The team is joined by Guest Kats Rosie Burbidge, Stephen Jones, Mathilde Pavis, and Eibhlin Vardy, and by InternKats Verónica Rodríguez Arguijo, Hayleigh Bosher, Tian Lu and Cecilia Sbrolli.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Sir Robin Jacob calls for System 2 thinking for patent law

Sir Robin at the University of Hong Kong
(photo credit: Danny Friedmann)
 Earlier this week Sir Robin Jacob delivered a thought-provoking lecture at the University of Hong Kong. The topic? Patents and medicine.

Katfriend Dr Danny Friedmann (IP Dragon) tells IPKat readers what happened.

Here’s what Danny writes:

“This Hong Kong Kat witnessed Sir Robin Jacob (Sir Hugh Laddie Chair of Intellectual Property Law) bringing some of Jeremy Bentham’s spirit from UCL to the University of Hong Kong.

Around sundown, Sir Jacob enlightened students, scholars and government officials with this year’s HKU Lecture in IP entitled “Patents and Medicine: A Matter of Life and Death” at the University of Hong Kong on 21 November 2017.

In the fully packed lecture hall the prolific Sir Robin looked at patent law through the lens of System 1 and System 2 thinking. Sir Robin used Daniel Kahneman’s “Thinking, Fast and Slow” division of thinking: System 1 (fast, instinctive and emotional) and System 2 (slower, deliberative and logical). The first kind of thinking has led to some irrational assumptions and theories not substantiated by facts, which one way or the other, conclude that patents are bad.

Sir Robin recalled that the abolishment of the patent system in the Netherlands from 1869 to 1912 did not bring the innovation to the low lands as envisioned. System 2 thinking returned to the Netherlands and new patents were granted in 1912.

An often heard criticism of big pharma is that patented medicines are too expensive. Sir Robin put the gain and risks in perspective. He gave the example of Eli Lilly which tried to develop a cure against Alzheimer’s disease, invested over a US$ billion and spent ten years in R&D to no avail. 

Sometimes the price for a cure is a high number in absolute terms. But Sir Robin made it clear that one needs to weigh the benefits and costs of using a medicine with the disadvantage and costs of not using a medicine, not only for the individual but also for society at large. I am sure Jeremy Bentham would give Sir Robin an approving nod from behind his glass case at UCL. Sir Robin used the example of Gilead Hepatitis C drug, which costs £70,000 when it was introduced. “The societal value of this cure extends not only to the personal health of the patients, but their ability to work and pay taxes, their cost of medical treatment in other ways and the cost on their families. The cost of a liver transplant was £70,000. Is the Gilead drug really too expensive?”
Also these prices are not fixed, there are hard negotiations about drug prices between pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies or states.  

Sir Robin estimated that around 20 percent of turnover of patented medicines is funneled back to R&D: “protected medicines of today are paying for those of tomorrow.”

System 1 thinking only focuses on alleged profiteering of pharmaceutical companies but there is not much attention to generic companies. Since research of medicines is expensive, and manufacturing is cheap, the generic companies can become very rich indeed, without having to do any research or advertising.

There is also a lot of System 1 thinking in regard to secondary and further medical use claims, which is often considered evergreening of a patent that has already expired. However, a new dosage for a drug, for example from three pills to one pill per day, can have beneficial effects for the individual but also society at large. It will be more convenient for the patient and the chance that he or she will forget the medicine decreases and thus the chances that the patient becomes resistant against the medicine also decreases. In case of a contagious disease this has beneficial effects to society as well.

Of course Sir Robin also discussed the problems related to pharmaceutical companies. The commercial incentives are lacking to find medicines for orphan drugs. And more surprising, for actual cures for major diseases like Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, Sir Robin insisted that policy makers, scholars and practitioners use more System 2 thinking, to recalibrate the incentives so that they are commensurate with the risks for developing the innovative medicines that can cure, including rare diseases. Why not “offer[ing] a 30-year patent term for a major new antibiotic, or a cancer cure. And fix the prices of the patentee so that it gets an ample reward.”

In short: using System 2 thinking in patent law is a matter of life and death.” 

Thursday Thingies

Lecturer/Senior Lecturer vacancy. The Faculty of Law of the University of East Anglia is looking for a Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Competition Law and Intellectual Property. Applicants for Senior Lecturer should hold a Ph.D. in Law or equivalent. Meanwhile, applicants for Lecturers must be near completion of the Ph.D. Apply here before 24 November 2017. More information, here.

Miau! So many IP events...
The Intellectual Property Lawyers Organisation (TIPLO) Christmas dinner will take place on 5 December 2017 at The Large Pension Room, Gray’s Inn, in London. The event is a good opportunity for networking and there will be a quiz! More details, here.

INTA’s Ladas Memorial Award Competition. The annual awards will be granted to three top papers related to trademark law or topics affecting trademarks in the categories of student and professional. Two students will be awarded $2,500 USD and a complimentary registration to the 2018 INTA Annual Meeting in Seattle in May. Meanwhile, the professional winner will receive a set of the Patents, Trademarks, and Related Rights treatise by Stephen P. Ladas. The winner papers will be considered for publication in The Trademark Reporter, INTA’s legal journal. Deadline for submissions is 19 January 2018. More information, here.

Calling for Internship applications. The Secretariat of the Internet & Jurisdiction Policy Network is looking for an intern interested in internet governance and multistakeholder cooperation issues. Applicants must be enrolled in a master’s or Ph.D. program in the field of policy, law, international relations, internet studies or a related field. The position involves, among other activities, analysis and research of internet topics, and preparing blog posts, newsletters, and reports. The paid internship will last from four to six months and will take place in Paris. The working language is English. Apply by sending CV, cover letter and two writing samples to More information, here.

INTA’s 2018 events. INTA has organized several events as follows for the next year. The Trademark Administrators Mini-seminar will take place on 8 February 2018 in Munich. The 2018 Designs Conference: The Power of Design will take place on 26 and 27 February 2018 in London. The Brands and Innovation Conference will take place on 19 and 20 March 2018 in New York. The 140th Annual Meeting will take place from 19 to 23 May 2018 in Seattle. The Trademark Administrators and Practitioners Meeting (TMAP) will take place from 12 to 14 September 2018 in Orlando. The Australia Conference will take place on 11 and 12 October 2018 in Sydney. Finally, the Dubai Conference will take place on 10 and 11 December 2018 in Dubai.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Damages awarded for the ‘loss of opportunity’ to commercialise photographs following infringement

The Paris Tribunal (Tribunal de Grande Instance) recently handed down a decision on the copyright infringement of a photographer’s work by the fashion textile company Renoma. The judgment is consistent with the recent jurisprudence on the questions of originality, moral rights and infringement of photographic works; nothing special here. What caught this Kat’s interest is the Tribunal’s position on the compensation for the claimant’s ‘loss of opportunity’ to commercialise his own photographs due to the infringement. In an area of law where we already struggle to fix the appropriate level of compensation for the harm due to the violation of economic rights, how should we go about measuring the ‘loss of opportunity’ to commercialise one’s copyright work? Perhaps the honest answer is: no idea. The Tribunal appears to have plucked a sum out of thin air; that or they followed a formula but did not think necessary to share it in their judgment.

Renoma's publicity material for the exhibition
In this dispute, Renoma had used three photographs taken by the claimant, Mr X., in the context of the publicity campaign for an exhibition dedicated to the Chelsea Hotellocated in New York City (see here, here and here). The three photographs had been reproduced on Renoma’s social media accounts, official blog, online invitations to the event and in the exhibition itself. One of the photographs also featured a derivative work created by the defendant, namely as it was integrated into the reflection of a model’s sunglasses as photographed. In addition, the claimant’s photographs had been reprinted on t-shirts, which were subsequently sold on the premises of the exhibition.

The credits associated with the photograph were also problematic because the copies mentioned the name of yet another artist (Mr. Y in the decision) reading: ‘photo credits: Mr Y’ and ‘artistic creation: Mr Y’.

In its judgment, the Paris Tribunal confirmed the originality of each photograph, both citing to and directly quoting from the Painer decision of the ECJ (see here), which held that

a photograph [in that case a portrait] is an intellectual creation of the author reflecting his personality and expressing his free and creative choices in the production of that photograph’ 

This is consistent with the jurisprudence emanating recently from first instance decisions (see for example the Hendrix case, here).

Chelsea Hotel in NYC
The judges were then asked to rule that Renoma had committed a breach of the claimant’s moral rights of integrity and paternity pursuant to Article L 121-1 of the French Intellectual Property Code. As a result, the defendant was ordered to pay 13,425 euros in damages for the infringement of the claimant’s economic and moral rights.

To reach this amount, the Tribunal referred to the standard royalty fees used by photographers’ societies (such as ADAGP), focusing on the number of days that the photographs were available online and the sum the photographer would have received had there been an agreement with the defendant. To establish this number, the judges applied a weight factor of 50% on account of the defendant not seeking the consent of the artist in the first place, yielding the amount of 13, 425 euros. This total is considerably lower than the amount requested by Mr X (no less than 35,381.50 euros), which had been met by Renoma’s claim that it was liable only for  340 euros (based on a price quote provided  to them by Getty Images).

Over several paragraphs, the judgment gives a detailed account of the calculations put forward by each party, before giving its own calculation.   However, the court is surprisingly brief in explaining how it reached the award of compensation for the claimant’s ‘loss of opportunity’ to commercialise the photographs.

On this point, the Tribunal merely states:

‘the photographs of [the claimant] have been widely reproduced and made available to the public without his consent, he is indeed in a position to argue that he suffered a loss of opportunity to hope to sell the original prints of the photographs since he is a professional photographer and has taken part in a number of exhibitions showcasing his work. Consequently, [the claimant] is able to request compensation for this damage, the latter being distinct from the actual opportunity if it had materialised. As a result, the Court grants [the claimant] a sum which ought to amount to 2,000 euros for the loss of opportunity …’.

Author’s rights now cover actual economic loss, moral prejudice as well as ‘the loss of opportunity to hope to sell’ one’s work. To those who dare say that the world is bereft of hope-- wrong. Hope is still alive and even may give grounds for damages under French copyright law. That said, this privilege seems to be reserved to professional photographers only, if we are to read the latter part of this sentence (that is, ‘since he is a professional photographer’) as a requirement for this type of compensation.
Not buying this...

Finally, it should be noted the phrase ‘loss of opportunity to hope to sell’ could also be translated ‘loss of opportunity to be able to hope to sell’, following a literal translation of the original text which reads ‘celui-ci peut en effet se prévaloir d’une perte de chance de pouvoir espérer vendre des tirages originaux de ces photographies’. This second translation, though convoluted, may be truer (and arguably more romantic!) to the meaning intended by the Tribunal with this choice of words.

Decision commented: Paris Tribunal, 3rd chamber, 2nd section, judgment of the 22nd of September 2017: Mr. X. v Mr. Y., Société Textile des Articles Renoma and Renoma Invest (see here for decision in French).

Never Too Late: If you missed the IPKat Last Week!

Been away and want to catch up with the recent IP news? No problem! As always, the IPKat is here to bring you a quick summary -- the 170th edition of Never Too Late (for week ending 29th Oct and 5th Nov inclusive).

Week ending 5th November

We started off the week talking about Brexit, specifically about What future for UK copyright after Brexit? Report on IPKat-BLACA panel discussion. Kat Eleonora moderated the panel and reported on it for us.

Talking about abusive forum shopping by non-practicing entities, Kat friends Bryan Kohm, David Tellekson, Melanie Mayer and Reilly Stoler guided us on how US patent litigation on the move again following In re Cray.

Does the doctrine of equivalents apply to novelty? Guest Kat Eibhlin answers the question by analyzing the recent decision Generics (U.K) v Yeda, a practical application of the Supreme Court’s Actavis v Eli Lilly.

Internet and Digital Media Law conference returns to London! The conference will be held on 5 December and a discount for participation is kindly offered for IPKat readers…register away! Also on 5 December: Christmas UNION-IP event: "IP - Past, Present and Future", with notable speaker Mr Justice Colin Birss. Don’t miss out on it!

Registering EUTMs with pictorial characters can be challenging, as Kat friend Matej Michalec knows all too well. In The Relevant Public and Likelihood of Confusion in Respect of Chinese Character Trademarks he discusses this topic.

The AmeriKat continued with her report from AIPPI Congress with incredible instalment numbing number 14: GUI Goo for Chewy Chewing.

What happens to user rights when IP serves the basis for a product, How far to take user rights into consideration? Repair? Kat Neil reports.

Bringing a counterclaim for patent revocation: not so fast in Singapore: Kat friend Sheena Jacob talks about how this may not be possible any longer.

SPC consultation - call for input: the European Commission is seeking for contributions!

When Twitter, football and copyright law meet: Linking in the US: is an embedded tweet an infringement of the public display right? Kat Eleonora discusses the improbable encounter.

Are you interested in being an InternKat or a Guest Kat? Then respond to our Katcall: Openings for GuestKats and InternKats!

Important news on the second medical use claims world as Dutch Supreme Court in Merck v Teva holds that second medical use claims can be directly and indirectly infringed, no matter the type. As the decision was mint fresh and no English was available, Kat friend Tobias Cohen Jehoram provided a translation and a summary in English for us.

Unpredictable times come with unpredictable patent decisions. Kat Annsley talks about Court of Appeal’s decision Actavis v ICOs  in The rise of "obvious to try" is over as Court of Appeal finds CIALIS dosage regimen patent obvious.

Weekly roundups: Wednesday Whimsies

Two Never Too Late are Better than One!
Week ending 29th October

Rosie informs us on the recent High Court appeal of Abanka DD v Abanca Corporacion Bancaria SA [2017], which concerns the revocation of two international trade marks for ABANKA and the related opposition to the application to register ABANCA. No prizes for guessing which party was attacking which mark.

IP Federation declares no role for IP disputes in proposed Hague Convention, while INTA takes a different approach
Annsley talks us through a new draft legislative instrument - the draft Hague Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments.

Book review: Grounds of the Immaterial - A Conflict-based Approach to Intellectual Property Rights
Mathilde reviews Niels van Dijk’s book, Grounds of the Immaterial, A Conflict-Based Approach to Intellectual Rights.

Teva v Gilead: Swiss court bashes ECJ on SPC "mess"
The Swiss Federal Patent Court issued a judgment confirming the validity of Gilead’s Supplementary Protection Certificate (SPC) for a composition containing tenofovir disoproxil with emtricitabine (marketed as TRUVADA). The UK arm of the same dispute has led Arnold J to refer a question to the ECJ ("What are the criteria for deciding whether 'the product is protected by a basic patent in force' in Article 3(a) of the SPC Regulation?", [2017] EWHC 13 (Pat)).

Book Review: Form in Intellectual Property Law
Mathilde reviews David Booton’s book, “Form in Intellectual Property Law.” The author develops a comprehensive theoretical framework which explores the basics of legal norm-making as they occur in the field of intellectual property law.

T 1201/14: EPC's substantive requirements for valid transfer of priority right surprisingly substantial
In T 1201/14 of 9 February 2017 (grounds published on 5 September 2017), the Board of Appeal 3.5.05 took the opportunity to clarify some aspects on the ever- challenging assignment of the priority right for a European patent application.

Qatar diplomatic crisis: “beIN Sports” and potential violations of the TRIPS Agreement – Part 2
Katfriend Riyadh Al-Balushi continues with part 2 of his post, whichtackles the TRIPS-relevant aspects of the crisis, including with regard to TV network beIN Sports.

TV formats potentially eligible for copyright protection as dramatic works under UK law
In Banner Universal Motion Pictures Ltd v Endemol Shine Group Ltd & Anor [2017], the court held that a TV format can potentially be protected by copyright, although in the specific case the action failed.

Image credits: tashgheel


Never Too Late 169 [week ending Sunday 22 October] From Alicante to Munich - the EPO appoints its new President I Waldemar Haffkine: Pioneer of plague vaccine and the "Little Dreyfus Affair" Another German decision questions reasonableness of GS Media presumption if generally applied I Another German decision warns against broad application of GS Media presumption for for-profit link providers I Letter from AmeriKat: Trade secrets long arms, NDAs go bust and sharing of passwords I the AIPPI's World Congress in Sydney : Report 13, Report 12, Report 11, Report 10, Report 9, Report 8, Report 7, Report 6, Report 5, Report 4 I Book Review: EU Intellectual Property Law and Policy I Book review: Intellectual Property Rights and Climate Change: Interpreting the TRIPS Agreement for Environmentally Sound Technologies I Intellectual Property Rights and Climate Change – Interpreting the TRIPS Agreement for Environmentally Sound Technologies I A defensive non-assert? Philips v Asustek and HTC I Recommendation on measures to safeguard fundamental rights and the open internet in the framework of the EU copyright reform I BGH gifts shape mark owners sweet victories I Standards, patents and competition law conference I New episode of copyright mini-series 'The Game is on!'

Never Too Late 168 [week ending Sunday 15 October] Book review--Create, Copy, Disrupt: India’s Intellectual Property Dilemmas | Freedom of Panorama: would it hurt architects? Survey among Italian-based architects says NO | The new unjustified threats bill – do's and dont’s| International Copyright Law returns to London| Retromark Volume II: the last six months in trade marks and Volume I| Book Review Times Two: GI at the Crossroads of Trade, Development, and Culture and GI - Global and Local perspectives|Does the retreat from internationalism mean the retreat of IP? |Event report: I3PM General Assembly 2017 at WIPO in Geneva |copyright and music 

Never Too Late 167 [week ending Sunday 8 October] Is the German press publishers' right lawful? More details on the CJEU reference | Community registered designs & the CJEU - Nintendo v Big Ben | In memoriam Maurice Bluestein: "Baby--it's cold outside"; the story and nomenclature of the Wind Chill Index | Book Review: The Fundamental Right to Data Protection | Brexit: The IP Position Paper and trade marks | Brexit and Brands: 536 days and counting – what is the UK going to do? | Sunday Surprises

Never Too Late 166 [week ending Sunday 1 October] Book Review: What if we could reimagine copyright? | Italian Supreme Court confirms availability of copyright protection to TV formats | EU certification mark: It's coming your way on October 1st | Pemetrexed pops up in Milan | Medical data in a twist - Technomed v Bluecrest | Proposed EMA relocation: staff survey update | Event: The impact of Brexit on the UK copyright regime | Waiting for the approval of the EU Directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market | 'TOBBIA' EU trade mark declared invalid for conflict with 'PEPPA PIG' EU trade mark

Lost their marbles? When can you register a geographical name as a trade mark? Mermeren v Fox

Marble can cause all kinds of dispute
photo credit: Sean Hickin
"Since the time of the Roman empire marble has been extracted from quarries near the city now called Prilep, in the Balkan peninsula. The marble was and is famed for its white colour and homogenous appearance which have made it a marble suitable for statuary, for use in the Emperor Diocletian's palace and more recently in the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi and in upmarket bathrooms."  And so, begins Mermeren v Fox Marble [2017] EWHC 1408 a (relatively) recent IPEC decision about trade marks and geographical names.

The Claimant, Mermeren, is a Macedonian company which has been extracting marble from the Prilep area since 1950 and owns the EU mark SIVEC for "marble of all types" and other things.  Sivec is also the name of a mountain pass in the Prilep region of Macedonia, a popular location for extracting marble. 

Fox Marble is a UK company which extracts and sells marble and has been selling that marble under the sign 'Sivec'.  When Mermeren alleged infringement of its EU mark, Fox argued, amongst other things, that it was justified in using the sign because 'Sivec' indicated the geographical origin of the marble to people working in the marble trade.  Therefore, Fox said it had both a defence to infringement and grounds for invalidating the mark (under Art.7(1)(c) of the Regulation).  Mermeren countered that to the extent this was true, the mark had acquired distinctiveness.

What is the test?

HHJ Hacon noted that it was hard to reconcile the principles from Windsurfing Chiemsee (which covers both immediate perception and potential future perception) with Spear v Zynga, Technopol and Doublemint (where the court required immediate perception by the average consumer that the mark designates a geographical origin). 

In Hacon's view in most circumstances, the effect of use of a trade mark must be ignored when assessing the prohibitions to its registration under art.7(1)(b), (c) and (d).

But does the average consumer like playing with marbles?
Who is the average consumer?

It was agreed that "the average consumer was a specialist dealer in marble or a person who advises their customers on the choice of materials to be used in a building, such as an architect or designer of interiors." Because the average consumer came from within the EU, this excluded Macedonians (i.e. the people who are most likely to connect the word Sivec with a geographical location because that is where the mountain pass is located).

Inherent character of the Trade Mark under art.7(1)(c)

The judge concluded that Fox had to show that the Trade Mark inherently denoted a geographical origin to the average consumer.  Because Sivec "is a very obscure place".  The few people that may have heard of it (i.e. people who live near the mountain pass) are not the average consumer and not located in the EU.  As HHJ Hacon put it:
"This was fatal to Fox's case under this head. If the average consumer has never heard of a place the name of that place cannot inherently designate a geographical origin in the mind of the average consumer. The only possible way such a designation could have arisen for the average consumer was by use of the name in the EU, which must be disregarded." 
Acquired distinctiveness

Even if the mark was invalid under Article 7(1)(c), Mermeren could still have a valid mark if it could establish that SIVEC had acquired distinctiveness through use on the filing date. The more famous a geographical name, the higher the threshold for establishing acquired distinctiveness (i.e. long-standing and intensive use is required).  As Sivec is "very obscure" the threshold was correspondingly lower.

After a review of the various authorities, HHJ Hacon summarised the position regarding acquired distinctiveness as follows (with emphasis added):
(1) The overall criterion which governs whether a trade mark has acquired distinctive character is whether the average consumer perceived that trade mark identified the relevant goods or services as originating from a single undertaking. (The average consumer, as ever, is reasonably well-informed, reasonably observant and circumspect.) 
(2) This perception is to be assessed as of the date of filing the application for registration of the trade mark. 
(3) The perception of the average consumer in (1) is to be distinguished from the circumstance in which the average consumer recognised the mark and associated it with the applicant's goods; such recognition and association is not of itself sufficient to confer distinctive character on a trade mark. 
(4) The average consumer will be taken to have perceived that the trade mark identified the goods or services as originating from a single undertaking if at least a significant proportion of the relevant class of persons had that perception. 
(5) Such a perception must have arisen in consequence of the use of the mark as a trade mark. That will be more easily established if the proprietor explicitly promoted it as a trade mark. 
(6) When making its assessment of the distinctive character of a trade mark, the tribunal may take the following into account: (i) the market share held by the mark; (ii) how intensive, geographically widespread and long-standing use of the mark has been; (iii) the amount invested by the undertaking in promoting the mark; (iv) the proportion of the relevant class of persons who, because of the mark, identify goods as originating from a particular undertaking; and (v) statements from chambers of commerce and industry or other trade and professional associations. 
(7) If the tribunal is in difficulty in making that assessment, as a matter EU law it may have recourse to a public survey, subject to national rules. 
(8) It is legitimate for a tribunal to consider whether a significant proportion of the relevant class of persons would have relied on the sign as denoting the origin of the goods or services. Such reliance is not a precondition for establishing the distinctive character of a trade mark, but if established it is sufficient to show that the mark has distinctive character
(9) In relation to a trade mark consisting of a geographical name, regard must be given to the specific nature of the name. Where the name was very well known, it could have acquired distinctive character only if there had been long-standing and intensive use of the mark by the proprietor. A fortiori, where a name was already familiar as an indication of geographical origin in relation to the relevant category of goods, the proprietor must show that the use of the mark – both long-standing and intensive – was particularly well established. 
(10) Distinctive character must be established in the part of the EU in which it initially had descriptive character for the purposes of Article 7(1)(c)

In practice this meant that the mark had "distinctive character if a significant proportion of the relevant class of persons perceives goods designated by the mark as originating from a single undertaking".  A "significant proportion" is "markedly greater than de minimis but not necessarily over half".

How does the average consumer perceive Sivec?

The perception of whether Sivec was a real place mattered for acquired distinctiveness, not the "messy reality".  The judge found that "as of August 2013 use of the Trade Mark by Mermeren had led some relevant persons in the real world to think that it meant the place from which the marble was quarried; others had moved on to think that it meant marble quarried and/or supplied by Mermeren. There was probably a third group of relevant persons who gave the matter no thought beyond 'Sivec' being a type of marble."

Following a review of the documentary evidence and, to a lesser extent, witness testimony, the judge concluded that in August 2013 at least a significant proportion of relevant persons perceived that the Trade Mark, when used in relation to marble, identified it as originating from a Mermeren.

Because the average consumer did not perceive Sivec as indicating geographic origin, the trade mark was found to have been validly registered.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Around the IP blogs!

The 2017 Black Friday shopping storm will kick off soon. However, the Black Friday battle has already begun in Germany. The dispute circles around a German Black Friday trade mark, the Hong Kong-based owner of the trademark, and its German licensee. In fact, all traces “lead to Vienna”, as media summarized the results of their investigations in this “thriller” – Oliver Löffel (Löffel Abrar) shares his opinion on the case. 

Thomas Hvammen Nicholson (Protector IP Consultants AS) brings a follow up to the blog post of 4 September, regarding Oslo Municipality’s attempt to obtain trade mark protection for the body of works of art of Norwegian artist Gustav Vigeland [also covered by IPKat here]

JIPLP (The weblog of the Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice)

Black Friday Kat ...€$€
The Authors' Take:
by L Donald Prutzman 
Tannenbaum Helpern Syracuse & Hirschtritt LLP 

by Tito Rendas 
Universidade Católica Portuguesa – Faculdade de Direito 

The 1709 Blog

As usual, the 1709 blog presents readers the routine collection – THE COPYKAT, which recaps the recent copyright cases/updates all over the world. 

MARQUES has set out its position with regard to Brexit in a nine-page paper which is available to download on its website here

The paper states that Brexit "has the potential to be a material threat to the interests of the significant number of businesses that own and/or rely on valuable trade mark, design and geographical indicator rights protected in the EU". 

MARQUES Class 99 (designs) 

Nominations open for DesignEuropa Awards 2018 

The second edition of the DesignEuropa Awards is now open for nominations and applications. Organised by EUIPO, the DesignEuropa Awards honour outstanding design, designers and businesses that have brought their designs to the marketplace with the protection of the registered Community design (RCD). The Awards take place every two years. The nomination and application period for the DesignEuropa Awards runs from 15 November 2017 until 15 May 2018. 

Photo courtesy of Qi-cheng.

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