Google’s trade mark policy

Yesterday (in the USA) Google’s new trade mark policy and complaint procedure came into force.

All the details here.

Australia is still in the regions where both text and keywords are monitored.

Lid dip @TrademarkBlog (aka Marty Schwimmer)

3 strikes in Kiwi land

Looks like New Zealand will be repealing its law imposing a “3 strikes” ban requiring ISPs to cut off infringing downloaders.

Howard has the news at Excess Copyright. Imagine how much lobbying is going to take place now? How long before the USTR has to fly all the way down “here”?

Howard also links to an interesting article about the settlement by Eire’s biggest ISP.

Our law, s 116AG, already gives the Court power to order an ISP to do this and, of course, the case against iiNet is still winding its way through the legal process.

Productivity Commission on parallel imports

The Productivity Commission has released its draft report into the copyright restrictions on parallel importing books:

Australia’s Parallel Import Restrictions (PIRs) for books should be modified as follows. 

• PIRs should apply for 12 months from the date of first publication of a book in Australia. Thereafter, parallel importation should be freely permitted. 

• If a PIR-protected book becomes unavailable during this 12 month period, then parallel importation should be freely permitted until local supply is re- established, or the expiry of the 12 month period allows for generalised parallel importation.  

• Booksellers should be allowed to overtly offer an aggregation service for individual orders of imported books under the single use provisions. 

All other aspects of the current PIR arrangements should continue unchanged, including the 30 day rule. 

All to be topped up with what appears to be the now mandatory 5 year review to see if it’s working.

I wonder how many books your local bookseller will have to order at once before he or she will start to consider absorbing the cost of freight? Of course, we can always hope that they also find out about and all those other internet sites rather than using that complicated clunky thing they play with on their computers while you are growing a beard.

Links to the full report here.

Australian Innovation Review

The Government has released the Report On The Review Of The National Innovation System. 

You can download copies of the Report, an Overview, the 3 different press releases, the Minister’s introductory remarks and the Minister’s speech from here.  I wonder if the prospects of implementation are increased or decreased by the quantity of media assistance?

As the Report points out, “we have known for several generations that innovation pre-eminently determines our prosperity.”

And yet:

as a share of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Australian Government support for science and innovation, has fallen by nearly a quarter. Also the number of researchers per 1,000 employees has declined substantially in the last decade, and US patents granted per 1,000 population have plunged from 0.06 to 0.01 (1999–2003). And yet during this time, the public revenue was fed by a torrent of cash from the mineral boom. 

There are 201 pages, plus 7 annexes.  There are 15 pages of recommendations.

Interestingly, there is also a software analysis of the main themes identified in submissions and, very usefully, the Departmental summary of the submissions.

Comments can be submitted to the Ministry until (at least) 23 September 2008.  Well, it is almost 2 weeks!