Monday miscellany Part 2

Westminster: before the Parliamentary
hot air melts the snow ...
The UK Parliament's House of Commons, in beautiful downtown Westminster, is having a debate tomorrow morning on the topic of "Intellectual property and its contribution to economic growth".  This is believed to be the initiative of the All Party Parliamentary Intellectual Property Group's Pete Wishart MP and is rumoured to be some sort of follow-up to last year's Hargreaves Review.  The debate runs from 9.30am to 11am. Says Merpel, no wonder our legislators don't really get the point of intellectual property when they have just 90 minutes to discuss it, inclusive of breathing ...

The IPKat is gratified to have received some good responses to his post last week ("SOS -- can you hear the ducks?") on a curiously misguided attempt to promote Intellectual Passports as a way of protecting inventions via copyright.  Apart from the comments posted below the original feature, he had some notable emails. One, from a discreetly anonymous correspondent, reads thus:
"I had someone approach me as well with this idea back in November 2011, and I conducted some research and found that their claims that their system had beaten many patents and returned ownership of IP to the rightful owner a tad misleading. The research I conducted identified several cases in which several patents were challenged on the basis of prior disclosure or prior invention. The result was that several patents were invalidated, but it does not provide an alternative to seeking IP protection. In essence, their system seems to surrender IP protection and place inventions in the public domain. 
IP Passport Control
Needless to say, at a recent event at which I was speaking, proponents of the IP Passport were in attendance handing out their brochures. During my presentation to the inventors, I raised the differences between the various "traditional" IP instruments and how they applied to each situation. Strangely enough during the question period, no one asked about the IP Passport. I did get many inventors coming up to me, on a one-on-one situation, asking me about the IP Passport and, after they realized the IP Passport system did not grant them exclusive rights to their invention, and that copyright is not the instrument to protect an invention, they threw the brochures in the recycle bin".
Another reader, C. Marc Benoît (Benoît & Côté, Montréal, who also submitted a catpic which was far too good to use on a Monday Miscellany round-up), adds:
"I come across this intellectual fraud once or twice per year. I have to explain to potential clients that the only protection that they get from this is the right to exclude others from copying their book, not from making their invention.

I am glad that I am not the only one who publicly denounces this kind of “Ineffectual Passport”. I hope this will help warn the public against the uselessness of this product and the waste of their hard-earned money".

No, it's not a sepia tint: it's
the annual surge of maple syrup
as it makes its way down to
the sea ...
Remaining for the while in Canada, the IPKat's old friend Steven Preece earns his kat-pat for this link to the news that a British Columbia Senator, Nancy Greene Raine (real name), has been agitating for Canada to adopt new maple syrup labelling rules. Why?
"You need to have proper protections on the quality and origins", Greene Raine said. "This is definitely the first step". 

It seems that Canada is to maple syrup what France is to cheese, a sort of spiritual home. The proposal, if adopted by the Senate, would lead to the definition of four classes of syrup: Golden (light with a mild taste), Amber (full-bodied); Dark (with a stronger taste than its lighter-coloured brethren) and Very Dark (strong taste: recommended for cooking purposes). Product labels would also be required to data concerning the include province, state or country of origin, to avoid overseas imitations.  The IPKat is fascinated at the thought of anyone importing maple syrup into Canada, a jurisdiction which is literally awash with it. But, yes, the Chinese are at it already, with maple flavoured syrup already looming large ...

The name IP Protect Expo (see previous post here) is so clunky that even its organiser Ian Shircore has to concede that it's in need of repair.  He writes:
"I agree (who would dare disagree?) with Merpel that the name IP Protect Expo lacks a certain, er, poetry. We would be delighted if anyone could come up with a more charismatic label for next year's event. 
The Kats have a soft
spot for this product ...
For the moment, the only bright idea I have is to use and abuse the initial letters of The IP Protect Expo to create the memorable new name, TIPPEx. This has a certain resonance, but I fear it might take us into dangerous waters. We might be seen to be infringing the intellectual property rights of Société Bic, which now owns Tipp-Ex (which, I'm told, is now "the tenth most recognized German brand name in the world" -- so that's behind VW, BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Porsche, Adidas, Lufthansa, Steinway and Hugo Boss, I suppose), and I wouldn't want Merpel to be thrown into jail with me as an accessory to such a crime".
Meanwhile, all the way from Austria -- where the snow doesn't melt even when the politicians are debating -- comes an email from student Sandra Gallistl, who agrees that the name is in need of repair but confesses that she has no idea if her own proposal, "Pro IP EXPO", is any better. No, the Kats chorus, it isn't-- but at least it has the virtue of being one syllable shorter.
Monday miscellany Part 2 Monday miscellany Part 2 Reviewed by Jeremy on Monday, February 06, 2012 Rating: 5

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