Wednesday whimsies

Typical designers -- plenty of style,
but they forgot the stairs ...
So who cares what designers think?  Given that even brand owners, with their mastery of the media, find it so hard to attract the attention of policy-makers and legislators, the still, small voice of the designer finds it even harder to get its points across.  That's why this Kat welcomes "Trade Marks and Designs: the Designers’ Perspective", this being a forthcoming IBIL event on Wednesday 26 February and it’s starting at 6 pm (5.30 pm registration) at UCL’s Cruciform Building. The booking form is here, for your delectation.

Here’s what the organisers have to say about it:
"Trade mark and design law make many assumptions about how designers design things and use those assumptions are the basis of tests which shape the scope of legal protection for designs. Furthermore, design-related questions underlie the tests for protectablity. These include distinctiveness, novelty, individual character, design freedom and different overall impression and functionality. 
In this seminar, a product and a packaging designer will explain the design process and how they make design choices. Experienced lawyers will then consider the extent to which the legal tests inherent in trade mark and design regulation reflect the realities of the design process".
The speakers are Matthew Cockerill (Seymour Powell), Chris Griffin (pi global and the Museum of Brands), Alexander Carter-Silk (Speechly Bircham) and Simon Malynicz (3 New Square), chaired by none other than Mr Justice Birss. The standard admission fee is £30, but IBIL is offering a 10% reduction to IPKat readers if they enter ‘IPKAT10’ in the promotional code box [it may not sound like much, but it's a much-appreciated gesture -- and an extra £3 in your pocket always comes in handy!].

Making friends and getting to know people.  This Kat is thrilled to announce that new UK Director of Copyright and Enforcement Dr Ros Lynch has kindly agreed to make to meet the IP legal community at the earliest opportunity. This is a welcome step and provides a useful opportunity for the UK's many and varied copyright interests to start building a positive relationship with the Copyright Directorate at a time of much flux in copyright law and policy. Law firm BDB is delighted to host the session at its Westminster offices (here) on Thursday 20 March from 5.30pm - 7.30pm when Ros will give a short keynote speech and then be available to mingle and chat. Drinks and nibbles will be provided [Merpel has it on good authorities that BDB is very proud/fond of its chef's canapés which, she hopes, will be Kat-friendly]. If you'd like to attend, do let BDB know in advance by emailing, [please note corrected email address] so that a sufficiency of comestibles can be provided, along with the right name badges.  This Kat, sensing that the event may be more than averagely popular, is already pressing for a repeat in a couple of months' time ...

CRISPR patents: can you help?  One of our readers asks: "I am currently looking at topics for my intellectual property research dissertation. The topic I wish to study, although a bit ambitious, is CRISPR (= Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) patents, which are discussed on your weblog here.  From my research so far, although I can find plenty of articles on the scientific aspect, I have not been able to find much information on legal issues/patentability and was wondering if you had come across anything? The technology is so cutting-edge there is a definite lack of legal analysis, but the potential medical applications are so vast I am sure it is only a matter of time.  I would be grateful for any advice you might have".  This Kat hasn't come across anything himself since he posted on the subject in November of last year, but wonders if readers might have some leads for this student to follow up.  If you have any ideas, do let us know!

Calling all trade mark scholars.  This Kat has previously drawn the attention of readers to the fact that his friends at the International Trademark Association (INTA) are pleased to host the Fifth Annual Trademark Scholarship Symposium during the 136th INTA Annual Meeting in Hong Kong. The Symposium takes place on Monday 12 May as part of INTA’s Academic Day and is an opportunity for trade mark scholars from around the world to present a complete, or near complete, work of trade mark scholarship to practitioners and fellow academics [including this Kat]. This year the INTA is only selecting between one and four papers, which will be presented with a practitioner and an academic commentator, rather than in the traditional workshop setting.  If you'd like to present a paper, do please send an abstract (approximately 300 words) describing a current trade mark or unfair competition scholarship project to Co-Chairs Signe H. Naeve ( and Jeremy Sheff ( by15 February 15, 2014. Participants receive complimentary enrolment in the Academic Day programme, plus sundry local pleasures. However, airfares and accommodation are the speaker’s responsibility. For INTA membership and Annual Meeting registration information, please contact Carin Diep-Dixon (

Teddy bears' additive-free picnic
Around the weblogs.  Thanks to fellow Kat Darren S, this blogger has now been introduced to a new blog, The Chemical Free Woods. ("Because sometimes a bear needs more than 140 chars. @ChemFreeBear on Twitter"). It's not an IP blog per se, though it is bound to have some interesting content for our more techie and environmentally conscious readers. The 1709 Blog mentions a survey on so-called "copynorms" which Katfriend, barrister and true IP enthusiast Francis Davey is running as part of a Masters requirement. If you have an attitude towards the copying of other people's works, or even if you don't, your responses will be valuable, so please take a few minutes out of your lives to participate here.

Time to party? the Intellectual Property Ball Trainees Ball is usually an annual event. Being quite non-discriminatory in its scope, the Ball is aimed at intellectual property trainees irrespective of whether they be trade mark attorneys, patent attorneys, IP solicitors or any other trainee in the profession. Since there was no Ball last year, the organisers emphasise that are extending the invitation even to recently qualified folk who didn’t get the chance to attend last year.  This Kat, whose ability to read fancy fonts has been seriously eroded over the years by an increasing lack of patience in the face of even superable (or should that be non-insuperable?) obstacles, has ascertained that the date of this event is 19 July and that, as yet, the organisers do not appear to have secured any award of CPD points for recently-qualified party-goers (though there may be other compensations). The invitation is on the left, but further information can be provided here. Do attend-- and enjoy!
Wednesday whimsies Wednesday whimsies Reviewed by Jeremy on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 Rating: 5

1 comment:

  1. Wolf Greenfield held a webinar on the CRISPR/Cas-9 patent landscape earlier this month. You can access a recording of the webinar via the following link:

    Another starting point might be the following article: Chi-Ham et al.(2010) Nature Biotechnology 28, 32-36 "The intellectual property landscape for gene suppression technologies in plants".


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