, with no examination, and allow bifurcated litigation of infringement and validity.

What could go wrong with that system? Oh, hang on...

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