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SpecialKats: Verónica Rodríguez Arguijo (TechieKat), Hayleigh Bosher (Book Review Editor), and Tian Lu (Asia Correspondent).

Saturday, 21 October 2006


Good news for decision-browsers

UK patents enthusiast and campaigner for common sense David Pearce (Eric Potter Clarkson) has written to tell the IPKat: "The Patent Office has reintroduced a browsing facility for past decisions, available here. Apparently other material such as the guidance on the Patents Act 2004 is also due to reappear soon. Looks like our lobbying has started to pay off". Many thanks, David - and a big thank-you, too, to our friends at the UK Patent Office.

Gone but not forgotten

The past week has seen the death of two notable personalities who made major contributions to British intellectual property law. They were Charles Clark and Sir Robert Megarry.

Charles Clark (obituary here), himself an imaginative and innovative publisher with Sweet & Maxwell and later Penguin, was copyright adviser to the Publishers Assocation and helped bring to fruition the Copyright Licensing Agency. Charles was also a popular and articulate speaker in conferences: one of his favourite themes was that of setting a machine to defuse the threat of a machine - new technological means of infringing should be countered by new technological prevention measures more effectively than by the introduction of technology-specific legislation.

Sir Robert Megarry (above: obituary here) was a notable member of the British judiciary. As Vice-Chancellor of the Chancery Division he established the ground rules for a cause of action for breach of confidence in Coco v Clark (no relation of Charles Clark ...) and became the scourge of civil libertarians in Malone v Metropolitan Police Commissioners when he ruled, admittedly with some reluctance and distaste, that no duty of confidentiality was violated by the unauthorised tapping of a telephone conversation (the European Court of Human Rights has since ruled to the contrary effect).

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