A Stroll with Lenny and Susie to the Beach

If BOAB can show men's bums on bikes, why can't I show dog's bums on tracks?



This is quite a pleasant walk to the beach which is still about a kilometre away.



There were plenty of cuttlefish bones on the beach.  Here Susie is having a good look at one whereas Lenny was a bit apprehensive, maybe he thought it was going to bite!
My most sincere compliments to 3 Murky Rivers for a thorough, well written description of what's wrong with the Pittsburgh Police Dept.



Also, mega-kudos to CasablancaPA for their description of the same sort of corruption and hubris at the state level.



Finally, accolades to Infinonymous, whose informed yet creative use of the term "succor" sets a new standard for pithyness.






Having drawn the attention of readers to the PressTV production on the police, the press and phone hacking on Monday here, the Kat can also recommend that they take a look at Four Corners' "Bad News", here on ABC (that's the Australian Broadcasting Corporation), which the IPKat's friend Mary-Ellen Field (Brand Licensing) describes as "definitive".


Another friend of the IPKat, copyright scholar and musicologist Andreas Rahmatian (University of Glasgow), sent him " Intellectual Property and the Concept of Dematerialised Property" earlier this year, this being a chapter of a book, Modern Studies in Property Law, edited by Susan Bright and published by Hart Publishing (you can get details of this book here). The IPKat is pleased to say that Andreas has placed this chapter on SSRN here, to enhance access to it.  Having read it, the IPKat warns readers that this is a piece of genuine legal theory and not a how-to-do-it piece for practitioners. It is also a piece that does not pander to the prejudices of Anglo-Saxons or purveyors of Hohfeldian analysis of jural relations. In fact, if you think you know what reality is, read this article and prepare to be challenged!


Around the weblogs. The 37th in the long-running soap opera that is PatLit's PCC Pages series assesses whether IPOff has complied with the judge's order to disclose documents to the claimant Cautious Co, here. If you never knew about the US termination right, a post by the 1709 Blog's Aurelia J. Schultz will help you.  Tomorrow (Thursday 1 September) is National No Music Day in Nigeria, as Kingsley Egbuonu reports on Afro IP.  Over in India, a guest post from Tania Sarcar relates how poor old John Doe is at the receiving end of yet another court order, this time for illegally broadcasting or streaming 'The Bodyguard'.


What the naughty Kat found. Tidying his office, this Kat found a couple of very worthy intellectual property books that were published last year and which he should have reviewed when they first arrived. While it's a bit late to review them now, he can at least draw them to the attention of his readers and confirm that there's plenty in them for the discerning IP practitioner, student or enthusiast. They are

  • European Trademark Law: Community Trademark Law and Harmonized National Trademark Law under the powerful triple-authorship of Tobias Cohen Jehoram, Constant van Nispen and Tony Huydecoper. This is a confident, authoritative explanation of law which will throw the English reader into a panic since, while the book is written in English and the title refers to "harmonized national trademark law", it's not about the English experience of trade marks in Europe at all. The authors are (despite the quality of their English) Dutch and the text is written from a Dutch perspective. Thus the introduction is followed, not by a review of Euro-generalisations, but by a description of the statutory basis for Benelux law.  The Belgians shouldn't think that this is all about their legal heritage though: in the table of jurisprudence, Belgian cases are listed under 'Foreign Courts'. The book's web page is here.


  • Trademarks and Unfair Competition (8th edition), by David C. Hilliard, Joseph Nye Welch II and Uli Widmaier.  This is a whopper of a case book, which has a high-risk rupture factor (the publishers gave up numbering the pages after they got to 990). Each edition of this much-loved collection gets a bit more daring than its predecessor: this one has a fresh new chapter on that awkward interface between freedom of speech and those "terrible twins", trade marks and unfair competition, together with some timely and helpful material on the rights of foreign trade mark owners in the US and the extraterritorial jurisdiction of the US courts. Internet and e-lawyers will be pleased with coverage of Federal Trade Commission and Food and Drug Administration developments addressing deceptive advertising and online marketing schemes.  The book's website is here.


Ordinary doors and bigger headlights please




ODFAG (the Online Design Filing
Action  Group) is now sealing
up letter-boxes in order to prevent
postal filings ...
Spurred by the IPKat's earlier post ("Lost in the post", here) in which a correspondent asks why you can't file UK registered design applications online, Class 99 launched a little poll as to whether people think this is a good idea.  Admittedly the sample may be biased in that only respondents who use the internet and emails are ever likely to know about it, but the latest news from Class 99's cosy corner of the blogosphere is that, with five days left to vote, 100% of respondents think online filing is a good idea. Two comments on the original Katpost are worthy of note.  First, Peter Smith reminded us that the UK's user-friendly and helpful Intellectual Property Office (IPO) publishes details of customer feedback on its website. In a reply given in the final quarter of 2010 the IPO dealt with one such nugget of customer feedback as follows:


You said "I wonder if you are planning to expand your online filing service to include the filing of registered design applications. It seems presently, if you do not reside near London or Newport, then you must fax file (hoping the drawings are reproduced sufficiently) or file by post which effectively loses a day from the filing date. Please also confirm whether I can file patent formal drawings online using the subsequently filed documents form."We replied, Thank you for your email of 14 October which has been passed to me on the designs examination team. Please accept my apologies for the delay in responding. At present we do not offer any form of electronic filing for designs other than fax filing, as you acknowledge. However, we are in the process of upgrading our trade marks systems and on completion of this, although we do not yet have definite plans in place, it is possible that our designs systems may be reviewed in the same way."
An anonymous but helpful soul from the IPO added this:
"The IPO is committed to providing the best e-services to users. Whilst the recent focus has been on trade marks, work is underway to consider the options for updating and improving the systems that support UK design registration, including the introduction of an e-filing service. Views on the shape of the system will form part of a wider consultation on the registration and protection of designs to be launched later this year".
The IPKat hadn't realised that a wider consultation on the registration and protection of designs was quite so imminent, what with there being only 116 shopping days to Christmas and all that, and he pledges to do all he can to maximise awareness of this consultation within the IP communities.

The final comment comes from the Kat's old friend Keith Hodkinson (Marks & Clerk) who, in his inimitable manner, takes issue with the options offered by the Class 99 poll [Essentially, to the question "should there be online design registration?", the choice was between (i) yes, (ii) it doesn't matter, (iii) no]. Says Keith:
"Again, the obvious alternative is missing! Don't spend all that money on inventing yet another bespoke online filing system with its own quirks and idiosyncracies -- get the UK to join Hague and then file online via WIPO".
Readers who were wondering about the word "Again" might like a little explanation.  This refers to the IPKat's poll [which still has eight days to run] on what to do about those annoying unpaid costs orders in Community trade mark opposition proceedings.  The range of six options, which the IPKat thought quite generous, did not include Keith's brilliant if somewhat nuclear suggestion of scrapping costs orders entirely.
The discovery of a new type of titi monkey was made in the Mato Grosso region of Brazil. Scientists on an expedition backed by WWF-Brazil to one of the last unexplored areas in the west of Brazil have discovered the new species of monkey. (Photograph Julio Dalponte/WWF)



A monkey sporting a ginger beard and matching fiery red tail, discovered in a threatened region of the Brazilian Amazon, is believed to be a species new to science.



The primate was found in relatively untouched pockets of forest in Mato Grosso, the region that
has been worst-affected by illegal deforestation and land conflicts. Julio Dalponte, the scientist who made the discovery, said it showed the extraordinary biodiversity of the area and the vital importance of conservation.



The expedition, backed by conservation group WWF, also found probable new fish and plant species, all of which are now being studied. "We have taken an important step towards gaining better knowledge of the fauna in the western Mato Grosso region, which is still a puzzle with many pieces missing," said Dalponte.



The new animal is a type of titi monkey (left), many of which have startling facial hair. As a group, they have only recently become known to scientists, with 25 of the 28 species discovered since 1963. Finding new species of monkey is still relatively rare, with only about one a year found internationally.



The expedition scientists observed 47 already known mammal species, including jaguar, anteaters and armadilloes, as well as hundreds of different birds and fish.



This week, a separate study found that the total number of species inhabiting the planet is about
8.7 million, of which 90% are as yet undiscovered. Most of the land animals yet to be identified are insects but scientists say that finds of large new animal species, such as the new titi monkey, illustrate our limited our knowledge of the planet's biodiversity. (Right: another species of a titi monkey)



The activities of humans, such as the destruction of habitat, are driving tens of thousands of species to extinction each year, a rate comparable with the great mass extinctions that have occured in the Earth's distant past. .





Source:

The Guardian,"New monkey species discovered in the Amazon", accessed August 29, 2011

Meanwhile, Two and a half years later........


Defence drops last of Afghan raid charges

LEGAL action has finally ended against a group of Australian commandos involved in a disastrous raid in which six Afghan civilians died.
The Director of Military Prosecutions on Monday applied formally to withdraw the last of the charges against a regular army officer.
The Judge Advocate ordered a charge of failing to comply with a general order and in the alternative, prejudicial conduct, be dropped.
Manslaughter charges against two commando reserve soldiers, a sergeant and a lance corporal, were withdrawn at a pre-trial hearing in May.
Defence said all legal processes relating to charges over the incident had now been concluded.
The charges stemmed from a raid conducted by members of the Special Operations Task Group (SOTG) in Afghanistan on February 12, 2009.
SOTG soldiers came under fire as they conducted a compound clearance operation, responding with gunfire and hand grenades. Six civilians, including five children, were killed as a result of the operation.

"The legal processes that were adhered to in relation to this matter were independent of the chain of command," he said.



Defence force chief General David Hurley said Defence was committed to proper processes to ensure those charged received a fair trial and the integrity of the military legal process was preserved.


Defence Minister Stephen Smith said he would now ask the director of Military Prosecutions Brigadier Lyn McDade to provide a comprehensive assessment of the case and of circumstances which led to it being finalised.


Mr Smith said these were the first charges for manslaughter in the theatre of war for a very long time.


"It is important, given the opportunity, just to run the ruler over the system, given this is the first time we have experienced such matters in living memory,'' he told ABC television.


"It would of course would be entirely inappropriate to do such a thing in the midst, or in the course, of such proceedings.''


Mr Smith said he would make a judgement on whether that assessment could be publicly released, taking advice from General Hurley and Defence Department secretary Duncan Lewis.

A Practical Guide to Working with TRIPS, by Antony Taubman, reminds the IPKat a little bit of the position that the ancient Greek mythological figure and blind seer Tiresias.  Having spent time both as a man and as a woman, he was asked by Greek gods Zeus and Hera which of the two derived more pleasure from a particular pastime which it it lies beyond the realm of merely fictional cats to discuss.  Tactlessly deciding that Zeus was right to say that it was the female of the species who had more fun, he was struck blind by Hera by way of punishment.  Now, Antony is in an analogous position, having worked for both the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), to say which has the more control over the destiny of intellectual property rights as embodied in TRIPS. What is his answer? Which is the more fun? Readers will have to read this book and decide for themselves.

Oxford University Press, which have had the good fortune to publish this handy little work (handy because it is easily handled, little because all the publishable practical guidance in the world can't add up to a whole lot more than the author reveals here), says this:
"This book is a concise and accessible guide to the practical workings of the TRIPS agreement ...  for policymakers and their legal advisers. The book offers a unique insider's account of how the international rules of IP function in practice within a broader legal framework that consists of WTO law and dispute resolution procedures. It clarifies how IP law and trade law must be dealt with in a coherent and sustainable manner, and provides practical guidance on how to read public policy objectives into the formulation and application of IP laws and related regulation, within the legal framework established by TRIPS. The book is concise and clear, and cuts through the textual clutter and complexity that afflicts policymaking and negotiation under the TRIPS regime. 
Readership: Policymakers in government, and their legal advisers, international organizations, civil society, industry, academia, government officials, trade negotiators, and legal practitioners operating in the international intellectual property field would all be interested in this book".
This blogger has been trying to interest legal practitioners in TRIPS for the past 15 years or so, with conspicuously little success, and wouldn't want to think that his pension fund somehow depended on the number of practitioners that would be running off (or clicking on) to their favourite bookshop to buy this book. However,judging by the number of academics in post and students writing their theses and dissertations who have chosen TRIPS as at least part of their subject, there should be no shortage of customers for it.  One point to note: European readers will know that TRIPS has developed a body of case law and accompanying commentary of its own within the European Union, where the extent to which TRIPS is part of EU law, is enforceable in European courts and so on.  That subset of TRIPS-related activity lies outside the scope of this book and, in the opinion of this blogger, awaits a little book of its own.

Bibliographic data.  xxi + 227 pages. Paperback. ISBN 978-0-19-957520-6. Price: £39.95. Rupture factor: trivial. Book's web page here.


Landmark Intellectual Property Cases and Their Legacy, edited by Christopher Heath and Anselm Kamperman Sanders, is an offering from Wolters Kluwer which scoops the content of one of the Institute of European Studies of Macau (IEEM)  international IP conferences. The publisher explains what this book's theme is all abou:
"This is a book dedicated to the significance and legacy of landmark cases in the field of intellectual property. Eleven well-known scholars offer in-depth commentary and analysis of cases that have made an impact on legal theory or critical thinking about the scope and purpose of the protection of intellectual and industrial creativity. All the cases covered have proven useful in developing doctrine, even though subsequent developments have made some appear ‘misleading’ rather than ‘leading’, and for some recent cases it is too early to say whether their approach will become mainstream. ...
The book concludes with an analysis of two case clusters remarkable for the worldwide dimension of the dispute. The authors show how litigation over Lego in about 30 jurisdictions and Budweiser in over 40 jurisdictions has enriched doctrine on such issues as contract, trade marks, trade names, geographical indications, property rights in general, human rights, and various international and bilateral treaties, all as they impinge on the protection of intellectual property rights. For scholars in the field, as well as for lawyers seeking a rich vein of doctrine to buttress a case, this unusual book will be of incomparable value. As a masterful clarification of salient doctrine, it represents a major contribution to the legal theory underpinning intellectual property law".
Some books which are compilations of works of individual scholars are described as publications in which the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This book, I feel, is rather the other way round -- it is a little less than the sum of its parts.In the first place, I would personally have enjoyed a longer, more reasoned Preface than the very short (less than two sides) offering placed before readers, seeking to justify their "greatest hits" theme more rigorously, discussing some of the interesting issues of methodology that arise in the definition and selection of landmark cases and contrasting the validity of the concept in common law jurisdictions in precedent is binding, or at least highly influential, and those where it is said to be of less import. Secondly, since a not insubstantial quantity of case law is referred to in some of the chapters, a table of cases would have been appreciated.  Thirdly, I would have liked a clearer explanation of what Peter Yu's (excellent) chapter on Moral Rights 2.0 was doing in this collection, since it analyses a subject, not a landmark case, and the single sentence with which it opens is insufficient in my opinion to link it to the theme of the rest of the book: it's a bit like opening a jar of pickled herring and finding, in its midst, a chocolate truffle.

This apart, the book is an enjoyable read -- particularly the reviews of the global Lego and Budweiser litigation, which make one tremble to imagine what might have happened if the Danish brickmaker had ever picked a legal fight with Anheuser-Busch. Most of the cases are landmarks in the light of what happened after them, though in the case of eBay v MerceXchange this review remains convinced that its landmark status was conferred by what happened before the decision, like a hurricane that builds up its momentum, instills massive fear and then misses its supposed victims.


Bibliographic data: xxii + 247 pages. Hardback. ISBN 9041133437 and 13: 9789041133434. Price US$ $162. Rupture factor: low. Book's web page here.


Intellectual Property And Biotechnology, edited by Arti K. Rai (Elvin R. Latty Professor of Law, Duke Law School, Durham, US), is the latest in Edward Elgar Publishing's series of Critical Concepts in Intellectual Property Law.It's a difficult book to review in the round, like any compilation of previously published articles which were not based on the same theme or premise (cf the 'landmark cases' theme of the book reviewed above), where there is a broad spread of time between the earliest and latest studies.

According to the publishers:
"In this timely volume Professor Arti Rai brings together a wide range of articles that reveal the important role of intellectual property law in the formation and development of the dynamic and economically significant biotechnology industry.

The collection encompasses theoretical articles that present principles of patent economics important to the industry, articles that discuss the patent law doctrines most relevant to biotechnology and empirical studies on the ‘real world’ effects of patents and secrecy. These are resonant issues in an ever-expanding field, and will establish this book as an essential reference point for lawyers, researchers and students".
This is all true. It is a worthy collection which matches its description. There should however be a little notice somewhere to the effect that its contents are essentially United States-derived and United States-oriented. Without it, one might be forgiven for thinking that European scholarship and endeavour, whether in law, economics or biotechnology itself, is non-existent.

Bibliographic data: xxi + 561 pages. Hardback. ISBN 978 1 84844 261 0. Price £185 (or, if you buy it online from the publisher, £166.50).  Rupture factor: above average. Book's web page here.
Today I returned to work, Bridie is back to school.

This time next week Bridie will be appearing in her first ever musical, Once Upon a Time.  It is sounding awesome as the songs she is singing are quite catchy.  Cannot wait for her debut!

Bridie wanted to help me out tonight so I traced 4 more 1/2 fat quarter worth of hexagons.  Bridie wanted to keep the 'scrap' to take to school as I was cutting out the hexagons.  So far I have 2 sets of green,1 blue, 1 yellow and 1 pink.  I am now going to set out and put them on papers.

I am most certain I am going to run out of papers as I need so many more.  I was wondering if anyone in blog land knows of a shop online or 'live' that sells 1 inch hexagon papers in bulk for a bargin!!!!

Here are the hexagons I have cut out so far..

Here is what a flower might look like when I have sewed it all together...



Right, off to glue....

Happy sewing....


Well, it looks like I'm going to be attending WSO2's annual technical conference WSO2Con in Colombo this September (12th-16th). It'll be good to hear speakers from around the world speak about SOA-related topics and the WSO2 product suite in particular. I believe the latter is one of the SOA industry's best-kept secrets. Here is a comprehensive suite of middleware products that is completely Open Source, and for which commercial support is available at very reasonable rates. I'm surprised more organisations aren't using it. Perhaps the awareness wave is just breaking and we'll see a surge in adoption in the next couple of years. Let's see.



I'm also slated to conduct an introductory tutorial on SOA on the first day of the conference, and I'm excited about that. Over the last few years, I've been developing a few ideas on "Practical SOA for Solution Architects" that I'd like to present, and I'm eager to get feedback on that approach.



What I've seen to my disappointment over the past several years is that in spite of extensive coverage of SOA in the IT industry, the actual payoff from the application of SOA is embarrassingly low. In fact, I hear from sources in large IT shops that have rolled out multi-million dollar SOA initiatives that the cost of building services today is higher than in the past when older EAI techniques were used.



I've been puzzled at this, and have discussed it at length with colleagues and peers. It looks like three different factors are at work.



  1. Cynicism: There is a view among many IT professionals that SOA is yet another buzzword that has come and gone, and it's no longer relevant to the industry. So they don't even bother to learn what it's about.

  2. The theory-practice gap: Lots of IT folk have been exposed to core SOA concepts ("Loose coupling"), but they don't seem to be able to apply it in real-world solution designs. SOA remains in the realm of theory, which is a pity, because it can be a real money-saver.

  3. Products as surrogates for principles: Organisations have collectively spent a packet on SOA products from IBM, TIBCO, Oracle and the like, but the actual solution designs being produced in-house for business projects are as tightly-coupled as ever, suggesting that IT practitioners seem to think the use of SOA products is an adequate substitute for Service-Oriented application design.

I have come to the conclusion that what's required is a new approach to educating people about SOA. It has to be less theoretical and more focused on real-world situations. And it has to be lightweight, because people are busy and don't have the attention span required for a heavyweight methodology. Above all, it has to be sound, because we don't want to spread incorrect practices in the name of simplicity.



I'm preparing a whitepaper on this, and it will probably be released through WSO2, since a lot of the encouragement for it has come from Sanjiva Weerawarana, WSO2's CEO. It's only fitting that WSO2 get the credit for bringing this educational tool to a wider audience.



I'll also be posting my slides from the conference on this blog when I'm done. I'm sure they'll also be available from the WSO2Con conference website.



Stay tuned.



China's fast-growing consumerism and lax policing of ivory laws are the latest threats to wild elephant populations, said an author of a recent report on endangered species.



Poaching of elephants and other species has increased in Central African countries, with products headed mainly to Asian markets and for the bush meat trade.



Esmond Martin and Lucy Vigne, authors of the report that was presented at a meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in Geneva in mid-August, visited ivory carving factories and stores in southern China in VOYRDJanuary.



They compared the data with that which they had collated in previous visits going back to 1985.



Despite rigorous laws controlling the sale of ivory in China, the industry was booming and much of it appeared to be unregulated, they found.



"Chinese authorities produced in 2004 a system where every piece of ivory must have an elephantsidentification card ... What we found in southern China was that 63 percent of at least 6,500 ivory pieces being sold did not have the appropriate identification card and thus was illegal," Martin said at his home in Nairobi last week.



The imposition of controls over ivory sales won China CITES approval to buy and sell ivory from legal stocks and in 2008 China imported 62 tons of elephant ivory from CITES-ivory for saleapproved auctions in South Africa, Botswana and Namibia.



But of 80 outlets that Martin and Vigne visited, only eight had compulsory ivory identification ards on display.



"Perhaps two-thirds of all ivory being sold in southern China today is illegal because it doesn't have proper identification," said Martin, who monitors the sale of elephant ivory and rhino horn around the world.



CHINESE GETTING RICHER



ivory jewelryuelling the illegal trade in ivory, according to Martin, is a growing demand from China's consumer class.



"When I first went to China in 1985, 99 percent of the ivory being sold was being sold to foreigners. Now, by far the majority of the ivory being sold in southern China is being bought by Chinese because the Chinese like ivory and they are now wealthy enough to purchase it," he said.



Martin said he was concerned by the way unregulated demand in China has led to rising prices forelephant tuskivory and fueled poaching of elephant herds in Africa.



"Its about $750 a kilo now, compared with maybe $300-$400 a few years ago and this puts added pressure, added incentive by the poachers and traders in Africa to go after elephants."



It is not just elephants that are being killed.



"People are being killed in the field trying to kill elephants, poached ivory stackgovernment officers are being killed as well by poachers, this trade is encouraging massive corruption in Africa and people are being bribed and removed in order to get the stuff out of the continent and over to China," Martin said.



A CITES report released in Geneva last week said the highest levels of elephant poaching since 2002 were recorded in 2010,
with central Africa of most concern. CITES officials announced the creation of a $100 million fund to enhance law enforcement and secure the long-term survival of elephant populations.



As for China, it can be part of the solution, Martin said. "If Chinese officials and traders can tighten their controls and law enforcement, they can reduce the illegal ivory trade in China."



Source:

Reuters,"China consumerism latest threat to Africa's elephants: report", by Tom Kirkwood, accessed August 29, 2011

Images courtesy of Traffic, Cites, UN, AFP, the Guardian, and especially Bush Warriors A Global Voice For Wildlife, which is an excellent resource on illegal poaching.



For international travellers coming from the U.S., you will usually find yourself in one of the many Hudson News stores doting our nation's airports pacing the magazine rack for a selection of entertaining flight-fillers. The AmeriKat's favorite staples that are crammed into her already overstuffed Coach carryall, are The Economist, US Weekly (so bad, its good), National Geographic, Psychology Today, Rolling Stone and, front-seat pocket favorites - Time and Newsweek. These are usually the first magazines the AmeriKat starts devouring even before take-off and by the time the plane is taxing to the runway, she has made it to her favorite page - the page with that week's news expressed in numbers. Sadly the AmeriKat is busily stranded in London so the joy of airplane literature have escaped her this summer, but in a tribute to her favorite travel reading she has taken a glossy page out of US news magazines and has put this week's US IP news in figures. (picture, left - the AmeriKat snuggling under her airplane reading)


When IP news is a f(x) of n.....




8,000,000 - The number of patents issued by the USPTO on 16 August 2011 when it granted a patent to Second Sight Medical Products for a product called Argus II - a visual prosthesis apparatus that enhances visual perception for people who have become blind due to outer retinal degeneration. Argus II uses electrical retina stimulation to produce the visual perception of patterns of light. The Argus II is starting its clinical trials in the US and has obtained marketing approval in Europe. President and CEO of Second Sight, Robert Greenberg, stated that "This patent protection and significant federal support for innovation have already played key roles in creating nearly 100 US jobs at our company. Once the Argus II has FDA approval in the United States, we expect to create hundreds of more jobs over the next several years..." IP innovation and protection = economic stimulus, is plainly the message from the USPTO.


75 years - the number of years that it took the USPTO to reach 1 million granted patents in August 1911 when it issued to Francis H. Holton of Akron, Ohio a patent for his improvement in vehicle tires to make them more durable and puncture resistant.


6 years - the number of years that it took the USPTO to go from 7 million patents granted to 8 million patents. The 7 millionth patent was issued to John P. O'Brien for a strong, biodegradable polysaccharide fibers he invented for use in textile applications.


1 - The number of Abercrombie & Fitch articles of clothing the AmeriKat owns - which is far less than the cast of Jersey Shore. IPKat readers may have caught a glance at last week's story that frat-boy favorite apparel retailer, Abercrombie & Fitch, was reported to have offered to pay Michael "The Situation" Sorrentino of MTV reality show Jersey Shore to never where its clothes on air (see A&F press release here) as the "association is contrary to the aspirational nature of our brand, and may be distressing to many of our fans." Many are calling the press release a publicity stunt for a "slow day in August" right before the back-to-school buying begins. However, its interesting to note that a press release about an allegedly detrimental impact on brand reputation was created to increase just that - brand reputation....ahhh, the fickle world of brands!


$3,340 - The cost of the genetic test for breast cancer risk that was subject of Myriad Genetic's recent success in the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit when the court upheld the company's patents on two human genes - BRCA1 and BRCA2 (picture, right - pink ribbon, (c) Science 2002). The sequencing of the genes tests for mutations that increase the risk of a woman getting breast and ovarian cancer. A recent New York Times article reports that despite its recent legal success some commentators are suggesting that the test has been surpassed by newer DNA sequencing techniques which are faster and cheaper. This, the article reports, may be a sign of trouble to come, notwithstanding that Myriad's main patents do not start expiring until 2014. However, Myriad has stated that the company has time to start adapting to the new technology before its patents expire and in the future will be relying more on trade secret protection than on patents. Myriad's CEO Peter D. Meldrum in January stated, in reply to a question about whether Myriad would begin enforcing their European patents, including for BCRA1 and BCRA2, against companies using the genes in tests, that "[i]f I had my druthers, I would not want to go into a new market in a heavy-handed fashion, trying to enforce patents." Instead, the company is reported to begin relying more on its "vastly superior information."


The patent system is premised on requiring public disclosure of inventions - you get to enjoy your monopoly, as long as the rest of us can see and build upon your scientific step for the betterment of society (as long as the use is non-infringing during the limited time you are enjoying your monopoly). Trade secrets, however, are all about keeping information out of the public domain for an indefinite time. Should information, such as the information Myriad has about which of the thousands of mutations in the two genes raise the risk of getting cancer, be kept out of the public domain? If companies with valuable medical information are relying on trade secrets rather than patents, this could have serious impact on the progress of science (Copyright Clause) and in this case, medical research. If this begins to be a trend, are we to blame failings in our patent systems and protections or the desire of companies to maintain a monopoly on proprietary information and technology for as long as possible? Or is this just the same question? Are there public policy arguments for demanding that such information be disclosed, and if so, how does that square with the Anglo-American philosophy of commoditizing property (and IP)for financial gain? Is it only right that a company should use whatever legal means it has to protect its investment and research, regardless of any public policy or ethical considerations? Similiar questions are posed by the New York Times article and by Dan Vorhaus in his blog the Genomics Law Report.


$353 million - the amount of money reported to have been generated by the breast cancer test which accounted for Myriad's $402 million revenue in the year ending June 2011.


3 - The number of grape growers that have successfully claimed that the US government can be joined to a patent invalidity claim. The three Californian grape growers have claimed that a California trade group, The California Table Grape Commission, licensed invalid patents from the US Department of Agriculture(USDA). The USDA owned three patents issued under the Plant Variety Protection Act for grapevines that produce table grapes - Sweet Scarlet, Scarlet Royal and Autumn King. The USDA licensed its rights in the three patents to the California Table Grape Commission, a California state agency. The Commission was established to promote the state's table-grape industry and is funded by a tax levied on each box of table grapes produced in California. The Commission sublicences the patents and under the licences is entitled to retain 60% of the royalties with the remaining 40% going to the USDA. The Commission authorized three nurseries to serve as the exclusive distributors of the patented varieties. The ultimate growers of the grapes have to sign a "Domestic Grower License Agreement" which requires the growers to pay a royalty, prohibits the growers from propagating the plants, and permits the Commission to order the destruction of the purchased plants if the Commission believes the growers are violating the license.


Three grape growers, who purchased the grapevines covered by the patents signed the licence agreement and paid the licensing fee. They then brought a claim for declaratory judgment challenging the patents for invalidity for lack of novelty and that the Sweet Scarlet (picture, left) patent is unenforceable because of alleged inequitable conduct during prosecution at the USPTO. The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a decision last Wednesday that the Administrative Procedures Act ("APA")enables the 3 grape growers to "pursue equitable relief against the USDA on its patent law claims." The 3-judge panel ruled that the USDA could be joined as a party to the claim because the licensing agreement between the USDA and the Commission did no transfer all the rights in the patents, as such the USDA was a necessary and proper party to the grape grower's patents claims. Judge William Bryson, giving the opinion of the Court, held that an amendment to section 702 of the APA "recognizes a right of judicial review for 'agency action'" in that it waives "sovereign immunity for actions seeking relief other than money damages against federal agencies, officers, or employees" - such as the equitable relief sought by the grape growers in their dedicatory judgment for patent invalidity. As such, the grape growers could join the USDA in their action. Allegedly invalid patents are also curse for the US government it seems....


#24 - The ranking given to Girl Talk's album, Feed the Animals, by Rolling Stone in 2008. Girl Talk, the one man band of Gregg Gillis, a former biomedical engineer turned musician, is known for weaving hundreds of samples of recorded music and sounds into frenetic tracks which he releases for free or a la Radiohead model. A recent article in the Huffington Post this week explains why Gillis uses this model when he releases his work under the Illegal Art label. Also this week, EMI won a partial victory in a copyright lawsuit against online music storage site MP3tunes who was found liable for contributory infringement when it failed to remove unauthorized songs from its website after being put on notice. District Judge William Pauley however refused to rule on whether MP3tunes employees were liable for copyright infringement in downloading 171 songs.


1970s - The decade when late sportscaster Myron Cope coined the term "The Terrible Towel" (watch the story here). The Terrible Towel, a yellow and black cloth which is swung about in the air by the Pittsburgh Steeler's (an American football team) fans is the subject of a trade mark infringement suit. The lawsuit brought by the Steelers and Allegheny Valley School (who owns the trade mark and is where Cope's autistic son lived) against Eugene Berry Enterprise alleges that that company filed a trade mark application in May for THE TERRIBLE TOWEL and has been selling shirts with the mark. Eugene Berry Enterprise has been asked to withdraw its application.
There a couple of surveys out there in which readers might like to participate on their return from holidays. The IPKat's own survey (which you can find at the top of the side bar on the left hand side of his home page) is on what is the best way to deal with those dreadful folk who lose Community trade mark oppositions and then don't pay the admittedly small costs orders that are made against them. The second, on the Class 99 weblog, asks readers what they feel about the prospect of being able to file design registrations online rather than the old-fashioned way (you can find that survey at the top of the side bar on the right hand side of the Class 99 home page).


If you've a bit of spare time and want a review of the current British phone-hacking scandal which is both informative and stimulating, it's worth taking a look at  "The Big Story: The Police and the Press Hand-in-Hand", an Iran-based PressTV production.  This YouTube clip was drawn to the Kat's attention by Christopher Sherliker (Silverman Sherliker LLP), who is among the contributors to the programme. It raises s number of questions not merely concerning the symbiosis of the press and the law enforcement agency but also regarding the distribution of responsibility and blame in the fall-out that followed the News of the World fiasco.


Leigh Martin (Clarion Solicitors) has written to inform the IPKat of his latest venture, into the world of bicycling for a good cause.  He's currently in training for a coast-to-coast bike ride which will cover 170 miles in 3 days. He is proposing to pedal the Way of the Roses route, which runs from Morecambe to Bridlington, setting off on 14 September. Among the team of cyclists is IP and commercial litigator Simon Young, whose daughter Bel has been paralysed from the neck down after falling from a climbing frame and now depends on a ventilator. The cyclists are seeking to raise funds for the Being Bel Trust, has been set up to raise funds to pay for adaptations of the family home, the specialist equipment and care that Bel will need for the foreseeable future to help make her life as normal and rewarding as everyone can hope it to be -- and also to maintain Bel’s body in the best possible condition in the event that future advances in spinal injury surgery may be able to treat Bel and people like her.  Leigh adds:
"I would be immensely grateful for any pledge you feel you can make towards this cause. If you would like to make a donation to The Being Bel Trust, please could you contact Merle Riley on +44 (0) 113 222 3225 or email Merle at merle.riley@clarionsolicitors.com to let us know how much you would kindly like to sponsor us for".
The IPKat is very touched by this appeal and looks forward to responding to it in paw-son.





Comoros: great flag, shame
about the internet ...
Around the blogs. The jiplp weblog carries a pre-publication chance to read the Current Intelligence notes of Joel Smith and Joanna Silver (Herbert Smith LLP) on L'Oréal SA v eBay International and of fellow Kat Matt Fisher (UCL) on Albert Packaging v Nampak.  The European Copyright Code is getting some enthusiastic promotion from its supporters, as the 1709 Blog reports here.  Afro-IP's A to Z tour of official IP websites in Africa travels to the Comoros archepelago, where there are none.  Meanwhile, the MARQUES Class 46 blog has a call to its European trade mark readers to make the INTA's Trademark Reporter a bit more European, not to mention some miserable news for anyone who thinks it's easy for a company with a trade mark portfolio like Coca-Cola's to oppose an application to register a mark in Switzerland on the assumption that one's marks come with some sort of fame or reputation.


Orphan books in search of a reviewer.  The Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice (JIPLP) has instituted a new, proactive policy for reviewing books sent to it.  A week and a half ago it put out this plea for reviewers for some books. So far, not one single person has offered to review the US Patent Proecutor's Desk Reference or 'Expert Privilege' in Civil Evidence.  If you think you may be qualified to tackle reviewing either of those titles and wish to do so, please email Sarah Harris, if possible by 8 September, to express your interest.


Small and Medium Sized Enterprises on the long march ...  Working Groups of the UK's SME Innovation Alliance, which seeks to represent the views of SMEs working in innovation to Government, have been in dialogue with Government all through the summer as to how the UK's high technology SME sector can help rebuild the national economy. On 19 September SMEIA is holding a meeting at the London offices of Wragge & Co at which, among other things, speakers will report on the summer's activity and look forward to prospects to the future. The draft programme is here and members of the IP media are particular welcome to attend, so they can help spread the good word. To attend, contact Meeting Organisers Tim Crocker or Martin Lawrence.
Today I spent the day home from work caring for Bridie, 9, who had vomitting and the runs for 24 hours.  I couldn't move very far from her today so I sat in my chair and sewed while she was nearby.  She enjoyed the gastrolyte icy poles she could eat as well as the dry biscuits, chicken noodle soup and water.  Not a very substantial diet today but it could not be helped.

I was also meant to travel to Bourke tomorrow for 2 days but had to postpone as I was not sure if she was going to be okay to go school and mum was not coming to my place until lunch time.

I finished sewing the stitcheries for the quilting pillow designed by Bronwyn Hayes of Red Brolly in her book Miss Millie's Flower Patch.  I am loving them...

I have begun to cut out the fabric to create the pillow but decided I would continue this when I have some more tools, ie sewing maching thread, wadding and ribbon.

Here are the blocks I finished this weekend.

 And the one already completed

My daughters ask how many projects do you have on the go.... I have a few.  Variety is the spice of life.  There is needleturn, button hole applique, stitchery and only from this evening....

Hexagons.....
I have begun cutting out the hexagons for the stitchery from the Vignette magazine.  I traced 10 and stopped as I was standing up and leaning over, not good for the back!



I then cut out 1/2 fat quarter worth of hexagons.. as I was not sure of how successful I was going to be..

Well I glued down 2 hexagons. At the recent craft show this method is a favourable one so thought I would give it a go.  My hexagons were created quite quickly.  Well two of them anyway.

I am going to have to continue to work on these I am in love with them... glueing is quite easy..

This weeks job is to complete Block 9 of Down in the Garden and sew up the quilting pillow ready for my trip away next week.

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