From October 2016 to March 2017 the team is joined by Guest Kats Rosie Burbidge and Eibhlin Vardy, and by InternKats Verónica Rodríguez Arguijo, Tian Lu and Hayleigh Bosher.

Friday, 26 December 2014

Friday fantasies

A personal thank-you.  This Kat was overwhelmed yesterday by the large number of kind messages sent to him as custodian of this weblog, from people wishing the blog and its team a happy 2015 to those asking for "more of the same" and even one thoughtful soul hoping that we'd get things "a bit more right" than we have in 2014.  This Kat also received many happy birthday greetings from friends, colleagues and readers -- greetings which, had there been fewer, he would have responded to in person. Thanks, all of you, he says, from the bottom of my heart.

Three little kittens with
blogging mittens ... *
New Kats are coming.  This is a reminder that, every six months, the IPKat weblog says "goodbye" to its three guest-Kats-in-residence and welcomes three new guests to join the team for the same duration.  As the clock strikes midnight on Wednesday 31 December we shall be losing Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie Andrée Weiss, but we will be simultaneously unveiling our three new guest Kats. Who will they be? You won't have long till you find out: a blogpost will go live at 00:01 on Thursday 1 January 2015 with all their details.

Where are they now?  Taking a cybertrip down memory lane, this Kat clicked through to the Intellogist's list of intellectual property blogs.  Visits to this list used to be a regular occurrence when IP blogging was still in its relative infancy, and it was sometimes a salutary experience to check the list and click through to some of the IP weblogs listed there in order to find out (i) who was blogging IP issues at all and (ii) who was doing it better than the Kats and therefore had something to teach them.  Today's visit was a rather sad one since the list now contains many excellent IP weblogs which, for one reason or another, have ceased to function, in some cases several years ago.  The IPKat hopes that when, one day, some lucky PhD student is given funding and time to research into IP literature and its impact in the age of the internet, some good explanations may emerge as to why some blogs died while others thrived.

Great product, but
should we protect
it even when the
child grows up?
Around the weblogs. The 1709 Blog reports on what looks like a major breakthrough in Italy, where the tranquility of SIAE's monopoly as a rights management and collecting society has been shattered by a Court of Milan ruling that, under EU law and notwithstanding anything to the contrary in domestic Italian law, there is no legal way that Soundreef can be blocked from providing competing rights management services. On the jiplp weblog there's an analysis of the Court of Justice of the European Union's latest "clarification" of European law on the registration of product shapes as trade marks in Hauck v Stokke, the "Tripp Trapp" chair case.  Those who subscribe to the Angora Cat theory of patents in Europe [on which see Katposts here and here] may be interested to see that it has an American analogue in the Theory of Malleability of Patent Rights to which Jason Rantanen makes allusion on PatentlyO here, Finally, and particularly if you like something a little different, why not take a look at Dear Rich: An Intellectual Property Blog, which offers to answer readers' questions (these being under US law) but which is useful if you are an IP professor who is running short of good problems to set for your students (see examples here and here).

Red Poppies on Monte Cassino
Not-so-national anthems. From Poland's Bogusław Wieczorek comes a comment on the information, guaranteed to stir the soul of every nationalist and to pique the interest of every copyright enthusiast that "Royalties for Playing Unofficial National Anthem of Poland Go to Germany". You can read Boguslaw's piece on "Red Poppies on Monte Cassino" on his weblog Własność intelektualna w praktyce, here.  This got this Kat thinking.  He recalls that the official national anthem of the United Kingdom (listen to it here) is said by musicologist Percy Scholes to be traceable back to the theme in the "Sarabande" of biological German Georg Friedrich Händel's Suite No.4 in E minor, HWV 429, composed some time before 1720. Not content with taking the tune, the British took Händel as well and then anglicised him by removing his umlaut. However, the tune is so well disguised that this Kat wouldn't have connected it to the version we have today.  England's own unofficial national anthem, in some circles at any rate, is Sir Edward Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance March No.1, matched with lyrics consisting of the chorus of "Land of Hope and Glory" (here). Elgar was greatly inspired by German culture and his work was more warmly appreciated in Germany than on his native soil.  The tune for Germany's own anthem, the Deutschlandlied, originated with an Austrian composer, Joseph Haydn.  All of this leads this Kat to ask: do many countries opt for anthems composed by foreigners and, given the number of nations that have obtained independence in his own lifetime, can anyone point to modern composers who are enjoying a stream of royalty income from the use of their music as anthems in foreign countries?

* Detail from Paul Galdone's "Three Little Kittens" on Read Me a Story

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