Hail and farewell -- and a happy new year

Time for a little solemn celebration ...
As calendars across the world shift their year data from 2013 to 2014 (if you still use cheques and/or date official documents, do be careful!), it falls to the IPKat and Merpel to discharge the pleasurable, if solemn and sacred, function of wishing all their readers, contributors, critics and sundry friends and family a happy, healthy and fulfilling year to come. 

Twice a year, on 1 January and 1 July, the IPKat announces changes to its team for the next six months.  

First, we say our fond farewells to retiring guest Kats Bertrand Sautier, Laetitia Lagarde and Miri Frankel.  To  them we say: "It has been great fun to have you with us; we've enjoyed your posts and learned a lot from you.  We know that you'll be staying in touch with us now that you've served your stint on the blog team and we wish you well for the future".

Secondly, we welcome our new crop of guest Kats.  In alphabetical order of both forename and surname they are

Alberto Bellan.  Following admission to the Italian Bar, this long-time Kat fan and occasional contributor has taught Comparative IP Law at University of Trieste, where he still returns whenever he can. Alberto has penned some articles in paper reviews and books on trade marks, designs and digital copyright. An assistant editor of the Queen Mary Journal of IP, he's a PhD candidate at the University of Milan. Alberto loves Italian defensive football tactical systems [given the nature of this weblog, Merpel thinks Alberto is referring to Katenaccio], British pop music and Israeli food. Alberto can be contacted here

Darren Meale.  Darren is an IP litigator at Simmons & Simmons in London, where he focuses on trade mark, copyright and design disputes. He trained at Herbert Smith and was previously at Dentons before joining Simmons late last year. He is a regular contributor and peer reviewer for JIPLP, with a particular interest in famous trade marks and digital rights issues, including the way in which the internet and new digital technologies interact with and potentially infringe intellectual property rights. Darren is also a part-time judge, sitting when his day job permits as a Deputy District Judge of the County Court. He prefers dogs to cats, but is willing to make an exception for Merpel. Darren's contact details are here.

Nadia Zegze is the third and final  member of the new intake of guest Kats. Currently a trainee solicitor with London-based law firm Davenport Lyons, Nadia has already contributed a couple of guest posts on this weblog.  An IP enthusiast whose interests include dispute resolution and both contentious and non-contentious issues, Nadia enjoys travel and is a keen musician, playing piano, violin and saxophone. We understand that she is also a dab hand at a spot of the old amateur dramatics.  Nadia has the distinction of being the first member of the IPKat team to have two "z"s in her surname. She can be contacted via the IPKat's email address here.

The blog also looks forward to getting some ad-hoc assistance in covering patent cases from Paul England, from the London office of Taylor Wessing.

regular blog team members David Brophy and Catherine Lee are still on sabbatical. We look forward to welcoming them both back when the time is ripe.

Now for a few words about the blog itself and its progress over the past twelve months.
* We've enjoyed a net gain of over 1,000 email subscribers over the year, starting with 8,099 and ending the year with 9,436.  We're very proud of the quality of our readership: anyone who wants to receive Katposts by email has to make a positive effort to sign up for them and we never add anyone to the list unless they ask us specifically to do so.

* Our database of searchable posts has risen from 7,379 items to 8,155 -- an increase of 776 articles (that's just under 15 new posts each week). 

* The number of page views now exceeds eight and a quarter million (when this post was written the figure stood at 8,258,432) and we've received 5,411,706 site visits.
It only remains for the IPKat and Merpel to say a huge "thank-you" once again to their readers, as well as to the litigators, legislators and others who have provided so much inspiration for the whole team over the past year.  Thanks!
Hail and farewell -- and a happy new year Hail and farewell -- and a happy new year Reviewed by Jeremy on Wednesday, January 01, 2014 Rating: 5


  1. Hi there,

    I'm coming to this late after my Christmas break but I wanted to say Thank You! to the IPKat team for your diligent, authoritative and much-appreciated work in 2013 and best wishes for the new(ish) year and beyond.


    Nia Roberts

  2. Nia, It's lovely to hear from you, as ever!


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