There are a couple of items of news relating to the blog team "regulars". First, Birgit is taking a Kat sabbatical till the end of the calendar year, when we look forward to welcoming her back. Secondly, we are happy to record the return of one of our former regulars -- Nicola Searle -- who, in her guise of the Katonomist, composed some highly thought-provoking pieces about the role of IP in economics, and vice versa.
Now for news of our guest Kats who, for a full six months, join the team and are vested with full blogging powers and privileges on equal terms with the blog team regulars. Back in January of this year we had the pleasure of introducing readers to guest Kats Tom Ohta, Valentina Torelli and Suleman Ali. At midnight last night we said our sad farewells to them, thanked them for their contributions and wished them the very best in their post-Kat activities.
As in real life, so too on the blogosphere is sadness so often tinged with joy, for the departure of our recent guest colleagues coincides exactly with our pleasure at welcoming two brand new guest Kats who have joined us from 1 July till midnight on 31 December. They are Nikos Prentoulis (Prentoulis Lawyers & Consultants, Athens) and Jani Ihalainen (Redd Solicitors, London). Both have blogging experience (Nikos as a long-term member of the MARQUES Class 46 team and Jani with his own IP Iustitia weblog). We are also thrilled to mark the arrival of a third guest, a prodigal Kat returning to the fold, is Mark Schweizer (Meyerlustenberger Lachenal, Zurich), a fellow Class 46 blogger and an adjunct judge in the Swiss Federal Patent Court. We wish them the best of luck -- and hope that you will enjoy their contributions.
Over the past few weeks, the stream of visitors to this weblog has continued to grow. Since June 2003 we've now received more than fourteen and a half million page views. Nearly 9,500 individual blogposts are online and can be searched via the blog's search box at the top left hand corner of its home page. This year looks like being our busiest ever. So far, over half a million visits have been made to us, around twice the volume of readers at this time last year. In March of this year alone, the IPKat welcomed 212,040 site visitors -- the highest monthly figure ever recorded.
The number of readers receiving Katposts by email is, at the time of writing, 11,811, and this blog is pursued by over 11,200 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 over 24,500 -- 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 (www.marques.org/class46/). As of today, this blog has no fewer than 4,463 email subscribers and a searchable database of well over 4,000 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 current 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 (http://www.marques.org/class99/default.asp). This weblog is now part of the MARQUES social media family along with Class 46. It has 1,750 email subscribers and a searchable database of over 630 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.
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 (the1709blog.blogspot.com/). As of today, this blog has 2,470 email subscribers and a searchable database of nearly 2,100 items. It has a large and international team of contributors: Glastonbury Festival's Ben Challis, IPKat bloggers Eleonora and Jeremy and recent guest Kat Marie-Andrée Weiss, Professor Mira T. Sundara Rajan, John Enser (Olswang) 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 (thespcblog.blogspot.com/). As of today, this blog has 2,052 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 600 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, and David Berry, has 1,466 email subscribers and a searchable database of getting on for 970 items. Within the near future, PatLit is to be relaunched as IP-Lit, covering not just patent dispute resolution but litigation and its alternatives right across the spectrum of intellectual property rights. If you are interested in participating in this blog -- particularly if you are based in the United States, Canada, Australia/New Zealand or one of the major Asian markets, do please get in touch!
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 (http://ipfinance.blogspot.com/). As of today, this blog has 1,567 email subscribers and a searchable database of almost 1,300 items. Kats Neil and Jeremy write for this blog, which is also garnished with content from US academic 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 (jiplp.blogspot.com/) edits, with assistance from Deputy Editor Eleonora. As of today, this blog has 1,002 email subscribers and a searchable database of 601 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 330 members, which you can see here. You can also follow this blog on Twitter here.
Afro-IP (afro-ip.blogspot.com/), for which the blogmeister is Darren Olivier, deals with the IP scene in Africa. As of today, this blog has 890 email subscribers and a searchable database of over 1,800 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 (iptango.blogspot.com/), 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 536 email subscribers and a searchable database of over 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 (www.artandartifice.net/). As of today, this international weblog, which includes Simone Blakeney, Rosie Burbidge, Rachel Buker, Angela Saltarelli, Elizabeth Emerson and Marian Ang, has 560 email subscribers and a searchable database of 476 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 getting on for 300 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 (soloip.blogspot.com/). As of today, this blog -- which is driven by blogmeister Barbara Cookson (Filemot Technology Law Ltd), has 305 email subscribers and a searchable database of 446 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, attaching or linking to your CV, and explain why you think you might be a good blogger.