The IPKat and his friends: time for an update

Every three months, the IPKat and Merpel give an update of the goings-on both on this weblog and on other IP-flavoured blogs to which members of this blog team also contribute.  This time round, the Kats welcome a large contingent of newly-enrolled postgraduate and undergraduate students of intellectual property law, as well as trainee attorneys and solicitors who may be experiencing it for the first time. In welcoming you, we hope that you will gain a well-based appreciation of intellectual property and the laws that affect it. We also hope that this appreciation will embrace both the strong points of IP law and practice and those areas in which it is deficient, needing legislative amendment or, in less serious cases, a double dose of common sense on the part of the system's users.


This weblog has now received over 10.7 million page views and -- unless it suddenly becomes highly unpopular -- should break the 11 million barrier this month. Nearly 8,800 individual blogposts are online and can be searched via the blog's search box at the top left hand corner of its home page.  The number of readers receiving Katposts by email is, at the time of writing, 10,541, and this blog is pursued by over 9,100 followers on Twitter at @Ipkat. The most frequently-visited blogpost remains Catherine Lee's June 2011 item, "Goodbye Cathy: Hello Kitty and Miffy settle copycat case", here, which has been visited more than 239,000 times.

Kat team  news

All regular team members and guest Kats are currently fully functional, which is good news since the period leading up to the end of the calendar year is traditionally a very busy one.

We already have a shortlist of six potential guest Kats for the period 1 January to 30 June 2015, from which three candidates will be chosen to join the team for a six-month period.


The Kat's blog friends. Every few months this weblog lists, in no particular order, a number of IP -flavoured weblogs with which members of the IPKat's blogging team are associated. If you've not yet come across them -- and many of our more recent readers probably have not -- we hope that you will find some merit in them. For the avoidance of doubt, this list only relates to IP blogs to which Kat team members contribute: it is not intended as an exhaustive list of intellectual property blogs, or of blogs that have received our personal blessing. That's why there are plenty of IP blogs that are not listed, even though we know about them, like them and often read them!

At the top of the list, let's mention t wo blogs that are solely written by our current guest Kats.  One is The IP Exporter (Protecting Intellectual Property Rights in a Globalized Market) by Lucas S. Michels; the other is Maw-Law, by Marie-Andrée Weiss.

Class 46, founded by friends of European trade mark organisation MARQUES and driven by a big team of international contributors, delivers trade mark and brand-related news and developments from across Europe ( As of today, this blog has no fewer than 4,106 email subscribers and a searchable database of over 3,800 items -- mainly relating to European case law and office practice but with coverage of plenty of other themes too, including plain packaging of tobacco products and the latest WIPO and OHIM initiatives for assisting users of the international and Community trade mark systems. Kats Jeremy and Birgit both contribute to this blog, as do former guest Kat Laetitia and emeritus Kat Mark Schweizer.  
Class 99, founded by patent and trade mark attorney and blogmeister David Musker, is dedicated to design law and practice in the UK, in Europe and beyond ( This weblog is now part of the MARQUES social media family along with Class 46. It has 1,304 email subscribers and a searchable database of nearly 600 items.  New blog team contributors are earnestly sought from among the ranks of those who are either MARQUES members or work for a company or firm that belongs to MARQUES.
Incidentally, Class 46 and Class 99 are just one small but significant part of MARQUES's social media presence. Posts on both blogs are usually recorded on MARQUES's Twitter account at and all sorts of items concerning trade marks, brands and designs are likely to end up on MARQUES's Facebook page at MARQUES also has a very busy and carefully moderated LinkedIn discussion group, with well over 3,000 members.

The 1709 Blog, which caters for the copyright enthusiast and seeks to cover all aspects of copyright law and practice in all its rich and varied glory ( As of today, this blog has 2,218 email subscribers and a searchable database of over 1,850 items. It has a large and international team of contributors: Glastonbury Festival's Ben Challis, IPKat bloggers Eleonora and Jeremy and recent guest Kat Alberto Bellan, Professor Mira T. Sundara Rajan, John Enser (Olswang), Patrick Goold, Iona Silverman (Baker & McKenzie) and our man in Paris, Asim Singh. You can follow this blog on Twitter, here.
The SPC Blog is a handy information source for anyone who is involved in the tiny but controversial and highly lucrative world of supplementary protection certificates (SPCs) for pharmaceutical and plant protection patents, as well as other forms of patent term extension ( As of today, this blog has 1,935  email subscribers, many of whom have enriched the content of this weblog with their comments and through the provision of information concerning SPCs. This blog contains over 560 items, including English translations of some European national decisions that are not available elsewhere.  Incidentally, The SPC Blog organises an annual seminar, which is free to all comers and provides a great opportunity for pharma patent-owning companies, generics, private practitioners and patent office functionaries to get together and compare notes.
PatLit tackles patent dispute resolution topics -- principally litigation -- not just from the UK but from wherever interesting news and comments emerge. As of today this blog, whose contributors include Michael Thesen, former guest Kat Stefano Barazza and David Berry, has just under 1,400 email subscribers and a searchable database of over 860 items.
IP Finance, which was launched in January 2008 in response to the UNCITRAL initiative on security interests in intangibles, touches that delicate interface between intellectual property and the world of finance, addressing securitisation, valuation, royalty rates, assessment of damages and the evolution of new business plans ( As of today, this blog has 1,479 email subscribers and a searchable database of nearly 1,200 items. Kats Neil and Jeremy write for this blog, which is also garnished with content from academics Mike Mireles, Andrea Tosato and (F)RAND expert Keith Mallinson (WiseHarbor).
jiplp is the blog of the leading Oxford University Press monthly publication, The Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice (JIPLP), which IPKat team member Jeremy (, with assistance from Deputy Editor Eleonora. As of today, this blog has 926 email subscribers and a searchable database of over 500 items. This blog's content includes Current Intelligence notes, book reviews, requests for articles on specific topics and occasional guidance as to how to write (or not to write) good IP articles. There's an active and carefully moderated LinkedIn Group for JIPLP contributors and readers with over 230 members, which you can see here.  You can also follow this blog on Twitter here.
Afro-IP (, for which the blogmeister is Darren Olivier, deals with the IP scene in Africa. As of today, this blog has 842 email subscribers and a searchable database of nearly 1,700 items. This blog, which offers the largest single searchable online source of recent African IP news, features Caroline Ncube, Jeremy Speres, Isaac Rutenberg and Chijioke Ifeoma Okorie within its blog-squad.  Afro-IP can be followed on Twitter here.
IP Tango (, which is a bilingual blog with contributions both in Spanish and English, covers the increasingly important developments for IP in Latin America. As of today, this blog has 506 email subscribers and a searchable database of over 1,350 items. Like Afro-IP, IP Tango is a major source of intellectual property information and comment in its increasingly important area of focus.
Art & Artifice ( As of today, this international weblog, which includes Simone BlakeneyRosie BurbidgeRachel BukerAngela Saltarelli and Elizabeth Emerson, has 527 email subscribers and a searchable database of 436 items. Its scope is broad enough to cover not merely intellectual property law but other areas of legal concern for artists and the art-driven industries. Art & Artifice recently launched a Twitter presence that is followed by nearly 200 readers.
Recently revitalised and still picking up momentum is SOLO IP, which reflects some of the interests, and the anguish, of those who practise IP by themselves or in small groups, or who work in environments in which they are the only IP people ( As of today, this blog -- which is driven by blogmeister Barbara Cookson (Filemot Technology Law Ltd), has 259 email subscribers and a searchable database of 400 items. This blog warmly invites expressions of interest from would-be bloggers (on which see 'Would you like to be an IP Blogger' below)

Would you like to be an IP blogger? Most of the weblogs listed above are still hoping to recruit some fresh talent into their blogging teams, as well as to host more good guest items from occasional writers. If you (i) have something valuable to say about IP, (ii) have some experience of IP in one form or another and (iii) think that you may be able to turn your hand at blogging (or already have some experience), do email Jeremy at, attaching or linking to your CV, and explain why you think you might be a good blogger.
The IPKat and his friends: time for an update The IPKat and his friends: time for an update Reviewed by Jeremy on Wednesday, October 01, 2014 Rating: 5


  1. If you state something to be the most popular, people will look at it, so it is highly likely to remain the most popular. Restating the point simply perpetuates the matter.

    The most visited blog post may, therefore, be of low-interest from a content point of view. We will never know.

    This is a bit like life were everyone copies everyone else, like what they like and thinks how they think. All because it is "popular". There is where the human race has gone wrong recently and it is what will cause our extinction. We will only be saved if people think original thoughts and make their own minds up on matters. Alas, I believe we are all doomed, because all I see around me are lemmings.

  2. Most blog visitors are probably attracted by the news aspect, which keeps them up-to-date with recent happenings in their IP area of interest. Just a guess, I know. I sometimes get a bit lost with the Kat-speak, particularly on a long piece (a lot of effort goes in to most), when I'm trying to get to the gist of the matter.

    What is missing, in my view, is debate. Some pieces get the odd comment, with a few getting the opinion of a few. Usually the same old faces, even the anons.

    Other blogs, such as patently-O, regularly have detailed discussions of legal points, but this is obviously US-centric. The tit-for-tat "my teddy is bigger than your teddy" attacks on that site don't detract from the quality (greatly). It's just like working in an open-plan area surrounded by HR staff. Are the IPKat viewers simply silent observers in life?

    In the words of Toyota, continuous improvement is required. Hopefully, without the accelerator pedal sticking.

  3. Anonymous @ 09:22,

    Alas, your comment regarding patently-O is no longer accurate, as the lively debate there has been actively squelched in the name of "politeness."

    It is now but a shadow of its former self, and a echo chamber along the lines of such places as slashdot, techdirt and arstechnia.

    It is the brake pedal that has become stuck there. That's what happens when "rules" are applied in a nonuniform manner that augments a pre-selected viewpoint. The site is both now more "pleasant" and far more sterile.

    I am in full agreement with you that the life of any blog is not in the ability to broadcast one viewpoint - no matter how well crafted the singular broadcast may be. The vitality is directly related to the interactions - and as importantly missed: the respect to be accorded ANY valid points raised in the interactions.

    Where - as has happened at patently-O - you have a editorial clamp-down based on viewpoint, you have a lack of interaction. The place has enabled - not eliminated - the ability of a select few to shout down any opposing viewpoints. A statistic appeared briefly (then was edited out) that showed a sum total of four individuals controlled about 40% of thousands of posts since the new editorial controls went into place in September. It should surprise no one that all four of these individuals have a tightly aligned "world view" on the selected patent topics of software and business methods. Facts and actual current law no longer matter there. But it is more "polite." One can now post without the least bit of "fear" of any critical thinking (that, is, if your post is of the new "mainstream" thought pattern).

    As the signoff there went: C'est la vie.

  4. I have just visited PatentlyO and the first comment I saw was from a certain MaxDrei. Surely there cannot be two!

  5. I hope there continues to be only one MaxDrei.

    Readers I have news for you. At Patently-O only unceasingly active editorial control is sufficient to stop the flow of personal insults. The purged threads are a more attractive read, not least because we are seeing the return of many contributers who were turned off by the unpleasant insulting tone.

    I do not agree that the editorial control is to weed out dissenting opinions. For a prime example of that, turn to the IPWatchdog blog.

    Once the Editor chooses to ban any posters who disagree with him, the blog withers. Prof Dennis Crouch is very well aware of that, I'm sure.

    The most successful Blogs are the ones with the most dynamic content. It takes huge effort to be unceasingly dynamic. Three cheers for Jeremy and his Team Floreat Felix!

  6. MaxDrei @ 14:19,

    Sorry but you are completely wrong about the stoppage of personal insults.

    Look for posts by MM and Ned Heller and you will see that personal insults have not abated - it is only insults towards certain posters that have been editorialized.

    Disagreement alone - based on PURELY factual matters is now routinely expunged at patently-O.

    As mentioned above - the pure fact of the number of posts by a select few was expunged. This fact was germane, not insulting, and yet counter to the desired content for no reason other than "spin."

    Your comments to the contrary just lack credibility.

  7. Serious error in my last posting. Sorry.

    I see now, that a full stop after "Team" is missing, and its absence confuses what appears as my last sentence.

    Just to be sure, I'll say it once again. Floreat Felix.


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