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.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Friday fantasies

The image on the right has been specially selected by law publishers Sweet & Maxwell to illustrate its online advertisement for the keenly-awaited first supplement to the 16th edition of Copinger and Skone James on Copyright.  The IPKat is quitee baffled by its symbolism.  Merpel is too: she has heard of people being described, politely, as being "up the creek without a paddle" -- but the man in the illustration, though fortunately equipped with his paddle, appears to be up the creek without a canoe.  Readers' suggestions are welcome, as ever.


Viewed through 21st century eyes, it seems
inconceivable that the work above should
ever have been thought to be disentitled
to legal protection ...
Beebe and Bleistein.  This Kat attended a top-rate colloquium yesterday at Tel Aviv University, sternly chaired by Katfriend Michael Birnhack, at which the excellent and erudite Barton Beebe (Professor of Law, New York University) presented a work-in-progress paper entitled "Bleistein, Copyright Law and the Problem of Aesthetic Progress".  First, Barton introduced the background to this paper, which was pre-circulated to those attending ("colloquiants"?), and elucidated some of his thoughts on the relationship (or lack thereof) of the US Constitutional Clause's requirement of progress of science and the useful arts to the scope of legal protection of fine art in a background of ever-changing political and cultural perspectives. The refractive prism through which the light of law, aesthetics, functionality and progress was beamed was the 1903 US Supreme Court decision in Bleistein v Donaldson Lithographing Company in which the then-rookie Justice Holmes stamped his mark on the consciousness of an unsuspecting American public with a classic statement of why advertisements should be qualified to attract copyright protection.  Barton then fielded some carefully-prepared criticisms and questions from his interlocutors, following which a general discussion ensued. This Kat found himself both educated and entertained by the whole process which, he hopes, will result in the publication of at least one jolly good article.  He also has to admit that he was quite bowled over by the very high standard displayed by the university's IP postgrads -- a tribute to their own excellence and to those who have had the undoubted privilege of teaching them.


Says Merpel: when love is
Kindled, he'd be easier
to hold on to if he didn't
oil his chest ...
Around the weblogs.  First, slightly incredulous congratulations to that most improbable of niche IP weblogs, The SPC Blog, which has persistently defied gravity by securing today its 1,600th email subscriber.  If you love patent term extension, this may be for you.   If you love copyright and enjoy romantic novels, you may wish to respond to a call from the Romantic Novelists' Association, which has put out an S.O.S. message via the 1709 Blog for an expenses-paid speaker for its July 2013 conference in Sheffield, England: those who are prepared to say a few words about the Amazon's Kindle and Createspace's terms and conditions will be given preference.  "Equality of arms" is the theme of Michael Thesen's latest post on German patent law for PatLit. Meanwhile, over on the IP Finance blog, guest writer Mike Mireles gives an account of the latest U.S. Bayh-Dole statistics and asks some pertinent questions, while Neil Wilkof considers the patent policy of start-ups and also asks some pertinent questions.  The topics covered by these two posts are not unrelated. Finally, on Class 99, there are two posts on the latest European design law case to be referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union for a preliminary ruling, Case C-479/12 Gautzsch Grosshandel (see here for the questions referred, here for illustrations of the protected and allegedly infringing gazebos).

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