Monday miscellany

What better way to get the new week off to a wonderful start than to indulge oneself with the delights of a freshly-published UK patent. The IPKat is much obliged to his friend Ilya Kazi (Mathys & Squire) for this one, which turns out to be a Surveillance System. The proprietor is a company named Enjoy Birds More Ltd. Need one say more?

A further confession of terminological ignorance: the IPKat has never heard of the term "nurdle", which apparently means “a small amount of toothpaste akin to what consumers would use brushing their teeth.” It seems that GlaxoSmithKline has some form of intellectual property right in the United States in relation to the nurdle (every nurdle? a stylised nurdle?) which appears on its AquaFresh’s toothpaste package and which is about to be infringed by Colgate. In turn, Colgate is claiming that Glaxo is threatening litigation for no other reason than ”to further its anti-competitive motivations” and “to hinder fair competition.” Thanks, Shabtai Atlow, for this link to the WSJ Law Blog. Says Merpel, please excuse the IPKat's ignorance, and remember that most Kats never clean their teeth. As a poetry-loving Kat, he should however be aware of the following immortal lines (taken from the Shmurdle Nurdle Song):
"You’ll need a Nurdle of toothpaste the size of a pea
Do circles with your toothbrush and you will soon see
Your teeth getting cleaner as you brush round and round
Wash the water down the plug hole with a guuurgl-ling sound".

Progressive brands. A reader has contacted the IPKat in some anxiety. He notes that some people have been using the term "progressive brand" in a very important and grown-up way, but he's not sure why. Has this term, he asks, suddenly grown a meaning which is generally understood and which is now in common use among branding folk? This Kat, pleading a total insensitivity to matters of terminology and common use, must confess that he hasn't detected any such use, and rather hopes he doesn't. But Merpel wonders whether any of this weblog's readers can advise if "progressive brand" does indeed mean something and, if so, what?

"Not so long ago", writes one of the Kat's correspondents, "the ‘Centre d'Études Internationales de la Propriété Intellectuelle’ (CEIPI, for English speakers) was on the tip of everyone’s tongue as providing the Rolls Royce of training courses" for European patent attorneys. Recently, however, the folks at CEIPI have reported reduced enrolments from the UK and are wondering whether it really is because funds are lacking, or whether there is some deeper reason:
"Theories range from a moratorium on annual leave until as many as possible permutations of features in pending applications have been filed as divisional applications before the October 1 deadline, through to too many delta minus semis offering competing courses or too many complete dummies’ guides to passing the EQE. On the other hand, it may be because of something they said during the infamous politically incorrect mock oral proceedings at the C Preparatory Seminar".
CEIPI is part of the faculty of Law at the University of Strasbourg. When the European Patent Office opened in 1977, CEIPI was entrusted with the official teaching role for European patent law to future specialists. It has a well-established reputation for providing good quality courses at reasonable cost, basically because the tutors are hand-picked from senior active practitioners in industry, private practice, or the EPO and it is essentially non-profit-making, at least after the cost of tutors' drinks has been covered. Further details of CEIPI's courses are available here; individual courses are listed in this blog's side bar.

That Press-ing Problem. Many thanks to all of you who have responded to the IPKat's call for an expression of interest in a short-and-sweet session on how to write a good IP press release. The response has been so positive that the Kat is thinking of running the seminar on two separate dates, to accommodate demand. He will be writing to all those who have contacted him, offering dates, at the end of this week. If you'd like to be circulated, email him here.
Monday miscellany Monday miscellany Reviewed by Jeremy on Monday, August 02, 2010 Rating: 5


  1. GSK and Colgate are having a real dust up over toothpaste. Another issue is whether "triple action" is an infringement of the TM "triple protection", see here .

  2. I think there is cricketing context for "nurdle", explored in a work by Christopher Lee entitled "Nicely Nurdled Sir" and published around 1988. I have always had the impression that it described a batsman glancing or flicking the ball away rather than thumping or slogging it. But not having read Lee's book, merely noticed (and remembered!) its title, I stand open to correction from the better-informed.

  3. Strangely, one on-line dictionary gives the following definition of "nurdle":

    The up and down movement of a cats front paws on an object (or person) before laying down.

  4. It is curious, I had NEVER heard of the the word 'Nurdle' (noun, verb or whatever)until this IPKat posting, but then at the weekend (wearing my very green hat)I was reading an article on marine pollution and discovered they are also small plastic balls - many manufactured - but many the remnants of marine pollution - that float around in our oceans and enter the food chain poisoning fish, birds and marine mammals such as whales and dolphins. A multi faceted word indeed.


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