Patents – it’s not over after all

first_img Jonathan Goldsmith is secretary general of the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe, which represents about one million European lawyers through its member bars and law societies. He blogs weekly for the Gazette on European affairs Those of you who are following the twists and turns of the European patent saga should know that the fat lady has not yet sung. The Gazette wisely said in their recent article that the saga ‘appears to have been settled’. But appearances are known to be deceptive, and the European Parliament this week threw the whole deal into question once more. And the UK is to blame. Let me rewind a bit, but not too far, because the story has been going on for decades. At the recent EU summit – the one called to stabilise the euro (so far, so good there, but appearances can be deceptive, as I have said) – an additional decision was taken. The future of the European patent, about which I have written several times, had been held up by a squabble between the UK, France and Germany as to the location of the headquarters of the new patent court. This was settled at the summit in a typical – and to my mind shameful – Euro-fudge. The seat of the Unified Patent Court will be in Paris, but there will be two Central Division sections, one in London dealing with chemistry and pharmaceuticals, and the other in Munich, dealing with mechanical engineering. The UK government – along with that of France and Germany – is as responsible as anyone for this Euro-fudge, pushing national interests to the point of absurdity. I pause here to note that the Paris Bar released a triumphant press release about the location of the seat of the Court in Paris, saying in effect that it was the Paris Bar wot won it: ‘ …at the heart of European law… recognition of legal know-how and technology’ and so on. They were not alone in nationalistic cheerleading. The UK’s Intellectual Property Office issued its own press release, headed ‘British business boost as Patent Court comes to London’. This is how European business is done, with each state claiming credit for what it likes, and usually blaming ‘Europe’ for what it does not. The Gazette article also referred to the question – another so-called national triumph, this time by David Cameron on the part of the UK – regarding the ability of the European Court of Justice to pronounce on referrals under the new unified patent regime. The UK didn’t want matters being ‘snarled up in the processes of the European Court of Justice’, by having questions referred by local and regional European Courts to non-specialist ECJ judges. The UK’s Intellectual Property Office backed him and said: ‘Including Articles 6-8 [the relevant articles of the legislation] in the regulation allows for referrals to the ECJ, which risks adding delays and uncertainty to what are essentially commercial disputes between private parties.’ Unfortunately, this is where the smooth passage to supreme UK – and French and German – triumph stumbles, because members of the European Parliament are not happy, feeling that the carefully considered legislation (agreed between the three EU institutions at the end of last year) has been gutted at the last moment by national interests. They feel that the parliament, which has a co-decision role here, has been circumvented and its role subverted by last minute national manoeuvring at the summit. But, more importantly, they also disagree on the substance, believing that the removal of Articles 6-8 makes the proposal “an empty shell”. They consider that the articles provide a common EU base for the patent, and that without them – since national courts can then rule in patent cases – the applicant might still have to apply for single patents in each member state to be sure that patent protection is granted, on the basis that the ECJ alone offers definitive EU-wide protection. The European Commission has also reserved its position on the deletion of the Articles, for the same reason – although it should be said that plenty of legal experts can be found for the view that deletion is the right way forward. What a Euro-pudding. This is the kind of national brinksmanship which gives the EU a bad name. The notion of Europe as a political concept is meant to overcome national rivalries, but seems instead to be a breeding ground for them. At any rate, for those of you who like soap operas, the long-running ‘Gone With the Patents’ is not yet over.last_img read more

No. 5 Maryland beats Wisconsin 81-70 for 18th straight win

first_imgMADISON, Wis. (AP) — Maryland is ahead of schedule in the Big Ten.The preseason favorites to win the league locked up a share of the regular-season title and the top seed in the conference tournament by beating Wisconsin 81-70 on Thursday night for the Terrapins’ 18th straight win.That’s one big goal checked off the to-do list with three games still left in the inaugural year of Big Ten play for No. 5 Maryland (24-2, 15-0).“Really proud of this group. It’s not an easy task when you’re talking about, as you can see, going on the road and playing in so many different venues, especially first in the new conference,” coach Brenda Frese said, “and then being consistent to be able to get wins even when you have an off night.”If this was an off night, Maryland will be a scary team to face in the postseason.Brionna Jones had 20 points and 15 rebounds, Shatori Walker-Kimbrough scored 17 points, while Lexie Brown added 15 points and seven assists for the Terrapins.Wisconsin (8-17, 4-11) trailed by as much as 17 in the first half before hitting three 3s in the opening 5 minutes of the second half to help pull to 49-46. Jacki Gulczynski had two 3s during the 16-6 run after halftime.Maryland held off Wisconsin from there, getting a lift from Jones’ inside play.“Their sagging defense kind of gave us a little trouble. Once we figured it out, we took off and our offensive game picked up and we just started getting stops,” Walker-Kimbrough said.Jones, a 6-foot-3 center, went 3 of 5 from the field the rest of the way before missing the last couple minutes with an apparent lower left leg injury. She looked fine afterward, and a team spokeswoman said that Jones was OK.The Terps benefited from a fast start, forcing five turnovers in the first 10 minutes to build a 13-point lead. Maryland pounced on virtually every mistake during that stretch, helping to build a 28-13 edge in points off turnovers for the night.“We see what a No. 5 team in the country looks like. They are who we thought they were,” Wisconsin coach Bobbie Kelsey said.___TIP-INSMaryland: Terps won the only other meeting between the two schools, 91-82 in 1982 in College Park. … Maryland shot 54 percent in the first half before finish the game at 49 percent. … The Terps enjoy a three-game lead in their inaugural year in the conference with three games left in the regular season.Wisconsin: Badgers fell to 0-6 against Top 25 teams. … Cassie Rochel finished with 11 rebounds, while Gulczynski had eight points.FAST STARTThe Terps seemed to feed off the energy from Frese, who watched with delight after her team forced a turnover after trapping Tessa Cichy in the corner in front of the Maryland bench on Wisconsin’s first possession.Maryland forced another backcourt turnover a few minutes later and the Terps built a methodical 21-8 lead.Cichy finished with 17 points, while Dakota Whyte and Nicole Bauman each had 16 points for Wisconsin, which took better care with the ball in the second half.“We’re kind of a battle-back team. That’s just kind of what we do,” Cichy said. “I mean we shouldn’t have to. We should probably start out better than we do.”ROAD WEARYMaryland emerged with its second road win of the week after beating Michigan State 75-69 on Monday. The Terps had their issues in both contests, though they did enough to emerge with victories.“I think it bodes well when you’re not playing some of your best basketball, or as consistent as we have been,” Frese said. “We’re finding a way to be able to finish it.”Frese said she would like to go back to relying on her depth more to wear down opponents.UP NEXTMaryland: Hosts Penn State on Monday.Wisconsin: Hosts Northwestern on Sunday.last_img read more

Teenage defender signs for Chelsea

first_img Ads by Revcontent Trending Articles Amazon Shares: with Only £250 You Can Get a Monthly Fixed Income x Easy Way to Generate Extra Income x 20 Heartbreaking Selfies Taken Right Before Tragedy. # 10 is Insane x Last Nights Episode Left Viewers Speechless! x 20 Heartbreaking Photos North Korea Didn’t Want Released x This New Air Conditioner Under £70 with No Installation Necessary is Selling out x Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook See also:Conte happy with formation but says change is a ‘possibility’Chelsea Under-18s thrash Swansea to go seven points clearZouma to make long-awaited Chelsea return Chelsea have signed teenage defender Kyle Jameson on an 18-month contract.The 18-year-old was a free agent but has trained with a number of clubs.AdChoices广告He has signed a professional deal with the Blues but will play for their Under-18 side – who won 5-0 at Swansea on Thursday to move seven points clear at the top of the table.Meanwhile, Chelsea have recalled midfielder Charlie Colkett, 20, from a loan spell at Bristol Rovers. last_img read more