The IPKat is sad to record the passing of Ted Blake, who died peacefully on Friday after a long battle with leukaemia. He had only very recently retired from a career in the world of patents which spanned nearly half a century. Originally an examiner in the Patent Office, he subsequently became marketing director, in which capacity he introduced many new ideas for communicating the affairs of government to the public: roadshows, advertising and press articles, as well as the recruitment of television personalities such as Carol Vorderman and Clive Anderson, with a view to explaining the benefits of the patent system to a wider audience [the IPKat gratefully notes in passing that he was not responsible for the recruitment of Wallace and Gromit].
In 1996 Ted became PR Consultant to the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA), as well as handling projects for the World Intellectual Property Office, the European Patent Office, the World Bank and the UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office. According to information supplied by CIPA,
"His consultancy work took him to 34 countries, including some where the patent system was far from well established, such as Moldova, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. He exploited his travels and natural ability as a raconteur to develop a sideline as the Michael Palin of patents, giving illustrated talks to interested groups about his global peregrinations, peppered with generous name-dropping: Margaret Thatcher, Chris Chataway, Shirley Williams, Geoffrey Howe. Nick Ross, Patrick Moore and even Her Majesty The Queen had all had the privilege of meeting Ted Blake".This member of the IPKat team had the privilege of working with him on a couple of conference programmes, and remembers him as a cheerfully well-informed soul, a persuasive speaker and a good listener and a person whose impact was felt through his lightness of touch. The Kat's condolences are extended to Ted's wife Connie and to all his family.