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Brexit, PCT, FC Barcelona, VOB and WIBL – our weekly IP roundup

In Michael Loney’s absence this week, I’m rounding up IP developments, focusing on Europe and in particular Brexit, the PCT, FC Barcelona, an important copyright case at the CJEU and last week’s Women in Business Law Awards.

Before Michael left for vacation, he moderated a timely and interesting webinar on “PTAB Trials by the Numbers”: find out more in his blog post and view/listen to the recording here.

We’ve also posted the following articles in the past week (log in via subscription or free trial):

SCOTUS says wilfulness is subjective in Halo ruling

Fed Circ remands PTAB for changing theories in midstream

Interview: Data Shamsiah Kamaruddin, MyIPO

Inventor awards and latest people moves in Europe

How Europe’s SPC regime works in practice

PTAB invalidates two patents in first PGR final written decisions

Kyle Bass IPRs end up with 57% institution success rate

IP firm comes out against Brexit

EU flagThe partners of UK-based IP firm EIP have taken the bold step of publishing a statement giving their position on this week’s UK referendum on membership of the EU.

Ahead of the in-out vote on Thursday, the firm said the benefits of membership for IP rights holders are substantial: “The EU interventions and initiatives in intellectual property have not always been optimal, but overall offer more benefits than drawbacks.”

While the polls suggest the outcome of the referendum is finely balanced, the vast majority of IP practitioners we have spoken to are in favour of staying in the EU. However, though I understand some firms have provided guidance internally to staff, EIP is the only one we are aware of that has made a public statement.

A number of associations have also published information on the vote, including CIPA, ITMA and the Law Society.

Read our articles on the topic at The page will be updated with analysis once the result is known on Friday morning.

Turkish delight

Turkish Patent Institute
Congratulations to the Turkish Patent Institute. Last week, the PCT Technical Committee recommended that it be appointed as an international searching authority and preliminary examining authority.

The recommendation goes to the Assembly of the PCT Union, which next meets in Geneva from October 3 to 11 this year.

There is a list of existing ISA and IPEA agreements on WIPO’s website.

Read our interview with Habip Asan, president of the TPI, published earlier this year

FC Barcelona caught offside

Barcelona FCIn the midst of Euro 2016, it seems appropriate to include a football-related item in this week’s roundup, and the CJEU General Court obliged by delivering a ruling in a case involving FC Barcelona last week.

The Court said that the EUIPO was right to reject FC Barcelona’s opposition to an EU trade mark application for Kule, which was based on its own registration for Culé.

Culé is a nickname for Barcelona fans, but the Court said that the club had not provided evidence of its use as a trade mark in relation to the goods covered.

What we don’t know is whether the outcome would have been different had the Board of Appeal accepted Barcelona’s late-filed evidence of genuine use. The Court said the EUIPO has “a wide discretion” to decide whether or not to take such information into account, and that the Board in this case was justified in not doing so as it had provided “a statement of reasons” and took “due account of all the relevant circumstances”.

FC Barcelona can appeal the decision to the Court of Justice of the EU.

Lend me your ears

AG Szpunar
The other big news from Luxembourg last week was the Opinion by Advocate General Szpunar (who has his own Twitter account) in the VOB case concerning the lending of e-books.

Szpunar concluded, in summary, that the lending right in the EU Rental and Lending Rights Directive “includes the making available to the public of electronic books by libraries for a limited period of time”.

Copyright queen Eleonara Rosati of Southampton Law School has posted a thorough report of what she calls a “beautifully-written opinion” on the IPKat blog.

We should find out if the Court follows the AG’s Opinion later this year.

WIBL Europe awards

WIBL-Europe-table-16The Euromoney Women in Business Law (WIBL) European Awards were announced last Thursday at a dinner at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower in London.

You can read the names of all the winners here. Particular congratulations to the following:

  • Best in copyright – Lisa Peets, Covington & Burling
  • Best in life sciences – Marianne Schaffner, Dechert
  • Best in litigation – Carol Plunkett, William Fry
  • Best in patent – Morag Peberdy, Covington & Burling
  • Best in TMT – Zoë Butler, Powell Gilbert
  • Best in trade mark – Marie-Aimée de Dampierre, Hogan Lovells
  • Rising star: IP – Bethan Hopewell, Powell Gilbert
  • Managing IP In-House Award – Gill Smith, Dyson

For more information, please contact Alissa Rozen. Do also consider joining or supporting our Women in IP Network.

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