For the half-year to 31 December 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie-Andrée Weiss.

Regular round-ups of the previous week's blogposts are kindly compiled by Alberto Bellan.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Wednesday whimsies

The Kats look high and low for sources
for their posts
A word about sources.  The credibility of any legal weblog which seeks to convey information and to share ideas with its readers depends on two things.  One is the quality of its authors; the other is the reliability of its sources.  The IPKat weblog has worked hard to put together and retain the services of a team of bloggers who are dedicated to its didactic ideals: making IP law more intelligible for those who are not yet familiar with it; defending it when it is unjustly attacked and constructively criticising its failings where these can be eliminated. Unlike many other blogs, the IPKat is composed by authors who are in many senses in competition with another -- they work for different firms in private practice or are affiliated to different academic institutions -- but its authors are united in their belief that IP is a valuable servant of modern civilisation and that it will continue to serve us better when we understand it properly, play to its strengths and seek to repair its weaknesses.

As for sources, this weblog has from the outset sought to provide sources for whatever propositions and information its authors put forward.  Where possible a hyperlink is given so that readers can see for themselves where it is that the blog's material comes from. Where no link is available, as occasionally happens, we strive to cite references to printed or otherwise published materials. We try to make it clear whether we are conveying fact (which requires a source) or the opinions of the IPKat, Merpel or individual bloggers (which do not).

In return, the IPKat asks a favour from all of his readers.  He notes that, from time to time, readers make fairly free use of the content of this weblog in the course of their own writings, but that they sometimes fail to cite the IPKat as their source -- whether through inadvertence, forgetfulness, uncertainty as to how to cite a blog post or through a sense of slight discomfort or embarrassment that a reference to a fictional cat might be made to appear in an otherwise solemn piece of prose.

Please: if you are cutting and pasting text from the IPKat or even just "borrowing" an idea or proposition from the blog, do cite your source. Apart from the fact that it makes your own work more transparent and it's the honest thing to do, it saves our team from having to deal with emails from readers of your work, drawing attention to the fact that our work appears in it, or worse -- accusations from readers that it is we who have lifted your work.


Around the blogs.  The 11th creator whose works have just dropped into the public domain in "life plus 70 year" countries, in the 1709 Blog's "12 for 2012" series, is Maurice Leblanc (creator of gentleman-thief-turned-detective Arsène Lupin). The same blog, which has been very busy of late, also carries features on cognitive screening and copyleft and Spain's new web-blocking law. Over on the MARQUES Class 46 weblog, the Kat's friend Selma Ünlü brings news of a surprisingly and welcomingly liberal ruling from the Turkish Court of Appeal on what constitutes use of a mark by a foreign broadcasting service. This has been quite a peaceful week for IP blogging as a whole, what with holidays and their after-effects, but next week the IPKat will be refreshing readers' memories of the various IP blogs which are either "IPKat-approved" or involve contributions from members of the IPKat team -- so watch this space.


Amazon: a veritable giant
among e-tailers
Amazon one-click hits the jackpot in Canada.  The IPKat's friend, scholar and fellow-blogger Norman Siebrasse was the first of many Canadians to tell him the latest news from the tundra:
"Blog reports (here and here) indicate that the Canadian IP Office has allowed Amazon.com’s “one-click” patent application. The application had initially been rejected by CIPO. This decision was quashed by the Federal Court, in a decision which would clearly have allowed business method patents generally. The Federal Court decision was in turn overruled by the Federal Court of Appeal and the application was remanded to the Patent Office, in an unclear decision which was open to a wide range of interpretations. CIPO’s subsequent allowance of the application is surprising in light of the strong stance against business method patents taken by CIPO up to that point and the ambiguous nature of the Court of Appeal decision, but the result is that business methods are now patentable in Canada, though the details of the law remain uncertain".

Looking for hands-on experience of a digital exchange?
Not everyone in the world may yet have heard the name of Richard Hooper, but it is he who calls for evidence on copyright licensing as part of the independent feasibility study on developing a Digital Copyright Exchange (DCE) in the United Kingdom (see today's media release for full details). This study is being carried out in two parts. The first examines all the issues highlighted in the Hargreaves Review surrounding copyright licensing in and for the digital age, setting out clear definitions of the roles played by creators, businesses, rights management organisations and consumers.  The second recommends solutions ("The digital copyright exchange is considered to be a strong potential solution by some stakeholders"). Richard, who is leading the feasibility study, wants to know (i) whether stakeholders agree with the 'Hargreaves Hypothesis', that the current copyright licensing system is not fit for purpose for the digital age; (ii) whether they agree with his proposed definitions, including the market definition. You have to be quick, though: the closing date for receipt of evidence is Friday 10 February 2012. Emily at the UK's Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has written to tell the Kat that the IPO will be doing some tweeting on this call for evidence today. Merpel wants to know whether and, if so, how British civil servants are trained to tweet. Does anyone know?

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