For the half-year to 30 June 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Alberto Bellan, Darren Meale and Nadia Zegze.

Two of our regular Kats are currently on blogging sabbaticals. They are David Brophy and Catherine Lee.

Friday, 30 January 2009

Friday fripperies

The IPKat's superbly-updated 'Forthcoming Events' feature, which occupies a large slice of space on the left-hand side-bar of this weblog's front page, currently lists 41 conferences, seminars and events for your delectation. FREE events are listed in a cheerful blue.


The IPKat has received a letter from Roger Rapoport of RDR Books. Roger writes:

"You may recall a prediction on your site about the future of the Lexicon by Steve Vander Ark after a trial in New York last year ["... whatever comments the judge made will prove the basis for Vander Ark and his publisher to set to work, pencilling out the excessive bits so that a slimmed down "fair" version of the work can be launched in the wake of the publicity that has attached to the litigation"].

It turned out to be very accurate.

A new book by author Steve Vander Ark, The Lexicon, An Unauthorized Guide to the Harry Potter Novels and Related Materials, has been published this month by RDR Books in the United States and Britain and by Al Terre Editions in Canada.

The 368 page guide to the complete series by J.K. Rowling began with a 40,000 copy first printing and was praised by Kirkus Reviews which said, "Stealing a march on all competitors by treating this wins points for currency, and all but the most obsessive readers will find it unexcelled for ease of use as a quick reference guide." In a prepared statement, Neil Blair, an attorney for author J.K. Rowling said "We are delighted that this matter is finally and favourably resolved and that J.K. Rowling's rights—and indeed the rights of all authors of creative works—have been protected".
Thanks, Roger, for letting us know.  


It's not just in Germany that Google has been having a busy time in court of late. The IPKat is indebted to Isabelle Schuller, who spotted this item in Le Figaro. In short, Google was recently ordered by a French court to pay damages of 410,000 EUR to two travel agencies which argued that they suffered loss of business due to misleading adwords. Every time the words "Terres d'aventure" (literally in English, 'lands of adventure') or "Voyageurs du monde" ('travellers of the world') -- both of which are registered trade marks -- were typed in the search engine, links to the websites of their competitors were displayed. The Court in Paris decided that the commercial damage was only 'marginal' but still made Google pay 200,000 EUR damages to Voyageurs du Monde and 150,000 EUR damages to Terres d'aventure (not to mention 60,000 EUR in legal fees). Google is planning an appeal, arguing that its AdWord service is complying with the law. Thanks, Isabelle!


 Yesterday the IPKat posted a note concerning the recent NERA report on IP infringement damages in China. The bottom line is that they are inadequate for all meaningful purposes but have shown a recent substantial tendency towards an increase. Today the Kat has been asked:
"Do you know if a similar study has ever been made for the damages awarded by the courts in the EU? That could lead to some surprises ..."
No, he doesn't -- but he wonders if any of his readers can advise.


The IPKat has twice posted information on this blog, first in November and subsequently in December, concerning the advertisement of Herbal Viagra in the window of a Central London shop. It's nearly the end of January and, to the Kat's horror, he notices that it's still there. Can it really be that Pfizer is the only credible drug company in the world that doesn't have at least one conscientious employee reading this blog? Meanwhile, one reader whom, the IPKat suspects, is not a Pfizer employee, has sent him this Viagra-inspired illustration on the right.  A little harmless fun? A brilliant viral ad? The revenge of a disgruntled advertising executive? Perhaps we will never know ...

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