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.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Monday miscellany

It's not just a question of power,
it's knowing what to do with it ...
If you are coming to the IPKat's seminar and discussion this Tuesday, 23 November, on "IP Enforcement in the UK: appraising the new US model", remember -- it starts at 5.30pm prompt (registration is from 5pm, so don't be late!).  This event reviews the status and activities of the new Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC, the so-called "IP Tsar") and asks whether the IPEC's role has a place in the UK too.  People whose names were placed on the reserve list should by now have heard whether they've got in or not (if in doubt, email the IPKat here to check).  The topics tackled in this event, together with a helpful list of things to read and/or watch compiled by the AmeriKat, can be read here [Note: this list will be taken down at the end of December].  The hosts, the London office of US-based law firm Covington & Burling, are emailing how-to-get-there details to all registrants.  If you've not yours by tomorrow and are starting to panic, email Anna here and she'll help.


If you like to get ahead of the game, why wait till 25 December to celebrate Christmas when you can go to The Intellectual Property Lawyers’ Organisation (TIPLO) Christmas dinner meeting in the Old Hall at Lincoln’s Inn on Wednesday, 1 December.  The main item on the menu, entitled "A Gallic infringement", is an attempt by Lord Hoffmann and Sir Robin Jacob to roast French IP practitioner Maître Pierre Véron. Bookings should be made by Wednesday, 24 November.  Reservations, cost and other details are not it seems available from the TIPLO website even though it's 2010, so you'd better contact info@tiplo.org or pursue the wonderful Renate Siebrasse by email or by phone (07803 008 243) if you want to be there.


Around the weblogs. Guesting on PatLit, long-standing UK patent expert and author Paul Cole shows here how the question whether to grant interim injunctive relief in a patent infringement action can be addressed by considerations of simple arithmetic.  Fellow Kat Neil Wilkof writes on IP Finance on the so-far unsuccessful exercise in "reverse innovation" in the Tata Nano car, contrasting it with Gillette's frugal innovation in the Gillette Guard double-edged razor for the Indian market. You can read this here.


Joost Smiers has written to draw the attention of the IPKat to an online book which he has co-written with Marieke van Schijndel with the slightly long title Imagine there's no copyright and no cultural conglomerates too (it's a free download). Joost, who is Research Fellow, Research Group Arts & Economics at the Utrecht School of the Arts, explains, "I just became aware of your interesting blog 1709. Three centuries after this event my co-author and I analyse that it is time to get rid of this tool called copyright. As mentioned in the title of the book, we should also reduce the size of cultural conglomerates that dominate markets substantially, by using revitalised anti trust policies. It does not make sense to approach the question of IP rights isolated from the question whether markets are level playing fields or not. What Queen Anne did [in 1709] was to avoid that book markets would be level playing fields. Now, it's time to reverse this trend".  Good news for copyright-lovers is that the authors really do believe in copyright; their publication is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial No Derivative Works 3.0 Netherlands Licence and readers are reminded that no article in the book may be reproduced in any form by any electronic or mechanical means without permission in writing from the author. nb The 1709 Blog hopes to carry a short review of this book in due course.


Brandchannel regularly carries 'Brandcameo' articles on product placement.  Today is one of its most interesting ones; it covers, apart from Harry Potter, a discussion of what is almost the opposite of product placement -- giant motor company Ford has been hit for a second time by a major movie which sheds poor light on the brand.  The first, Flash of Genius, deals with the alleged misappropriation by Ford of the invention of the intermittent windscreen wiper. Now, newly released, is Made in Dagenham, an account of a very serious spot  of industrial action on the part of workers at the company's immense Dagenham plant.  Unsurprisingly the company is unwilling to pay for the inclusion of its name, logo, models and so on; its response is to remain as quiet as possible.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Quite frankly, as an engineer by training, I get rather annoyed at the "frugal innovation" buzzword. Feature creep is normally marketing-driven, not engineering-driven. One of the basic tenets of sound, elegant engineering, whether East or West, North or South, is to do more with less.

When the same managers who, on the advice of marketing departments, used to push engineers to add ever more unnecessary complication to products, now trumpet the benefits of "frugal engineering", it appears to be all too convenient a justification for moving engineering departments, lock, stock and barrel, to low-wage countries (after having previously moved there manufacturing, sales, accounting, customer service, legal...in short, everything but the top management).

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