This Kat has many memories of John. One is of his early attraction to, and complete mastery of, a device which is now long forgotten but which was the technological whizz of its day -- the original Palm Pilot -- back in the 1990s. Another was of John's cool, patient and very kind defence of a doctoral candidate's PhD thesis which, had this Kat had his way, would have been sent back for monumental revision (the candidate in question, now an eminent IP practitioner, has no idea how lucky he was). Various other memories include mining John's vast repertoire of anecdotes and bon mots (it sometimes seemed that there was not a single member of the British IP establishment who hadn't managed to say something silly which John filed away for our later amusement). As editor of the Intellectual Property Quarterly he rejected for publication a review by this Kat of a book that was truly dreadful. Conceding that the book was indeed, bad almost to the point of being beyond criticism, John felt that the review might discourage the publisher from trying again -- and in any event he thought it a trifle unkind for the review to suggest that, for the benefit of the environment, the publisher should be recycled. John, we shall miss you.
|Barbara Cookson's mugshot|
Innovator's Patent Agreement. A katpat goes to Chris Torrero for spotting this item on the Twitter blog:
"One of the great things about Twitter is working with so many talented folks who dream up and build incredible products day in and day out. Like many companies, we apply for patents on a bunch of these inventions. However, we also think a lot about how those patents may be used in the future; we sometimes worry that they may be used to impede the innovation of others. For that reason, we are publishing a draft of the Innovator’s Patent Agreement, which we informally call the “IPA”.
The IPA is a new way to do patent assignment that keeps control in the hands of engineers and designers. It is a commitment from Twitter to our employees that patents can only be used for defensive purposes. We will not use the patents from employees’ inventions in offensive litigation without their permission. What’s more, this control flows with the patents, so if we sold them to others, they could only use them as the inventor intended".Twitter plans to implement the IPA later this year, in respect to all patents issued to engineers past and present. You can check it out here and decide for yourself whether it does what Twitter claims.