IPwars.com

Mainly intellectual property (IP) issues Down Under

300 years ago, today

copyright came into being – the Statute of Anne commenced –

See for yourself.

Of course, in 1710, Great Britain still operated on the Julian Calendar (the Gregorian calendar not being adopted until September 1752) 10 April 1710 in the Julian calendar would have been 21 April 1710 in the Gregorian calendar (using this calculator, or for those of you who remember fondly things like RPN, try here).

So, it seems we still have time to plan the party! Maybe we could combine it with the plastic-y world IP day celebrations on 26 April?

Lid dip: Kay Lam-MacLeod

The oldest Australian film

Last week, various news agencies carried reports about a showing of Australia’s oldest, or oldest surviving, film – Patineur Grotesque.

The story, with links to the video, at the ABC, the Age and the SMH. The curator’s clip and notes at Australian Screen.

It was made by Marius Sestier, on a mission from the Lumiere brothers, in 1896; but apparently not shown in Australia (for risk of defamation?).

Wikipedia lists it as one of 3 “first” Australian films. However, if the Age is to be believed, M. Sestier arrived in Australia with the new fangled invention only to find the pesky Rickard had already introduced the movies.

New Chief Judge of the Federal Court

The Attorney-General has announced  that Justice Pat Keane will become the new Chief Justice of the Federal Court on the statutory retirement on 21 March of Chief JusticeMichael Black.

Justice Keane is currently a Justice of Appeal in Queensland and will become the third Chief Justice.

Announcement here.

Lid dip: Peter Clarke

Holidays

IPwars is heading off into the sun, sand and the salty brine. Blogging will hopefully resume “on or about” Australia Day … more likely “about”.

In the meantime

Wishing you all the Compliments of the Season!

and a happy, healthy and safe 2010.

IPwars and irregular posting

Due to the exigencies of my day job, it is unlikely that IPwars will be in a position to post with anything like a degree of frequency until after Cup Day.

Hope to see you at the other end of the tunnel!

Test – please ignore

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Selected microblog posts w/e 30/8/09

Selected microblog posts from the past week:

  • Wyeth gets interloc. injunction in Australia against Alphapharm for alleged infringement of Efexor-XR patent:http://bit.ly/dvYwy
  • Kenny J also rejects a higher threshold for interlocutory injunctions in patent cases http://bit.ly/SQViX ; Beecham doesn’t rule.
  • Pros and Cons of Stand-Alone Non-Verbal Logos and Other Trademark Styles: A Legal Perspective : Duets Bloghttp://ff.im/-73bMH
  • RT @MegLG: Three Chocolate Companies Run Three Different Ways when it comes to TMs http://ow.ly/l2kyProperty, Intangible via @RonColeman

Harvard Bus School on the impact of file sharing

Felix Oberholzer-Gee at Harvard and Koleman Strauss at Uni. of Kansas take an empirical look at the effect of file sharing on copyright industries.

They accept that file sharing has weakened copyright protection (although they are quite sceptical about the studies trying to prove this). They argue this is only part of the question, however, for policy-makers. They contend that, if the role of copyright is to provide incentives to create new works, it is necessary to look rather more widely.

For example, they note:

  • the publishing of new books increased by 66%
  • the number of new albums released more than doubled;
  • the number of feature films produced has increased by 30%,

in the early years of the 21st century.

They also note that revenues from concert sales and merchandising and the like has also increased.

Exploring this, their tentative conclusion for policymakers:

The role of complements makes it necessary to adopt a broad view of markets
when considering the impact of file sharing on the creative industries. Unfortunately, the
popular press – and a good number of policy experts – often evaluate file sharing looking
at a single product market. Analyzing trends in CD sales, for example, they conclude that
piracy has wrecked havoc on the music business. This view confuses value creation and
value capture. Record companies may find it more difficult to profitably sell CDs, but
the broader industry is in a far better position. In fact, it is easy to make an argument that
the business has grown considerably.

The role of complements makes it necessary to adopt a broad view of markets when considering the impact of file sharing on the creative industries. Unfortunately, the popular press – and a good number of policy experts – often evaluate file sharing looking at a single product market. Analyzing trends in CD sales, for example, they conclude that piracy has wrecked havoc on the music business. This view confuses value creation and value capture. Record companies may find it more difficult to profitably sell CDs, but the broader industry is in a far better position. In fact, it is easy to make an argument that the business has grown considerably.

Download the pdf here.

Lid dip Joshua Gans

Secrecy laws

The ALRC has released a discussion paper outlining 65 proposals:

“to balance a growing commitment to increased openness and transparency in government with the legitimate need to maintain the secrecy and confidentiality of some Commonwealth information.”

Submissions should be made by a leisurely 7 August 2009.

According to the Media Briefing:

The chapters fall into four broad areas:
concepts and comparisons;
a general criminal secrecy offence;
specific secrecy offences; and
administrative duties, practices and procedures.

The chapters fall into four broad areas:

    • concepts and comparisons;
    • a general criminal secrecy offence;
    • specific secrecy offences; and
    • administrative duties, practices and procedures.
and the centre piece would be:
the ALRC proposes that the new general secrecy offence should only impose criminal liability where a particular disclosure did, was reasonably likely to, or was intended to:
  • harm the national security, defence or international relations of the Commonwealth;
  • prejudice the prevention, detection, investigation, prosecution or punishment of criminal offences, breaches of a law imposing a penalty or sanction, the enforcement of laws relating to the confiscation of the proceeds of crime, or the protection of the public revenue;
  • endanger the life or physical safety of any person;
  • pose a serious threat to public health or public safety;
  • have a substantial adverse effect on personal privacy; or
  • have a substantial adverse effect on a person in respect of his or her lawful business or professional affairs or on the business, commercial or financial affairs of an organisation.

There are also chapters on the administrative obligations of the Public Service and fostering effective information handling practices.

(I guess that wouldn’t be: we can’t give you that for privacy reasons?).

Discussion paper here.

Media release

Media briefing paper

Unfair competition in EU

According to the IPKat, the ECJ has introduced an EU-wide law of unfair competition/tarnishment for registered trade marks in L’Oreal v Bellure.

Read more

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