Clarity on cluttering
The UK IPO has published a
study on cluttering and non-use of trade marks in Europe,
researched and written by George von Grevenitz, Richard Ashmead
and Christine Greenhalgh. Given that the process culminating in
proposal of new EU trade mark legislation is effectively
complete (a process that was partly the result of concerns
about cluttering) this study might be seen as something of a
However, it does provide some useful if not conclusive
evidence, based on comparisons between the UK, EU and US
systems. Responses from 11 anonymous trade mark practitioners
contain both critical and broadly supportive views of the EU
system though the report notes that: "Overall the critical
voices are stronger" (possibly reflecting the UK’s
generally ambiguous relationship with the EU).
Moreover, the 118-page study finds that marks registered at
OHIM contain claims to 50% more goods and/or services than
identical marks registered at the USPTO, due to the less strict
use requirements. That’s no surprise, but future
policy makers might find it useful to have it set out in some
detail, and with lots of charts.
The study is
discussed by Estelle Senior of HGF on the Automotives + IP
page on LinkedIn.
Logo falls at first hurdle
including the BBC reported
that the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games logo has been dropped due to
plagiarism allegations made by a Belgian artist (see pictures,
The withdrawal of the logo, designed by Kenjiro Sano, was
described by the BBC as "a highly unusual move".
Amnesty for music samplers
Sony/ATV is offering an amnesty to artists who have sampled
music owned by EMI Production Music. The six-month amnesty,
which includes a waiving of retrospective royalties, started on
EMI Production Music owns a large library of rights to works
including various TV theme tunes, which are thought to have
been widely sampled in electronic music.
More details are available in the reports in The Independent
’Sample amnesty’ will let artists
keep royalties if they declare material lifted from other
musicians") and the Guardian ("
What EMI’s six-month sample amnesty means for the
Meanwhile, The Hollywood Reporter brings news that musician
Jay Z "
doesn’t want his wealth discussed at copyright
trial". He is in court charged with sampling an Egyptian
composition in his song "Big Pimpin", reports Eriq Gardner, but
his lawyer wants to exclude evidence relating to what
he’s worth, arguing it might cause the jury to
make a bigger award. Forbes estimates Jay Z’s
wealth at $550 million.
Big news down under
High Court has
upheld a ruling by the lower courts that
AstraZeneca’s patent for rosuvastatin (which it
sells as Crestor) is invalid for lacking an inventive step. The
drug is a statin, used for treating high cholesterol.
In unanimous but separate opinions,
the High Court judges found that the claimed invention was
obvious in the light of the common general knowledge and the
prior art submitted.
An obviousness challenge to the US patent for rosuvastatin
failed in the US District Court for Delaware in 2010.
AstraZeneca subsequently signed a deal with Watson Pharmaceuticals. The US
patent expires in 2016.
Anger builds over Ariosa
As we have previously
noted, Sequenom is seeking an en banc review of the Federal
Circuit’s recent decision in its dispute with
Ariosa, in which its diagnostic testing patent was invalidated
under Section 101. Now, 23 law professors have chimed in with
amicus brief (co-authored by Kevin Noonan of McDonnell
Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff and Adam Mossoff of George Mason
University School of Law)
post on the IP Watchdog blog, Devlin Hartline argues that
the Federal Circuit panel "reached the wrong conclusion" and
misapplied the US Supreme Court’s Mayo
ruling. Moreover, he says, the decision "strikes at the very
heart of the patent system": "…the panel’s
reasoning simply cannot be squared with several innovations
that the Supreme Court has historically upheld as proper
statutory subject matter."
Definitely one to watch.