1 Pot of gold at the end of the rainbow?
The London-based Authors' Licensing and Copyright Society has written to tell its members that they may be in for a bit of a windfall. Following settlement of a recent US class action, the handy sum of $18 million has been set aside for claims made by authors of articles in more than 2,000 US-based periodicals which may have been wrongly included in electronic databases without their permission. If you think you may be in line for a claim, you can check the settlement's dedicated website and see for yourself.
The IPKat is pleased that authors of articles in periodicals can get the occasional return on their efforts, given how easy it is for people to photocopy or otherwise disseminate their work. It's also gratifying to see publishers letting some of their income trickle downstream to the authors, most of whom -- particularly in academic "publish-or-perish" circles -- never get paid for the writings that publishers sell on to their subscribers (indeed, some of them would probably be quite happy to pay to publish, which represents quite a different economic model for publishing).
Merpel adds, I bet the Kat couldn't resist that AnimationFactory rainbow illustration with the thoroughly approproate copyright sign on it.
2 Commercial reality for SMEs: a well-sponsored clarion call
The IPKat received in his post today a brochure promoting a conference, "Intellectual Property -- the Commercial Reality for SMEs" and bravely subheaded "Identifying : Defending : Protecting : Valuing : Exploiting". This event is scheduled for 27 September in the Institute of Child Health, London WC1 (details available via Julie Barlin (of financial services and business advisory group Smith & Williamson) or from the Knowtopia website. Attendance is free but registration is mandatory.
-- so do IPs help or are they merely an expensive hindrance?
The conference faculty are obviously keen on the use of logos, since no fewer than nine of them appear on the front cover, representing most of the event's backers and participants. The programme is targeted at small and medium-sized companies (SMEs). The IPKat thinks this looks like a long, hard day for any non-specialist, with a lot of tough but important information to digest. Nor is there anything on the programme that leaps out as obviously relating to "exploiting", though there's plenty on valuation issues, litigation, risk and liability.
3 Posterior patent
This week's New Scientist magazine is the conduit through which this odorous patent has passed, courtesy of the US Patent and Trademark Office. According to the Abstract"
This patent has really taken the wind out of the IPKat's sails; he sincerely hopes that it will never be infringed.
"A toy gas-fired missile and launcher assembly whose missile is composed of a soft head and a tail extending therefrom formed by a piston. The piston is telescoped into the barrel of a launcher having a closed end on which is mounted an electrically-activated ignitor, the air space between the end of the piston and the closed end of the barrel defining a combustion chamber. Joined to the barrel and communicating with the chamber therein is a gas intake tube having a normally-closed inlet valve.
To operate the assembly, the operator places the inlet tube with its valve open adjacent his anal region from which a colonic gas is discharged. The piston is then withdrawn to a degree producing a negative pressure to inhale the gas into the combustion chamber to intermix with the air therein to create a combustible mixture. The ignitor is then activated to explode the mixture in the chamber and fire the missile into space".
4 Request for help
The IPKat has been asked whether there exists an English-language translation of the Advocate General's Opinions in the major trade mark cases before the European Court of Justice in (i) Case C-100/02 Gerolsteiner and in (ii) Case C-245/02 Anheuser-Busch Inc. v Budejovicky Budvar, narodni podnik, searches of the Curia and Eur-lex sites having proved fruitless. If any reader of this blog has an English version, preferably an official one, can he please let the IPKat know.