For the half-year to 30 June 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Alberto Bellan, Darren Meale and Nadia Zegze.

Two of our regular Kats are currently on blogging sabbaticals. They are David Brophy and Catherine Lee.

Thursday, 6 November 2003

WHAT'S IN A NOSE?

Ananova reports that, in a study of 100 women who had undergone a variety of cosmetic operations in the past two years, 19% gave up holidays to finance the surgery while 12% spurned home improvements. The Harley Medical Group reports that those having a nose job (rhinoplasty) were most likely to give up a holiday (33%), while women seeking breast surgery opted to take out loans (31%). Liposuction patients were most likely to do without home improvements (20%).

The IPKat is contemplating the intellectual property aspects of rhinoplasty. The Patents Act 1977, s.4(2), following Art. 52(4) of the European Patent Convention, refuses patent protection to any "method of treatment of the human ... body by surgery". As for the nose itself, a sculpted nose (i.e. not a genetically modified or cloned one) is not precluded from patentability but is unlikely to fulfil the patentability criteria. An inherently distinctive human nose may be registered as a trade mark without the need to show that it has acquired distinctiveness through use (as a trade mark, that is). So long as its form is not dictated by its function, a nose created by plastic surgery may be protected by design right. As for copyright, it might even be a "work of artistic craftsmanship" under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, s.4. The IPKat asks whether rhinoplasty, and indeed other forms of cosmetic surgery, should be entitled to the protection accorded to other intellectual creations and, if so, what should that protection be? The usual prize will be awarded for the best answer.

More about rhinoplasty here, here and here
Nose sculptures here and here
Noses of note: Michael Jackson here and here, Cyrano de Bergerac and Jimmy Durante
Noses that work: click here and here
Artificial noses here and here


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