Friday fantasies

Cat wedding stickers,
from Zazzle here
Have you been trying to book a place to attend the conference on "The Royal Wedding and British Business: Intellectual Property Perspectives on Major Events", billed for 8 February in Central London? And did you find the online booking site "locked"?  If so, the good news is that it's been unlocked now, so you can book after all. If you're coming, there are some great items in store: issues covered include trade marks, branding and ambush marketing, privacy, royal memorabilia, the wedding on-screen and its impact on the fashion sector. Full details of the programme and how to book are here.

As for other Forthcoming Events, do remember to check out the current list on the IPKat's website here.  The list is regularly augmented by new data, so don't think that just because you've read it all before and it sounds vaguely familiar, you won't catch some new item.  Recent additions include the AIPPI Lapland conference at the end of March and the beginning of April, which promises much educative benefit for those interested in trade dress, and deep satisfaction for those who like their beer to be naturally chilled.

How do you feel about the latest in the series of Starbucks' logos?  Are they a great marketing coup, a subtle shift in strategy, a betrayal of consumer affection or a total blunder?  The first 100 votes have been received in the IPKat's sidebar poll here, and a consensus is starting to emerge.  Have your say too -- there are still five days to go.

Another logo in the limelight is that of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). After this blog featured it in its little Wednesday Whimsies round-up (here), the IPKat's friend Helen Jones (Gill Jennings & Every LLP) realised why it looked so familiar to her: it was closely reminiscent of the logo of the World Intellectual Property Database (WIPD), reproduced on the right.

The IPKat is horrified that scam-merchants such as WIPD should be enabled to masquerade as a United Nations Agency in order to deceive and rip off gullible patent applicants, from whom it seeks substantial funds for its worthless services.  The WIPD's contact details, curiously enough, do not include a telephone number or an email address, but it gives its contact details as World Intellectual Property Database s.r.o., Roháčova 188/37,130 00 Praha, Czech Republic. The IPKat calls on (i) WIPO to do something about it, assuming that it has a legally protectable right in the Czech Republic, (ii) all right-thinking readers of this blog from the Czech Republic to call at this address and tell its occupant what the IPKat thinks, and (iii) all patent practitioners to be aware of this rogue enterprise.

Singaporean hearts:
all a-flutter at the
Global IP Event
Rumour has spread from the far and exotic shores of Singapore that the highly respected Bundesgerichtshof judge, scholar and IP enthusiast Joachim Bornkamm, had some kind words to say about this weblog.  The IPKat hopes this is so, since the excellent and sophisticated judge has contributed greatly to our understanding of how IP law works in Europe and how it is applied in Germany.  If he is ever thinking of taking up IP blogging, he should apply by email here with the subject line 'IP Star'.

"I don't mind the funny costumes;
what annoys me is presenting
compliments to people I'd
quite like to insult ..."
Never content to resist the temptation to improve upon perfection, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has issued PCT Notification No. 196.  This brings the joyous news that the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) has been treated to a fresh new set of amendments:
"The Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) presents his compliments to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and, pursuant to Article 68(4) of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), done at Washington on June 19, 1970, amended on September 28, 1979, modified on February 3, 1984, and on October 3, 2001, has the honor to transmit herewith certified copies, in English and in French, of the amendments to the Regulations under the PCT, with effect from July 1, 2011, adopted on September 29, 2010, by the Assembly of the International Patent Cooperation Union (PCT Union), at its forty-first (24th extraordinary) session, held in Geneva from September 20 to 29, 2010".
Fortunately, no-one has recently increased the cost of words, which is why these Notifications use so many of them.

IPReg: no hiding place for patent
and trade mark attorneys
Want a job? IPReg, the body which regulates the activities of UK patent and trade mark attorneys, when they're not on their holidays or visiting their in-laws, has announced that the Patent Regulation Board and the Trade Mark Regulation Board want to appoint two Professional Members. Candidates must be on their respective professional registers, must not have served on their respective Councils over the previous 12 month, must be able to show "a sound achievement at a senior level with the ability to contribute effectively to the strategic direction of IPReg together with the ability to understand its priorities and to command the confidence and support of the professions" [whatever that means].  Each appointee must commit to working 10 days a year, for which the pay is £3,000 pa. The good news is that travel and other expenses are payable, but they are not Members of Parliament so they have at least a chance to claim their moats and duck islands. If you think this is for you, email IPReg head Ann Wright here and get the application pack.

Around the blogs.  Registered patent attorney Michael Bates has found a sure way to escape the supervisory clutches of IPReg: he practises in Australia, land of the kangaroo, the kookaburra and the funniest cricketing jokes (here, here and here) to hit the public in this Kat's lifetime. Michael, who is also a blogger, bemoans the fact that the reach of his blog is "infinitesimally small". Having said that, he has some IP predictions for 2016 -- none of which mention the game of cricket at all.  You can find them here.

Right: the bat-cat, available from
Friday fantasies Friday fantasies Reviewed by Jeremy on Friday, January 07, 2011 Rating: 5


  1. Surprisingly, the WHOIS record has contact details for WIPD. The registrant is said to be David Cabal, who, apparently, can be contacted both by email ( or by phone (+420.606654600, assuming that's a real phone number). You can check the details at or read more about it at

  2. I asked WIPO about their rights to the new logo when they revealed it on April 26th last year (Side-note: I attended CDIP/5). This is the answer I got from the Head of the Brand Development Section, Communications Division:

    "Our new logo is protected under Article 6ter of the Paris Convention. Our basic principles are that our logo should be used primarily for WIPO activities, and we do not authorize the use of our logo by third party for publications, web sites, events, ect...

    However, we do consider request for authorization for specific use on a case-by-case basis. I hope this clarifies the matter."

    Somewhat of an interesting answer, actually.

  3. WIPO's idea of 'doing something about' unauthorised register scams, like WIPD, is to maintain a warning page on its website. It updates this page as it becomes aware of new examples.

    This is not entirely useless. Our firm has for some time included a warning about these scams in the letter we typically send out to clients following a new PCT filing. We rcently modified the letter to include a reference to the WIPO warning page.

    I have written about these scams a couple of times on my blog (here and here). I think another reminder may be due. The most we can probably do as a profession is to raise awareness.

  4. These unauthorized register scams have been running for some time. The fact that they mostly originate from countries around Germany suggests that most of these scams do indeed come from the same people, or at least from former or current associates. This is borne out by the fact that one person who was convicted in Florida for one such scam, Bernd Täubert, is a German citizen and the father of Ron B. Täubert, who was himself convicted in Germany for a similar, older scam targeting new entrants in the German national company register.


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