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, 22 June 2012

Friday fantasies

EPO Complaints. The IPKat's sidebar poll on the European Patent Office's Complaints Procedure has now attracted over 150 respondents. The poll closes on Sunday night, so please don't leave it till too late to make your contribution felt. If you'd like further explanation of the reason for the poll and its background, you can find it here.


ITMA No Complaints.  The Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (ITMA) in the United Kingdom has welcomed Tuesday's ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union in Case C-307/10 Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (the 'IP TRANSLATOR' case, on which see IPKat post here and the various posts to which it links).  The Kat's friend Imogen Wiseman, chair of ITMA's Law & Practice Committee, comments:
"The Court’s judgment will now bring all of the EU official trade mark offices into line. The decision makes coverage of registered trade marks much clearer for business communities inside and outside the EU. The day after the Court’s ruling, Europe’s trade mark authority OHIM (the Office for the Harmonisation of the Internal Market) announced that it was updating its filing systems to provide a user-friendly solution when using class headings. We are pleased to see in the swift response of the EU Trade Mark Office a willingness to put these inconsistencies right".
Let's hope that the reality matches our brightest hopes, says the IPKat.


Balti is a delicacy -- if that be the right word -- which owes its very existence to the cross-fertilisation of culture.  Born amidst the subtle savours of Kashmir but transformed into a popular British dish by its passage through the gastronomical melting-pot of Birmingham, England, the Balti is a curry which is served in a thin pressed-steel 'balti bowl'.  You  can read about its history and provenance here.  Now intellectual property enthusiasts are about to become even better acquainted with it, since BIRMINGHAM BALTI has become the subject of an application for TSG ("traditional speciality guaranteed") protection in the European Union,. according to a recent news-shot from the local branch of law firm Eversheds. Says partner Owen Warnock:
"The key to winning a TSG is demonstrating a product with traditional ingredients and production methods that have been used for at least 25 years and have a related specific character. The protection is given to the name so that only producers who follow the registered production methods and recipe can use the name and can apply the special “TSG” logo. The legal requirements are quite specific, but an ever-growing flood of food businesses are pursuing TSG applications and succeeding with them. 
If the application is accepted and “Birmingham Balti” is registered, that will not stop other “Baltis” being sold, but it would protect the name Birmingham Balti and so it would give the Balti-makers of Birmingham the ability to build and maintain a strong reputation for their product".
The official website for Birmingham Balti -- curiously inverted as Balti-Birmingham -- provides further details of the product, together with an outline of the Balti Triangle, within which area will be found its heartland.



There is a hugely popular knitting website (explains Maria Nicol, who has come all the way from Galapagos to collect her katpat for this link) called Ravelry. Each time the Olympic Games comes round, Ravelry runs have a knit-along competition called the “Ravelympics”. The United States Olympic Committee has taken serious offence to this, and has even managed to offend the knitting community with its comments [though it made Merpel laugh].  The website has two million members, none of whom has confused the knitting event with the real Olympics, or even thought it was associated..


The ultimate in ham-bush marketing ...?
Another chance to debate ambushes ... The Law Society for England and Wales is holding a free public debate event from 6.00pm on 3 July at its Chancery Lane, London, headquarters. The topic: "Ambush Marketing and the Role of Intellectual Property".  The line-up includes
• Arthur Artinian – Senior Associate, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Official legal services provider to London 2012) • Pierre Williams – Federation of Small Businesses • Sarah Hadland, Partner – Boyes Turner LLP 
• Mark Blayney Stuart, Head of Research – Chartered Institute of Marketing 
Further information and registration details can be found here. Merpel would just love to be there, if only to be able to ask Arthur Artinian what Freshfields is going to do about these pesky Olympic Games people who keep on promoting their sports and merchandise on the back of Freshfields' good name and reputation ...

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