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.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Wednesday whimsies

You won't find
this cradle in the
IKEA bedding
deparment
Some readers have wondered why IPKat team member Jeremy has been a little quieter than usual. He has just moved to a new home and is still trying to reclaim it from an invasive army of packing cases that seems to have taken it over.  He has now successfully reconnected himself to the internet and hopes that his contributions to the world of IP will consist of something more than field trips to IKEA to study that company's idiosyncratic product branding policy.

Jeremy would like to thank his colleagues in the IPKat team for keeping the momentum during this time of trial. He'd also like to thank the various souls who have submitted some excellent guest pieces for this blog to host in recent weeks -- of which Gwilym Roberts' "Grizzled Grandpas" piece on the European patent system is but the most recent example.  Judging by the number of comments which some of our guest pieces receive, we think that many readers appreciate an occasional change of fare too.


Are BMX bike tracks capable of design protection in Europe, or indeed beyond?  Roland Mallinson (Taylor Wessing LLP) speculated on this question last week in last week's Tuesday Tiddlywinks here, and now Simon Clark (Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP) has chimed in by asking much the same sort of question about golf courses.  Since IPKat readers were a bit slow on the uptake, possibly thinking that the original piece was just more Olympic news, the issue has been transplanted on to the Class 99 design law blog here in the hope that design aficionados will be inspired to make some cogent legal responses. Merpel doesn't know what all the fuss is all about: if toy race tracks like the Scalextric one depicted on the left are susceptible of design protection, why shouldn't real sports tracks and courses be given equal treatment?


The IPKat has just received a charming little email from his friend Estelle Derclaye, who writes:
" ... CREATe stands for The Centre for Creativity, Regulation, Enterprise and Technology and is to be established this fall with initial funding of £5 million from RCUK [no, this isn't a euphemistic spelling of FCUK: it stands for Reearch Councils UK, motto: "Excellence with Impact", which would do well for one of those Volvo tanks that keep reversing into the IPKat's car]. This interdisciplinary research centre will engage with key research challenges in the creative economy relating to copyright, new business models, and digital transformations. Based at the University of Glasgow, CREATe draws upon a consortium of research expertise from seven participating HEIs [that's Higher Educational Institutions] across the UK (Glasgow, Edinburgh, Goldsmiths, Nottingham, St Andrews, Strathclyde and UEA). I’m therefore part of it and will advertise soon also for positions – first a research associate for the subject of open publishing (and especially open academic publishing) and then a PhD student in this field too.

The advert for the first CREATe Research Associate, namely RA in Cultural Economics has gone live. The closing date is 24 August. Details of the post are available on the University of Glasgow website here".

Around the weblogs. Quite by chance the IPKat stumbled across Plagiarism Today, a handsomely-presented and content-rich offering from Jonathan Bailey ("I am not a lawyer. I am just a legally-minded Webmaster/Writer frustrated with the plague of plagiarism online and doing something about it"). Despite,or perhaps because of, the sense of vitality and urgency which this site conveys, it's definitely worth taking a look at. Meanwhile, on the 1709 Blog, French attorney Asim Singh reflects on the curious fact that US copyright law is rich in theories, unlike French law -- which may be theory-poor but is, in the IPKat's view at least, rich in principles. Incidentally, one might say that, if the Americans have copyright theory and the French have principles, the Dutch -- who celebrate the 100th birthday of their authors' rights legislation with a stupendous party deadly serious conference at the end of this month -- are among the leading nations when it comes to opting for the best outcome and then working backwards till they find the reasoning to support it.  Finally, the IPKat salutes his friend and fellow blogger Mark Anderson (IP Draughts), whose tireless work and effective campaigning has finally borne fruit in the form of a real, live five-day postgraduate course on IP transactions. You can get the details from Mark's blog here.

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