The IPKat has received the following comments regarding the proposal (discussed here) to squeeze all visitors to the UK Intellectual Property Office website through a single portal:
* Any efficiency gains the government seeks from a single portal could be obtain from redirecting traffic after it has been through a ukipo.gov.uk homepage. The homepage address should not be changed because it affects the ease with which the site can be found.
Right: join the Kat in writing to Mark Pacey here to tell him of your concerns
* A list of intellectual property office websites is maintained by WIPO at http://www.wipo.int/directory/en/urls.jsp. Our peer group of countries have dedicated sites (US - uspto.gov, Japan - jpo.go.jp, China - sipo.gov.cn, France - inpi.fr). Only three countries are listed that make IP accessible via general government sites: Georgia, Cuba and the Dominican Republic.
* Website branding conveys a message about perceived importance and this change suggests to the UK and the broader international community that we are downgrading the importance of IP. This is at odds with the fact and with declared government policy.
* The timing of the change is exceptionally poor. The UKIPO has just been through a rebranding exercise. This was done to implement the Gowers Review, a report commissioned by the Treasury under Gordon Brown. The change will undermine the rebranding exercise because establishing a recognised website address at ukipo.gov makes a central contribution to successful rebranding.
* There are constitutional objections as well. The UKIPO is an executive agency and has developed a reputation for independence in administration and in its quasi-judicial functionality. Maintaining the perceived independence of the IP office is another strong reason for keeping its website separated from the main government website.
* It is a misconception that the ease of finding the UKIPO will be improved by making it accessible only through a central UK government portal. Doing so is out of line with international practice - and international practice is highly relevant because many, probably most, users of IP within the UK are used to considering IP in its international context, particularly in an era when many rights affecting UK jurisdiction are granted by supranational bodies such as OAMI and the EPO.
The IPKat's Polish blogging brother Tomasz Rychlicki has drawn his attention to the Naloty website: it's in Polish, which guarantees that the linguistically challenged IPKat will have severe problems navigating it, but the concept is an interesting one.
The site tracks Polish police action against computer piracy. Created in Web 2.0 style, Naloty enables everyone to add or edit a post concerning a "nalot" (Polish for "police raid") against an individual, a business or a hall of residence. The photograph on the right, entitled 'Microsoft Linux', gives an idea of what the Polish police are up against. The IPKat wonders whether this site is intended to be for the benefit of the police, the public or the pirates, since he can see advantages in it for all three. Merpel says "miaou", this apparently being the Polish for "miaow" and her only word in that language so far.