Once again it's Friday, time to take a break from the tests and traumas of the working week ... and to check the IPKat's fabled sidebar for news of forthcoming events.
"Given all the discussions generated by Richard Susskind’s ‘End of Lawyers?’ and the Legal Services Act 2007, which comes fully into effect in 2011, I've been wondering how to deliver an alternative to legal services based on an hourly rate of £250 (albeit quoted as a fixed fee), or providing document templates for sale. This latter option has never appealed to me, so my firm (Azrights) has never sold precedents. That’s because few transactions will be standard, and I fear that people who purchase precedents will feel comforted that they have something in place, without realising that the template they have bought needs to be tailored to fit their circumstances. Unless they understand the commercial context of the contract how are they even to know that the contract does not cover the particular point they have just agreed?
I have been particularly concerned about internet transactions, because so few small businesses seem to bother with legal advice when they commission websites or buy search engine optimisation (SEO) services. When I began to run workshops at the British Library’s Business and IP Centre, I realised that it is not that there is no interest by small businesses to understand the commercial and legal issues. It is just that their resources cannot stretch to paying expensive legal fees in order to receive advice. So, that’s how I came up with the idea of a new product, which is priced affordably, and is also available for licensing by lawyers. Here's my press release about it.
I am looking for internet lawyers in common law countries to approve the contract that comes with the product, so that it can be sold internationally, given that it is an internet transaction that is covered. Can anyone who is interested please contact me".
Animal logos are always popular, some because they enable a business to bask in the reflected characteristics of the animals themselves. Thus Puma and Jaguar, for instance, suggest speed and/or acceleration [it doesn't work for all creatures, notes Merpel: the Lacoste crocodile and Caterpillar are two examples] . The Kat has now been alerted by Duncan Bucknell to Save Your Logo, a brilliant idea if ever there was one: "Many companies and organizations use plant or animals in their logos ... Save Your Logo creates an opportunity for companies represented by a plant or animal in their logo to contribute to the conservation of that species". It costs money, but it's all in a good cause, as the website explains.
The Kats are all great admirers of Richard Arnold (left) who, as a judge of the Patents Court (England and Wales), has made some notable contributions to the development of intellectual property jurisprudence during his relatively short term in office. Some would say that his performance on the Bench has been little short of incredible, which is possibly why the IPKat has received emails from time to time on the subject of his resemblance to Mr Incredible's boss (right) in the Disney production of The Incredibles. Readers are invited to consider whether there is indeed some resemblance and, if so, which is the infringing copy ... [says Merpel, the word "incredible" actually means "not capable of being believed". While that sobriquet might be applicable to some witnesses -- and most counsel -- it should never be applied to a member of Her Majesty's judiciary].