Congratulations to forbes.com, which as far as I can tell
was the first mainstream media outlet to discuss the important
issue of trade marks and the new Pope (
Trade mark issues for new Pope Francis). Writer Jess Collen
also points out that the former pope, Benedict XVI, faces a
potential battle with a California rapper named Pope
Emeritus ("I don’t care who he is, I
ain’t let nobody mess with my brand" – a
sentiment which I’m sure many trade mark owners
can identify with). If any sort of trade mark proceeding
transpires, I hope OHIM or the USPTO will signal the decision
with white smoke.
A reasonable damages award for 3D technology?
A jury in New
awarded inventor Seijiro Tomita $30.2million in damages for
Sony’s use of a patent for 3D screens in its 3DS
videogame system. Tomita had met with Sony executives to
present his patent-pending technology, but they claimed the
technology was developed entirely by Sharp, which ended up
making the 3DS screens. Although one could question whether the jury understood the
technology – and the "cross-point" aspect of
Tomita’s patent that Sony crucially did not use
– the damages award at least seems low, given Sony
expects to sell 15 million 3DS machines this year, at $170
each. Tomita asked for $9.80 from every machine.
Pressure builds on India
Diplomatic tensions over patent protection in India are
hotting up. The FT
reports that Roy Waldron, chief IP counsel at Pfizer, has
attacked the country over its "protectionist intellectual
property regime" at a congressional hearing in Washington: he
cited the invalidation of the patent for Sutent and the recent
decisions on compulsory licensing and suggested that policy was
driven by the interests of local generic producers. Meanwhile,
discussions on the EU-India FTA are close to resolution,
according to reports, and Knowledge Economy International has
published what it claims is the latest draft text of the
IP chapter. For a view from India, read our
interview with IPAB chair Prabha Sridevan, conducted at our
IP & Innovation Forum in Delhi last week.
Human rights and
What human rights do pirates have? The IP Kat blog
reports on the latest twist in the Pirate Bay saga
decision from the European Court of Human Rights on whether
file sharers have freedom to receive and impart information
under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Not surprisingly, the Court unanimously decided not to
interfere with the Swedish criminal conviction. Unless they
have any other original legal tactics up their sleeves, these
particular pirates are well and truly grounded.
The meaning of "make"
I was at a seminar on the unified patent court at Wragge
& Co yesterday morning. It happened to coincide with the UK
Supreme Court’s decision in the Schütz v
Werit patent case, which appeared online just before 10am.
I fear more than a few of the patent attorneys, solicitors and
barristers attending were distracted from the excellent
presentations as they tried to read Lord
Neuberger’s words of wisdom on their mobile
devices. We have a brief
report of the decision online. I suspect most practitioners
will welcome it, but let us know what you think.
We’ve also posted a
blog discussing the controversy over supreme courts in the
UK, US and elsewhere. If you’re in the UK next
week, the rapid
reaction forum being organised by AIPPI-UK on Tuesday
should help to explain why exactly it has taken so long for the
UK’s distinguished judges to decide what is meant
by the word "make".