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Marie-Louise's picks – January 2009

Here are my picks of the intellectual property news that broke in the blogosphere and internet over the past month and most captured my interest. I also give my pick of the upcoming IP events to pencil into your diary for the month ahead.

Please join the discussion by adding your comments.

Obama-Biden transition site content now under creative commons attribution license

This move was met with great support from some. Others cautioned that it is no indicator of the Obama’s administration’s philosophy on copyright and is not such a big concession of rights considering the law provides that federal government content is in the public domain. In any case, the move gives a publicity boost to creative commons. Personally, I think this sets a great example to governments and others to consider the various copyright alternatives available rather than automatically default to the ‘all rights reserved’ model. So too, it can only assist open and unfettered debate.   (EFF) (Creative Commons) (Lessig) (Michael Geist) (IPKat) (TorrentFreak) (Techdirt) (Creative Commons) (ReadWriteWeb)

African National Congress loses Cope name challenge

The ANC sought to stop the emerging political party, Cope, from using the name Congress of the People arguing that no person or party should be allowed to appropriate the name of the 1955 Congress of the People, in which the Freedom Charter was adopted. The Pretoria High Court dismissed the ANC’s application with costs. The ANC has harshly criticised the decision and is expected to seek leave to appeal.

I think it is fair to say South African politics are never dull! This has been a heated battle and the story teaches some very interesting South African political history. (I should admit a bias toward South African news as my very lovely husband and his family are South African.)

(Afro-IP) (Afro-IP) (Afro-IP) (Constitutionally Speaking)


 ‘Shan Zhai Ji’ in most searched list

‘Shan Zhai Ji’ refers to bandit (counterfeit) cell phones and other technological gadgets. It is said to have developed into a subculture in China largely found among ‘creative youth, technology geeks and guys’. It is a subculture that appears to be expanding into new markets quickly. An intriguing subculture and headache for brand owners!  (IP Dragon)


Event – Supplementary protection certificates seminar

On 28 January, the SPC Blog will be holding its first seminar on supplementary protection certificates looking at hot topics in this area of law and examining the differences in approach of the patent offices of the United Kingdom, Germany and France.



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