For the half-year to 31 December 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie-Andrée Weiss.

Regular round-ups of the previous week's blogposts are kindly compiled by Alberto Bellan.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Wednesday whimsies

"HOW MUCH did you say
a gin and tonic cost!"
Thespians rescue beleaguered Hobbit.  The Kat's post on the lamentable tale of the Hobbit public house being threatened by the owners of a bristling portfolio of Hobbit-related IP rights now has a sequel: leading actors [are they readers of this blog, Merpel wonders] Stephen Fry and Sir Ian McKellen have offered to pay Hollywood-based Saul Zaentz Company a licence fee (a katpat to Eleonora Rosati for sourcing this item). It looks like one of those licences that floats between copyright and trade marks and may even cover both. The bit of the report that appeals to the IPKat goes thus:
"Producer Paul Zaentz told the BBC trade mark law dictated it had to act against infringements of its brands [the IPKat has been unable to find any provision relating to mandatory enforcement in domestic or EU law], but were open to licensing the pub to use them.

He said: "When it's an established business, we like to get the company to acknowledge they are using our trade marks, stop selling infringing articles and then we will grant them a licence for a nominal fee - approximately $100 a year [at this most reasonable rate, the Kats expect that half the pubs in the British Isles must be thinking of calling themselves the Hobbit ...].""

Economics: not
everyone's cup of tea
Good news for all Katonomists. The wise and witty Nicola Searle will be resuming her Katonomics posts on Monday 24 April, when she begins her third series of posts on topics on the theme of "IP law meets economics". If you're a new reader of this weblog, or an old reader who has only just cultivated an interest in economics and its impact on IP law and practice, do give these posts a try: the IPKat and Merpel are fairly confident that you won't be disappointed. You can read all about Doctor Nic here. Here's a list of topics covered in her first series -- and here's the list for the second (this is the one that includes the much-enjoyed post on how to value a professional footballer).


Just a few weeks ahead of World IP Day, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has surprised many serious souls by appearing on the twittersphere as @WIPO. WIPO's Twitter description is that this is "the official account of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)". It continues: "Follow our efforts to promote the use of IP for innovation and creativity". Today's offerings include a YouTube clip of French inventor Marc Parent, who is described as producing water with wind. This Kat chortles at the thought that every parent knows exactly what produces water with wind ...


Around the weblogs.  There's a new blog on the block, all the way from Turkey and penned by trade mark examiner Önder Erol Ünsal. After 14 years in post, Önder is now working in WIPO's International Trademark Bureau, but we won't hold this against him. The blog's name is Cinscesitvasif, which Merpel hopes is the Turkish for "I'll buy you a drink next time you're passing by .."   Today's UK budget, with news of tweaks to the Patent Box, can be studied on on Anne Fairpo's Intellectual Property Tax Blog  on IP Finance, (to which Anne is a respected contributor) and on the Olswang Tax Blog, among other places. In "Flying Pirates on the Horizon", the 1709 Blog's Ben Challis reports on the story that The Pirate Bay is planning to place copies of its database on small airborne drones, which should make them harder to locate, if more tempting to try to shoot down. On Class 46, Robert Börner offers a delightful little vignette of German trade mark law in action, where the pendulum swings backwards and forwards between registrabiity and unregistrability of a three-dimensional mark consisting of a colour-coded helicopter.


Unified Patent Courting. Rhoda Baxter, writer of fun romantic comedy and, more significantly, a reader of this weblog, has tipped the IPKat and Merpel off that she has now published Patently in Love. Explains Rhoda: "It's a contemporary romantic comedy set in a patent attorney practice. I figured it was time the world got to see patent agents as the devilishly attractive heroes and heroines they really are".   The IPKat was most taken by this idea so, to get readers into the mood, he has composed a little piece of prose:
"Laying down the examiner's objections with a gesture of animal ferocity, Jasper peered into the fathomless limpid pools that were Veronica's eyes. He drew closer; she could almost feel the current of the Smartphone in the breast pocket of his elegantly tailored Versace jacket. She felt her deep-tanned countenance flush in eager anticipation of what would be his first, confident, assertive embrace. She turned her face towards his, coy and hopeful, her lips parting just far enough to display a hint of those sculptured pearls, those dazzling teeth that lay beneath". 
Readers are challenged to write a the next paragraph, making sure they use at least SEVEN of the words or word-combinations listed in capitals below.  If there are any entries, the Kats will prevail on Rhoda to judge them for literary style, originality and, er, that's about it.
Select seven of the following words or phrases for inclusion in the next paragraph:
SKILLED IN THE ART
INDEMNITY INSURANCE
CLIENT PRIVILEGE
LONG-FELT WANT
PATENTLYO
ENABLING DISCLOSURE
DISCOVERY
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF
INPADOC
GRACE PERIOD
PATENT-ELIGIBILITY
LICENCE OF RIGHT
OBVIOUS TO TRY
PITH AND MARROW
DECLARATION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT
FIRST TO INVENT
PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION
RANDY RADER
INVENTIVE STEP
If you'd rather read than write, Rhoda's book is available here.

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