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While on the subject of trade marks in Europe, the IPKat has just been informed of a forthcoming reference by the German Bundesgerichtshof of some fresh questions for the Court of Justice of the European Union to answer. This is Case C-360/12 Coty Prestige Lancaster Group GmbH v First Note Perfumes N.V. The questions in question, as it were, are as follows:
1. Is Article 93(5) of Regulation 40/94 [on the Community trade mark] to be interpreted as meaning that an act of infringement is committed in one Member State (Member State A), within the meaning of Article 93(5) ... where, as a result of an act in another Member State (Member State B), there is participation in the infringement in the first-named Member State (Member State A)?
Will the Advocate General's
Opinion smell better than
the defendant's goods?
2. Is Article 5(3) of Regulation ... 44/2001 [the Brussels Regulation on jurisdiction and the enforcement of judgments] to be interpreted as meaning that the harmful event occurred in one Member State (Member State A) if the tortuous act [No, says Merpel. The questions may be tortuous, and the Court's ruling certainly will be, but the harmful act had better be tortious if it is the subject of legal proceedings] which is the subject of the action or from which claims are derived was committed in another Member State (Member State B) and consists in participation in the tortuous act (principal act) which took place in the first-named Member State (Member State A)?If you would like to tell the UK Intellectual Property Office what you think, and whether the UK government should make representations, email Policy at email@example.com before 27 September 2012. If you'd like to know about the background to this reference -- so would we! If you have any interesting information about the facts of the underlying case, please help us share them with our readers. Given the fact that Coty Lancaster Prestige makes expensive and sought-after scents and that First Note is a sister company of Bellure, this Kat suspects that it is something to do with smell-alike perfumes being sold by reference to the names of leading brands which they emulate, but he's not prepared to guess any further than that.
|Sir William Blackstone|
- Advanced issues in drafting and negotiating trade mark licences.
- Drafting and negotiating sponsorship agreements.
- Legal, business, and tax issues involving related-party transactions.
- Handling trade marks and trade mark licences in bankruptcy.
- Trade mark due diligence in mergers and acquisitions and in other complex corporate transactions.
- Drafting and negotiating transitional trade mark licences, trade mark representations and other provisions in M&A transactions.
- Litigation avoidance transactions.
- Drafting and negotiating settlement and co-existence agreements.
IPKat team member Neil will be among a global list of speakers, along with katfriends Roland Mallinson and Richard Watts. Further details about the conference can be found here.
[at this point readers might be wondering if there's anything left ...]. Universal finally committed not to include Most Favoured Nation (MFN) clauses in its favour in any new or renegotiated contract with digital customers in the EEA for ten years. MFN clauses oblige digital customers to extend any favourable term granted to Universal's competitors to Universal. This commitment lets Universal's competitors negotiate more freely with digital customers and further levels the playing field between these competitors and Universal. The rights to be divested are worldwide and cover both digital and physical music [the IPKat's not quite sure what 'physical music' is, but it does sound like fun!]. This will ensure a viable and competitive exploitation of the divested artists and catalogue by the purchaser of the assets. The Commission concluded, in light of these commitments, that the transaction would no longer raise competition concerns and would have no negative effect on consumers. According to Commission Vice-President in charge of competition policy Joaquín Almunia:
"Competition in the music business is crucial to preserve choice, cultural diversity and innovation. In this investigation, we have paid close attention to digital innovation, which is changing the way that people listen to music. The very significant commitments proposed by Universal will ensure that competition in the music industry is preserved and that European consumers continue to enjoy all its benefits."Thanks, and a big katpat, go to Magali Delhaye for preparing this note. Want to know more? You can find the full press release here and FAQs on the subject here.
|Irbesartan: the subject|
of Sanofi's disputed SPC
The first relates to Article 3(a) of the SPC Regulation, which states that an SPC shall be granted in respect of a patent when, on the date of the application for it, "the product is protected by a basic patent in force". Arnold J's first question to the CJEU, at , is simplicity itself:
"What are the criteria for deciding whether 'the product is protected by a basic patent in force' in Article 3(a) of the Regulation?"The second is found at  where Arnold J states:
"It appears ... that the Dutch Patent Office has adopted the opposite interpretation of [the CJEU's ruling in Case C-322] Medeva to that adopted by the UK Intellectual Property Office, namely that it prohibits the grant of more than one SPC per patent regardless of the number of products claimed in the basic patent. In Case AWB 10/4769 Georgetown University v Octrooicentrum Nederland (11 July 2012), which is a parallel case to the Georgetown case in this country, the Rechtbank 'S-Gravenhage (Judge van Walderveen) held that the correct interpretation of Article 3(c) was unclear and decided to refer a question to the CJEU provisionally worded as follows:
"Does [the Regulation], more specifically Article 3(c), in the situation in which multiple products are protected by (the claims) of a basic patent, preclude the proprietor of the basic patent being issued a certificate for each of the products protected?" ...