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, 19 November 2012

Monday miscellany

Google not yet on the precipice.  Following the IPKat's post on Friday, "The Faustian Promise of Online Paywalls", Kat team member Neil takes this opportunity to qualify the thrust of his text.  He explains:
"A perceptive reader pointed out that this Kat might have left the erroneous impression that the "very existence" of Google is threatened if the company needs to pay for the articles. The Katpost should have made more clear that the quote referred only to Google News"


Secondary protection of innovation.  The JIPLP-GRUR seminar on the Secondary Protection of Innovations on 22 January 2013, mentioned on the IPKat last week here, now has 42 registrants.  This seminar, which marks the cooperation between the two journals, will be complemented by a sequel to be held this March in Munich: this GRUR-JIPLP seminar will be hosted by the German Patent and Trade Mark Office on a topic the title of which awaits confirmation. The IPKat looks forward to bringing news of the Munich seminar as soon as it is available.


Shhhh! It's a secret, so let's evaluate it.  Katfriend, respected copyright personality and one-time blogging colleague Hugo Cox gets a katpat for furnishing this link to news of the Survey on Trade Secrets and Confidential Business Information in the Internal Market. According to the important information contained there:
Messrs Baker and McKenzie:
not resting on their Laurels ...
 
"Following a call for tender, the European Commission contracted Baker & McKenzie to carry out a study on the economic and legal aspects linked with the use, misappropriation and litigation on confidential business information and trade secrets. In this context Baker & McKenzie is launching a survey to industry aimed at collecting information on how companies manage their know-how and other information of strategic value for their competitiveness. The data to be collected from companies from all sizes and locations within the European Union will help the European Commission to better evaluate whether there is a need to provide companies, and in particular SMEs, with better means of redress against the economic harm resulting from dishonest appropriation of confidential business information [can it be, wonders Merpel, that the 'British disease' of evidence-based policy is spreading across Europe? What a shame, she thinks, that patent law is apparently immune to it].

The European Commission encourages any company to participate in the survey. In order to do so simply send a message to tradesecretstudy@bakermckenzie.com expressing your willingness to participate (ex: Dear Sirs, I would like to participate in the survey [Kat disclaimer: the text in round brackets has not been added as a feline joke but appears in the original]). You will then receive an e-mail providing a user ID, a password and a link to the webpage of the survey. You will be able to choose between a number of languages in which to complete the survey".

Around the weblogs.  From Ben Roberts at the China IPR SME Helpdesk comes news of the Helpdesk's own blog, China IP Insider. Good luck on this venture, says the IPKat, with a word to his readers: "do take a look and see if it's of help to you".  Staying regional, Afro-IP's Kingsley Egbuonu has revisited Ethiopia, a country whose official IP websites have been a bit up-and-down of late. On the 1709 Blog Iona Harding reports on some serious thinking about whether the term of copyright protection is too long.


The excellent Helen Norman informs the Kat of a curious little episode in her otherwise sane and respectable life as a Professor of Law at the University of Bristol.  she writes:
"I was returning from an expedition to the supermarket last Friday when I found myself in a queue of traffic behind the ubiquitous white van man. Emblazoned on the vehicle was the wording "It's either us or a compromise", followed by the copyright symbol (ie, the C in a circle).  A little internet research (found on a web site entitled www.trademarken.co.uk) revealed that the slogan in question was registered in 2004 as a trade mark in the name of a firm called Priority Express. I won't comment on the general tenor of the website, nor on the fee charged by that enterprise for registering a mark (in my experience, albeit many years ago, it doesn't take that long to fill in Form TM3).

However, what intrigues me is this. Why use the copyright symbol rather than the registered trade mark symbol (the R in a circle) as the proprietors are entitled to do? Was it simply a case of the sign-writer getting it wrong on the van, or do the lawyers working for Priority Express know something that I don't? Or are they just using a crystal ball to predict the outcome of Meltwater in the Supreme Court?

Whatever is the answer, how are we supposed to train the IP kats of the future with this sort of thing around?"
Yes indeed, chorus the Kats, how do we train the Kats of the next generation?

1 comment:

Barbara Cookson said...

We train the next generation to use the authorative IPO website not a commercial source, please.

If the van contained the whole trademark that is registered then it is a logo and although of not great artistic merit nevertheless a copyright work. If it contained just the slogan as reported then its a bit of a try on to suggest the phrase gets as far as being a literary work but a try on is fair game since its a hard world in which to get a monopoly on any slogan.

Surely its much more fun teaching IP these days when it is so relevant to ordinary life. When I started they called it INDUSTRIAL PROPERTY and the only references I saw in the real world were to warehouses for sale. We've come a long way since then.

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