IP cartoon in need of explanation or repair, please!

At risk of appearing to have no sense of humour at all -- and felines are not noted for this particular attribute -- the IPKat reproduces here another cartoon sequence which, his instincts tell him, may have been intended to be funny.  Alas, he can't see the joke.  The IPKat would welcome an explanation, or perhaps a deep analysis of what it is that the author seeks to tell us about the position of IP and the world in which we live.

Merpel has a better idea: why not ask readers to supply a dialogue in place of the text encapsulated in the speech balloons which (i) is truly funny and (ii) makes better sense to intellectual property enthusiasts?

POSTSCRIPT: it now appears that the car in the cartoon depicts that employed in the Hanna & Barbera "Flintstones" cartoon.  The IPKat had not picked up this allusion and thanks those readers who have pointed this out to him.
IP cartoon in need of explanation or repair, please! IP cartoon in need of explanation or repair, please! Reviewed by Jeremy on Tuesday, October 19, 2010 Rating: 5


  1. - Who was that?

    - Mastroianni and Hart...they've just patently destroyed cartoon humour.

  2. The drawing in the cartoon is of the car from Hanna/Barbera's "The Flintstones".

  3. The answer is found in the Flinstones TV program. Their autmobile was designed as the auto you see in the BC strip.

    Hanna Barbera were the producers of the Flinstones and, voila, a copyright infringement in the automobile.

    Those in North America of a certain age (i.e. growing up in the 1960s) would readily understand the connection from the auto design.

  4. Just as a follow up on the auto design:


  5. While I'm thinking about it, I realise that the James Watt sketch from Monty Python might just be prior art for the concept expressed in the strip.

  6. my last post on this topic: this cartoon reminded me I hadn't visited http://www.emcartoons.com a semi-autobiographical strip, recently. The last entry for Oct 2010 "iq test" also contains the recursion idea. Perhaps IP lawyers are too literal (or is that actual)?

  7. I think the car he's just invented is a replica of the one that appears in "The Flintstones," a Hanna Barbera cartoon. Still not that funny, but at least not completely random.

  8. The automobile "invented" by the B.C. character is supposed to be the foot-powered vehicle used by Fred Flintstone in the Hanna-Barbara cartoon TV program, "The Flintstones."

    Insult to injury dept. (or H-B as troll): "The Flintstones" is modeled after the Jackie Gleason sit-com "The Honeymooners" so closely that one might call it a derivative work.

  9. The automobile that has been purportedly invented is the famous Flintmobile from "The Flintstones". Hanna & Barbera are the famous Flintstones animators. This is actually a very funny cartoon, at least if you are a current IP practtioner who grew up in the US watching cartoon re-runs ad nauseum. I may have to ask Johnny Hart for permission to re-print!

    Kelly Merkel

  10. Well, as a Yank, it was pretty funny to me... but I'll admit to a somewhat twisted sense of humo(u)r...

    [For those who are not necessarily animation fans, Hanna-Barbera produced the famed TV series "The Flintstones", which (like our equakky beloved "B.C.") is set in a decidedly Paleolithic age-- probably around the time that Joan Collins was still considered "fetching". But I digress.

    The car that has been invented by the B.C. characters is a dead ringer for the car that Fred Flintstone drives in the TV series, which (even in this pre-IP time period) no doubt spurred a call from H-B's attorney, Perry Masonary.]

  11. I think it's a reference to the car used in the Flintstones, a Hanna & Barbera cartoon. http://www.free-extras.com/images/flintstones_car-5302.htm. So it would be a copyright infringement to use the same drawing of a car. And when you have to work that hard for a joke, it's not funny.

  12. Oh dear oh dear. Ever eloquent and extremely well-versed in all IP matters, the Kats seem to have a real problem understanding and appreciating cartoons!

  13. Sadly, this is only a meta-joke (based on what is drawn) rather than a situation joke (based on the action that is shown). It is the fact that the Flintmobile has been drawn without permission that is the copyright infringement.

  14. I think that it would make more sense if the final balloon said, "They've just designed a copyright invention."

    If only they'd registered their copyright, they wouldn't have passed off Hanna&Barbera's trade mark.

    Or did I miss something?

  15. Could I suggest that the point of the joke, which surmises that Hanna-Barbera would regard something that had been designed several thousand years ago as a breach of their copyright if it coincided with one of their own designs, is that the week before the cartoon was syndicated there had been some publicity for a lawsuit in which Hanna-Barbera sued a talk-show host for copyright infringement for having a hair-style which allegedly mirrored that of a cartoon character: according to Ninja Satire, http://ninjasatire.com/2010/10/15/hanna-barbera-files-lawsuit-against-rachel-maddow/ , she retorted “I’ve looked this way my whole life. The idea that I’m trying to look like a cartoon character who runs around with a over-sized dog is preposterous.”

    I suspect this illustrates the truth that neither parody nor satire is particularly funny unless one knows what is being parodied or satirised. There's a deeper point here about IP and humour than seems to have been appreciated above.


All comments must be moderated by a member of the IPKat team before they appear on the blog. Comments will not be allowed if the contravene the IPKat policy that readers' comments should not be obscene or defamatory; they should not consist of ad hominem attacks on members of the blog team or other comment-posters and they should make a constructive contribution to the discussion of the post on which they purport to comment.

It is also the IPKat policy that comments should not be made completely anonymously, and users should use a consistent name or pseudonym (which should not itself be defamatory or obscene, or that of another real person), either in the "identity" field, or at the beginning of the comment. Current practice is to, however, allow a limited number of comments that contravene this policy, provided that the comment has a high degree of relevance and the comment chain does not become too difficult to follow.

Learn more here: http://ipkitten.blogspot.com/p/want-to-complain.html

Powered by Blogger.