Monday miscellany

Calling all men!  Further to this morning's post on the Intellectual Property International Women's  Leadership Forum and this weblog's sidebar poll, the IPKat's friend Alicia has just been in touch from Managing Intellectual Property magazine (which is organising the event) to let him know that men are allowed to attend this event -- with observer status.   Incidentally, the redoubtable Merpel has lent her support to this event ...

The SPC Blog logo
Around the weblogs. The IPKat salutes The SPC Blog for its remarkable achievement of securing its 2,000th email subscriber. When this blog was started, back in 2008, its authors didn't think there were even 200 people out there who were sufficiently interested in pharmaceutical and agrochemical patent extensions that they'd want to sign up for a blog on this niche-within-a-niche topic -- and now the blog has ten times that number.  The cost of creating a new name for a brand is the subject of one of Mike Mireles' recent posts on IP Finance, though Mike points out that the real cost isn't creating it but the cost of establishing it in the marketplace. Questions of trade mark dilution and defamation in Nigeria are raised on Afro-IP in this post by Chijioke Ifeoma Okorie on the use of the term "yahoo yahoo".

A dinner by any other name
would be as tasty ...
How IP-relevant can we make it? “The Future of EU Financial Regulation: Implications for competition and the UK’s place in Europe" is the title of the The 17th Burrell Competition Lecture and Dinner [sounds like a good name for a lecture, but an odd one for a dinner, thinks Merpel], which is coming up on Wednesday 4 February 2015.  The speaker is Jonathan Faull (Director-General for the Internal Market and Services, European Commission) and the venue is the Old Hall, Lincoln’s Inn. This event is organised by the Competition Law Association which, despite its name, has lots of intellectual property enthusiasts among its members. The topic of the lecture doesn't immediately suggest that it's going to be directed to IP issues -- but it's not hard to find points of connection.  At any rate, if you fancy attending, further details can be obtained here.

It's usually patent attorneys who come up with weird a and wonderful ways of describing the apparently obvious, but from a patent attorney -- James Gray (Partner and European and UK Patent Attorney, Withers & Rogers LLP) -- comes a glorious example of patentspeak from someone from outside the profession: Elon Musk.  The entrepreneur's Falcon 9 rocket encountered a 'rapid unscheduled disassembly' which, as James (katpat!) observes, means that it, er, blew up.

From Katfriend and IP enthusiast Catherine Pocock (Research Assistant, Queen Mary University of London and Assistant Editor, Queen Mary Journal of Intellectual Property) comes three snippets that are likely to interest many of our readers.
  • First, somewhat reminiscent of this blog's feature about MIT's Top 50 disruptive companies (on which the AmeriKat commented here), MIT has now listed the Top Technology Failures of 2014 which include feature Aereo's tiny antennae and Google Glass.
  • Secondly the French Intellectual Property Bill is continuing its legislative adventure and is tabled for discussion in the National Assembly tomorrow, 20 Tuesday January 2015. Its consideration by the Senate has not yet been scheduled (more here).
  • Thirdly, and still in France, internet copyright guard-dog Hadopi's 2015 budget was approved at 6 million Euro back in October, despite criticism that this exceptionally low allocation of funds would not let  Hadopi to carry out its duties and also despite criticism that there is insufficient clarity regarding Hadopi, Current reluctance to increase its funding for 2015 may be the way of snuffing it out altogether.
Thanks, Catherine, you have earned your katpat!

Not the place to find an
answer to the EU's
patent problems ...
German patent attorney and certified IP practitioner Ingve Stjerna has been energetically seeking the deep legal truth which so far has successfully evaded so many of Europe's finest policy-makers, legislators and judges when it comes to establishing a new legal order for patents in the European Union.  His latest contribution to the literature, "'Unitary patent' and court system – Advocate General’s Statements of Position: Superseded by reality", discussing Advocate General Yves Bot‘s Opinion in the Spanish nullity proceedings against the two Regulations on the unitary patent [an Opinion still not made available in English] may be accessed here. Ingve argues that, not for the first time, legal issues are subordinated to the political interest in the implementation of the “patent package” and notes the failure to address the inadequacy of legal protection at the European Patent Office in light of the recent events which culminated in the President's suspension of a Board of Appeal member.

Assuming that IDS stands for Information Disclosure Statement and is something to do with United States patent law, this Kat is drawing to the attention of his patent readers a new software tool that they may wish to play with. The link to it comes with an alarmingly brief and uninformative email from former patent lawyer Zeev Fisher, now CEO of Pekama, who writes:
We have now built an automated IDS generator and decided to release it for free, to make the patent paralegals of the world happier. It looks like the standard IDS form but when you start typing in the numbers of patents, patent applications and foreign patent references, the IDS Generator populates the rest of the information (patentee, date, etc.) and fills the form itself. This saves about 70% of the typing time and also serves to validate that the numbers are correct. The form that is generated is the official USPTO form. You can access it here: 
Thanks for letting us know, Zeev. Readers who have not come across the term IDS might want to note the explanation on Wikipedia, which opens
An information disclosure statement (often abbreviated as IDS) refers to a submission of relevant background art or information to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) by an applicant for a patent during the patent prosecution process. There is a duty on all patent applicants to disclose prior art or background information that may be relevant to the patentability of the applicant's invention ... If a patent applicant knowingly or intentionally fails to submit prior art to the USPTO, then any patent that later issues from the patent application may be declared unenforceable. Furthermore, the duty to submit such relevant information to the USPTO lies not only on the applicant or inventor, but also on any patent attorney or other legal staff employed by the applicant.

Art listed on an IDS, on its own, is not automatically considered prior art. "Mere listing of a reference in an information disclosure statement is not taken as an admission that the reference is prior art against the claims."

The International Association of Lawyers for the Creative Industries (ialci) is hosting a seminar on “Intellectual property – how to protect, manage & monetize the know-how & intangible capital of luxury & fashion brands” on 10 February 2015 at London's very fashionable Pullman London St Pancras. Further details are available if you click here.
Monday miscellany Monday miscellany Reviewed by Jeremy on Monday, January 19, 2015 Rating: 5


  1. men are allowed to attend this event -- with observer status.

    Oh super. I'm going to go and buy a new outfit especially. Hopefully one of the ladies will let me hold her vol-au-vent while she's giving her womanly IP opinion. They have such a multi-tasking approach that us simple men can only dream of. Can't wait.
    Big Dazza

  2. > Oh super. I'm going to go and buy a new outfit especially.

    Dress code for men calls Adam in the Garden.

  3. Are fig leaves provided?

  4. Anonymous at 22:31 asks "Are fig leaves provided?"

    No, you have to bring your own lunch

  5. I shall be happy to lick the floor clean of the crumbs of the vol-au-vents.

    A man's place is in the kitchen. After all, they can actually cook, so it is best to leave the women to do the important chatting work.

  6. I have a dream, that one day all week ll be judged by the nature of their competence, not the contents of their underpants, I have a dream....

  7. Meldrew corrects his last post which was adversely affected by predictive texting and a jerking train:-

    I have a dream, that one day all will be judged by the nature of their competence, not the contents of their underpants, I have a dream....

  8. And when an equal number of women have been given high-flying positions and salaries irrespective of their competence, your dream may start to come true. Except it can't because of this so-called "positive discrimination".

  9. I think the 'observer status' point is interesting. The Bechdel test is used to judge how female-friendly films are, judging the treatment of female characters and whether they conform to stereotypes. The vast majority of films fail the test showing that film-makers depict women according to stereotypes. So how would the discussion and debate be different at the conference if men had participant status? Well it would affect women's behaviour, probably inhibiting how open they would be in expressing their opinions. So I think both men and women have to learn from that, and perhaps even think about how society should be changed in a way where people are not afraid of being open. I think it is great that men only have observer status, but it is sad that it is necessary.

  10. "The Bechdel test is used to judge how female-friendly films are, judging the treatment of female characters and whether they conform to stereotypes. The vast majority of films fail the test showing that film-makers depict women according to stereotypes."

    I've just had a thought. Why don't some women go out and make some films too? Or are men blocking that too? Was a young budding Stephanie Spelberg stopped from using the family film recorder by her sexist father? Should we be thankful that JK Rowling didn't have a husband to bully her to put her pen down and get back in to the kitchen.

  11. What the comments demonstrate is the counter-productive effect of addressing equality with further inequality.

    Be warned.

  12. Some cynics would say that if ' it' has women only status, it is ,low status.

  13. Managing Intellectual Property are pleased to announce the successful merger of the 'Women in IP' group with the 'Eunuchs in IP group' with the first meeting planned for February 24th.

    And I would like to point out that all of my sarcastic comments are meant in jest in order to make the point that I believe only in equal treatment for all, irrespective of race religion class and such like.

    We live in a discriminating society (including here in the UK) and the patent attorney profession is heavily biased towards a certain group (not just 'male'), but forming separate clubs is not the answer.

  14. Can someone advise whether Anna Denholm got the CIPA job based on merit or was this a vote-the-girls in conspiracy?

    I only ask because with all the goings on at the EPO about PB, it was my understanding that the move away from quality was a result of the UK president bringing over stupid British metrics, said person also being female.

    Not to mention the farce that is IPREG making ladies at 2 attempts and 2 fails.

    I hope Ms Denholm doesn't sow similar rotten seeds at CIPA.


    Although we must accept it was possibly based on anti-male discrimination.

  16. "The patent attorney profession is heavily biased towards a certain group"

    Oh do tell. I'd love to know whether I am in or out of the group. If it is the group of those who are both pedantic and sarcastic, I'm in.

  17. And here I thought that the natural bias was to ever polite, demur and acquiescent types ever ready to immolate ourselves based on our male Caucasian ancestors who must have wronged every possible minority and (gasp) enjoy the "privilege" of being white and male and all those "benefits" (funny, the same benefits that those claiming that they want equality to have) that come with that chance of being born this way.

  18. No, it's not that group.

    Try: white, private school, Oxbridge. Although, I wouldn't want to combine both Oxford and Cambridge grads into the same class as they are clearly 2 distinct groups.

    Obviously the profession should select the best because who wants ruffians from Romford Comp spoiling our Cheese & Wine evenings?

  19. White, getting whiter with the years, state school and Oxbridge. Am I an honorary member of "that group" by virtue of going to a grammar school or am I hoi polloi?


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