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.

Friday, 9 June 2006

KINGS AND ENGINEERS

Let it reign

The IPKat is grateful to Richard Clack for providing him with news of this rather unwelcome patent. Prof Anont Boonyarattanavej, the secretary general of the Thailand Research Fund is seeking an audience with the King of Thailand, in order to present him with a patent for rainmaking, granted by the EPO.




The IPKat looked up the patent, and wonders what the effect of depicting gods taking part in the process for which the patent is claimed has on the validity of the patent. He also notes with interest that the prior art disclosure details the fact that in cases of extreme drought, villages would ‘perform a cat procession’ to beg for rain.


New job

IPKat co-blogmeister Ilanah has accepted a position at Brunel University (in Uxbridge, West London) as a lecturer in law, starting September 2006.


4 comments:

Guy said...

It is appropriate that European Patent 1,491,088 should be granted to His Majesty King Bhumibol (Rama IX) at the present time. He has just celebrated his Diamond Jubilee. Sadly he could not claim priority from his original Thai patent application as Thailand has not yet joined the Paris Convention. His companion animal preference is for a dog, Koon Tong Dang, rather than any of his country's famous cats.

Jeremy said...

Guy - your breadth of scholarship never ceases to amaze me. You must have swallowed a Wikipedia!

Ilanah - congratulations on your appointment. Hope it all goes well.

johnb said...

the IPKat may be rather alarmed by the conduct of the cat procession....
"The cat is a Maeow Sisawat (Korat Cat) found only in Phimai. The cat’s grey fur is the hue of a pregnant rain cloud. Performed when all else has failed, the Nang Maeow ceremony begins late in the afternoon at the village wat (temple).

While Buddhist priests chant prayers for rain, a female cat is placed in a cage which is carried around the village. At each house, villagers toss water on the cat while celebrants beat long drums and cymbals, dance and sing to the cat (and by extension to the householders): “Hail! Nang Maew (female cat), give us rain, give us nam mon (consecrated water) to pour on the Nang Maew’s head. Give us money, give us rice, and give us a wager for carrying the cat.”

After circling the village, the procession returns to the temple where further prayers are chanted and the poor cat is released.

A form of sympathetic magic, the rite is founded on cats’ intense dislike of water. The more the cat howls, the more rain the gods will send. A female is used because she symbolises fertility and abundance. "

quoted from... b*$!$*! ...I have lost the link !

johnb said...

found it again ! the above quote comes from
http://www.tatnews.org/emagazine/2488.asp

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