Friday fantasies

Apologies for the delay in getting back to our round-ups, but all Kats have been working furiously away in the past week in an attempt to keep up with events as best they can; it's just that sometimes there's more going on than even an entire army of Kats can cope with. Four of us have been attending the International Trademark Association Meeting in Hong Kong (on which see many of this week's earlier Katposts). The INTA Meeting is an amazing and demanding event, bookended by bouts of extended travel and jetlag. It's also one which demands a hundred-percent concentration when talking with some of the world's greatest experts and scholars and seeking to learn from their experiences and perspectives, particularly given the variety of languages and cultures that abound.  Anyway, we'll do our best to get back to normal even though there are still a couple of weeks of catch-up and disruption ahead.

Gratitude is easy to express but not so easy to convey in a sincere manner when you've done it before.  However, the IPKat team are both individually and collectively grateful to the readers of this weblog for their continued support, contributions, encouragement and criticism that have helped it on its way over the past decade and beyond.  This week, as Twitter followers of @IPKat will know, our email subscriber list passed the 10,000 mark.  This blogger held his breath as the 10,000 mark was passed, since he had been informed, fortunately erroneously, that Google Groups stopped at 10,000.  We've said it before and we'll say it again: we are really and truly grateful for the wonderful support we have enjoyed from you all, and we'll do our very best to continue to deserve it.

Belated congratulations go to Katfriend and IP enthusiast Francis Gurry on his re-election as Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Francis's second term runs from 1 October of this year till the end of September 2020. Good luck, Francis!  Being Director General of WIPO is actually a bit like being an IP blogger, thinks Merpel: you're expected to get things right first time, every time; everything you say gets carefully scrutinised and painfully dissected -- but you get to meet and work with some wonderful people in pursuit of some useful causes, and it's that which makes it all worthwhile.

Forthcoming events.  Having just attended two recent big events and now gearing up for a couple more, this Kat thought it might be a good idea to remind readers that there is a list of forthcoming events on this blog which you can access via the home page side bar (you can also click straight on to it here).  It's not in any sense a complete list, but it does include a substantial number of events that are either free or that offer reductions in registration fees for readers of this weblog.  Do check it out!

Don't hesitate, mediate ...! On the subject of forthcoming events, this Kat is participating in OHIM's IP Mediation Conference, which takes place on 29 and 30 May in Alicante. You can check out the programme here.  Apart from the fact that there are some articulate and outspoken people on the cast, there may be some keen debate as to whether there is room for highly structured, formal and regulated mediation in a world in which less formal and more flexible dispute resolution has been making advances.  A report will likely appear on this very weblog, but that's not an excuse for not being there in person to watch ...

Around the weblogs.  Solo IP practitioner Sally Cooper, now back in England after her trip to Hong Kong for the INTA Meeting, gives her impressions on the SOLO IP blog here.  Ben Challis regales readers of the 1709 Blog with progress being made towards implementing a voluntary three-strike scheme to combat online piracy in the UK. Marty Schwimmer's Trademark Blog reproduces Marty's plea for Washington Redskins to drop their controversial brand on the basis of its being racist.  On Afro-IP, Aurelia J. Schultz reviews LibLicense and the prospects for digital licensing in Africa.
Friday fantasies Friday fantasies Reviewed by Jeremy on Friday, May 16, 2014 Rating: 5


  1. Re Francis Gurry. IPRedNeck isn't at all happy - the Americans are muttering about taking their ball and going home. One wishes that they would.

  2. " One wishes that they would."

    Be careful of what you wish for (and I would love the US to withdraw - and present a bill for services rendered.

    Good luck forking over the cash to keep the place running.

  3. If it means that we no longer have to listen to self-righteous American moaning, it would be worth every penny.

  4. That option was always there in the past, Anonymous @ 19:11.

    Funny how that option to pick up the tab, and to move the UN off of US soil never actually was put into play...

    Reminds me of a particular adage: Talk is cheap.

  5. Congrats for the 10000. Well done.

    That being said, these numbers are somewhat exagerated.

    I have a blog that had reached 120 email subscribers. For some reason I had to unsubscribe all of them. I informed them and asked them to re-subscribe. Guess how many subscribed? 60.


  6. Patrick, the numbers aren't exaggerated. The email subscription is run through a Google Group which we have looked after for more than ten years. Like any other blog we get occasional unsubscribes and long-term bounces which have to be deleted -- but the vast proportion of emails on the list are live at any given time.

  7. Re: "Talk is Cheap" This phrase nicely explains a key philosophy of the US - "Pile it high, sell it cheap."

    Americans do not like criticism, much like the odd Kat. My policy in life is to knock people off their high horse, and I always find they are a lot smaller close up.

  8. Anonymous @ 22:42,

    No one likes criticism.

    Especially the kind that comes across in an "internet tough guy" model.

    Congrats. You made your mommy proud. Now get back to your room in her basement.

  9. Mr Yankee Doodle Dandy needs to wise up and look an unbiased look at his own nation. Maybe you should take out your six-guns and scare me back into the basement.

    As we're bringing family into the discussion, if I was 5 years old I'd say my dad was bigger than your dad, but as I am now 6, I'd probably comment that you are more likely to know who I am than who your dad is, but I'm sure such comments would not get passed Uncle Kat.

    On a more political, as opposed to puerile note, the US is a self-interested nation, as are many, but its self-righteousness has not been earned. America's chapter in the annals of history will be a mere footnote: big island found, locals ousted, Mickey Mouse declared President, all natives given job title of Vice President of something or other, lots of black stuff burned because the world was a little chilly.

  10. Dear Anonymous @22:24,

    Your animosity comes across as petty as your "strength" of discourse.

    The US has accomplished more in its (your description) footnote than nearly all other nations in the history of time. There is no doubt that modern invention plays a role in this superiority and - befitting a blog on IP - that it is no mistake that the US IP systems are the strongest in the world.

    Sure we have our problems - no one is denying that. But check the scoreboard friend - the US is still among the tops of most categories that you might care to measure, and on a composite score is rivaled by very few.

    You can take all your animosity and jealousy with you to your mommy's basement.

  11. Note the comment from the pro-USA contributer, that "it is no mistake" that the world's strongest nation has the world's strongest system of IPR rights.

    Let's not debate which nation is the "stronger". What we might usefully debate here is i) is it true that the USA has the world's strongest IPR and ii) will historians tel us that the pre-eminence of the USA at times during the 20th century was thanks to its uniquely "strong" IPR System?

    That might be important for the 21st century, in which China will be "strongest" Nation, and is (whether coincidentally or not) busy building a "strong" system of IPR.


All comments must be moderated by a member of the IPKat team before they appear on the blog. Comments will not be allowed if the contravene the IPKat policy that readers' comments should not be obscene or defamatory; they should not consist of ad hominem attacks on members of the blog team or other comment-posters and they should make a constructive contribution to the discussion of the post on which they purport to comment.

It is also the IPKat policy that comments should not be made completely anonymously, and users should use a consistent name or pseudonym (which should not itself be defamatory or obscene, or that of another real person), either in the "identity" field, or at the beginning of the comment. Current practice is to, however, allow a limited number of comments that contravene this policy, provided that the comment has a high degree of relevance and the comment chain does not become too difficult to follow.

Learn more here:

Powered by Blogger.