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, 20 April 2012

Friday fantasies II

The Story of O, Patently so ...
The story of O. Well, not quite, but a story of the behind PatentlyO.  Stellar blogger and legal scholar Dennis Crouch will be revealing all the secrets of US patent law that baffle Europeans when he comes to England to do a spot of lecturing this summer. The secret behind the secrets is that Sir Robin Jacob has exercised the gentle tact for which he is renowned and has inveigled Dennis to come out from behind his computer, step out of the blogosphere for a while and tell us in person all about the America Invents Act.  So this coming June, Dennis Crouch will be delivering three two-hour lectures (exclusive of informal chatting time) at UCL's IBIL.  Says Sir Robin, "This is the best opportunity UK patent attorneys, solicitors and others will get to come to grips with the sea-changes in US law and practice" [this is no slur upon the excellent and entertaining Judge Randall Rader, who is reputed to know a thing or two about the subject but is coming to the same institution to speak on another subject].   Adds Robin, "Dennis is a real snip at the price!"  If you're signing up, Early Bird bookings end on 30 April and you can even get CPD points.  Oh, and the lecture dates are 18, 28 June and 4 July. Click here for your future happiness.


To conform with local
legislation, they had to
censor the "lympics" bit
Word of mouth. With the 100-day countdown to the Olympics grinding along, the BBC's Chris Ledgard examines how trade mark law can control the language of the games, asking if word use can ever be effectively contained and controlled. In "Word of Mouth" (here) he meets historians charting usage of the term "olympic" over centuries, talks to comedy producer Jon Plowman about the BBC mockumentary "Twenty Twelve", and discovers that one American university wants some words banned altogether. You can listen to this 28-minute programme at 11.00pm BST on Radio 4 here (katpat to Andy Johnstone, who says "it's worth a listen for the quite abysmal confusion amongst overwise educated people about the distinctions between patents, copyright and trade marks"). If you live on the right part of planet Earth, you can listen to it even if you miss it, via iPlayer here.


Le premier cercle
"Short but dense": that's how the IPKat's Premier Cercle friend Anne Verron describes an event which her company is hosting in Washington, D.C. in May, timed to coincide with this year's International Trademark Association (INTA) Meeting. Premier Cercle tell the Kat:
"it would not be superfluous to try and bring together a handful of knowledgeable persons in anti-counterfeiting or anti-piracy. Heated debates and sterile oppositions on SOPA-PIPA-ACTA and other acronyms do not seem to be the way out of this issue and we would like to try, not to find a solution (that may be a little bit ambitious), but to have a dispassionate discussion with various stake holders, based on facts if possible". 
This is a very special event since it's (i) limited to just 50 persons -- by invitation only, (ii) free and (iii) taking place the lovely French Embassy on 9 May, 8.30 to 11.00 am (light breakfast served at 8.00 am). Miriam Sapiro, Deputy Unite States Trade Representative, is on the menu.


Open source, government sauce? Katfriend Duncan Curley has been busying himself with the ongoing consultation by the UK's Cabinet Office with respect to IT procurement policy. The UK government is reputedly keen to ensure that more SMEs participate in tenders for government IT contracts [to boost the SME economy, says the IPKat; to ensure that the balance of bargaining power remains with the government, says Merpel]. A Cabinet Office paper suggests that there should be a “levelling of the playing field” between open source software providers and the providers of proprietary solutions. In particular, patent owners should be prepared to license on a royalty free basis. This coming Wednesday, 25 April, there's in-depth seminar which seeks to examine the legal issues raised. Lead speaker is Susannah Sheppard, of the new boutique competition and EU regulatory law firm, Sheppard & Smith, and Professor Mark Schankerman (LSE) is in the chair [which is pretty much where one would expect to find a professor, mews Merpel]. Admission is free; you even get one hour's worth of CPD just for being there.  To register, just email Simon Barnham.


Absolute zero. Following yesterday's revelations concerning actual or alleged copyright in John Cage's musical work, the Kat is happy to express his gratitude to the distinguished musician and fair-treatment-for-performers enthusiast Les Hurdle for sending him this link to an entire Wikipedia feature on musical compositions which, like Cage's famous work, consist of no sound at all.

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