The number of events listed in the IPKat's efficiently-updated 'Forthcoming Events' feature, which lives on the left-hand side-bar of this weblog's front page, still stands at 49. FREE events are listed in this charming shade of ... green, or is it blue?
The IPKat's email account has been a source of constant vexation to him. Almost since the day he opened it he has been bombarded with sob-stories promising vast illicit wealth from Africa, offers of replica watches, warnings concerning accounts with banks with which he has never deposited any cash, degrees from prestigious non-accredited universities, and the enhancement of the performance of practically every part of his body except his belly-button. Burdened by this flow, seemingly unabated by spam filters, he is now moving to a new email address: firstname.lastname@example.org -- to which all readers are cordially invited to send future correspondence. Such correspondence may include, but is not limited to, scoops on all matters concerning IP, entries to IPKat competitions, words of praise and encouragement and decent snapshots of cats for use in the illustration of appropriate news items.
Never underestimate the power of human curiosity, says the IPKat. After he mentioned yesterday that the little-known and somewhat obscure niche blog IP Finance had just notched up its 150th email subscriber, it received 241 visitors (more than five times its normal daily figure) and, 24 hours later, had picked up another 55 email subscribers. While this is very encouraging -- the IPKat thinks that blogs are a brilliant way of sharing IP information and building communities -- it is unlikely to set a precedent.
Left: theming Kats and curiosity is this great photo from Digital Photography School - can any readers of this blog do better?
Thus the fact that another IP blog, the specialist European trade mark blog Class 46, has just claimed its 350th email subscriber today, is not going to trigger a similar avalanche of interest since it's only a couple of weeks since that blog got to 300 and it has already enjoyed its IP equivalent of the "Slashdot effect".
Congratulations to Managing Intellectual Property magazine for its latest initiative. The IPKat has heard all about it from MIP's editor James Nurton, who tells him:
Three cheers to the excellent Intellectual Property Watch for publishing these photos of the work in progress on the new World Intellectual Property Organization building in Geneva -- though they will do little to quell the apprehensions of those who believe that WIPO is a bottomless pit into which PCT and Madrid fees sink.
"The Green IP Award will recognise the importance of technology in tackling climate change and the key role played by patents in promoting innovation. There are many awards now being offered for clean technologies, but this one will be specifically for a patented invention. The winner, who will receive a trophy at one of our awards ceremonies next March and will be profiled in the magazine, will be decided by a panel of clean-tech experts who will be confirmed within the next fortnight. More details on how to submit applications for the award are here".
Left: this design was proposed by those who felt that WIPO was already too generously funded -- but it failed to generate much support, despite intense (= in tents?) canvassing :-)
The IPKat is happy to offer a free one-year subscription to the World Intellectual Property Review as a prize for each of the three best suggestions for a name for the new building. Please email your suggestions here by not later than midnight (GMT), Sunday 12 October, using the subject line 'WIPO Building'. Note for competitors: there are NO PRIZES for anyone who suggests Fawlty Towers, Bleak House or any other name that has fallen into general use as a derogatory term.
Via Miri Frankel comes a piece by Samantha Gross, writing in the Washington Post ("Money meltdown creates identity crises for venues"), on the fascinating issues that arise when well known buildings and venues have been named after businesses or brands that have either ceased to exist or that have lost their attraction.
Right: money meltdown is one thing, but will the Merrill Lynch bull be melted down too?
Memo to all IP practitioners: this is something which, having occurred on numerous occasions in the past, is reasonably foreseeable in the future too -- so we can provide for it when drafting contracts.
Meanwhile, thanks to Hugo Cox the IPKat has this link to MarketWatch's account of the decision of New York District Judge William H. Pauley III to dismiss a copyright infringement lawsuit against Michael Robertson while allowing the case against his company MP3tunes and its personal music lockers to proceed. This complaint objects to MP3tunes' internet locker service, where individual music libraries can be stored and accessed. MP3tunes currently has some 150,000 customers with personal music accounts known as lockers. All music stored in these password protected accounts is available on their PCs, game consoles, DVRs, internet radios and mobile phones for listening. The point of this ruling is that it protects CEOs such as Michael Robertson against being winkled out from behind their companies in order to be made personally liable -- a tactic which is can lead to a swift settlement of a claim by anyone who doesn't fancy losing his house, car, golf clubs and stamp collection in the event of a large damages award against him. This issue is actually a very complex one, with moral support claimed by both sides. The IPKat invites readers' comments.