April was another happy month for the IPKat weblog in what has been a very good year (by the end of April our hits for the year were more than 53% up on 2006). The blog notched up a new record of 20,876 casual visits; in the third week of the month we welcomed 5,716 visits - another high. Additionally, an unquantified number of readers get their posts by RSS, while another 923 readers choose to receive theirs through the weblog's gmail circular - and it's all absolutely free!
Thanks so much for continuing to visit the blog and to post your comments and send your emails. Your interest and your involvement are what makes the whole thing worthwhile.
Right: welcome cat from Angel's Destiny
Those cynics who said that nothing worthwhile came of this year's World Intellectual Property Day should think again. Deep in the heart of England, in darkest Nottingham, the pulse of intellectual property is beating on the NODUS website, which carries a report on what was, by all accounts, an extremely positive experience for all concerned. Where patent attorneys, solicitors, barristers and academics can come together and not only share but celebrate their interest in IP, the entire IP community in Nottingham and beyond can surely only benefit from it. Anyone in the Nottingham area who's got the bug for IP and wants to know more should contact Andrew Mills or Alex Newson.
Thank you Hans-Christian Blom for submitting information concerning US 5443036, a patent for a way of exercising a cat. According to the abstract:
"A method for inducing cats to exercise consists of directing a beam of invisible light produced by a hand-held laser apparatus onto the floor or wall or other opaque surface in the vicinity of the cat, then moving the laser so as to cause the bright pattern of light to move in an irregular way fascinating to cats, and to any other animal with a chase instinct".The IPKat is not impressed. If the patent sets out to exploit the chase instinct in cats, one wonders if someone out there isn't setting out to exploit the instinct to spend good money in search of a worthless monopoly that is manifested in many humans.
The IP Awareness Network is something that the IPKat should, he supposes, have been aware of. Well, it has a website which describes IPAN as
"an informal group of professional and business organisations with a shared interest in improving awareness and understanding of patents, trade marks, designs, copyright and other intellectual property rights",adding that
"membership of the network is open to any organisation with an interest in improving awareness of IP and of its value to society".IPAN promises to offer basic information, links to useful IP websites (these, alas, appear to exclude the IPKat weblog), impartial briefs and a reminder that information is not a substitute for professional advice. The IPKat will watch and see how this initiative - which appears to have emerged from the IPI and CIPA - grows. Merpel says, is this going to be yet one more small and underfunded voice in the wilderness?