Posting comments on the IPKat: a new policy

Disguise is fine ...
A few months ago, when Merpel's blogposts on the goings-on at the European Patent Office attracted a large number of comments, she instituted a rule that readers' comments would only be moderated if they were posted in the name of their author or under a pseudonym.  This was not an attempt to discourage comments: the idea was to make it easier for readers to follow strings of discussion between comment-posters.  Since the number of comments on a blogpost can easily exceed 100 (for example the Katpost on 13 August on partial priority of patent applications which has already notched up 120), task of identifying the same comment-poster as the source of all his or her comments is arduous if they can only be identified as "Anonymous of 09:53" or suchlike.  However, it is much easier to follow and participate in a discussion if the comments are posted under real names or pseudonyms like "MaxDrei", "Meldrew", "US Anon" or "Proof of the Pudding".

... if you can still be identified
The "real name or pseudonym" rule has worked so well for the limited number of blogposts for which it was imposed that the IPKat and Merpel have decided to extend it to all blogposts. Please therefore be sure to mention your real name or a pseudonym when posting a comment. Failure to do so will result in your comment not being accepted by the moderator. Since most readers won't be used to this rule, the IPKat and Merpel will be making it binding only with effect from next Monday, 7 September. But do practise getting it right in the meantime.  This notice will be repeated a few times over the coming week, for those who either read the blog infrequently or have poor memories ...

Thanks for your cooperation -- and for your comments!
Posting comments on the IPKat: a new policy Posting comments on the IPKat: a new policy Reviewed by Jeremy on Sunday, August 30, 2015 Rating: 5


  1. Très chère Merpel,

    Have you considered enabling threaded comments?

    The indenting goes a long way in clarifying who is responding to whom, unlike the flat style comments.

    The enhanced reading experience wouldn't be incompatible with your demand of using a (preferably consistent) handle. It's still easier to have an exchange with the likes of "Bunnyhop" than "Anonymous @14:42".

    I follow some blogs in subjects quite remote from IP, but ceased sharing my inane views when they went over to registration and moderation systems such as Disqus, which make a switch of ID difficult.

  2. Dear Jeremy:

    I've often wondered whether a pseudonymous person could claim for passing off or defamation. Damage might be an wee bit of an issue.

    Do doubt, your team of furensically gifted kittens could solve any disputes as to who has prior use of any purrticular pseudonym.

    Or perhaps Interpol and the NSA could be brought in if matters get sufficiently serious.

    Indeed in light of the Ashley Madison hack, some of us may wish to paws as our tails twitch in terror, fearful that this very popular site could be next. After all, there have been some quite furvent and furocious comments here and on the 1709 Copyright Blog at times that have not doubt set tails atwitching and purhaps given rise to some furry.

    BTW, Jeremy, with your bevy of blogs, have you ever thought about an IP dating site?

    I hope that your find these comments to be purrfectly purrtinent and not too spurrious.

    Best regards,

    Uncle Wiggily

  3. Fascinating, I post a comment that does not appear, and two comments that did appear have disappeared. If the posts were stolen is this a feliny?

    I shall watch developments with interest.

  4. I noted that two comments from US Anon disappeared, and mine in reply. Why? I think Jeremy is actively monitoring this thread, and wants no complaints from anybody, so tries hard to be neutral and even-handed in his striking-out actions. This one can understand, I think.

    Now what naughty words were you typing, Meldrew, I wonder, to prompt Jeremy to strike you out too.

    I'll repeat the sentiment of my earlier posting. I think it a good idea of Jeremy's, to ask posters to choose a pseudonym and, having chosen it, hold to it. Posters, nothing could be simpler, and you don't have to register your pseudonym.

    Judging by what happens over on Patently-O, sooner or later there will be impersonations. Never mind, this blog is strong enough to cope with that.

  5. Meldrew,

    I guess someone's having kittens!


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.

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