Wednesday whimsies

Celebration time ... but who was it
that got to the bubbly first ...?
Essex Girl hits the big-time. Pop the cork and pour out the sparkling wine made by the methode champagnoise in honour of Emma Himsworth (One Essex Court), whose name appears in today's list of freshly-appointed Queen's Counsel in England and Wales. Emma QC has been involved in some of the IPKat's favourite legal disputes, including Interflora v Marks & Spencer, Matratzen Concord v Hukla and one case which, in this Kat's opinion, should never have been allowed to go to court, Reed v Reed. While you're pouring the bubbly, lift a glass to another of the day's new silks, Adrian Speck (8 New Square), a co-author of The Modern Law of Copyright and one of only a small number of men on the planet, along with IPKat team member Neil, who can tell you what the fractious and frustrating litigation in Scandecor v Scandecor was all about.

Katnotes: (i) while he is not (yet, at any rate) an IP man, James Laddie, of Matrix, and son of the late Sir Hugh, has also taken silk today. The Kat community wishes him and all his family past, present and future every success and happiness; (ii) if, in his eagerness to post this feature or because he didn't recognise them from their real names, the Kat has missed out any other barrister with IP credentials, he says "sorry -- just let me know!"

Not just kangaroos, but prior art ...
Around the weblogs. IPKat team member Jeremy, in his capacity as editor of the Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice, lets off a bit of steam on the jiplp weblog concerning the use of a phrase that does not enjoy his approval. Down Under in the Kangaroo-infested wilds of Australia, Patentology reports on the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Raising the Glass Bar) Bill 2011, which the Australian Senate debated and passed without amendment last night: this looks pretty important, even from the other side of the world (a katpat to David Fell, AnsaldoSTS, for the link).  PatLit carries a little more information about this month's big French Cour de Cassation ruling that you can't get your money back if you'd paid out damages for infringing a later-revoked patent, while an SPC Blog reader asks such horrible questions about the position of (national) SPC rights within a pan-European unified patent system that no-one wants to answer them.  The 1709 Blog remains in hyperactive mode this week, the Kat's pick being Ben Challis writing on royalties and accounting practices in the US recording industry. Finally, back in blogging mode for IP Finance, Neil Wilkof makes some telling points about the dangers of making generalisations about what "China" thinks about fakes and genuine products.

This newt has the ability to change
its colour in accordance with its
background -- a very useful
attribute in politics ...
Suit against the Newt ... When he heard that a complaint had been filed against "Defendants Does 1-10, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum" for infringement of Frank Weyer's United States patent, US7644122B2, this Kat wasn't sure whether this was serious or just an April Fools' prank come early. It seemed even more comical to him when he learned of the patent itself:
"Method apparatus and business system for online communications with online and offline recipients 
Abstract: The present invention comprises a method, apparatus and business system for allowing on-line communications with members of a group of recipients for whom the invention has been implemented. A group may, for example, comprise members of a particular business or profession. For example, a group may consist of doctors admitted to practice medicine in the United States. Individual members of the group may or may not have existing internet presences. The invention allows online users to communicate with each member of a given group regardless of whether or not the member has an existing internet presence. In one or more embodiments, the invention does so by setting up a database of contact information for members of the group, creating an internet presence for each member of such group, creating an on-line user interface allowing a user to access the member's created internet presence, and providing means of communications between the created internet presence and the member recipient".
A brief exchange of emails with Johan Orneblad (Origin), to whom a katpat is awarded, established that this was indeed a genuine action and not a spoof. Further details are available on Priorsmart here. It appears that the inventor is also counsel for the plaintiff. Says Merpel, what a great way to drum up awareness and publicity for one's professional practice.  The IPKat just wonders whether defendants Gingrich and Romney and Santorum will cooperate in resisting the infringement claim.
Wednesday whimsies Wednesday whimsies Reviewed by Jeremy on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 Rating: 5

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