Wednesday whimsies (a little earlier than usual!)

Pre-1900 UK patent specifications.   As part of ongoing plans to improve the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO)'s online services the IPO is digitally capturing all the paper copies of pre-1900 patent specifications as far back as 1600.  Says the IPO:
"As a result we are able to offer the entire paper collection of pre 1900 patent specifications to any interested party. Unfortunately, we are only able to consider interest for the entire collection (approximately 400,000 documents). We are aware that these are important historic documents. However, The British library already hold a preserved set, ours are working documents. By preserving these working specifications digitally for the future not only will we be able to improve our on line services but we will also be able to significantly reduce storage costs. If you are interested in acquiring this unique paper collection or would like further information please contact Terry Sheppard 01495 201611"  
This may be your golden opportunity. Go for it!

Intellectual property tax law expert Anne Fairpo (who tweets as @iptax and blogs far too infrequently for IP Finance) will soon be pedaling her bicycle from John O'Groats, at the northern extremity of the British land mass, to Lands End, down in the bottom left hand corner. The trip is about 1,000 miles, which Anne plans to cover in nine days [plus VAT at 20%, chimes in Merpel]. Anne's aim is to raise funds for the Marie Curie hospice in Hampstead, London, and this Kat is happy to encourage readers to sponsor her. To do so, click here and have your credit card details handy. It only takes a moment.

Together with sponsoring law firm Taylor Wessing, the Institute of Brand and Innovation Law (IBIL) of UCL is holding a conference on Tuesday 11 June under the title "The role of experts & scientific advisors in Patent Litigation in the EU". The venue is UCL's, Faculty of Laws Building, Bentham House, Endsleigh Gardens, London WC1. This is an all-day event, running from 8:45am AM to 6:00pm, and offering an impressive array of speakers from both sides of the Atlantic. Further details of this event, including registration, may be accessed by clicking here.

This Kat can scarcely believe that Ruth Orchard is really retiring at the end of the year as Director General of the Anti-Counterfeiting Group. Not only has Ruth made a positive and retrospective impact on the world of IP since she took up the role ten years ago, but she has shown herself to be a true and effervescent IP enthusiast.  Anyway, Ruth is definitely retiring and the ACG has already announced her successor, Chrissie Florczyk.  Known to many as Timberland's European Brand Protection Manager, Chrissie (left) joins the ACG on 18 November and will be working in tandem with Ruth till the end of the year in order to ensure a smooth transition.  The IPKat wishes Chrissie the very best in her new role.
Wednesday whimsies (a little earlier than usual!) Wednesday whimsies (a little earlier than usual!) Reviewed by Jeremy on Tuesday, May 28, 2013 Rating: 5


  1. Jeremy,

    Re: Pre-1900 UK patent specifications.

    I'm looking forward to seeing the result, such as James Watt's infamous evergreened patent.

    You might be also be interested in the ongoing French INPI effort in digitising pre-1900 patents.

    The presentation format is unfortunately not very easy to use, you can hardly do more that browse online.

    France only began formally publishing her patents around 1900. Before that patents were simply hand-written documents kept in a repository.

    The Germans have digitised all their patents issued by the Imperial Office beginning with Number 1 in 1877, which appropriately enough concerned the chemical dye industry. I don't know whether there is any concerted effort to digitise the titles issued by the predecessor systems (Bavaria, Prussia, Baden, etc.)

  2. I hope that the digitisation will be carried out at a resolution as good as a photocopy. While the BL does hold a complete collection of UK patents which personal visitors are allowed to inspect, it will not provide photocopies of any pre-1900 patents, referring requestors to the Patent Office (sorry, IPO).

    Presumably the post-1900 patents will be made available on-line in the same way as post-1900 patents, which will be a good thing. While some pre-1900 patents are currently available on-line, there are gaps in the collection.


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