The team is joined by GuestKats Mirko Brüß, Rosie Burbidge, Nedim Malovic, Frantzeska Papadopolou, Mathilde Pavis, and Eibhlin Vardy
InternKats: Rose Hughes, Ieva Giedrimaite, and Cecilia Sbrolli
SpecialKats: Verónica Rodríguez Arguijo (TechieKat), Hayleigh Bosher (Book Review Editor), and Tian Lu (Asia Correspondent).

Wednesday, 12 October 2005


1 Waste not, want not

The IPKat is appalled to read a story in Ananova concerning German inventor Friedrich Lentze, from Berlin, who has applied for a patent for his "odourless heating and building material" made from canine excrement cleaned from the streets of the German capital every day. Lentze, 57, says:

"They thought I was joking at first, but it makes economic sense as the stuff has to be collected anyway, so why not use it for something useful. The loads of dog poo that are gathered every day actually make a great mortar with fantastic insulating properties".

From this (left) to this (right) ...

He added that dung had for centuries been used as building material and he had combined it with modern materials to come up with a new type of insulating cement. The German Patent Office confirmed it had received the application but declined to comment on whether it had been approved.

Under the UK Patents Act, section 60(2), a patent is infringed where a person supplies the means, relating to an essential element of the invention, for putting the invention into effect, when he knows or reasonably ought to know that those means are suitable for putting the invention into effect. Dog owners who read this blog - you have been warned!

2 Out of control

The Register reports that most business enterprises are finding it increasingly difficult to keep track of software licence compliance, with 72 per cent of firms manually tracking compliance or carrying out no tracking at all, according to a report from the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA). The report, Key Trends in Software Pricing and Licensing, shows an increasing preference for digital licensing methods, with over half of the 484 software industry executives surveyed explaining that their firms wanted their licensing automatically enforced.

Archaeologists have unearthed an early software licence (left) and are now struggling to decipher it.

The IPKat wonders whether part of the difficulty in monitoring software compliance lies in the fact that so many software licences are so complex and/or so poorly drafted that neither the licensor nor the licensee can say with certainty what their terms are and therefore what the standards for compliance with them are. Merpel says, but that's no excuse, is it?


Guy said...

Under the provisions of the Patents Act 1977 there is no infringement when supplying a staple product. My cats dispose of their business in a more hygenic way in the local woodland.

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