For the half-year to 30 June 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Alberto Bellan, Darren Meale and Nadia Zegze.

Two of our regular Kats are currently on blogging sabbaticals. They are David Brophy and Catherine Lee.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Bye-bye Verica, hello the VeriKat?

Verica Trstenjak
Yea, Verica. A discreet little announcement from Curia yesterday documents a further stage in the unfolding story of the judicial re-writing of European Union intellectual property law.  It reads as follows:
Entry into office of a new Advocate General to the Court of Justice   
Formal sitting of 28 November 2012

By decision of 25 April 2012, the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States appointed as Advocate General to the Court of Justice, for the period from 7 October 2012 to 6 October 2018, Mr Nils Wahl, Judge at the General Court since 7 October 2006, replacing Mrs Verica Trstenjak.

A formal sitting of the Court of Justice was held today on the occasion of the departure from office of Verica Trstenjak and the entry into office of Nils Wahl.
Apart from the notable fact that, unlike many [don't you mean "most", asks Merpel] judgments of the Court of Justice, this statement is available in all 23 of the official languages of the Court, it marks the end of a fascinating era in European IP law, particularly the law of copyright.

Many readers may not be familiar with the name of Verica Trstenjak at all. Others may have seen that exciting surname but, like many a Kat, be quite at a loss as to how to pronounce it properly.  Yet the lady in question has been the Advocate General at the heart of some of the most interesting IP rulings of the Court of Justice in recent times. Off the top of his head, this Kat recalls these cases:
Case C-467/08 Padawan (non-discriminatory 'fair compensation' through private recording levies);

Case C‑569/08 Internetportal und Marketing GmbH v Richard Schlicht (abusive .eu domain name registration);

Case C‑20/05 Pubblico Ministero v Karl Josef Wilhelm Schwibbert (copyright royalty collection, affixing of marks and technical standards);

Case C-376/22 Pie Optiek v Bureau Gevers, European Registry for Internet Domains (camouflaging of a contract for services as a trade mark licence);

Case C‑482/09 Budějovický Budvar, národní podnik v Anheuser-Busch, Inc. (trade mark law: dirty tricks and acquiescence in honest use);

Case C-162/10 Phonographic Performance (Ireland) Ltd v Ireland and Others (communication of a work to the public, via a hotel bedroom)

Case C‑145/10 Eva-Maria Painer v Standard VerlagsGmbH, Axel Springer AG, Süddeutsche Zeitung GmbH, SPIEGEL-Verlag Rudolf AUGSTEIN GmbH & Co KG and Verlag M. DuMont Schauberg Expedition der Kölnischen Zeitung GmbH & Co KG. (copyright in portrait photographs)

Case T- 336/03 Les Editions Albert René v OHIM, Orange A/S. (would anyone really think MOBILIX was anything to do with OBELIX?);

Case C-5/08 Infopaq International A/S v Danske Dagblades Forening (establishing a new pan-European norm for determining the protectability of a work, free from the shackles of the Berne Convention).
Nils desperandum ...
What will Verica do next?  The IPKat wishes her well and thanks her for giving him so much to blog about.  There is currently no truth in the rumour that, exchanging judicial robes for the trappings of real power and authority, Verica T is to join this team as the VeriKat [though she's most welcome to do so ...]. Merpel wonders whether she might take up a position with an IP practice, which will give her the chance to do what the rest of us have been doing for a long time -- working out how to live with CJEU decisions in the real world.

Meanwhile, the Kats are pondering on the move of Nils Wahl into the AG's hot seat.  You can find his bio-notes here if you scroll down far enough: they don't contain the magic words "intellectual property" but they do feature the "C" word [that's "competition", if you were wondering]. Information from readers is welcome.

Tailpiece: the IPKat was wondering what, if the rules of Scrabble permitted the use of surnames, would be the highest score that one could obtain for deploying the word "trstenjak".

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I understand that they had considered a Brit for the Advocate-General role who had come to the law after a different social sciences degree, but the candidate withdreft once they realised what it would do to the letters after their name:

B.A.LL.b.A.G.


(I'll get my vermillion smock!)

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