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.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Monday miscellany

The Providence Animal Rescue League is not an organisation hitherto known to the IPKat, who personally remains unconvinced that there is anything providential about having to be rescued. Still, he was curious to discover a little about it after discovering that it was taking his name in vain. According to its web page it is offering a kitten by the name of Ipkat to some good soul who might want to enter enter into a deep and meaningful relationship with it. The text reads:
"Hi, I'm Ipkat and I am 8 months old! My Feline-ality is Love Bug. Do you seek affection? I do! If you also like petting, purrs, and paws kneading your lap, I think we might have a LOT in common. I'm looking for "someone who enjoys quiet times and togetherness." Could that someone be you?
Can some kind reader in the vicinity of Rhode Island, USA, please take custody of the kitten in question, give it a good home and teach it the rudiments of intellectual property, lest its continued online presence cause this Kat's confused readers to send it their IP problems, requests for employment and references, feline photos and press releases.


Ideal for slimmers: the EPO
recently granted a patent for
the first self-digesting
Christmas pudding
Union dues. On Tuesday 4 December (which is actually tomorrow) the good folk of UNION-ip (European Practitioners in Intellectual Property) will be partaking of their Christmas dinner and meeting at the Royal Overseas League (ROSL), London [Katnote: ROSL is "committed to supporting international understanding and friendship through social, music, arts and welfare activities".   Sadly, it seems that the best way to undermine international understanding is to try to build a unitary patent system with a unified patent court to match it ...]. The focal point of the meeting is a talk by Christopher Rennie-Smith, who knows more than a thing or two about the inner workings of the European Patent Office (EPO).  Christopher will be giving some insights into the EPO's Boards of Appeal. If this doesn't put you off your appetite, dinner details are here.


The power of Chi. This Kat has moaned long and hard about the failure of the UK government to come up with even a plausible imitation of a credible, responsive and well-informed Minister for Intellectual Property.   However, at the rate the current government is losing ground, we may find ourselves with one after the next election. The IPKat likes to stay neutral on party political issues, but he notes with interest that Chi Onwurah, currently the Labour MP for Newcastle upon Tyne Central and Shadow Minister for Innovation, Science and Digital Infrastructure, is advertising for a short-term Parliamentary Intern.  Details of the position are as follows:
... Chi Onwurah ... is looking for a motivated and enthusiastic individual to join the team for 10 weeks as a paid intern in her busy Westminster office. Applicants will need strong research and communication skills and will have a keen interest in Newcastle, local and national politics and a strong interest in science, technology and innovation. Responsibilities will include: Assisting the Parliamentary Researcher. Carrying out research into policy issues. Working on local policy campaigns, in particular Chi’s Newcastle Housing campaign. Monitoring local and national issues. Supporting general office administration duties. Necessary skills: A good knowledge of the political issues important to Newcastle; a good understanding of science and innovation policy. IT skills are vital. A good understanding of current political issues. Excellent oral and written communication skills. Working knowledge of Labour Party policy. You should be sympathetic with the aims and principles of the Labour Party. Upon appointment you will be required to comply with the Baseline Personnel Security Standard, undertaken by the Members’ Staff Verification Office (MSVO). See here for further info. Closing Date: 17 December 2012.
A year or so ago, this Kat shared a design protection seminar panel with Chi in the house of Commons. He was favourably impressed by her apparent level of interest, concern and comprehension and thinks that she might make a half-way decent IP Minister, given the right support and assistance. Would it be too much to hope that the vacancy advertised above might be filled by a sympathetic reader of this weblog?


Some books everyone 
wants to review ...
Book reviews are usually to be found among the padding at the back of any law journal that is prepared to make space for them.  Not so often are they the subject of a law journal on their own merits.  There is however a most worthy exception: The IP Law Book Review, an online journal of reviews of current books focusing on IP law and policy.  According to Professor William T. Gallagher, this title, authored by leading law professors and lawyers around the country and internationally, is the only peer-reviewed journal of its kind [Katnote: he may be right. JIPLP peer-reviews the longer book reviews, but not the short, descriptive ones].  It's published by the Intellectual Property Law Center at the Golden Gate University School of Law, San Francisco, California.  Volume 3, issue 3 has just been published.  If you'd like to know more, you can contact Professor Gallagher at wgallagher@ggu.edu,



Around the weblogs. In Australia the Pharmaceutical Patents Review Panel has been busy: The SPC Blog notes that it has even set up its own weblog here. Posting on PatLit, David Berry announces the expected news that the US Supreme Court has agreed to hear the keenly-awaited appeal in Myriad on the patentability of human genes. Further down the line, on PatentlyO, Dennis Crouch explains the US Patent Trial and Appeal Board ruling in Kamrava on the patentability of inventions encompassing a human organism here. Changing the subject completely, Pat Treacy's guest editorial for JIPLP on valuing innovation can be read in full on the jiplp weblog here. Finally, a couple of congratulations: well done, Afro-IP and Class 99 (the design law blog), each of which has just reached the 700 mark for its email subscribers.


La Propieda Inmaterial is the name of Colombia's intellectual property law journal. The IPKat has been learning all about it from his learned friend Carlos Conde, who is currently based in London.  You can learn all about it too, by visiting its web page here.  Carlos says that this publication is for all students, researchers and professionals interested in new technologies, the digital age, biotechnology, and intellectual property in Colombia and worldwide. While the journal is mainly in Spanish, all its abstracts are in English. That's the good news.  The bad news is that this worthy publication comes out just once a year. He hopes that, given the wide range of topics targeted by it, and their acute topicality and likelihood of change, the publishers can be made to agree to increase its frequency, and thereby its utility, to the IP public in Colombia and beyond.


Yes, it's true! The IPKat had been hearing rumours for a while, but waited until he heard from Chris Torrero that David Kappos really did say he was stepping down as head of the US Patent and Trademark Office.  David's achievements include shaving a sizeable chunk off the backlog of unexamined US patent applications, keeping his cool while dodging the bullets on both sides as the pro- and anti-US patent reform lobbies took pot shots at each other, and -- most importantly -- making the USPTO at least appear to be more approachable, accessible and amenable to reason.  Merpel notes that David's unique combination of qualifications and experience would make him a useful asset in pretty well any organisation: do readers have any suggestions for his next job?


The Washington Legal Foundation (WLF) recently held a media briefing entitled “Standards-Essential Patents: Where Do IP Protections End and Antitrust Concerns Begin?” [a question often asked by the IPKat too, and coincidentally an issue covered in the most recent post on IP Finance too].  In this seminar,the WLF says it homed in on the propriety of antitrust enforcement in the area of standards-essential patents, as well as other current issues within the standards-essential patents debate. IPKat readers are privileged to be able to access the seminar here, as well as the speakers’ PowerPoint presentations and other materials WLF has published on this topic.

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