How many languages should the European patent be in? This was the question for a recent IPKat poll. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the favourite answer was "only one". Unfortunately it is not possible to trace the origins or the identities of respondents to this anonymised survey, but the IPKat has a shrewd suspicion that the majority consists primarily of people having one or more of the following characteristics: (i) they are from outside Europe, derive most of their income from outside Europe and regard protection in that continent as a necessary evil on which the least amount possible should be spent; (ii) people who operate in one or more of the three official European Patent Office languages and (iii) people whose work lies in industrial sectors involving telecomms, software etc where most patents are not read other than for the one-off purpose of establishing industry standards.
What is notable is how many people still want translation of the full patent - or at least the claims - into the language of every European jurisdiction in which a patent takes effect.
Left: a new generation of Pollyglot Europeans is agitating for a streamlined language policy (listen here to Polly speaking Esperanto)
Combined, this group actually outweighs the "only one" group. This, says Merpel, indicates that there are still many people - academics, researchers and those who work in so-called minority languages - for whom the disclosure of an invention in a patent application is a valuable source of learning.
Peer-to-patent posts again. According to his latest information, Peer-to-Patent has posted a further seven pending United States patent applications for review by interested parties. This latest batch covers inventions in such diverse fields as
* detecting browser-based exploitsThe IPKat, suppressing any gut reactions as to where he'd like to drag and drop the penultimate item on the list, urges all suitably qualified readers to participate in this experiment.
* progress indicators for program execution
* managing storage system performance as a resource
* clinical decision support for doctors
* selection of optimal executable code for a system
* drag-and-drop functionality
* crossbar arithmetic processor.
Right: IPKat team blogger Jeremy remembers his own experience of a "crossbar arithmetic processor" ...