Friday fantasies

Forthcoming events: you can check what's coming up over the next few months by clicking here.  Says the IPKat, we might even see you there!

The nearly-annual IP Publishers and Editors Lunch, which the recession nearly killed off last year, is back again this year, thanks to the generous hospitality of the London office of Latham & Watkins LLP.  The lunch will be held from 12.30pm to 2.30pm on Tuesday 7 December.  This year's keynote speaker will soon be confirmed: whoever it is, you can be sure that he or she will not speak for more than 10 or 15 minutes. If you think you should have been invited to this event but have not, or if you know of anyone who should have been invited but hasn't, please email Jeremy here and let him know.

Competitions!  The Patent Limerick competition ("A crafty inventor called Fred ..."), for which the prize is complimentary admission to this year's Standards and Patents conference, has already attracted nearly 30 entries -- some of which are hilarious.  The "If music be the food of love, then copyright is ..." competition (here), for which the prize is free admission to this year's Music and Copyright conference, has received nearly 20 entries -- some of which reveal a degree of cynicism which would shock the entrants' clients. Then there's the Anagram competition -- which has proved surprisingly difficult (the task is to find an anagram of the words "fair dealing for the purposes of private study").  The prize is free admission to this year's Copying Without Infringing conference. There have been only 8 entries so far, and the Kat thinks one of the competitors is a bit dyslexic.

One of the Kat's correspondents, writing in this week with an interesting observation, is Frances Anderson (Cobbetts).  Frances had been attending Steve Ballmer's lecture on cloud computing at LSE, at which Lord Justice Jacob asked Steve what he thought of software patents. She says:
"I hope neither of them will mind my reporting to you that he gave a positive thumbs up to this form of IP protection, though the reasons for this were initially not entirely clear to me. Admitting that Microsoft had spent more on prosecuting patents than it had earned in licence income from exploiting them, he added that they had value in collaboration agreements between software companies.
By chance today I read an interesting article in the current edition of the Society for Computers & Law journal on Bilski v Kappos by Dr Robert Harrison and Jordan S Hatcher, in which they suggest that companies build defensive IP portfolios to use when faced with a challenge of patent infringement from a competitor -- to cross-license or cross-sue. The light dawned. Like nuclear policy -- which works for the great powers but perhaps less well for smaller non-nuclear states, building software patent portfolios may be a challenge for small companies without the resources of the great software corporations -- and Steve appeared to acknowledge that they do get left behind in the software patent arms race".
The IPKat is not currently stockpiling patents since he can't afford the nuclear [or as George W. Bush would call it, "nucular"] option. He relies on small arms instead.  Indeed, most cats have very small arms ...

Around the blogs.  The patent dispute-oriented PatLit weblog carries a powerful comment by Spanish IP expert Antonio Selas on the Apple/Sharing Sound settlement and on the patent on which it is based.  PatLit is still looking to recruit more bloggers; Wednesday's appeal for fresh blood (here) drew a zero response.  Meanwhile there are still two days in which to vote on IP Finance's poll to find the best IP begging letter -- surely the least popular blog poll of all time!

We are all, with the possible exception of Merpel, made of biological material.  Accordingly we finally record the existence of this notice, issued by European Patent Office (EPO) concerning inventions which involve the use of, or concern, biological material. This updates that of 1986 on European patent applications and European patents that refer to micro-organisms, and also contains a measure of consolidation.

If you want something exciting to read this weekend and don't mind the underlines and italics, here's the 24-page Consolidated Text of the fabled Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, 2 October 2010.  Says the rubric, "This text reflects the outcome of the 11th and final round of the negotiations held in Tokyo. Some delegations expressed reservation on specific parts of text, which are highlighted in the text by underlines and italic letters".
Friday fantasies Friday fantasies Reviewed by Jeremy on Friday, October 08, 2010 Rating: 5


  1. The patent nuclear portfolio idea is hardly new, and has been recognized well before Bilski v Kappos.

    In fact, the genesis of the campaign to impugn Non-Practicing Entities by labelling them "trolls" is directly related to a mechanism that defeats the stockpiling of patent arms.

    Sinec NPE's cannot be threatened with annihilation, the stockpile is useless. The large tech companies, already invested in their stockpiles are left with a popular media smear campaign to discredit those who merely play a different (and perfectly legal) game.

  2. FYI Rob and I's article is available through the SCL site, my publications page and on SSRN.

    Building a defensive patent portfolio for cross licensing or countersuit is just one of the reasons we discuss filing software patents, and also suggest strategies such as defensive publication (much more inline with SME budgets) among several others.

    The main thrust of the article looks at a situation we find all too often -- UK companies totally ignore software patents as they think that they have no relevance for their business. Not true. They have relevance here in Europe and as especially if they have business in the US.


All comments must be moderated by a member of the IPKat team before they appear on the blog. Comments will not be allowed if the contravene the IPKat policy that readers' comments should not be obscene or defamatory; they should not consist of ad hominem attacks on members of the blog team or other comment-posters and they should make a constructive contribution to the discussion of the post on which they purport to comment.

It is also the IPKat policy that comments should not be made completely anonymously, and users should use a consistent name or pseudonym (which should not itself be defamatory or obscene, or that of another real person), either in the "identity" field, or at the beginning of the comment. Current practice is to, however, allow a limited number of comments that contravene this policy, provided that the comment has a high degree of relevance and the comment chain does not become too difficult to follow.

Learn more here:

Powered by Blogger.