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, 17 April 2015

Friday fantasies

From the ever-welcome pen (well, keyboard) of Katfriend Mike Snodin (Park Grove IP) comes news of a contribution to the slim but growing volume of current literature on the nexus between the risk of being sued for infringing someone else's patent and the likelihood of doing research in areas that cut across other people's patent portfolios. This is what Mike tells us:

"I have published an editorial article in Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Patents (EOTP) entitled “Will changes to patent infringements attract drug research in the UK?” The article was published online on 26 March 2015, and an abstract for the article on PubMed [emphatically not to be confused with Club Med, even though their logos have some similarity] can be found here.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the article concludes that the answer to the question in the title is “yes” (or at least that the recent changes to UK patent law place the UK on an equal footing with countries such as France and Germany, in the sense of providing a low patent infringement risk environment for conducting clinical trials). 

However, readers of EOTP who can access the full article will note that it contains references to several posts on the IPKat that relate to Unitary Patents (in particular, implementation of the Unified Patent Court as well as uncertainties regarding the infringement laws that will apply to European patents having unitary effect). This is because my article goes on to point out that the manner in which UK patent law has been amended gives rise to uncertainties in connection with the enforcement of European patents having unitary effect, if and when the laws governing such patents come into force. While the editorial nature of the article did not permit detailed discussion of this fascinating topic, it will no doubt be the focus of much detailed scrutiny over the coming months and years – as will the extent to which national laws on infringement are harmonised in the run-up to the possible entry into force of the UPC.

Among the recent arrivals on this Kat's desk is a new book, Intellectual property, Entrepreneurship and Social Justice, edited by Lateef Mtima (Professor of Law, Howard University School of Law) and published by his friends at Edward Elgar Publishing in the Elgar Law and Entrepreneurship series (in which it is the fourth title to emerge so far).  According to the publishers' web-blurb:
Through an exploration of the techniques used in social entrepreneurship, Intellectual Property, Entrepreneurship and Social Justice provides a framework by which historically marginalized communities and developing nations can cooperate with the developed world to establish a socially cohesive global intellectual property order. The knowledgeable contributors discuss, in four parts, topics surrounding entrepreneurship and empowerment, education and advocacy, engagement and activism and, finally, commencement. 
This is another book which takes an encouraging view of what people can do within the existing IP system -- instead of just sitting back and calling for it to be amended, scrapped or to disappear on its own accord.  Even Ann McGeehan's chapter ("Worth more dead than alive: Join the NoCopyright Party and start killing copyrights for their own good") ends on a positive note, conceding that "we can ... use the copyright reward to provide the incentive to create, and then -- when the time is right -- use the power of the crowd and the profit motive of the author to put the copyright out of its misery and release all of its pent-up social value in one blinding flash".  Further information concerning this publication can be obtained from the publisher's website here.

Around the weblogs 1.  Here's a new blog on the block. It's called A View on IP ("Musings on all things Intellectual Property related") and it's written by a young Katfriend, David Eder, an IP enthusiast if ever there was one and evidently a man who enjoys the pursuit of the arts: his maiden substantive post covers Nathan Sawaya's "The Art of the Brick" exhibition, reviewing some legal aspects of a former corporate lawyer's retreat from legal practice to the comfort and security menace and uncertainty of a world comprised of Lego bricks (an example of which is shown on here).  And here's another new blog on the block: PI na Rede ("Um blog dedicado à Propriedade Intelectual no mundo e em como isso influencia o Brasil"). Its author is Brazilian IP enthusiast Lukas Ruthes Gonçalves, who has always been bothered about the lack of good IP blog material for Portuguese readers. Lukas welcomes tips, suggestions and ideas for helping his new baby to grow and flourish so, if you are a Portuguese speaker, do contact him (you can email him at and let him know.

"The blog that doesn't
duck the issue ..."
Around the weblogs 2. A very much older weblog than the two above, SOLO IP, which goes all the way back to 2008 and has had a number of fits and starts on the way, has finally reached the welcome milestone of receiving its 300th email subscriber. Congratulations are due, especially to blogmeister Barbara Cookson for her patience, her perseverance -- and her useful Tweets and Retweets. SOLO IP has two new posts this week. One relates the depressing news that most consumers don't use IP lawyers and that, even if they do, they don't want to pay for their services. The other is Sally Cooper's absolutely free and gratuitous advice to small businesses on picking the right name for a business -- or at least for reducing the risk of picking the wrong one.

Around the weblogs 3.  The IP Factor asks some interesting questions about the copyright and policy issues surrounding entitlement to copyright in works that later assume a deeper cultural or iconic status.  Just as the public can genericise a brand name and detach it from trade mark ownership, should they also be able to do so for, eg, the lyrics and music of "Happy Birthday to You" or, in the case in point, the photograph of Mordechai Vanunu's hand.  Another copyright-flavoured post, this time on the 1709 Blog, has the revelation by Ben Challis that copyright collective management societies and Pirate Party members of the European Parliament have yet to agree on how the right balance should be struck between the interests of rights owners and the public.

Searching for a book on patent searching? This Kat learns that Gridlogics' patent search team has put together Guide to Practical Patent Searching and how to use PatSeer for Patent Search and Analysis, this being an ebook on patent searching. Being unfamiliar with both the book and its publishers, this Kat also notes that if you want to download it you will have to submit first to a spot of data capture, since this -- as the title suggests -- is the bait at the end of a promotional exercise

This book is for anyone who understands the fundamental aspects about Intellectual Property. No prior knowledge of patent searching is required. However we recommend that you take any introductory courses on Patents first. Practical examples are provided to assist you in applying what you have learned into real life patent search projects. Of particular importance is the section on how you can map the patent search process to your organizational objective and decision making process.
This Kat is a frequent recipient of promotional materials of all sorts, as are many of his colleagues and readers.  Having amassed an almost unparalleled collection of promotional pens, mouse mats, USB sticks, stress balls and colourful adhesive labels, soon to be augmented by another massive consignment when he attends next month's International Trademark Association Meeting in San Diego, he welcomes promotional ebooks since they take up so very little room and one doesn't ever feel guilt or remorse at popping them into the bin.  More importantly, if any patent-searching reader would like to take a look at this ebook and write a short critical appraisal of it for this weblog, can he or she please email me at and let me know.  The book can be accessed here.

A popular feature of each year's MTB event
is the Reading of the IP Blogroll ...
Meet the Bloggers, IP-style. It is from one of Barbara Cookson's Retweets that this Kat discovered that this year's Meet the Bloggers (MTB) get-together at the International Trademark Association Meeting in San Diego takes place on Monday 4 May, 8 to 11 pm, and all the details can be found on the MTB website here. A word of reminder: this event isn't just designed to let IP bloggers meet each other (most have already done that on numerous occasions already) but to give readers a chance to meet them, to offer some feedback, encouragement, fawningly fulsome praise and constructive criticism. This Kat looks forward to attending and hopes to see plenty of his friends and readers there. The event is free to attend and the recollection of the pleasure of attending persists long after the last hangover has been survived fond farewells have been said.

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