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Page 1 of 3 Archive - February 2007

Privatisation could mean last orders for the Budweiser trademark dispute

The end of one of the world’s longest running trademark disputes may be in sight. Reports coming out of the Czech Republic in the last week indicate that the country’s government is moving towards drawing up plans for the privatisation of the state-owned Budejovicky Budvar brewery. Should that happen, you can be sure that a certain company based in St Louis, Missouri, would be very interested in acquiring a few shares. Of course, a note of caution is advisable ...

Posted by Joff Wild, IAM Magazine on 27 February 2007 @ 12:00AM
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Government rules out software patents in the UK

The Office of the British Prime Minister has introduced an interesting new idea which revolves around e-petitions. Basically, anyone can put together an online petition via the Prime Minsiter's website and invite people to sign it. This recently happened to very great effect - and to the great embarrassment of Tony Blair - over road pricing. Over 1.5 million people signed a petition opposing its introduction. Well, nowhere near the same number signed one that called for software ...

Posted by Joff Wild, IAM Magazine on 27 February 2007 @ 12:00AM
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The US is on the road to getting it right

I have come across several quite interesting pieces assessing the fallout from the Alcatel v Microsoft litigation (here and here, for example). Most of them believe that, in one way or another, the huge award made to Alcatel demonstrates the current malaise at the heart of the US patent system. How, the commentators ask, can it be possible for Microsoft – which thought it had done the right thing by taking out a licence – still to be hit with a decision that could see it ...

Posted by Joff Wild, IAM Magazine on 25 February 2007 @ 12:00AM
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Microsoft still a long way from a new and unwelcome record

The result of the Alcatel v Microsoft litigation over patents relating to the MP3 player are all over everywhere today. If the $1.5 billion jury award stands, it will be the biggest ever made in a US patent case. But, of course, it is far from certain that this will happen. Microsoft has asked the judge in the case to set the award aside and, even if the request is denied, it is almost inevitable that the dispute will end up in front of the CAFC some time in the next couple of years.

Posted by Joff Wild, IAM Magazine on 23 February 2007 @ 12:00AM
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In praise of Special 301

There is an interesting comment piece on the BBC website about the recent Special 301 submission to the Office of the US Trade Representative made by the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA). The author points out that only seven of the world’s 30 most populated countries (excluding the US, obviously) escape the IIPA’s ire and claims that many are criticised for having laws that are actually very similar to those that pertain in the States. But while the ...

Posted by Joff Wild, IAM Magazine on 21 February 2007 @ 12:00AM
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Difficult days for big pharma

The pharmaceutical industry, it seems, is under almost constant attack at the moment. If it is not Novartis being criticised for its current legal action over India's patent laws, it is the Thai government threatening compulsory licensing on a great swathe of drugs. And now, the Office of Fair Trading in the UK has decided that the country's National Health Service currently pays too much for its branded medicines. And this could be of wider significance because, apparently, the NHS ...

Posted by Joff Wild, IAM Magazine on 20 February 2007 @ 12:00AM
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Obama attacks tax patents

As the year rolls out, we are going to get a better idea of where potential US presidential candidates stand on IP issues. However, according to the PatentlyO blog, one has already broken cover. Well, to a very small extent anyway. Democrat hopeful and current flavour of the month Barack Obama has co-sponsored a bill in the Senate which would crackdown on tax avoidance. Among the proposed provisions highlighted in a press release announcing the bill is one which would: STOP TAX ...

Posted by Joff Wild, IAM Magazine on 19 February 2007 @ 12:00AM
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A spat with the Kat

The IP Kat blog is essential reading for anyone with an interest in IP, especially if they are based in Europe. It is always good to get a mention on there, even if it is a critical one. Recently one of the Kat's bloggers - David Pearce - posted a piece that took issue with a blog I did about European patent reform. Following is a copy of the email I sent to David in reply: Dear David, I read your comments on my recent IAM blog piece about the stalled European patent reform ...

Posted by Joff Wild, IAM Magazine on 16 February 2007 @ 12:00AM
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Thailand goes for broke

Reuters is reporting that the Thai government is planning further compulsory licensing measures in the pharmaceutical sector. This follows the decision earlier in the year to do the same with three drugs relating to HIV/AIDs and heart disease. Not surprisingly, the pharma industry is none too pleased. While in the short term the Thais may save themselves a decent amount of money, the long term consequences of not even bothering to negotiate with pharma companies could be serious ...

Posted by Joff Wild, IAM Magazine on 15 February 2007 @ 12:00AM
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Not everyone wants US judges to have a better understanding of patents

You may think it is a good idea that judges in the United States trying patent cases have a good understanding of patent law and practice. And obviously the House of Representatives thinks so too. It has just approved two Acts that would see patent suits being tried before judges with previous experience of hearing such cases. There would also be general training for judges so that they could better understand the intricacies of patent law - something which all those who ...

Posted by Joff Wild, IAM Magazine on 14 February 2007 @ 12:00AM
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