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.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Wednesday whimsies

Do remember to check the IPKat's Forthcoming Events page. We've added quite a few new events recently (and removed plenty of old ones), and there may be one or two just made for you. Here's where you can check them.


One event which is very much on the IPKat's mind is next Wednesday's birthday seminar (details here).  We've kept the names of our panelists under wraps so far, but today we reveal the first two.  One is our dear friend and colleague, patent attorney and IPKat team member and ready wit Darren Smyth; another is a cherished former Kat colleague, attorney, scholar and part-time Federal Swiss Patent Judge Mark Schweizer.  On Friday we reveal the identity of the third of our panelists.  Incidentally, you will be able to follow the birthday seminar on Twitter: the hashtag is #Katparty.


From the hallowed information source that is Yahoo! comes news of an outbreak of giant counterfeit rubber ducks. The original, by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, is 16.5 metres high; bright yellow and inflatable, it was an immediate hit in both Hong Kong and mainland China -- where it is apparently breeding, unauthorised replicas having sprung up in Hangzhou, Wuhan and Tianjin.  The People's Daily is said to have condemned the perpetrators of these imitations for betraying what it said was Hofman's own message: the original duck was stated to be a symbol of "humanity's shared culture and childhood memories, pure art and anti-commercialisation".  However, while this organ of the ruling Communist Party has condemned this egregious copying, others have pounced on what is seen as a golden business opportunity.  KK Inflatable is selling inflatable ducks in various sizes on Taobao, China's biggest shopping website with prices ranging from 2,800 yuan ($460) for a man-sized duck to 149,800 yuan for the 20-metre version [Merpel wonders whether the inflatable form chosen by Florentijn Hofman could be bettered by the geodesic construction techniques of that famous US architect and visionary Duckminster Fuller ...]


In a neat segue from rubber to plastic, the IPKat wonders how many readers have yet encountered  Taylor v Taylor Made Plastics, a curious decision of the US District Court in Tampa, Florida, which marries -- if that be the appropriate word --  the doctrines of IP and family law. In short, a subsequently-divorced husband and wife co-owned a patent for a storm drainage conduit plug and sealing band. In the ensuing divorce settlement the wife took 60 percent of the asset, leaving the husband with the remaining 40 percent. The husband later brought an infringement claim, but the court dismissed the suit for lack of standing because the ex-wife had not joined her former husband in the claim. There's a lesson to be learned here, says the IPKat: try to avoid co-ownership of IP assets wherever possible since it so often ends in tears.  There's another lesson to be learned here, says Merpel: don't litigate your patents in Tampa, Florida ... [an analysis of this case will be published in JIPLP in due course].


Around the weblogs. PatLit announces a talk next Tuesday by Latham & Watkins' Don McCombie on what Europe's new patent regime means for junior practitioners, this talk for IPSoc has been arranged on the back of Don's Brave New World series of posts for that weblog.  The jiplp blog features sabbatical Kat Birgit Clark's analysis of the German litigation over the iconic Gold Bear.  On IP Finance, Mike Mireles lists the details of Barack Obama's plan for patent trolls. The 1709 Blog features a tempting position for a copyright researcher who fancies working in the field of open academic publication, not to mention an analysis bu this Kat of the calculation of damages for copyright infringement in Jason Sheldon v Daybrook House Promotions.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting - does increasing the size of a duck lead to a protectable work?

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