Last week, in "Judge in Privacy Damages Romp with 4 Barristers" (here), the IPKat speculated that the profit to the News of the World newspaper through breaching Max Mosley's privacy rights must have exceeded the aggregate of the damages awarded (£60,000) and an estimated £830,000 costs. On this, Phil Cox -- whom the Kat graciously thanks -- responds:
"It is very difficult to put an accurate figure on this. From my insiders I have been informed that advertising sales teams tend not to sell directly against a story like that, and therefore the real reason for running the story is to generate extra copy sales at the news-stand. This will in turn help with their circulation figures which is what the paper ultimately sells advertising from. You can see that it all ties in.
However, has the paper ultimately won or lost in this case? Myself and my friends, ad sales and publishers, feel that NotW won out in this case, most likely having increased their circulations enough during this period to justify the near GBP 1M payout. They have also deliberately further entrenched their brand as a gossip rag, which unfortunately helps sell copies in the UK.
It is also clear that running these stories is a part if their business model and they analyse the risk and reward for each story but most likely they will analyse their legal costs annually as well. If they end up having 20 of these cases a year, you would soon find them winding their necks in. Thus Max Mosley has in some ways caused them some damage".
Two little milestones were achieved yesterday, both by intellectual property blogs. The Class 46 European trade mark law blog -- manned by a team of supporters of European trade mark proprietors' organisation MARQUES -- picked up its 250th email subscriber. Meanwhile, the IP Finance weblog, which focuses on those tricky niche areas where intellectual property and money matters collide, notched up email subscriber number 100. The IPKat knows that these are just arbitrary numbers, which have no inner meaning of their own, but for anyone who has ever written for a blog and who wonders "does anyone out there ever read me?", each milestone can take on the proportions of a monument.