1 Hot-off-the-press design book

The IPKat is very happy to be reading Intellectual Property in Designs, a brand-new book written by John Sykes, who heads the Commercial Law Group at Lupton Fawcett. Published by Butterworths this month at £145, it weighs in at xliii and 416 pages. Refreshingly, it's not all clogged up with appendices consisting of statutes, treaties and other stuff you can get for nothing on the internet. The text is lean, mean and pretty up-to-date (there's even an analysis of Peter Prescott QC's decision in Animal v Oakley, now happily on its way to Luxembourg).

The first 300-odd pages deal with design law as it affects the UK in its capacity as a fully-fledged but quirkily autonomous member of the European Union. The rest touches on design law in six significant jurisdictions: Australia, China, Italy, Japan, Germany and the United States [why specifically these countries, the IPKat wonders? If Italy, then why not the chaotic mess that is France - which recorded more than twice as many design registrations as Japan in 2002?]. The US chapter is particularly useful, since the protection provided by design patents in that jurisdiction is so very different to the way things are done in Europe. The IPKat is not aware of any clamour in the States for the introduction of EU-style protection and wonders which of the two works better in practice - especially for small and medium-sized businesses.

There is also a Forward from Judge Michael Fysh QC (a former pupil of design law proto-guru Alan Russell-Clarke), which cunningly combines a selection of brief reminiscences and observations with plugs for cheap litigation at the Patents County Court and speedy results using the not-so-new Streamlined Procedure.

Left: How the Leopard Got Its Designer Spots ...

The most photocopied bit of this book will be the chart on page 28, which maps the various transitional arrangements that have been necessitated by the shifting sands of domestic and European legislative amendment. Another strong point is the book's explanation of how the current law actually arrived at its present state. Although not quite as much fun as Rudyard Kipling's "Just So" stories, John Sykes' account of "How UK Design Law Came to Have So Many Intricate Details" (not that he calls it that) is just as thrilling in its own way. This is a useful and well-crafted book which the IPKat is already coming to appreciate.

2 Million-dollar patent

The IPKat found this item, together with a couple of fascinating links, on the excellent US Patently-O patent law blog. The bottom line is this: if your patent has 10,000 claims, the USPTO will charge you dearly for filing it. Merpel says, by the time the person skilled in the art had read all 10,000 of them, the patent term would probably have expired...

3 Our thoughts ...

... are with our IP colleagues in New Orleans and everywhere else that has been affected by Hurricane Katrina. That city has been a warm host (in more ways than one) to the International Trademark Association's annual meeting and the IPKat hopes that it will speedily return to normal. Meanwhile, a search of the USPTO website this morning revealed that no-one has yet applied to register HURRICANE KATRINA as a trade mark. Given the huge degree of consumer recognition that name will start out with, this looks like a golden opportunity going missing for some zappy entrepreneur.
A GOOD READ, A MILLION BUCKS AND AN ILL WIND A GOOD READ, A MILLION BUCKS AND AN ILL WIND Reviewed by Jeremy on Tuesday, August 30, 2005 Rating: 5


  1. That's no leopard - it's a spotty teddy.

  2. Er, I think that leopard is actually a bear.

  3. Were those two comments posted more or less simultaneously? For the record, (i) it's neither a leopard nor a bear but a representation of a stuffed toy; (ii) the picture was retrieved from Google Image in response to a search under the terms "leopard spots". Readers may wish to draw their own conclusions ...

  4. The ears are a giveaway. Those aren't convention teddy-shaped ears. But does that make it a leopard? What about the law of the excluded middle?

  5. He may not have teddy ears, but he does have a bear behind.

  6. Just for the record, what is a "Forward" (noting, in particular, the use of an initial capital letter...)?

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  9. hey nice site you have here!

    Any tips on bloggin ? id like to see your reply to this story :)

    look forward to the next edition

    i have bookmarked you

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