"We are looking for volunteers to take part in some focus groups to help us build an App for Espacenet – the EPO’s patent database. If selected, the volunteers will receive £80 for their trouble. The focus groups will be scheduled as follows: London, UK, Pullman London St Pancras [don't be fooled, says Merpel, this Pullman is an hotel, not a train] (opposite the British Library), 100-110 Euston Road, London NW1 2AJ, 9 December 2013 at 8.00, 17.30 and 19.30 and on 10 December 2013 at 8.00, 17.30 and 19.30. More information is available here.
Would you be able to post this invitation on your excellent blog?"Yes, indeed, purr the Kats in unison, urging their readers to seize this never-to-be-remembered opportunity ...
Threats seminar: still some places available. Last month the IPKat posted an item to the effect that there was an impending seminar on making groundless threats to sue good folk for infringing someone else's intellectual property rights. Julia Jarzabkowski (Team Lawyer, Law Commission for England and Wales) told the Kats:
"We are being hosted by DAC Beachcroft for a seminar and discussion on what the responses to the recent [Law Commission] consultation on groundless threats [on which see here] has thrown up. We've got some preliminary ideas on policy but there are a few grey areas that we want to get views on. Members of the Law Society IP Working Party will also be there. It's happening on 11 December".Astonishingly, given the huge importance of the subject and the fact that there are hardly any major sporting events taking place on that date, there are still some spaces left at the seminar. Do attend: the link to the invite and application is here. Incidentally, news of the spare places came to this Kat via Robin Fry, who has worked tirelessly on this subject for many years now (this blog's initial post on his work on groundless threats goes all the way back to May 2006). Well done, Robin, you deserve a Katpat for your efforts.
Around the weblogs. The 1709 Blog carries a reader's question concerning proxy sites, VPNs and the circumvention of website blocking orders to stop copyright infringement here. PatLit features two great posts from former guest Kat Stefano Barazza, one reviewing a US report on inconsistent IP policies of standard-setting bodies, the other on patent infringement as anticompetitive activity. Sally Cooper takes a look at Scotland's go-it-alone IP prospects on the SOLO IP blog (incidentally, that blog got 450 visits last week, the highest figure in recent memory), while Art & Artifice's Angela Saltarelli ponders over possible moral rights issues arising from interference with Banksy's iconic graffiti, here.