The IPKat and his friends: a timely update

Every three months or thereabouts, the IPKat and Merpel give an update of the goings-on both on this weblog and on other IP-flavoured blogs to which members of this blog team contribute. Back in October our update was effectively introducing many first-timers to our blogs -- newly enrolled students, legal trainees and the like.  Now in January the academic and professional year for these good souls is in full swing, but there are still plenty of courses and positions that are only just beginning now with the onset of 2015, bringing newly-enrolled IP enthusiasts in their wake, and the Kats welcome this fresh batch of newcomers too.

First here's some news about the IPKat.


Today, unless we go offline or everyone stops reading us, this blog will notch up its 12 millionth page view. Well over 9,000 individual blogposts are online and can be searched via the blog's search box at the top left hand corner of its home page.  The number of readers receiving Katposts by email is, at the time of writing, 10,983, and this blog is pursued by over 9,800 followers on Twitter at @Ipkat. The most frequently-visited blogpost remains Catherine Lee's June 2011 item, "Goodbye Cathy: Hello Kitty and Miffy settle copycat case", here, which has been visited more than 239,000 times. The blog operates a moderated comments facility and invites readers to post comments that are relevant, responsible and neither obscene nor insulting.  At present the number of readers' comments posted to this weblog stands at 21,543 -- and we give a big "thank you" to those who have taken the time and trouble to share their thoughts and information with us and with our readers.


The Kat's blog friends. Every few months this weblog lists, in no particular order, a number of IP -flavoured weblogs with which members of the IPKat's blogging team are associated. If you've not yet come across them -- and many of our more recent readers probably have not -- we hope that you will find some merit in them. For the avoidance of doubt, this list only relates to IP blogs to which Kat team members contribute: it is not intended as an exhaustive list of intellectual property blogs, or of blogs that have received our personal blessing. That's why there are plenty of IP blogs that are not listed, even though we know about them, like them and often read them!

Class 46, founded by friends of European trade mark organisation MARQUES and driven by a big team of international contributors, delivers trade mark and brand-related news and developments from across Europe ( As of today, this blog has no fewer than 4,247 email subscribers and a searchable database of over 3,800 items -- mainly relating to European case law and office practice but with coverage of plenty of other themes too, including plain packaging of tobacco products and the latest WIPO and OHIM initiatives for assisting users of the international and Community trade mark systems. Kats Jeremy and Birgit both contribute to this blog, as do former guest Kat Laetitia Lagarde and emeritus Kat Mark Schweizer.  
Class 99, founded by patent and trade mark attorney David Musker, is dedicated to design law and practice in the UK, in Europe and beyond ( This weblog is now part of the MARQUES social media family along with Class 46. It has 1,479 email subscribers and a searchable database of nearly 600 items.  New blog team contributors are earnestly sought from among the ranks of those who are either MARQUES members or work for a company or firm that belongs to MARQUES.
Incidentally, Class 46 and Class 99 are just one small but significant part of MARQUES's social media presence. Posts on both blogs are usually recorded on MARQUES's Twitter account at and all sorts of items concerning trade marks, brands and designs are likely to end up on MARQUES's Facebook page at MARQUES also has a very busy and carefully moderated LinkedIn discussion group, with well over 3,300 members.

The 1709 Blog, which caters for the copyright enthusiast and seeks to cover all aspects of copyright law and practice in all its rich and varied glory ( As of today, this blog has 2,322 email subscribers and a searchable database of over 1,940 items. It has a large and international team of contributors: Glastonbury Festival's Ben Challis, IPKat bloggers Eleonora and Jeremy and recent guest Kats Alberto Bellan and Marie-Andrée Weiss, Professor Mira T. Sundara Rajan, John Enser (Olswang), Iona Silverman (Baker & McKenzie) and our man in Paris, Asim Singh. You can follow this blog on Twitter, here.
The SPC Blog is a handy information source for anyone who is involved in the tiny but controversial and highly lucrative world of supplementary protection certificates (SPCs) for pharmaceutical and plant protection patents, as well as other forms of patent term extension ( As of today, this blog has 1,990  email subscribers, many of whom have enriched the content of this weblog with their comments and through the provision of information concerning SPCs. This blog contains over 570 items, including English translations of some European national decisions that are not available elsewhere.  Incidentally, The SPC Blog organises an annual seminar, which is free to all comers and provides a great opportunity for pharma patent-owning companies, generics, private practitioners and patent office functionaries to get together and compare notes.
PatLit tackles patent dispute resolution topics -- principally litigation -- not just from the UK but from wherever interesting news and comments emerge. As of today this blog, whose contributors include Michael Thesen, former guest Kat Stefano Barazza and David Berry, has 1,421 email subscribers and a searchable database of over 900 items.
IP Finance, which was launched in January 2008 in response to the UNCITRAL initiative on security interests in intangibles, touches that delicate interface between intellectual property and the world of finance, addressing securitisation, valuation, royalty rates, assessment of damages and the evolution of new business plans ( As of today, this blog has 1,505 email subscribers and a searchable database of 1,215 items. Kats Neil and Jeremy write for this blog, which is also garnished with content from academics Mike Mireles and (F)RAND expert Keith Mallinson (WiseHarbor).
jiplp is the blog of the leading Oxford University Press monthly publication, The Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice (JIPLP), which IPKat team member Jeremy (, with assistance from Deputy Editor Eleonora. As of today, this blog has 950 email subscribers and a searchable database of 550 items. This blog's content includes Current Intelligence notes, book reviews, requests for articles on specific topics and occasional guidance as to how to write (or not to write) good IP articles. There's an active and carefully moderated LinkedIn Group for JIPLP contributors and readers with over 300 members, which you can see here.  You can also follow this blog on Twitter here.
Afro-IP (, for which the blogmeister is Darren Olivier, deals with the IP scene in Africa. As of today, this blog has 858 email subscribers and a searchable database of over 1,700 items. This blog, which offers the largest single searchable online source of recent African IP news, features Caroline Ncube, Jeremy Speres, Isaac Rutenberg and Chijioke Ifeoma Okorie within its blog-squad.  Afro-IP can be followed on Twitter here.
IP Tango (, which is a bilingual blog with contributions both in Spanish and English, covers the increasingly important developments for IP in Latin America. As of today, this blog has 517 email subscribers and a searchable database of nearly 1,400 items. Like Afro-IP, IP Tango is a major source of intellectual property information and comment in its increasingly important area of focus.
Art & Artifice ( As of today, this international weblog, which includes Simone BlakeneyRosie BurbidgeRachel BukerAngela Saltarelli and Elizabeth Emerson, has 538 email subscribers and a searchable database of 447 items. Its scope is broad enough to cover not merely intellectual property law but other areas of legal concern for artists and the art-driven industries. Art & Artifice recently launched a Twitter presence that is followed by nearly 200 readers.
Revitalised last year and growing in momentum is SOLO IP, which reflects some of the interests, and the anguish, of those who practise IP by themselves or in small groups, or who work in environments in which they are the only IP people ( As of today, this blog -- which is driven by blogmeister Barbara Cookson (Filemot Technology Law Ltd), has 277 email subscribers and a searchable database of 421 items. This blog warmly invites expressions of interest from would-be bloggers (on which see 'Would you like to be an IP Blogger' below)

Would you like to be an IP blogger? Most of the weblogs listed above are still hoping to recruit some fresh talent into their blogging teams, as well as to host more good guest items from occasional writers. If you (i) have something valuable to say about IP, (ii) have some experience of IP in one form or another and (iii) think that you may be able to turn your hand at blogging (or already have some experience), do email Jeremy at, attaching or linking to your CV, and explain why you think you might be a good blogger.
The IPKat and his friends: a timely update The IPKat and his friends: a timely update Reviewed by Jeremy on Tuesday, January 06, 2015 Rating: 5


Anonymous said...

I love reading blogs, but I wonder at whether there are downsides in terms of the way we think about things. Blogs seem to be like 'disposable' knowledge and perhaps disincentivise reading books, which will describe topics in a deeper more thoughtful way.

Jeremy said...

Thanks, Anonymous -- but I beg to disagree about blogs promoting disposable knowledge. Consider this:

(i) This blog has a searchable archive of over 9,000 items stretching back to mid-June 2003, available wherever you are. Many of these items have grown through readers' comments that have refined, criticised or updated them and they are thus a living, organic form of IP scholarship. Non-disposable knowledge in the form of articles published in journals may be more "permanent" in that it exists in printed form, but it's entirely static -- and if it isn't in easy reach it's easy to forget or ignore it;

(ii) This blog carries book notices and book reviews since it seeks to encourage readers to go further into the subject. As such, it seeks to complement other forms of IP literature, not to replace them.

Anonymous said...

I think portions of both Jeremy's post and Anonymous @ 10:43's post are correct.

Blogs should be treated as a complement to other forms of IP literature.

Readers, (not the blogs themselves), do seem to treat blogs as the be all and end all of IP literature.

Thus the result identified by Anonymous can be seen, but the responsibility for that result is a bit misplaced, which Jeremy corrects in a fashion.

Active learning is a difficult thing, and there is so much politics infused in patent law issues today that often it is NOT learning that is being pursued, but rather it is merely confirmation of one's belief systems that is pursued. To that end, blog's are indeed susceptible to "echo-chamber" effects. Not that other forms of literature are not so inclined to this form of 'abuse' (they are), but blogs can be more polarizing, and depending on other factors, viewpoints can be screened (either purposefully or inadvertently).

I think a major difference is the speed of reaction. It is this speed that leads to the larger "reaffirming instead of learning" effect.

In the end, the responsibility remains with the individual.

Anonymous said...

I see the points made by Jeremy and anon @12.36. Clearly blogs are very useful and serve as 'easy to reach' knowledge. However blogs are more likely to have an incorrect perspective (I'm not referring to IPKat) and clearly comments left by readers can be very misleading about the issues. A person who knows the area will obviously discern such things, but those who don't won't. I'm not against blogs, but just pointing out some of the dangers.

Anonymous said...

The post by Anonymous @ 12:57 adds more value here, and reminds me of another adage from my Uncle Ben:

"Read with an open mind, but not so open of a mind that your brain falls out."

There is no substitute for critical thinking. And the use of critical thinking easily leads to the observation that many blog posts are not made so much for edification, but rather, for advocacy. Unfortunately, there is much unprincipled advocacy that seeks the disguise of opinion on many blogs.

Anonymous said...

This is a slightly tangential point, but perhaps forms interesting background to the issues being discussed on the thread. One should be aware that studies of how reading information from a screen (instead of paper) might affect the processing (understanding) of the information are in their infancy (see for example and But such things may make a difference.

Francisco said...

Great list, thanks for sharing it.

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