Congratulations from the Kats

It has been a great time for royalty recently -- not the sort charged for use of an intellectual property right but for the sort you find on thrones and in packs of playing cards. Earlier this year we had the King's Speech; then we had the Prince's Wedding. Now it's the turn of the Queen's Birthday Honours list.

The Kat was sad to see that, so far as he could tell, there weren't many honours for intellectual property.  Searches of the list under such promising terms as "copyright", "record", "internet", "inventor" and "innovation" didn't score any hits at all.  There were two authors.  One was Julia Catherine Donaldson, who also doubled up as a playwright and who was awarded the MBE (that's Member of the Order of the British Empire -- for details of CBE, OBE and MBE click here) for services to literature.  The literature in question includes The Gruffalo, which makes this Kat feel she should have been awarded something extra for services to exasperated parents at bedtime too.  The other author, awarded the same honour for the same pursuit, was Kate Atkinson, creator of the police inspector-turned-private investigator Jackson Brodie [Kat warning: someone should tell Kate she might want to consider registering Jackson Brodie as a trade mark ...].

One designer made the list, gaining a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) for services to the fashion industry: 60s icon Celia Birtwell. A sample of Celia's work is portrayed on the left.   Another fashion sector name making the list, this time with an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire), is Nicholas Robertson (Chief executive and co-founder,, who is perhaps better known for making, er, money.  A third fashion honour -- an MBE -- goes to journalist Sarah Mower, who also has a diplomatic role as the British Fashion Council's ambassador for emerging talent [quips Merpel, if she can spot emerging talent, will she please volunteer her services to the England football team?]. 

More scary than
the Gruffalo?
The Kat has kept the best news till last.  His old friend Mark Stephens [now we all know, Mark, your middle name is Howard], has been given a CBE for services to the legal profession and to the arts. Mark has been one of the consistently, persistently most flamboyant imaginative figures in the field of intellectual property and media law and practice over the past quarter of a century, indeed a truly colourful character [adds Merpel, with language to match ...]. The ubiquity of the man can also be gauged by an internet search.  Bearing in mind the fact that Mark is a founding father of Finers Stephens Innocent, just go to any legal database and key in the words 'mark' or 'innocent' -- you'll be astounded how many hits you get!

Full list of Honours here (have the Kats missed anyone?)
Useful device for locating the British Empire here
Congratulations from the Kats Congratulations from the Kats Reviewed by Jeremy on Monday, June 13, 2011 Rating: 5


  1. Dr Frances Saunders - Chief Executive of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory - is presumably quite involved in IP creation. She has several patents in her own name too (in liquid-crystal display technology).

  2. Aside from Dr Saunders, there are quite a few that have been awarded for services to Science/Engineering/Medicine.


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