Wednesday wround-up

O death, where is thy sting... ? If your internet connection dies on you, before you check that your cable is still plugged in, that your router is twinkling away and that your server is operational, ask yourself whether you are in the catchment area of Lord Mandelson, a.k.a. The Terminator. According to the BBC, speaking at a government-sponsored forum he said the UK would introduce a similar policy to the French "three strikes" law: "persistent pirates" will be sent two warning letters, before facing disconnection from the network. It has been unkindly said of his Lordship that he understands better than others the operational functionality of a "three strikes" rule since, in the days before his ennoblement, he twice had to resign from a government position on account of his having done nothing wrong. [Thanks, Howard Knopf (Excess Copyright, for spotting this]

... O grave, where is thy victory? Newport, in the beautiful principality of Wales, is the location of the United Kingdom's excellent Intellectual Property Office. Earlier this week the IPO issued a press release with the most depressing title the IPKat has ever seen, bearing in mind how many patents are optimistically filed and how many inventors' aspirations are mercilessly crushed beneath the weight of development costs, competition and unresponsive consumers. The title reads thus: "First Minister Rhodri Morgan guest of honour as ideas of the future are buried in Newport". The press release, which is not as miserable as its title, can be read here.

Young, gifted and ... suitably qualified. Earlier this week the IPKat announced the launch and inaugural meeting of IPSoc, the new organisation for bright, young, dynamic, charming and suitably qualified IP practitioners. The response has been terrific, not least from bright, young, dynamic, charming in-house IP practitioners who wanted to know why they had been excluded from IPSoc membership. The good news, say twin IPSoc powerhouses Charlotte and Juliette, is that
"Due to popular demand, the in-house issue was raised with the IPSoc committee which has voted in favour of removing the private practice restriction and therefore admitting IP practitioners who are in-house and fulfil our qualification criteria.

We would be extremely grateful you would post a further ad on IPKat to this effect - the Standing Orders of the Constitution and membership forms have been amended to reflect this and can be accessed from our holding page".
The IPKat is delighted to oblige, adding that the ability to execute a graceful u-turn -- though not an admission criterion for IPSoc -- is an inestimably valuable talent in later professional life.
Wednesday wround-up Wednesday wround-up Reviewed by Jeremy on Wednesday, October 28, 2009 Rating: 5


  1. If you take the BIS announcement at face value, things aren't too bad. It says:

    "Highlighting the scale of the problem, Lord Mandelson referred to the music industry’s assessment that said only one in every 20 tracks downloaded in the UK is downloaded lawfully.

    Lord Mandelson said:

    “Only persistent rule breakers would be affected”"

    So if you do get accused, all you have to do is show that more than 5% of your downloads are in fact legal. This shows you are actually above average, and hence clearly not one of the "bad guys", and the prosecutors will move on elsewhere.

  2. Regarding the UK IPO press release, I note that children were encouraged (at the Wallace & Gromit Present A World of Cracking Ideas exhibition at The Science Museum) to come up with ideas and tell them to the IPO as part of a competition.
    Hopefully someone explained to these "budding inventors" that any future ideas should be kept to themseleves and they should look into protecting them, as they shouldn't just give away their intellectual property... Or is the IPO soon going to announce a "National Suggestions Box" initiative?


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