A new Patent World

It's still a fairly nippy January, but the February 2006 issue of Patent World, published 10 times a year by Informa, has already arrived.

The cover story is a review of last year's big patent cases from the US, UK, Germany, Japan, France and China which consumes most of this month's issue - but there's also a feature by Yitai Hu (left) and Sean P. DeBruine (right) (Akin Gump Strauss Hauer Feld) on the activities of the International Trade Commission.

The title of this feature ("To the Rescue") and its description in the Contents ("Growing in popularity") both suggest that this piece has been written from an American standpoint. The IPKat hopes that subsequent issues will carry pieces on the same topic as viewed from outside the USA. Merpel says, perhaps the best solution is for every country to have its own ITC ...

Latest developments on Developments

The IPKat has been informed by one of his solicitor friends that the current edition of Developments, a free quarterly magazine produced by the UK government's Department for International Development, has some very interesting articles on technology in the developing world which also touch on the open source debate. She says that technology is changing the face of the developing world and high quality open source software is helping this. To quote an article on the website:

"In Zambia a street market vendor is paying for his order of Coca-Cola by text message. In Tanzania a candidate in the Presidential elections has been awarded his degree after completing it online through distance learning. In Nairobi, a daughter is sending money to her father in rural Kenya with prepaid 'pay as you go' airtime. And in Namibia schoolchildren are surfing the net, sending emails and writing essays thanks to FLOSS, open source software written by enthusiastic programmers who don't want any payment".
The IPKat is really glad that enthusiastic programmers who don't want payment are prepared to do this sort of thing - but he recognises that the remarkable speed of software development over the past 25 years has been the result of mercenary work by commercial enterprises, often funded by cash investment from people who want a return on their capital. Merpel says, I notice that it's the software that's written for nothing but the Coca-Cola that gets paid for ...

More info on the software here.

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