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).

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

The IPKat and his friends: an update

Happy new month! July is always a transitional time for this weblog, since every six months the team gets a bit of a spring-clean. Regular members of the blog team sometimes disappear to pastures green or step away from blogging for a while in order to take a sabbatical; it's also a time when new faces arrive and those on sabbatical return.  We also say a fond farewell to our departing squad of three guest Kats and welcome their replacements.

Before this post focuses on personnel, it's worth reviewing exactly who and what we are.  The blog is not a free-for-all intellectual property chat-room: it's a didactic weblog that seeks to explain to readers how intellectual property works in practice, looking at its weaknesses as well as its strengths and the way that interested parties -- IP owners, their professional representatives, competitors and consumers, policy-makers, legislators and judges -- grapple with it.  Much of the content is narrated by two fictional cats, the IPKat himself and Merpel.  The IPKat is generally more polite and often offers no more than a simple comment or two, while Merpel's comments are usually rather harsher or more cynical in tone.

To avoid misunderstanding, both the IPKat and Merpel remind readers that this blog is not a blog about cats that is written by intellectual property lawyers. It's a blog about intellectual property as seen through the perspective of the two fictional cats.


This weblog has received over 9.8 million page views. Since this figure grows by over 250,000 a month, we should pass the 10 million mark in the near future. The number of readers receiving Katposts by email is, at the time of writing, 10,094, and this blog is pursued by over 8,500 followers on Twitter at @Ipkat. The most frequently-visited blogpost is Catherine Lee's June 2011 item, "Goodbye Cathy: Hello Kitty and Miffy settle copycat case", here, which has been visited more than 238,000 times.

A Kat returns

David Brophy is returning from a sabbatical break. We welcome him back and look forward to his contributions -- particularly in the field of patent law.

Our departing guest Kats

We thank Alberto Bellan, Darren Meale and Nadia Zegze for their contributions, their company, their wit and/or wisdom over the past six months and wish them all the best for the future.

Nadia Zegze will be qualifying as a fully-fledged solicitor in September; she is currently hoping to get the dream job in IP which has been her goal for so many years.

Alberto Bellan will be remaining highly visible within the IP blogosphere as a fully-fledged member of the 1709 Blog team. He will also be providing IPKat readers with a handy weekly list of Katposts which they might have missed over the previous week.

Darren Meale hopes to continue blogging if only for the excuse to look at cat photos, but also aims to redirect some of his attention to writing for JIPLP. He tells me he'll remain obssessed with such subjects as blocking injunctions, lookalikes and OHIM's new black and white/colour mark practice on which, he promise,s you haven't heard the last from him.

New guest Kats

Here, in alphabetical order, are our three new colleagues for the coming six months:

Rebecca Gulbul: after reading for a two-year LLB at the University of Kent in Canterbury, graduating in 2012, Rebecca was called to the Bar in July 2013 and then went on to take the LLM in Intellectual Property at Queen Mary, University of London. Rebecca, who has done a little casual guest blogging for us in recent times, maintains an interest in all branches of intellectual property; she enjoys fashion, music and good coffee, and particularly likes to travel and to discover new places.  Says Rebecca (who is incidentally our first blog team member from Mauritius): "I am waiting to see where the tide takes me next!"

Lucas S. Michels, a Seattle-based IP and business law attorney at Ironmark Law Group, PLLC, represents businesses and individuals with their cross-border IP and business legal needs. Before being admitted to the Washington State Bar, Lucas worked with businesses and industry organizations on foreign regulatory compliance and lobbying initiatives to establish favourable trade conditions, ensure export compliance and maximize global market opportunities. He blogs on international, cross-border and trade-related IP issues at The IP Exporter. In a previous existence he was Articles Editor of the Gonzaga Journal of International Law and received the 2012 CALI Excellence For The Future Award in International and Comparative IP.

Marie-Andrée Weiss is an attorney admitted in New York; her admission is pending in France. Her solo practice focuses on intellectual property, privacy, and social media law. She holds a JD in business law, an LLM in criminal law, an LLM in multimedia law from the University of Strasbourg, and an LLM in intellectual property law from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York. She also studied a year at the Esmod fashion school in Paris and worked in New York as a buyer in the fashion and cosmetics industry (Marie-Andrée can still provide a complete makeover and wardrobe analysis, should the need arise). In three words: French, American, Alsatian (not the dog but to the Western area in France with good wines).


The Kat's blog friends. Every few months this weblog lists, in no particular order, a number of IP -flavoured weblogs with which members of the IPKat's blogging team are associated. If you've not yet come across them -- and many of our more recent readers probably have not -- we hope that you will find some merit in them. For the avoidance of doubt, this list only relates to IP blogs to which Kat team members contribute: it is not intended as an exhaustive list of intellectual property blogs, or of blogs that have received our personal blessing. That's why there are plenty of IP blogs that are not listed, even though we know about them, like them and often read them!

Class 46, founded by friends of European trade mark organisation MARQUES and driven by a big team of international contributors, delivers trade mark and brand-related news and developments from across Europe ( As of today, this blog has no fewer than 3,844 email subscribers and a searchable database of well over 3,700 items -- mainly relating to European case law and office practice but with coverage of plenty of other themes too, including plain packaging of tobacco products and the latest WIPO and OHIM initiatives for assisting users of the international and Community trade mark systems. Kats Jeremy and Birgit both contribute to this blog, as do recent guest Kat Laetitia and former Kat Mark Schweizer.  
Class 99, founded by patent and trade mark attorney and blogmeister David Musker, is dedicated to design law and practice in the UK, in Europe and beyond ( This weblog is now part of the MARQUES social media family along with Class 46. It has 1,012 email subscribers and a searchable database of just over 550 items.  New blog team contributors are earnestly sought from among the ranks of those who are either MARQUES members or work for a company or firm that belongs to MARQUES.
Incidentally, Class 46 and Class 99 are just part of MARQUES's social media presence. Posts on both blogs are usually recorded on MARQUES's Twitter account at and all sorts of items concerning trade marks, brands and designs are likely to end up on MARQUES's Facebook page at MARQUES also has a very busy and carefully moderated LinkedIn discussion group, with well over 3,000 members.

The 1709 Blog, which caters for the copyright enthusiast and seeks to cover all aspects of copyright law and practice in all its rich and varied glory ( As of today, this blog has 2,165 email subscribers and a searchable database of nearly 1,800 items. It has a large and international team of contributors: Glastonbury Festival's Ben Challis, IPKat bloggers Eleonora and Jeremy and recent guest Kat Alberto Bellan, Professor Mira T. Sundara Rajan, John Enser (Olswang), Rebecca Giblin, Patrick Goold, Iona Silverman (Baker & McKenzie) and our man in Paris, Asim Singh. You can follow this blog on Twitter, here.
The SPC Blog is a handy information source for anyone who is involved in the tiny but controversial and highly lucrative world of supplementary protection certificates (SPCs) for pharmaceutical and plant protection patents, as well as other forms of patent term extension ( As of today, this blog has 1,900  email subscribers, many of whom have enriched the content of this weblog with their comments and through the provision of information concerning SPCs. This blog contains getting on for 550 items, including English translations of some European national decisions that are not available elsewhere.  Incidentally, The SPC Blog organises an annual seminar, which is free to all comers and provides a great opportunity for pharma patent-owning companies, generics, private practitioners and patent office functionaries to get together and compare notes.
PatLit tackles patent dispute resolution topics -- principally litigation -- not just from the UK but from wherever interesting news and comments emerge. As of today this blog, whose contributors include Michael Thesen, former guest Kat Stefano Barazza and David Berry, has 1,368 email subscribers and a searchable database of over 800 items.
IP Finance, which was launched in January 2008 in response to the UNCITRAL initiative on security interests in intangibles, touches that delicate interface between intellectual property and the world of finance, addressing securitisation, valuation, royalty rates, assessment of damages and the evolution of new business plans ( As of today, this blog has 1,427 email subscribers and a searchable database of over 1,100 items. Kats Neil and Jeremy write for this blog, which is also garnished with content from academics Mike Mireles, Andrea Tosato and (F)RAND expert Keith Mallinson (WiseHarbor).
jiplp is the blog of the leading Oxford University Press monthly publication, The Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice (JIPLP), which IPKat team member Jeremy (, with assistance from Deputy Editor Eleonora. As of today, this blog exactly 900 email subscribers and a searchable database of over 500 items. This blog's content includes Current Intelligence notes, book reviews, requests for articles on specific topics and occasional guidance as to how to write (or not to write) good IP articles. There's an active and carefully moderated LinkedIn Group for JIPLP contributors and readers with over 230 members, which you can see here.  You can also follow this blog on Twitter here.
Afro-IP (, for which the blogmeister is Darren Olivier, deals with the IP scene in Africa. As of today, this blog has 813 email subscribers and a searchable database of nearly 1,650 items. This blog, which offers the largest single searchable online source of recent African IP news, features Caroline Ncube, Jeremy Speres, Isaac Rutenberg and Chijioke Ifeoma Okorie within its blog-squad.  Afro-IP can be followed on Twitter here.
IP Tango (, which is a bilingual blog with contributions both in Spanish and English, covers the increasingly important developments for IP in Latin America. As of today, this blog has 502 email subscribers and a searchable database of over 1,300 items. Like Afro-IP, IP Tango is a major source of intellectual property information and comment in its increasingly important area of focus (just look at the global sporting events that are preoccupying Brazil now and for the coming years).
Art & Artifice ( As of today, this international weblog, which includes Simone BlakeneyRosie BurbidgeRachel BukerAngela Saltarelli and Elizabeth Emerson, has 511 email subscribers and a searchable database of nearly 420 items. Its scope is broad enough to cover not merely intellectual property law but other areas of legal concern for artists and the art-driven industries. Art & Artifice recently launched a Twitter presence that is followed by nearly 160 readers.
Recently revitalised and picking up momentum is SOLO IP, which reflects some of the interests, and the anguish, of those who practise IP by themselves or in small groups, or who work in environments in which they are the only IP people ( As of today, this blog -- which is driven by blogmeister Barbara Cookson (Filemot Technology Law Ltd), has 245 email subscribers and a searchable database of around 370 items. This blog warmly invites expressions of interest from would-be bloggers (on which see 'Would you like to be an IP Blogger' below)

Would you like to be an IP blogger? Most of the weblogs listed above are still hoping to recruit some fresh talent into their blogging teams, as well as to host more good guest items from occasional writers. If you (i) have something valuable to say about IP, (ii) have some experience of IP in one form or another and (iii) think that you may be able to turn your hand at blogging (or already have some experience), do email Jeremy here, attaching or linking to your CV, and explain why you think you might be a good blogger.


Anonymous said...

Any comments in the reppointment of EPO president after another suicide of a staffer under Si called investigation?

In US police can not look into your mobile phone without a judge says so. It is human rights. EPO president claims to look at anything, anytime. There is no judge. There is no control.

Jeremy said...

Anonymous 09:04 -- yes, there will be a comment on this blog. Just hang on in there!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Jeremy. Very timely if nothing else.

Jeremy said...

Thanks, Anonymous of 11:02. It's helpful for us to remind ourselves of our own mission from time to time, and to try to ensure that new or prospective readers are not misled into thinking that this blog is something that we never intended it to be.

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