Friday Foghorn

Attention! I have big news!
UK IPO invites bids by early September for research into the IP valuation market. 

Are you brimming full of ideas about the IP valuation market? If so, prick up your ears: The UK Intellectual Property Office is calling for research bids to enhance our understanding of this market. How does it work? What stops it working properly? How could it be made to work better? Research should draw on international experience and best practice in IP valuation. Questions and expressions of interest should be registered with Invitations to tender will be issued on 1st August 1, 2016.
Ivanka Trump's Hettie sandal on the left, Aquazzura's
'Wild Thing' on the right

Andrea Brewster asks what we can do to promote inclusivity in IP 

Andrea Brewster (former CIPA President and famed for her Secret Diary) urges IP professionals to think about what we can do create an inclusive environment for people who are different from ourselves. “I know the IP professions to be full of decent, well-meaning, morally responsible people. So what goes wrong?” Andrea searches for answers in her thought-provoking article.

Trump looks to brush off Aquaazzura copycat claims 

When accused of shady business practices, the Trump family comes out fighting. Vogue reports that the Italian company Aquazzura has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Ivanka Trump, accusing her of ripping off their ‘Wild Thing’ shoe design. The CFO of Trump’s licensing company strongly denied the accusation, saying that: "The shoe in question is representative of a trending fashion style, is not subject to intellectual property law protection and there are similar styles made by several major brands. The lawsuit is without merit." Designers will find the 'everyone else is doing it' argument frustratingly familiar. Thanks to the Linkedin Group Fashion+IP for drawing this story to our attention.

Open Call for Speakers at the 5th International CopyCamp Conference (October 27-28, 2016 in Warsaw). 

For the last 5 years, The Modern Poland Foundation’s CopyCamp has been an important forum for balanced and multi-sided debate about copyright, with delegates from the creative industries, the media and the worlds of law, politics and academia. This year, discussions will focus on ‘The Future of Copyright in Europe.’ You can submit presentation proposals here. You should include an abstract of no more than 1800 characters on one of the following topics: Copyright and Art, Remuneration Models, Copyright, Education and Science, Technologies, Innovation and Copyright, Copyright and Human Rights, Copyright Enforcement, Copyright Debate or Copyright Lawmaking. The deadline for proposals is July 31.

Keeping up with the Jones’s taken to a whole new level? 

Seth and Rivka Fortgang, residents of the Long Island village of Lawrence, commissioned an architect to design them a unique ‘dream home.’ The NY Daily News reports that their dream has turned into a nightmare as the Schwartz family in the nearby village of Cedarhurst plan to build a near identical mansion. The Fortgang’s have filed a copyright infringement lawsuit, citing ‘smoking gun’ evidence that the Schartz’s got hold of copies of the architect’s plans (which are registered at the US copyright office) and used them to design a very similar looking property. The Schwartz’s lawyer says his clients have agreed to “temporarily postpone construction of the present design... pending certain changes and amendments to its exterior façade.” This Kat is sceptical that the infringement claim is well-founded, but have a look at article and decide for yourself.

We’ve come a long, long way together. Through the hard times and the good... 

Join the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) in ongoing celebrations of their 90 year anniversary. As part of the celebrations, CISAC published 'The CISAC Story - 90 years in the service of authors and creators worldwide.' Here's a teaser: "In June 1926, a small group of like-minded authors' societies from 18 countries convened in Paris for a historic meeting that led to the creation of CISAC. This handful of individuals sought to extend the concept of authors' rights, invented by Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais in the 18th century, throughout the world. Today, CISAC counts 239 authors' societies in 123 countries, protecting the rights and promoting the interests of over 4 million creators worldwide." Refer to the CISAC website for more information about the organisation's work. 
Friday Foghorn Friday Foghorn Reviewed by Nick Smallwood on Friday, July 15, 2016 Rating: 5


  1. I would praise the CISAC article, but surely you should acknowledge the original author of the title ;-p
    Then I would have to praise you like I should.

  2. Fair comment! In the immortal words of Fatboy Slim:

  3. Oh wow, Andrea Brewster's piece on diversity requires commentators to name themselves. Even the IPkat haven't gone this far yet.

    So why am I ashamed to stand by by own comments? Simply because it is a small profession that discriminates. Not just by insensitively offering bacon sandwiches to muslims. I don't see anything wrong with this, and nor would my muslim friends. First, how are you to identify them as muslim? Second, they can simply decline the offer. The jew can say "not tonight, Josephine, it is Friday. Make it Monday". The wheelchair user can object, but is clearly more affected as being disadvantaged by the restrictions on their movement and the the general case that society doesn't cater for their needs. Women discriminated against in the IP profession? The numbers may suggest otherwise.

    Social background? Andrea failed to mention this. Walk into any IP practice which considers itself 'diverse' and you may find a muslim, a jew, a woman or two, all in good proportion to the white men. You will find, however, that this diverse mix all come from privileged backgrounds. There is no diversity in this regard and no justification for it.

    The article tries to justify the reasons for the lack of diversity: "we aren't to blame, it's human nature, it's our legal training, yin attracts yan'. Sorry, but that is no excuse. When those CV's land in the in-tray it is pure ignorance that filters out those that don't mirror the readers own background.

    So why am I averse to naming myself? Because, it would give the recruiting partners and extra justification for discarding the CV of this attorney from another world.

  4. To add, upon being rejected by a couple of companies, the recruitment firms told me that the firms didn't believe I (a white, educated, competent, fully-qualified male), would fit in. The reasons for other rejections I cannot say. I only ever obtained interviews in private practice via a recruitment firm, never via a direct application (CV's are redacted by agencies, so I guess that tell-tale information on social background is missing).

    Could be any reason for so many rejections, I accept. Statistics on social diversity prove there is a problem throughout the profession, even if my own problems lie elsewhere.

  5. Anonymous,

    I have often seen that "political correctness" is all about the political and nothing at all about the correct.

    Here in the States, our Founding Fathers bristled against the type of "just identify yourself" that so often is played out in some politically correct "why are you afraid to identify yourself" shenanigans.

    One does not have to have the stakes raised to loss of life or liberty to see the "just identify yourself" game being played. Also here in the states we use a legal concept called "chilling" for which the political game is very much a factor of.

    (a further note, I have championed the use of anonymity and pseudonyms for those holding opposite views of my own - such just is NOT to "protect my views")

  6. It is interesting that this piece was written by Andrea, who is famed for upsetting the UK patent profession hierarchy by daring to be (or attempt to be) humorous.

    Can't be different, Andrea. Three is diverse, and then there is too diverse. That's what I was told by a member of the established hierarchy.

  7. IP Inclusive headline:

    "We are a group of like-minded professionals working in IP,
    committed to improving equality, diversity and inclusivity in our community."

    Like-minded! Erm-yes. That's the problem.

    Some of the comments on the web-ling blog are pretty astonishing. One person believes the inability to not be able to pronounce the names of cities visited on their river cruise is demonstrative of the issue. Another believes there is clear demonstration of sexism because the air-conditioning is on too high so that feminists (privately educated, wealthy background, Oxbridge graduates - I can't comment on their IQ or ability as this background is not indicative of high standards) are forced to cover the bra-free bosom with a thick cardigan.

    So far out of touch with reality there is zero chance of there ever being a diverse profession.

  8. Dear Proof of the Pudding,
    Re Brexit comments. I had responded to your earlier comment with an explanation, but apparently it didn't make it through. Glad to see your comments in support of the original blog has made it though.

    A nobody.


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