Tuesday 27 May 2008

Will you be able to represent clients in European pat lit?

The EU Council's Document 9124/08, addressing the Working Party on Intellectual Property (Patents), is the grandly-titled Draft Agreement on the European Union Patent Judiciary. This document, which was agreed last week, is 49 pages in length and tackles, among other issues, professional representation before the proposed Community Patent court. It states:
"Article 28: Representation

(1) The parties shall be represented by lawyers authorized to practise before a court of a Contracting Party who may be assisted by a European Patent Attorney, who is a national of a Contracting Party entitled to act as professional representative before the European Patent Office (hereafter: European Patent Attorney), and/or by patent attorneys with proven patent litigation experience.
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph 1, European Patent Attorneys and patent attorneys with proven patent litigation experience who are in possession of a European Union Litigation Certificate may represent the parties in actions for revocation of a patent before the central division.
(3) Representatives of the parties and their assistants shall enjoy the rights and immunities necessary to the independent exercise of their duties.
(4) Representatives of the parties and their assistants shall be obliged not to misrepresent cases or facts before the Court either knowingly or with good reasons to know".
I can foresee problems here for sole and/or occasional practitioners in the field of patent litigation. Thoughts, please?

Sunday 25 May 2008

INTA Follow up

Having barely recovered from the INTA trip - what a busy few days those were - I am now preparing for the June networking trip to LA which the Law Society has organised. At least this time I will know to take more than one box of business cards - as had to have more cards couriered over to INTA!
I had intended to post a blog from INTA but there was no time. Now having returned I can't write something about my experiences of INTA as am still seriously short of time.... But am making time to post this blog in case any readers are able to help with suggestions for following up with all those contacts made at INTA.

For example, does anyone know of a good card reader, or at least pros and cons to look out for when buying one? If so, I would be really pleased to hear from you as it could potentially save time - mine and anyone else's who is in the same boat. In the meantime, just wanted to thank Jeremy for hosting the Solo IP meeting at INTA, as it proved to be an excellent chance to meet and talk to some of the readers of this blog.

Saturday 17 May 2008

Navigating Berlin

This intrepid INTA traveller has been having fun on Berlin's transport system to which your badge provides free access. Matching up the station locations with the map of lines had me beat for a time but the U2 line is a winner and will get you to Potsdamer Platz on Monday evening. No 1 is not the glitzy glass building but the old brick building covered in scaffold at ground level. See picture on right. The Olswang office is on the 14th floor but the top floor offers a most impressive panorama if you happen to find it during daylight. See picture below looking north - the blank space on the right is the Berlin Holocaust Memorial - not for the feint - hearted it will drain the joy from your soul.

Friday 16 May 2008

Come and say hello

SOLO IP is among the 15 blogs at the "Meet the Bloggers" reception in Berlin next Monday evening, which coincides with the International Trademark Association's Annual Meeting in the same city. For details of the reception at the top of Olswang's building at One Potsdamer Platz -- which you are welcome to attend -- click here. For blographies of all 15 intellectual property blogs, provided by Managing Intellectual Property magazine, click here.

Thursday 15 May 2008

Thanks for the New Opposition Form

For rather longer than is decent, the UK IPO has been forcing us to use an opposition form that was only available as a PDF and not an editable one at that. particularly frustrating for those SOLO practitioners who act as our own secretaries So thank you very muchfor the new form - that they have put on to their website here. I am delighted that there is a WORD version.
We had hoped that there would be a nice online form for doing oppositions like the new TM3, but perhaps that will come after the downtime at the weekend...
Anyway, that's one less thing we can complain about to the UK IPO representatives when we arrive in Berlin. I do hope they and you will be taking the opportunity to go to the Bloggers reception on Monday evening at 1 Potsdamer Platz - see the earlier post

Tuesday 13 May 2008

A Triumph for Machine Translation

I have just received a fax from OHIM's fax Department. It is in Spanish. Why am I so pleased. I don't read Spanish. I can cope with French and German but my Spanish is limited to the strictly survival variety. However, when dealing with an opposition matter I had to send a communication in Spanish. I wrote it in English and translated it using a very cheap SYSTRAN product. It was not an entirely straightforward submission so it was good news when the response came back indicating that my submissions had been understood and acted upon.

However, a little later the same day I sent a fax in English. It was only partially received at OHIM and because they had received a fax from me in Spanish just minutes earlier, they sent the Spanish fax transmission failure notice. Now I am pleased not only because that shows initiative and a positive attempt to be helpful on the part of OHIM's guardians of the fax machines, but also that my machine translation passed the test of appearing to be written by a Spanish speaker.

Hopefully, the increasing availability of machine translation will not only help SOLO practitioners be linguists but also help the wider profession solve the impasse facing the community patent. It won't help with oral proceedings but they are only a small element of any patent case.

Tuesday 6 May 2008

A chance to meet!

The International Trademark Association Meeting (Berlin, 17 to 21 May, details here) is a magnet for IP practitioners large and small from around the world. One of its lesser-known attractions is the informal "Meet the Bloggers" session, now in its fourth year, which gives IP bloggers and people who read their blogs a chance to get together for a chat and a refreshing drink or two.

Right: there's more than one way to meet in Berlin ...

SOLO IP is among the weblogs that will be represented at the "Meet the Bloggers" informal session in Berlin on Monday 19 May 2008. Indeed, all three members of the SOLO IP team will be there. If you're going to be in Berlin on this date, and you'd like to pop in and chat with some very active members of the Solo Tendency, please take this as an invitation to do so.

"Meet the Bloggers" is free to all -- and everyone is welcome. The hospitality is available, courtesy of Olswang's Berlin office, from 8.30pm to 10.30pm. To find the venue (One Potsdamer Platz), click here. Ideally, if you plan to be there can you please email your intention so that the catering corps can ensure a reliable supply of bottles, glasses and nibbles ...