Friday fantasies

Snooker ace Hurricane Higgins
created his own micro-climate
Via a Tweet from Matthew Rimmer @DrRimmer comes this clip, promoting an uproarious idea: why not name hurricanes and cyclones after notable climate change deniers?  This clever device appeals to this Kat since it combines humour with a powerful punch. This notion may however hit the rocks in Europe, where the European Convention on Human Rights must be addressed: there's a tricky task of striking the right balance between the public's right to know who the identity of climate change deniers must be balanced against the right to privacy that deniers and their families are entitled to enjoy, not to mention their own right to the commercialisation of such proprietary rights as they might hold in their own names.  Merpel, who is a client change sceptic, wants to know what phenomena, natural or otherwise, might be named after those who believe in climate change.  Suggestions?

"Berne, baby, Berne!"
Around the weblogs. Writing on the IP Finance blog, IPKat blogmeister Jeremy expresses some concern at the fact that struggling surfwear business Billabong has given its brand a zero valuation.  Afro-IP reports that Mozambique is acceding to the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works this November, a bit of a surprise for many people who assumed that the country was already a member of the Berne Union (and before you look -- no, it isn't a signatory to the Universal Copyright Convention either).  The MARQUES Class 46 blog announces that MARQUES is offering previews of its refreshed website, which goes formally live at its annual conference next month in Monte Carlo. Finally, it's gratifying to see that the normally quiet SOLO IP blog has received a few more visits than usual this week, following the posting of no fewer than three items (about as many as it normally posts in a month). Could this be the beginning of a new growth spurt, this Kat wonders.

The Cheshire Cat: reputedly from
Oxford -- but not from Catz. For
the true story of the hyping of
Lewis Carroll's relationship with
Oxford, read this book
Last Friday, Darren posted this piece on a selection of consultations and events coming up shortly that deal with the European Union's new patent landscape, but there's more to come.   This Kat's highly respected friend -- academic, author and master of both wit and wisdom Chris Wadlow -- has pointed him in the direction of "Perspectives on the Unitary (EU) Patent System", a two-day conference which will be held on 4 and 5 October.  Chris has organised this event together with another Katfriend, the erudite and eloquent Justine Pila.  The venue is the lovely and inspiring setting of Jesus College, Oxford [Merpel wonders why it had to be Jesus: isn't Catz College good enough then? It's good enough for Justine ...] This event, a collaboration of University of Oxford (Institute of European and Comparative Law) and the University of East Anglia (ESRC Centre for Competition Policy), neatly outflanks Cambridge to the west and the east -- but that's not the only interesting political aspect of the conference.  More significantly it seeks to mark the 40th and 50th anniversaries respectively of the signing of the European and the Strasbourg Patent Conventions, and to help set the agenda for the future [Hmm, says Merpel, hasn't the agenda already been set by the European Commission? The best we can hope to do is to derail it make gentle suggestions as to how the future might be made to work ...]. The conference will bring together 16 international experts from different fields to offer their perspectives on the system. You can check out the full programme here and register here for a surprisingly and delightfully moderate sum.

Not all Greek? What do the words "Greek yoghurt" mean to you? It's not as silly a question as you might think, since the concepts of "Greek Yoghurt" and "Greek-style Yoghurt" have been discussed, and will doubtless continue to be discussed for some time to come, in the courts of England and Wales where there is something of a tussle in progress on these and related issues. The jiplp weblog is running a sidebar poll on what you understand by the term "Greek Yoghurt", and there's just one day to go till it closes.  Don't delay -- vote today! The poll can be found here.

Digital vibrations -- if you can manage them!  Intellectual Property and Digital Content, edited by Richard S. Gruner (Emeritus Professor of Law, John Marshall Law School, Chicago) is the biggest and heaviest work this Kat has tried lifting this year. It comes in two hefty volumes, each of which is a high-level rupture risk in its own right.  According to the publisher's website:
"Few changes in the world of intellectual property have been as transformative as the advent and proliferation of digital content works [Merpel still thinks the advent of the railway trains was more transformative, since it enabled works to be shifted from places where they caused no trouble to other places where they did -- but that's another matter ...]. The high value of these works in modern society has prompted calls for new IP standards to promote the protection – and the sharing – of such valuable assets.

Assembling some of the best analyses by legal scholars [indeed, there is a stellar cast], these volumes explore the implications both of applying older IP standards to the new digital technologies and of devising new enhanced IP standards for the digital age [contributions stretch back to 1986 with pieces on computer program copyright and patents by Katfriends Paul Goldstein and Donald Chisum respectively]. In covering the influences of patent, copyright, trademark, trade secret and other intellectual property laws, this wide-ranging collection reflects the sweeping impacts of IP standards and controversies on digital content works.

Professor Gruner’s extensive introduction illuminates the timeless policy and societal issues involved and suggests ways forward for this vibrant new field".
So many of the essays included in this work, all of which are published, are classics that it is difficult to review them in any meaningful sense. However, a regular criticism of similar publications from the illustrious stable of Edward Elgar Publishing is about to be trotted out again: there is nothing in the book's promotional material to indicate that it focuses only on one small part of the world, that is, the United States. Apart from the fact that the prospective purchaser is not forewarned, there's the racing certainty that the US-based reader will be confirmed in his erroneous supposition that IP and digital content is a purely US topic. which has no European, Asian or African counterpart. Please, EE, help set the US free from the parochialism that non-Americans often find so frustrating when trying to explain to them that, for example -- as this Kat did in the Fordham International IP Conference a couple of years ago -- that the internet is not coterminous with the terrestrial borders of the US but, remarkably, extends beyond it.

Bibliographic data: publication date -- ostensibly October 2013, though the twin tomes sitting prominently on the Kat's desk look pretty well published already, and it's only August.  More pages than you can flick a thumb at. Hardbacks, ISBN 978 1 78100 686 3. A snip at US$760 (or online from the publisher for just US $684). Web page here.
Friday fantasies Friday fantasies Reviewed by Jeremy on Friday, August 30, 2013 Rating: 5


  1. A Republicane for an especially destructive storm.

  2. I hear Treviso is seeking protection for Tiramisu on the grounds that is where it was invented in he 1970's.

  3. However, a regular criticism of similar publications from the illustrious stable of Edward Elgar Publishing is about to be trotted out again:

    I initially thought you wanted to to commend the rebellious originality of the illegal illumination device depicted on the cover. ;-)

    there is nothing in the book's promotional material to indicate that it focuses only on one small part of the world, that is, the United States.

    What? If there was a world without the US we'd know about it. QED.

  4. Is there, by chance, any results of similar efforts outside of hte US that could serve as sister publications?

    I think that efforts of supplementing the work rather than hissing at any imagined slight of a US-centric viewpoint would be more worthwhile.

  5. Anonymous @17:09 writes "I think that efforts of supplementing the work rather than hissing at any imagined slight of a US-centric viewpoint would be more worthwhile". I'm not hissing anything, and there's nothing wrong with a US-centric viewpoint -- but there is something wrong in not making it plain to purchasers of an extremely expensive publication that what they're getting is only such a view.

  6. Thanks Jeremy - my mistake.

    Still, any info on sister publications of this sort for different jurisdictions?


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