Wednesday whimsies

Around the blogs. The sharp-eyed Hugo Cox has drawn my attention to a Danish IP weblog, Innovationpartners (subtitle: a weblog about IP and innovation), masterminded by Kristian E. Beyer (now with Frederiksberg Forsyning A/S, but whose previous convictions have resulted in his serving time with Deloitte Business Consulting, the Danish Patent and Trade Mark Office and the Ministry of Science. Not yet an IP blog, but with the hope that it will be when the opportunities to post on IP matters arise, is the Wardblawg, from Scottish lawyer Gavin Ward. Gavin, it should be noted with gratitude, is one of that noble legion of readers whose cat-photos grace this blog from time to time. His owner, Missy, appears on the right. And here's a quick suggestion for design lovers: if you think that Italian design is really cool -- all sweeping lines and dashing style -- you'll be surprised to discover what a junky, clunky thing Italian design law is, as Class 99 explains an ongoing Italian design horror, which has spread as far as the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, here. Bilski-ites will enjoy Gena Mason's neatly-presented, clearly thought-out summary on PatLit here.

The IPKat's opinions concerning the wisdom of marketing invention by reference to Wallace and Gromit are well known and none-too-enthusiastic. However, he would never wish to hurt the feelings of (i) small, innocent children with inventive ideas or (ii) public sector employees at a time of spending cuts. Accordingly he warmly welcomes the chance to attend the Intellectual Property Office-backed Cracking Ideas initiative. Part of this educational process is the Cracking Ideas Award Ceremony, which takes place next Wednesday 7 July, in Legoland (this country does not appear to be a signatory to the Paris Convention or TRIPS, though it is firmly committed to IP protection). Cracking Ideas seeks to teach children that innovation and creativity can be fun, that ideas have value if protected by IP and also to respect other people's IP. The awards are given to children in three age categories (4 - 7, 8 - 11 and 12 - 16). The IPKat will be reporting, so watch this space ...

While on the subject of children, spare a thought for McDonald's. Having gone to great lengths to persuade the world of its recent commitment to healthy eating and its environmentally green credentials, the fast food empire must now defend its McNuggets from the claim that this child-friendly product contains the same chemical as Silly Putty, anti-foaming agent dimethylpolysiloxane. The IPKat is a little puzzled by this, since his chickens have never foamed in the first place. McNuggets are also said to contain butylhydroquinone, an ingredient which is particularly dangerous for people with poor spelling.

Some folk are getting very animated about the upcoming International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations (IFRRO) Conference, which international reproducers from over 50 nations are expected to attend. In anticipation of the great event, here's a link to an article in Publishers Weekly by Tracey Armstrong, CEO of Copyright Clearance Center (an IFRRO founder member) which touches on such boring and mundane topics as the Google Settlement, Apple iPads and IP issues in the digital age.

The IPKat has been taking a look at two books that aren't about IP, and don't even have IP in their titles, but which have plenty of relevance and importance to intellectual property protection and exploitation. The first is George Kimball's Outsourcing Agreements: a practical guide, published earlier this year by Oxford University Press (webpage here). The author, who heads the global IT/communications practice at Baker & Mackenzie LLP, covers all sorts of different aspects of IP that should be appropriately covered by an outsourcing agreement -- and there are many such aspects. The second, coincidentally published by the same company, is US Antitrust Law and Enforcement: a practice introduction, by Douglas Broder (co-chair, global antitrust, K & L Gates LLP). The connection between IP and antitrust is too well-known to adumbrate here, but familiarity with the problems is no automatic path to knowing what to do about them in practice -- which is why this book is so attractive. This title's webpage is here.
Wednesday whimsies Wednesday whimsies Reviewed by Jeremy on Wednesday, June 30, 2010 Rating: 5


  1. The McDonald's story seems a bit of a storm in a teacup. Dimethylpolysiloxane is the food additive E900 and is considered quite safe for consumption.

    In fact "preparations containing dimethylpolysiloxane have been used therapeutically in man to reduce foaming during gastroscopy and as anti-flatulence treatment at doses of up to 200 mg/day"

  2. Yep, dimethylpolysiloxane seems to the main ingredient in many baby colic treatments, so considered pretty innoucous. (Less foaming = more burps = milder colic, being the idea.)

    I'd still be curious to know why it added, though - I presume it's not out of concern for consumers' digestive comfort!

  3. Chemical compounds have many uses some benficial and some less so or even lethal. Certain people consider, correctly, that if you give the full name of a chemical and indicate its presence in something you will scare off its consumers. E 300 has many names; call it L-ascorbic acid and it sounds nasty but call it Vitamin C and it is good. Many objections have been made to polycarbonates as one of the synthetic ingredients has the trivial name Bisphenol A which is a health hazard. The other major ingredient, seldom mentioned,is phosgene; a WW I poison gas!


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