This week on MIP: Archambeau loses key powers, Peppa Pig ‘fat-shaming’ row
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This week on MIP: Archambeau loses key powers, Peppa Pig ‘fat-shaming’ row

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We provide a rundown of Managing IP’s news and analysis coverage from the week, and review what’s been happening elsewhere in IP

Exclusive: Archambeau loses key powers over EUIPO contract row

The EUIPO has suspended key administrative powers held by executive director Christian Archambeau, Managing IP revealed on Tuesday, March 7.

Jorma Hanski, chairperson of the EUIPO management board, sent an email to EUIPO staff to inform them of the news on Tuesday.

The decision was taken at an extraordinary meeting of the management board on Monday, March 6, after Archambeau filed a claim for compensation over the non-renewal of his contract.

Click here to read the full article.

Canada IP chamber upholds status quo: counsel

Canadian litigators say the Federal Court of Canada’s new intellectual property chamber is a sign of greater transparency, but they don’t think it will change the country’s litigation landscape.

The court announced on Thursday, March 2, that it had created three specialised chambers, including an IP and competition division, in which matters will be assigned to specialist judges.

Click here to read the full article.

Peppa Pig accused of bullying and fat-shaming in IP defence

Vietnam-based media company SConnect, whose YouTube series about a cartoon wolf has been subject to litigation with Peppa Pig, has taken aim at the cartoon swine for allegedly promoting bullying, fat-shaming and “outdated gender stereotypes”.

In a defence to an infringement claim it is facing at the England and Wales High Court, SConnect has made a string of criticisms against certain Peppa Pig episodes.

“The content of the claimants’ Peppa Pig videos contain objectionable content, the promotion of outdated gender stereotypes and the promotion of objectionable and unmitigated behaviour, such as bullying and rudeness,” the defence said.

Click here to read the full article.

Other articles published by Managing IP this week include:

What two USPTO director review rulings mean for Fintiv

International Women's Day: IP leaders say D&I not all about STEM

Weekly take: Time for EUIPO to decide its leadership future

Monthly report: February 2023’s exclusive content

The IP Lounge: EUIPO top job race, UPC countdown, and more

‘Secret commissions’ litigation puts spotlight on IP renewals

How geopolitical tension is shaping China’s IP market

Elsewhere in IP

Ireland votes?

A referendum on whether to ratify the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA) could be held in Ireland in November, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Wednesday, March 8. Ireland is already due to hold a referendum that month on whether to enshrine gender equality in its constitution and Varadkar said other referendums could be held simultaneously, with options including the UPCA. The UPC is scheduled to open on June 1.

UPC promotion

Sticking with the UPC, EPO president António Campinos and the European commissioner for the internal market, Thierry Breton, signed a working arrangement on Tuesday, March 7. The arrangement relates to cooperation and exchange of views between the EPO and the commission to promote use of the unitary patent. It also includes a provision for the two institutions to share relevant data and information, including insights from surveys and case studies concerning use of the new right when it comes into force on June 1.

EUIPO bans TikTok

EUIPO staff were told that they cannot use TikTok on work devices on Friday, March 3. Executive director Christian Archambeau also recommended that staff delete the Chinese-owned app from their own personal devices if they are used for professional activities. Archambeau has since had key powers suspended by the office’s management board amid a contract row. The EUIPO executive director is set to depart his position in October, having failed to secure a second term.

Fed Circuit’s baseball wisdom

Over to the US, where Gilead won a patent case at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Monday, March 6. The court ruled that the University of Minnesota didn’t lay out all the choices it made between provisional patent applications covering a hepatitis C treatment and a narrower patent that was granted at a later date. A separate patent application filed by Gilead in that period invalidated the patent-in-suit. In his ruling, Judge Alan Lourie wrote that patent owners should not apply a quote from ex-New York Yankees player Yogi Berra, who once said: “When one comes to a fork in the road, take it.” Lourie added that patent claims should not spell out optional choices if owners want them to withstand scrutiny.

Meta trial

Sticking with the US, where Meta lost a bid on Monday, March 6, to end a lawsuit claiming it stole trade secrets from artificial-intelligence (AI) start-up Neural Magic. Meta will have to face a trial over accusations that it took "breakthrough" algorithms that enable AI systems to process information more quickly, said Judge Denise Casper at the District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

IWD initiative

Finally, the International Bar Association (IBA) launched IBA Women’s Day on Wednesday, March 8, which was International Women's Day. The inaugural event was aimed at inspiring and guiding the younger generation, with senior women sharing their experiences. In total, 30 jurisdictions participated in a series of virtual events.

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