Octrooirecht

IEF 109

Met Megabloks kun je alles maken

Zou warchild zich ook bezig houden met kinderen die het slachtoffer zijn geworden van de zich al jaren voortslepende bouwblokjeswereldoorlog tussen Lego en, onder andere, Mega Bloks? Laatse veldslag is geleverd in Duitsland. Een persbericht van Mega Bloks spreekt van 'a decision of the German Patent and Trademark Office canceling a 2x4 stud block design trademark registration in the name of an affiliate of the Lego group of companies.

The decision was issued on February 2, 2005 further to a petition filed by Best-Lock (Europe) Limited, another toy manufacturer, but effectively declared invalid for the benefit of all interested parties Lego's registration for a three-dimensional depiction of an interlocking toy block of the kind manufactured by many companies, including Mega Bloks.'

 

 

Mega Bloks Comments on Cancellation of Lego's Design Trademark in Germany

MONTREAL, March 21 /CNW Telbec/ - Mega Bloks Inc. (TSX: MB) Mega Bloks has learned of a decision of the German Patent and Trademark Office canceling a 2x4 stud block design trademark registration in the name of an affiliate of the Lego group of companies.

The decision was issued on February 2, 2005 further to a petition filed by Best-Lock (Europe) Limited, another toy manufacturer, but effectively declared invalid for the benefit of all interested parties Lego's registration for a three-dimensional depiction of an interlocking toy block of the kind manufactured by many companies, including Mega Bloks.

Significantly, the invalidated trademark registration was like the one, which the European Office for the Harmonization of the Internal Market ("OHIM") cancelled in its decision of July 30, 2004. Lego has appealed from the latter decision and may also appeal the German Patent and Trademark Office decision of February 2. The Company notes that the tribunals of various European countries whose laws are harmonized under the EU Directive on Trademarks have likewise cancelled Lego's three-dimensional block design trademarks or not allowed them to proceed to registration to begin with.

"With this latest development, Mega Bloks intends to launch its complete range of construction toys in Germany," said Marc Bertrand, the Company's President and CEO. "We look forward to leveraging our many strengths to broaden our presence in Germany now that the legal barriers have been cleared away," he added.

By the Company's own estimates and independent research, the German construction toy segment accounts for annual wholesale shipments of US$250 million. Mega Bloks has an established presence in Germany both as a brand and, corporately, with a permanent sales support office in the Nuremberg area.

About Mega Bloks

Mega Bloks creates high quality, fun and educational construction toys
that inspire kids and parents to play and learn together. The MEGA BLOKS(R)
system features basic and themed construction toys for boys and girls of all
ages. Headquartered in Montreal, Mega Bloks is a global organization employing
approximately 1000 people with sales in over 100 countries.

(MEGA BLOKS and the MEGA BLOKS logo are the property of Mega Bloks Inc.).
   
For further information: Eric Phaneuf, (514) 333-3339, x745, Brahm
Segal, +41 (0) 41 725 4192, www.megabloks.com; Source: Mega Bloks Inc.

IEF 96

Octrooirecht

Record aantal octrooiaanvragen in 2004.

Het WIPO meldt op haar website dat in 2004 maar liefst 120 duizend PCT aanvragen zijn ingediend, een stijging van 4,3% ten opzichte van 2003. Bijna een derde van deze aanvragen is afkomstig uit de VS. Nederland staat met 4458 aanvragen op een niet onverdienstelijke zesde plaats, net na Groot-Brittannie en nog voor Zuid-Korea, dat overigens wel een toename van bijna 20% zag. 

Nationale trots Philips blijft van alle internationale bedrijven de belangrijkste indiener van aanvragen: niet minder dan 2362 aanvragen werden er aangeleverd.

China diende ruim 37% meer aanvragen in dan in 2003, maar staat nog altijd op de dertiende plaats.

Lees hier het persbericht van het WIPO

IEF 93

Pas op, achter je!

Door alle moties, intrekkingen en herformuleringen geen idee meer hoe het precies zit met het Europese softwareoctrooi? Terwijl het toch zo simpel is: het is gewoon één groot complot!

"Onder invloed van het octrooisysteem en lobbyisten uit de zakenwereld, staat de Europese Unie op het punt een gigantische vergissing te maken: om een wet aan te nemen die softwareoctrooien zou legaliseren.  Als dat gebeurt, dan zult u daarvoor moeten bloeden. De software-industrie in Europa zal ten prooi vallen aan afpersers zonder scrupules. U persoonlijk, uw huishouden, uw bedrijf, uw regering, iedereen." Op dezelfde site: octrooien zijn wapens!

IEF 75

Octrooirecht?

Ananova bericht dat "a Chinese man has patented his technique for growing his own wooden chairs. Mr Wu, from Shenyang City, Liaoning province, moulds branches into shape while the tree is still growing." Geen idee hoe het Chinese octrooirecht werkt, maar je kunt je afvragen of modellenrecht niet toepasselijker zou zijn. Of nog beter, kwerkersrecht.

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Mr Wu sits in his wooden chair / Lu Feng

Chinese man Mr Wu grows his own wooden chairs /Lu Feng

IEF 64

Auteursrecht

Koffie blijft de gemoederen bezig houden. In Europa woedt al een tijdje de zgn. 'coffeepads-oorlog' tussen Douwe Egberts en verschillende concurrenten. Inzet is de geldigheid van het octrooi van Douwe Egberts op de zgn. coffeepads van de Philips Senseo koffiemachines.

In de V.S. is eveneens een strijd gaande, maar dan over de verpakking van filterkoffie. Een voormalig fotomodel ontdekte dat Nestle al jarenlang een beeltenis van hem op koffiepakken had geplaatst...zonder toestemming. Een rechter in Los Angeles heeft de man een schadevergoeding toegekend van 15,6 miljoen dollar.

Lees het hele bericht hier

IEF 44

Octrooirecht

Software patent vote this week. EU governments are this week expected to push through a groundbreaking vote on the proposed software patent directive in one of the last two European Council meetings before the end of the year. Contrary to recent press reports claiming that an adoption of the draft directive will not be possible before 2005, the Dutch EU Presidency and the 25 member states making up the European Council are seemingly eager to commit to this final step before the end of the year.

Octrooirecht. Software patent vote this week. EU governments are this week expected to push through a groundbreaking vote on the proposed software patent directive in one of the last two European Council meetings before the end of the year.

Contrary to recent press reports claiming that an adoption of the draft directive will not be possible before 2005, the Dutch EU Presidency and the 25 member states making up the European Council are seemingly eager to commit to this final step before the end of the year.

So eager, in fact, that they have decided to formally adopt the decision, reached by the Competitiveness Council on May 18, as an A point (without a debate) in the Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting on December 21.

The outcome will be known as the Council’s common position.

Confirming Tuesday’s adoption, a Council spokesperson told MIP Week: “The Spanish delegation has announced that it will vote against and the Belgian, Austrian and Italian that they will abstain. Several delegations such as the Netherlands, Poland and Latvia announced that they will make a declaration to the Council minutes explaining their positions.”

Under the EU’s co-decision procedure, the Council’s common position will be transferred to the European Parliament, which could give it its vote as early as mid-January, or mid-February next year – that is, if all goes according to plan.

The EU directive on the patenting of computer-implemented inventions has been at the centre of much controversy since the European Commission first proposed it in 2002. Its aim is to harmonize the divergent laws on software patenting across the EU by bringing them more in line with the current practice at the European Patent Office.

But groups such as the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure are concerned that the directive would legalize software patenting, or at the very least increase software patenting due to confused wording in the directive over what kind of software is patentable.

In late 2003 the Parliament adopted a new draft with more than 70 amendments to the Commission’s original proposal. The IT industry and the European Commission said the amendments diluted the original plans and turned the draft text into a confusing maze of broad and contradictory provisions.

On May 18, the Competitiveness Council, pushed by the then Irish EU presidency, adopted a so-called compromise draft, keeping only 21 of the Parliament’s amendments and moving closer to the Commission’s original version. Supporters of the directive, such as Dell, Ericsson, Intel, Siemens and Sony, would like to see it adopted sooner rather than later.

“This directive is extremely important for the future of innovation in Europe as it concerns two-thirds of all inventions in the European high-tech industry,” said Mark MacGann, director-general of the European IT industry association (EICTA).

Hoping to calm fears that the directive will bring the EU closer to the more liberal US and Japan approaches to software patenting, UK government officials last Tuesday said that the directive will not change the EU’s legal position, but instead will simply clarify what can and cannot be patented.

Lord Sainsbury, the UK’s minister for science and innovation, said that it will not adversely impact the software and open-source market: “Changes in patent practice in the US in the last five years have caused concern in some areas of the computer industry, and the directive will ensure that Europe continues on its own path, which is a balanced approach that both creates a climate for innovation and supports the open source software.”

To be adopted as law, the Council’s common position on the directive will have to go back to the Parliament for a second reading (expected to happen in January or February at the earliest).

“The Parliament will either agree with it, or reject it completely, in which case the directive is dead,” said Tony Howard, deputy director at the UK Patent Office, at a press conference organized by the Department of Trade and Industry last Tuesday.

The remaining option would be that the Parliament again changes the draft, in which case it would have to send it back for a second reading to the Council. In such a case, the Parliament would, under old EU rules, have been restricted to re-introducing only those changes made to the draft during its first reading.

But with the election of a new Parliament, which opened in October, this rule does not apply, explained Howard, and the Parliament will be free to introduce new changes if it wishes.

“It’s an issue to follow that will keep us all very busy for the months to come. It will be even harder this time than during the first reading,” said one industry observer in Brussels.

Read here and here the draft statements to be considered Tuesday.

MIP Week welcomes your feedback on this or any other story. Please email the author with your comments. Letters may be published online.

Read here and here the draft statements to be considered Tuesday.

Stephanie Bodoni, London - 19 December 2004

IEF 32

Octrooirecht

The European Patent Organisation continues its dynamic growth. With the accession of Lithuania to the European Patent Convention, the Organisation now has 30 member states. Moreover, an agreement with Bosnia and Herzegovina has entered into force, allowing applicants to extend their patent applications and patents to that country, which has observer status in the Organisation. European patents are now valid in 36 European states, covering a market of more than 560 million inhabitants.

Lithuania joins the European Patent Organisation as the 30th member state

Munich, 3 December 2004 -- The European Patent Organisation continues its dynamic growth. With the accession of Lithuania to the European Patent Convention, the Organisation now has 30 member states. Moreover, an agreement with Bosnia and Herzegovina has entered into force, allowing applicants to extend their patent applications and patents to that country, which has observer status in the Organisation. European patents are now valid in 36 European states, covering a market of more than 560 million inhabitants.

With its continued expansion, the European patent system is the most dynamic regional patent system in the world. According to the President of the European Patent Office, Professor Alain Pompidou: “The expansion is not only an important contribution to the European integration process. It also underlines the role patents play in the European economy”.

With the accession of Poland and Iceland to the EPC, as well as the extension agreements with Croatia and Serbia and Montenegro concluded earlier this year, the geographical scope of protection for European patents has again grown significantly in 2004. For the European Union’s “Lisbon strategy”, which aims at turning Europe into the most competitive knowledge-based economy by 2010, the patent system is of paramount importance. In the words of Mr Pompidou: “The role of the patent system is to facilitate the flow from knowledge to innovation and from innovation to the creation of economic value. The EPO’s role is to effectively manage this process. The growing number of member and extension states testifies to the demand for patent protection in Europe, and the attractiveness of the European patent system”.

With Latvia, Malta and Norway, further countries are set to join the European Patent Organisation in the foreseeable future.

For further information please contact:
European Patent Office
Communication Department
Rainer Osterwalder - Press Officer
80298 Munich

Phone: +4989/2399-5012
Fax: +4989/2399-2850
e-mail: press@epo.org

http://www.european-patent-office.org/news/pressrel/2004_12_03_e.htm

IEF 28

Octrooirecht

Een zodenbemester is het onderwerp van het kortgeding van de Voorzieningenrechter Rechtbank ‘s-Gravenhage van 19 oktober 2004. Eiseres, Veenhuis Machines B.V., is rechthebbende op twee Nederlandse octrooien (nr.192183 en nr.1011803) en een Europees octrooi (nr. 1044592). Veenhuis heeft een zodenbemester verkocht aan Vreba Equipment B.V., die op haar beurt een dergelijke zodenbemester heeft laten (na)maken. Deze heeft zij verkocht aan een derde. Maakt deze zodenbemester inbreuk op de octrooirechten van Veenhuis?

De Voorzieningenrechter verklaart Veenhuis niet ontvankelijk voor zover haar vorderingen zijn gegrond op het Nederlandse octrooi nr. 192183 en het Europese octrooi nr. 1044592. Veenhuis heeft nagelaten het Nederlandse octrooi volledig over te leggen en de Nederlandse vertaling van het Europese octrooi. De rechter is van oordeel dat er geen sprake is van een octrooi-inbreuk omdat de verwijderbare messen als genoemd in het kenmerk van conclusie 1 van het octrooi niet terugkomen in het litigieuze exemplaar. Opvallend is dat de zodenbemester van Vreba wel is voorzien van gaten waar de verwijderbare messen kunnen worden geplaatst. Een beroep op merkinbreuk ketst af vanwege uitputting. Het onderdeel waarop het merk is geplaatst, is met toestemming van Veenhuis rechtmatig in het verkeer gebracht.

http://zoeken.rechtspraak.nl/zoeken/dtluitspraak_print.asp?popup=true&searchtype=ljn&ljn=AR4399&u_ljn=AR4399