Friday fripperies

The IPKat has now worked out how to obtain the opinions of his readers, rather than just assume he knows their preferences. Readers who only see his posts as emails will not have visited the site recently and won't therefore have seen The IPKat Poll, which currently occupies the top bit of the side bar on the left hand side of the screen.

Left: The IPKat and Merpel, about to get into a flap over which way to vote

This week's question is "Should inventions implemented in software be patentable?" and the choice of answers lies between Yes, No, For some inventions only and Don't know. The Poll runs till close of play on Thursday, when a fresh poll on the protection of TV, film and radio programme formats will commence. So Vote Today, Don't Delay! Merpel says, the IPKat sample of voters may not be representative of the world at large, but it does cover a wide variety of different interest groups who a thing or two about IP, so the poll results should be worth noting.

Last week was another record week for visits to the IPKat. The weblog received 4,594 visits, in addition to the 800 or so recipients of its virtually daily gmail circulars. It's the first time we've topped the 4,000 mark, so thanks so much for reading us.

The IPKat (not forgetting Merpel) has also now taken up residence on Wikipedia, so if this is the first time you've come across this curious weblog, you can read an infinitely amendable version of its background and activities here.

Left: 'Cat reading' - one of the lovely images available from

More fun from The Onion, this time in a report on the launch of a new Apple product, the iLaunch. The IPKat marvels at how neatly The Onion captures the branding and marketing foibles of some remarkably successful businesses. Merpel has a feeling that, by the time a marketing style has been spoofed like this, it's probably time to change it.

Samuel v Wadlow [2007] EWCA Civ 155, a Court of Appeal for England and Wales ruling of 28 February, is a good example of pressing your luck way beyond the point of pressability. Singer-songwriter Seal, having successfully renegotiated his obligation to pay commission to long-time manager Wadlow, stopped paying commission altogether on the basis that he had agreed the terms of the settlement contract through undue influence. The Court of Appeal upheld Mr Justice Gray's refusal to accept that this was the case. Far from being oppressive, the terms of the settlement contract were beneficial to him and he entered into the deal having received independent legal advice. The IPKat's not sure why Samuel persisted in maintaining so weak a position. Merpel asks, is it because it was easy to influence him not to pay the commission or hard to influence him to do so?

More on Seal here, here and here

US$520 million is the licence fee that the Louvre, Paris' premier arts collection, is charging Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, for the right to use its name for a period of 30 years on The Louvre Abu Dhabi, with the prospect of a further US$747 million for art loans, special exhibitions and management advice. A Guggenheim Abu Dhabi is planned to follow, but no licence fee has been mentioned. This information comes from the ever-observant Miri Frankel, who picked it up from the NY Times. The Kats look forward to negotiating the IPKat Abu Dhabi weblog, a mere snip at US$100 million ...

Above, left: The IPKat knew the Louvre was heading for the Middle East after it grew a Pyramid (neat photo by Dan Kenigsberg)
Friday fripperies Friday fripperies Reviewed by Jeremy on Friday, March 09, 2007 Rating: 5

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