Monday miscellany

Some curious readers have been asking the IPKat who or what the Bucerius Law School is. Thanks to his friend Dana Beldiman he can now tell you a little bit more about it. The Bucerius Law School (BLS) was founded as recently as 2000 by Gerd Bucerius, publisher of the Hamburg weekly Die Zeit. Says Dana, the grades obtained by BLS graduates in the mandatory state bar examination by far exceeded the national average and the school is currently ranked number one. Last year BLS established an active Center for Transnational IP, Media and Technology Law & Policy (here); it also has a regular IP Lecture Series in which, in cooperation with BLS’s US arm, the American Friends of Bucerius (a U.S. non-profit organization), IP lectures are held in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The Center’s mission is to raise awareness of global issues related to IP and knowledge governance and to provide teaching and research that help shape forward-looking solutions and policies consistent with the needs of the 21st century.

The Center kicks off with its inaugural conference, “The Access Challenge in the 21st Century: Emerging Issues in Intellectual Property Laws and Knowledge Governance”, on 18 and 19 May. Topics addressed include Science and Digital Hurdles to Access, Access to the Marketplace, Compulsory Licensing to Facilitate Access, as well as an expanded discussion of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). The conference website is here; if you can attend, you may be in for a pleasant surprise!

Hamburg and Munich are both German cities, but this Kat wonders if that is all they have in common. In terms of climate, culture, commerce, pace of life -- they are in many respects worlds apart. While Hamburg hosts the Bucerius, Munich hosts the Serious, in the form of a forthcoming conference, "US Patent Reform: Consequences for European Practitioners", on 3 and 4 April.  The IPKat, who has already written about this excellent event here, just wants to remind readers that they are entitled, as readers of this weblog, to a generous 10% reduction in the event's registration fees. Just click here and follow the instructions. April is a lovely time to visit Munich and, if you don't like crowds, the good news is that you are almost as far away from the city's fabled Oktoberfest [should be Septemberfest, growls Merpel] as you can get.

INTA warm-up. If you are anywhere near London this Thursday, 29 March, and are planning to head out to Washington DC this May for the annual International Trademark Association Meeting, don't forget to look in at the equally annual INTA Pre-Annual Meeting Reception, hosted by London-based law firm Rouse from its imposing roost on the 11th floor of Exchange Tower, Docklands, from 5.30pm to 8.00pm. Apart from the attraction of guest speaker Toni Mascolo (of Toni & Guy fame), this event gives you a great opportunity to do some revision on INTA etiquette (not to solicit corporate members for custom; how to look over the shoulder of the person you're talking to in the hope of spotting the person you want to be talking to; how to juggle a wine-glass, a canape and an exchange of business cards when you've only got two hands). The invitation is here. If you've not already replied, or want any further details, email Wunmi Solaja here.

How many -- or few --  patents have gone into the making of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class car? The YouTube clip of this advertisement, kindly sent in by Shabtai Atlow (katpat!) mentions a figure of 80,000 patents -- which does sound a bit over-the-top -- though in fairness this figure presumably includes all manner of patents for all the company's vehicles and their components, aggregating them across the many national jurisdictions in which they have been secured. Merpel has heard a great deal over the years about "patenting the wheel" and assumes that this is something that would not have escaped the inventive imaginations that lurk within the bonnet of Mercedes-Benz.

Patently in Love: the sequel. Last week's post about Rhoda Baxter's novel of romance in a patent attorney's office contained a challenge to the IPKat's readers: could they write a paragraph to continue his own little bit of text, employing at least seven of a number of patent-oriented words or phrases which the Kat had thoughtfully listed. The following text has since been received from an IP enthusiast who has wisely requested anonymity and who has far exceeded the IPKat's brief in her choice of IP allusions:
"Jasper took an inventive step towards her. Their gazes met and the outside world posed no interference. She stripped off his trousers, and smiled in anticipation as she made the discovery that his briefs had "Patent Attorneys Claim to Do It" neatly embroidered vertically on the front. "Oh, I prefer hard IP" she whispered. "And I'm into soft IP" he responded as a preliminary examination uncovered her bra with one cup proclaiming "Trademark Attorneys Intend to Use it" on the left side and "Copyright Attorneys Make Fair Use of It" emblazoned on the right. Yes, he was indeed very skilled in the art. After a blissful and surprising synergistic result which reached to Veronica's very pith and marrow, her long felt want was indeed slaked. As they basked in the haze of the extended grace period, gloriously reveling in hindsight, Jasper whispered "my little POSITA, would you care for a free beer?" A continuation to be filed…".

Around the weblogs.  This week's foray by Afro-IP's Kingsley Egbuonu into the hinterland of Africa's official IP websites takes him to Senegal, where there are none. Timothy Taylor's weblog Conversable Economist carries a handy summary of Ruth Towse's article "What We Know, What We Don't Know, and What Policy-makers Would Like Us to Know About the Economics of Copyright", published at the end of last year in the Review of Economic Research on Copyright Issues (a katpat to Saskia Walzel for the link). The IPKat congratulates his friends at Spicy IP for surpassing the 3,000 email subscriber milestone.
Monday miscellany Monday miscellany Reviewed by Jeremy on Monday, March 26, 2012 Rating: 5

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