Monday miscellany

On Tuesday 19 February 2008 the Helsinki Institute of Information Technology (HIIT), Pilotti-rakennus, Metsänneidonkuja 4, Espoo, is conducting a seminar on software patents. The programme features Associate Prof (Hokkaido) Na Ri Lee speaking on "Fragmented Infringement of Computer Program Patents in the Global Economy", and Rosa Maria Ballardini, (IPR University Center, Hanken) then addresses the topic of "Software Patents in Europe: the Technical Requirement Dilemma". This is an internal seminar, which is not open to the public. But a version of Rosa Maria Ballardini's paper will be published later this year in the Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice. The IPKat will let everyone know when this happens.

Sole IP practitioners of the world unite! The IPKat's friend Barbara Cookson (of Filemot fame) has finally taken the plunge and launched a weblog, Solo Independent IP Practitioners, for ... er ... solo independent IP practitioners. The IPKat is a keen supporter of anyone who toils alone on behalf of IP clients and hopes that anyone who is interested in the IP Soloists group will make themselves known to Barbara by emailing her here. Meanwhile, you can visit the new weblog here.

Bailii Monographs are on the way! The IPKat learns from his friend, the scholarly Professor Philip Leith (Queen's University Belfast) that
"Bailii is currently undertaking a trial of publishing out of print monographs dealing with legal issues. ...

Most publishers have no commercial interest in books after the print run has finished and they are happy to reassign copyright to the author, if copyright was assigned to them. Bailii will only republish a text if there are no copyright limitations.

Bailii has no funds to digitise books, but it does have substantial expertise in processing word processed files into 'Bailii format'. An author wishing to make his out of print monographs available to Bailii will normally thus provide the original word processed files from which the publisher worked. Alternatively, funding might be sought to digitise the work - something around £300 to £400 would be an average cost.

Clearly there is no financial advantage to the author. However, it gives a text a second life and makes it available to potential readers who may have difficulty in finding the original.

Authors can also revise a work before it is republished.

Bailii has no password protection, students can link directly from reading lists to the specified work, and there are none of the constraints on making copies/printing/saving which are usual with commercial systems".
At present, two monographs are available on the system (in both of which Professor Leith was an author). They are Harmonisation of Intellectual Property in Europe: a case study in patent procedure (1998) and The Barrister's World and the Nature of Law (co-authored with Jon Morison). The books have had paragraph numbering added. To make a link to a specific paragraph, you simply need to add #paraXX to the end of the url, e.g.:
will take you to paragraph 101. Professor Leith adds:

"It would be helpful if you gave feedback on formatting, ease of system use, and any other comments you might have. Bailii's structure is oriented towards case law, so comments on how books might best be handled are particularly relevant. Please email me here, with the header 'Bailii Books'".

Ben Challis (Music Law Updates) has surprised the IPKat with news from Slashdot and Ars Technica that the Italians are indavertently legitimising the publication and free sharing by P2P users of copyright music.

Left: an Italian purr-2-purr users celebrates ...

The new law, reputedly passed by both houses of the Italian legislature, allows users to disseminate through the internet, free of charge, images and music at low resolution or "degraded," for scientific or educational use, if such use is not for profit. Italian copyright expert Andrea Monti is quoted as saying that the word "degraded" is technical, with a very precise meaning that includes MP3s since they are compressed with an algorithm that ensures a quality loss. The law still awaits implementation through a Ministerial decree.

Can you recommend a good introductory book or article on intellectual property finance, ideally taking in securitisation, valuation, project finance, calculation of royalty streams and damages and so on? If so, please email the IPKat here and he'll be delighted to compile a list for public consumption.

The IPKat has been reliably informed that the Washington Legal Foundation (WLF) is hosting a Web Seminar Series on 5 February 2008. The topic is ‘Smithkline Beecham v Dudas: Challenging the US Patent Office’s “Continuations” rule and the suit’s repercussions.’ The contributors are Mark Fox Evens (Director with the Washington, D.C. law firm of Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein, & Fox) and Richard C. Pettus (Partner, King & Spalding). This program will be available online via live webcast at, and will be archived for future viewing and available as a downloadable read-only file. There is also the ability to ask questions of the speakers in real time by emailing during the programme.
Monday miscellany Monday miscellany Reviewed by Jeremy on Monday, February 04, 2008 Rating: 5

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