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.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Monday miscellany

Stuff the (Single) Market -- with canapés;
Tax the Rich -- lightly ...
“A Kat reflects”. On 12 June 2012 this member of the IPKat weblog team takes time off from his gruelling training schedule ahead of the London Blogging Olympics O******s in order to devote some time to Union activities. The Union in question is the Union of European Practitioners in Intellectual Property and he is attending a meeting of its British cell. Since the Union couldn’t afford the prices at The Old Nick and they don’t have good prospects of leverage through taking industrial action, they’ve had to opt for something a little more downmarket and they’ve ended up at The Royal Society, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London. To sweeten the blow a little, those attending will be mollified with Champagne and canapés. If you want to hear a Kat Reflect, there are still some spaces. Details are available here


Anshika's appointment:
a blow for Wallace and Gromit
Attaché now on the case. A press release informs the IPKat that the UK's second Intellectual Property attaché has been appointed and will start work in India as part to the UK Government’s plans “to bolster trade relations and support IP and innovation-led businesses abroad”. The lucky person, Anshika Jha, will be based in the British High Commission in New Delhi and will be working with to help British businesses operating in India make the most of the business opportunities there [says Merpel, it will be good to know how much of this is related to enforcement of IP rights held byBritish businesses and how much will address the licensing of UK technology into India – and vice versa].


Tea at 3pm? You must
be joking!*
IP TRANSLATOR delayed — but not by much. Thanks to the IPKat’s excellent friend Michael Edenborough QC the news can be broken to a disappointed world that the long-awaited ruling of the Court of Justice in Case C-307/10 Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (the IP TRANSLATOR case, concerning which some people have still not yet read Richard Ashmead’s masterly three-part analysis of the issues herehere and here) will not be handed down at 9.30am on Tuesday 19 June 2012. The new time is 3pm, just too early for tea.

* Illustration: Tea Time with Angel, by Monica Van de weer, available for purchase here

1 comment:

ex-examiner said...

What the press release about the new attaché does not explicitly say, is that the costs of this and the other attachés that are in the pipeline, are being met by the IPO itself (and not the BIS). As the IPO has agency status and therefore gets all its funds from the income it receives from its users, that means that it is the IPO's "customers" who are ultimately meeting the entire cost.

This and other interesting information can be gleaned from a review of the minutes of the IPO's steering board, available here: http://www.ipo.gov.uk/about/whatwedo/steer/steer-minutes.htm


Readers will draw their own conclusions, but one interpretation of the contents of the last few years' minutes is that the IPO is now being seen by the BIS as a potential [if not actual] cash cow to fund high profile BIS projects that used to be centrally funded.

The IPO is currently running a substantial surplus, and rather than using it to provide its customers with an improved service, a philosophy has been promulgated that the BIS actually has the status of a shareholder in the IPO, and as such is entitled to receive a dividend from the surplus accumulated by the IPO. This is in addition to the payment of interest on notional capital that was provided to meet the cost of the IPO's infrastructure. Staff morale is not good, partly because of the cost-cutting "working without walls" initiative ["spin" for getting rid of individual offices in favour of open plan] and the withholding of increments that are not being withheld in other parts of the BIS who are not run on an agency basis. Trying to balance what the IPO needs to operate effectively and politically-imposed targets has been an ongoing problem.

I recall attending a meeting at CIPA in the early 1990's when Agency status was being proposed, where the senior Patent Office officials expressed optimism that agency status would free them from their shackles and allow them to give their customers what they wanted and were prepared to pay for. As might have been expected, political control is not easily relinquished, as is evident from the following quote from the 1st Dec 2011 minutes:

"7.3 Mr Gilbert regarded BIS as a shareholder and the IPO as its subsidiary. As such it was important for the IPO to get a clear steer from BIS."

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