Monday miscellany

The vernacular strikes again. "Experts Break New Ground in Traditional Cultural Expression Talks" is the title of a media release from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) which, as the name suggests, indicates that discussions on traditional cultural expression have taken some fresh turns. Apart from the inference that you can get some decent talks going when you have (i) fewer people in the discussion, (ii) these people being experts and (iii) who are speaking in their individual capacities rather than as on-the-record representatives, this item is interesting for something else. It is, the IPKat thinks, the first time the phrase "nitty-gritty" has been employed in a WIPO news release. Merpel wonders how this idiom is rendered in other official languages of the world's premier IP organisation. Can readers advise?

Summer bonanza. The IPKat really dislikes any sort of loose-leaf publications, since it's well-nigh impossible getting those pesky updating releases into the folder when you don't have a set of opposable thumbs. If however you are someone who likes them -- or who employs someone else to do the updating -- you may not yet know that Sweet & Maxwell have a Summer Bonanza Sale, offering a 35% discount to anyone signing up for some of its loose-leaf products by 31 July 2010. These titles include a few IP works: the Community Design Handbook and the Community Trade Mark Handbook, as well as Copyright and Designs Law, The Encyclopaedia of UK and European Patent Law, International IP Litigation, Melville's Forms and Agreements on IP and International Licensing, the Trade Mark Handbook, Trade Marks, Trade Names and Unfair Competition, and a dreadful-looking book on the law relating to ... dogs. All in all, there are 202 loose-leaf titles on offer. For full details of the works on offer, click here. Merpel wonders how, in a world dominated by the internet, and where the success of any book not featuring Harry Potter is far from guaranteed, lawyers still provide enough demand to keep so many loose-leaf titles afloat. How many will still be around a decade from now?

If you have not yet participated in the Online Stakeholder Survey of the Expert Taskforce on Global Knowledge Governance (see earlier IPKat post here), you still have until the end of this week to do so. The survey closes this Friday, 30 July. Merpel, whose affection for red meat runs high, still awaits a decent Steakholder Survey -- she's sure she'd have no problem meating the deadline ...

The IPKat thanks his readers for their continued support, without which his blog would never have appeared in the Number 1 position in the Copyright Litigation Blog's Top 15 Copyright Blog chart, based on data drawn from Justia. The chart only lists some 64 weblogs that are "self-identified as copyright blogs", which appears to exclude the Michael Geist blog and the IPKat's little friend The 1709 Blog -- both of which carry copyright content.
Monday miscellany Monday miscellany Reviewed by Jeremy on Monday, July 26, 2010 Rating: 5


  1. I suspect that will be redrafted very quickly. Some terms in the vernacular are no longer acceptable...

  2. That WIPO press release doesn't appear to be available in other languages yet. This may be an opportunity to influence how "nitty gritty" is rendered in French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese and Arabic!

  3. "Nitty Gritty" is a traditional cultural expression originating from the United States (being a verbal expression, poetry, the product of communal creative intellectual activity, culturally characteristic, and used by the community - Article 1).

    I trust WIPO intends to identify the US as the source of this cultural expression - Article 3(b)(i).

  4. I wish the namby-pamby brigade would stop getting so hoity-toity and arsy-versy with their willy-nilly attacks on good traditional expressions.

  5. Indeed - WIPO are full of "good eggs" who wouldn't possibly offend.

  6. For French, the 2000 edition of "Collins Robert Concise" renders "to get down to the nitty-gritty" as "passer aux choses sérieuses" [= moving on to more serious/important matters], while the 1986 Harrap's renders n-g as "(fin) fond (d'une affaire)"[= getting to the bottom of something]. Either could be appropriate depending on the context.

  7. I'd be grateful if someone could point to the sources suggesting the dubiety of the offending phrase.

    Suddenly and out of nowhere, an unpleasant attribution was appended to the phrase, see for example:

    reinforced by


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