For the half-year to 31 December 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie-Andrée Weiss.

Regular round-ups of the previous week's blogposts are kindly compiled by Alberto Bellan.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Monday miscellany

Readers of this weblog occasionally complain that its contents are in poor taste -- though this is not so much the fault of the Kats as of the litigants, businesses, celebrities and members of the aristocracy who make it so by getting up to the sort of shenanigans [Merriam-Webster defines the word "shenanigan" thus but, in this Kat's experience, like London buses and summer showers anywhere in England, they are rarely if ever found in the singular] that end up as highly reportable IP disputes. Now, this weblog has reported one dispute of a distinctly tasteful nature since taste lay at the very heart of it -- Bailey and Williams v Graham and Levi Roots' Reggae Reggae Foods Ltd and another, the celebrated Reggae Reggae sauce case, the facts and outcome of which were lovingly garnished by Cat the Kat here and here).

After this case, the words
"grilling the witnesses"
will never sound
quite the same ...
The IPKat can now inform his readers that the Court of Appeal for England and Wales has granted the claimants leave to appeal the decision of Judge Pelling QC -- sitting in the High Court and therefore a little above his ordinary station --  in which he dismissed a claim against the Reggae Reggae folk for misuse of confidential information and breach of contract in relation.  According to the Court of Appeal, the trial judge's analysis, though not as full as holes as a colander, was open to challenges on a number of grounds including his methodology in evaluating the witnesses [Merpel is sure that this isn't a coded message that means "the Court of Appeal is itching to substitute its own finding of facts for those of the trial judge"] and his failure to refer to a number of salient matters in his judgment.  There's also an application by lawyers representing one of the claimants to have fresh evidence admitted to the effect that their client had (and still presumably has) a fairly low IQ -- not an everyday event in British IP litigation.  Anyway, the IPKat will do his best to keep his readers informed of the next course turn of events in this curious case. Topically, since the Notting Hill Carnival is now in full swing, the first claimant maintained that he had been selling jerk chicken prepared with his own sauce at the Carnival since 1988.

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The Danish Royal Crest
could easily be adapted
to suit Prince Harry's
predilections ...
It's impolite to laugh at one's own jokes, or even repeat them too often. However, an opportunity for a bon mot arose on a Friday afternoon (not a good time for posting original blog material) which immediately preceded a British Public Holiday weekend and this Kat, having posted it on Twitter, is concerned that some people who might have appreciated it would already have turned their computers off, cleared their desks and headed for the nearest place in which to mark with appreciation their brief emancipation from the treadmill of their work.  Accordingly, complete with explanation, here it comes again.  To explain: last week Prince Harry (real forenames Henry Charles Albert David; when you're royal enough or as famous as Madonna, you don't need a surname) was caught by camera wearing nothing but his royal skin, a wristwatch and a necklace (see Katpost here).  Almost as many people viewed this spectacle online and in the non-British press as viewed the late Neil Armstrong's moonwalk, but the British press was asked to refrain from publishing the pics.

Suffering what most newspapers regarded as a slap in the face in terms of freedom of expression, most titles refrained from reproducing them [did they simply turn the other cheek, wonders Merpel ...].  The Sun newspaper however published photos of the Prince's bottom.  This led to the neatly symmetrical notion that formerly it was said that the sun shone out of Harry's backside. Now it appears that Harry's backside shines out of The Sun.

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Are the Chinese pandering to EPO
demands? (photo by Emanuela
Verrecchia)
According to a media release from the European Patent Office, there's a neat little bit of reciprocity coming up in terms of document exchange, where European patent applications are claiming priority from a Chinese application or vice versa:
The European Patent Office is pleased to announce that as of 3 September 2012 it is implementing automatic electronic exchange of priority documents with the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) of the People's Republic of China for first filings at SIPO and the EPO.

To qualify for this service [ah, so it's not quite automatic], which is free of charge [good -- but why shouldn't it be?] and not subject to any formalities on the part of the applicant [ditto], the European patent application or the Chinese national patent or utility model application claiming priority from a first filing at the other office must have been filed on or after 3 September 2012.
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Bad boys from Belize come unstuck.  From the IPKat's friend Joris van Manen (Hoyng Monegier, Amsterdam) comes news of the injunction which his firm has secured on behalf of luxury brand owners (including Gucci, Chanel, Dior and Breitling) against what he describes as "the most notorious counterfeit website hosting provider AltusHost" ("We Build the Future!").  The judgment, which may be read with ease and comfort by anyone who is fluent in legal Dutch, is here.  For those less linguistically talented, this note in Computerworld will probably be sufficient.  In short, not only has Belize-based AltusHost been ordered to block 25 counterfeit websites it hosts, but that company has signed an agreement which (inter alia) provides that it will shut down any and all counterfeit websites it hosts worldwide within five days of receiving a request from Joris & Co to do so.  Our hero adds: "We hope this may provide some support in the fight against online counterfeiting".  Says the Kat, "well done!"

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