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Trolls, JPO comments, EQE, movie piracy and looking ahead to INTA

James Nurton

The arguments in favour of patent trolls, a Japanese Patent Office consultation, controversy over patent exams in Europe, rewards for tackling movie pirates and some pointers for this year’s INTA Annual Meeting feature in up today’s news roundup

In defence of trolls

Patent trollThe latest column in Wired magazine’s series on the patent fix, by Michael Risch, defends patent trolls following recent attacks by, among others, President Obama. “Stop Blaming Trolls for the Patent Problem” argues that there are three myths about trolls, and that legislators should focus their efforts on problems affecting the patent system as a whole: improving patent quality and pricing, limiting and controlling damage and making litigation more efficient. (See also Will the SHIELD Act reduce patent litigation? on the IP Spotlight blog.) I expect those who rail against trolls would agree with each of these, but I’m sure it’s a subject that will come up at our US Patent Forum in Washington next week, so we might have more to say after that.

JPO calling for comments

JPOThe JPO (left) is soliciting comments on proposed revisions to its patent examination guidelines. The office seeks comments on two sections, the first concerning requirements of the unity of invention and the second on amendments that change a special technical feature of an invention. Copies of the proposed revisions may be found on the JPO’s website. Comments may be submitted by email to with the subject "Written comments on the draft revision of Examination Guidelines".

Examiners under examination

The IPKat blog carries an extensive investigation (authored anonymously) on the committees that set and mark European Qualifying Examination (EQE) papers, and in particular the involvement of EPO staff in them. This follows recent suggestions that the EPO had pulled its staff out of the committees. “What would probably be most welcome would be an official statement (from the EPO, or jointly from the EPO and epi) as to a definite roadmap for the EQE over the coming years, to lay to rest the wilder rumours that have done the rounds,” concludes the post – though this is unlikely to be the last word: at the time of writing, there were already 15 comments added.

Shop a pirate, win an award

Skyfall posterJames Bond producer Barbara Broccoli was among those who commended cinema staff and audience members who thwarted attempts to record movies in UK cinemas this week, according to BBC Newsbeat. Thirteen cinema workers received cash rewards, under a scheme started in 2006, for stopping 12 separate illicit filming efforts. The films targeted included Skyfall and The Dark Knight Rises. It makes you wonder how Bond or Batman would deal with movie pirates, if they could get hold of them.

INTA countdown

Less than two months to go now until the INTA Annual Meeting in Dallas, and we have started working on this year’s INTA Daily News, which will have the usual mix of interviews, news, advice and of course pictures from the sessions and social events. This year’s Meeting will be the final one for INTA CEO Alan Drewsen, who is retiring – his successor is expected to be announced next week. If you’re planning on going to Dallas, check out the LinkedIn page for discussions on topics ranging from making new contacts to watching boxing. Personally, I’m following the chat on good restaurants to visit.


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