Confidentiality haiku competition: the winners

The IPKat has received some outstanding entries for his competitition to draft a haiku replacement for the usual confidentiality disclaimer that appears at the end of lawyers' emails. Some of the better entries are published below. His favourite entry, sadly, was disqualified on the ground that it had nothing (at least in the Kat's opinion) to do with email disclaimers - unless it bore a deeper, metaphoric message. It comes from Edward Smith at the UK Patent Office:

"Caged and cute rattie,
Loved pet, but in other times
Mass disease bearer".
Caged and cute rattie? Can this be a reference to working conditions at the Patent Office ...? And is "mass disease bearer" a coded allusion to some sort of email virus?

Two of patent agent John Anderton's entries deserve an honourable mention:

"Sent in confidence
should fatherless foe pilfer
pluck out eyes and tongue"

"Errant epistle
howling advocates unleashed
silver tongues tarnished".
Right: A howling advocate unleashed ...

John Halton (Partner, Cripps Harries Hall LLP), deliciously pins any error on the recipient:

"Misaddressed email?
Before reading, understand:
We think that's your fault"
while from the other side of the world Daniel Lee (Patent Engineer, Allen & Gledhill, Singapore) suggests the somewhat mystic:

"Blind words that bind
Liability disclaimed
Books written kept clean".
It's difficult not to empathise with the mood of Sandra Martins Pinto's sender in

"Should you read this mail,
Please pity the poor sender
Oh, I'm so getting fired".
From Down Under comes an ever-competitive Australian entry from Craig Smith (Freehills):

"Unknown receiver,
my secrets please keep guarded,
perhaps no virus".
Meanwhile, we have another virus-related entry in the somewhat sinister
"Confidential Mail
Big Brother is watching you
May be viruses"

Right: You are being watched (

from James Heath (Intellectual Property Department, News International Ltd). IPKat friend and informant Miri Frankel (Manager, Legal Affairs Beanstalk Group) is not to be left out:

"Not the addressee
of this private document?
My bad – please delete!"
There were also several entries arrived from Abel & Imray's James Legg, of which the IPKat preferred the following:

"If not yours nosey
Most rapidly vaporise
Boring anyway"

"Meant for whom it’s meant
Contrarily, gain nor tell not
Many thanks old sport"

"Misdirected words
Dutifully forgotten
Relief all around".
IPKat fellow bloggie David Pearce (Eric Potter Clarkson) felt tempted by the lack of any rule preventing him from entering to submit

"Legal use only;
Received in error? Bin it.
Please don't grass me up".
The Kat also received a proxy entry, sent in by Nick Beckett (a partner in CMS Cameron McKenna) on behalf of Intel's Fabio Angelini:

"Destroy this as fast
As stormy winds gather clouds
If it wasn't for you".
The three winners are Nick/Fabio, Sandra Martins Pinto and John Anderton, each of whom will receive a copy of The European Lawyer's book, Patent Litigation: Jurisdictional Comparisons, edited by Thierry Calame (Lenz & Staehelin, Zurich) and Massimo Sterpi (Studio Legale Jacobacci & Associati, Turin). Can the winners please email the IPKat here and confirm the address to which they'd like their prizes to be sent.
Confidentiality haiku competition: the winners Confidentiality haiku competition: the winners Reviewed by Jeremy on Tuesday, February 06, 2007 Rating: 5


  1. Are there grounds to appeal my shameful disqualification ?

    Does no-one do 'deep and meaningful metaphor' in the IP World ?

  2. Well, that depends.

    The IPKat may consider your reinstatement if:

    1. you can explain what the deep meaning is and

    2. how it relates to misdirected emails

  3. Um.... er......

    At this point I could make up some baloney about the cultural duality of rats (excluded yet revered, lost and found), fleas, black death, viruses etc.

    But I think you are a tad harsh asking me to explain the metaphor. Isn't it an author's right to remain silent and leave the metaphor to the reader ?

    Can I rely on an efficacy argument similar to that sometimes deployed in trade marks: if the sign works then it is a trade mark regardless of intent or motivation ?

    Appeal dismissed : ah well, it's an honour to be disqualified !


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