Financial assistance for your intellectual property – ideas here!
When I was younger and more heartless, I love reading SAKI’s short stories. I still love reading the stories, but I wince a little at some of the cruel jokes. SAKI was the pen name for Hector Hugh Munro (1870 – 1916), an Edwardian era British writer.
They say (said Reginald) that there’s nothing sadder than victory except defeat. If you’ve ever stayed with dull people during what is alleged to be the festive season, you can probably revise that saying. I shall never forget putting in a Christmas at the Babwolds’. Mrs. Babwold is some relation of my father’s–a sort of to-be-left-till- called-for cousin–and that was considered sufficient reason for my having to accept her invitation at about the sixth time of asking; though why the sins of the father should be visited by the children–you won’t find any notepaper in that drawer; that’s where I keep old menus and first-night programmes.
Mrs. Babwold wears a rather solemn personality, and has never been known to smile, even when saying disagreeable things to her friends or making out the Stores list. She takes her pleasures sadly. A state elephant at a Durbar gives one a very similar impression. Her husband gardens in all weathers. When a man goes out in the pouring rain to brush caterpillars off rose-trees, I generally imagine his life indoors leaves something to be desired; anyway, it must be very unsettling for the caterpillars.
Of course there were other people there. There was a Major Somebody who had shot things in Lapland, or somewhere of that sort; I forget what they were, but it wasn’t for want of reminding. We had them cold with every meal almost, and he was continually giving us details of what they measured from tip to tip, as though he thought we were going to make them warm under-things for the winter. I used to listen to him with a rapt attention that I thought rather suited me, and then one day I quite modestly gave the dimensions of an okapi I had shot in the Lincolnshire fens. The Major turned a beautiful Tyrian scarlet (I remember thinking at the time that I should like my bathroom hung in that colour), and”… I think that at that moment he almost found it in his heart to dislike me. Mrs. Babwold put on a first-aid-to-the-injured expression, and asked him why he didn’t publish a book of his sporting reminiscences; it would be SO interesting. She didn’t remember till afterwards that he had given her two fat volumes on the subject, with his portrait and autograph as a frontispiece and an appendix on the habits of the Arctic mussel.
It was in the evening that we cast aside the cares and distractions of the day and really lived. Cards were thought to be too frivolous and empty a way of passing the time, so most of them played what they called a book game. You went out into the hall–to get an inspiration, I suppose–then you came in again with a muffler tied round your neck and looked silly, and the others were supposed to guess that you were “Wee MacGreegor.” I held out against the inanity as long as I decently could, but at last, in a lapse of good-nature, I consented to masquerade as a book, only I warned them that it would take some time to carry out. They waited for the best part of forty minutes, while I went and played wineglass skittles with the page-boy in the pantry; you play it with a champagne cork, you know, and the one who knocks down the most glasses without breaking them wins. I won, with four unbroken out of seven; I think William suffered from over- anxiousness. They were rather mad in the drawing-room at my not having come back, and they weren’t a bit pacified when I told them afterwards that I was “At the end of the passage.”
“I never did like Kipling,” was Mrs. Babwold’s comment, when the situation dawned upon her. “I couldn’t see anything clever in Earthworms out of Tuscany–or is that by Darwin?”
Of course these games are very educational, but, personally, I prefer bridge.
On Christmas evening we were supposed to be specially festive in the Old English fashion. The hall was horribly draughty, but it seemed to be the proper place to revel in, and it was decorated with Japanese fans and Chinese lanterns, which gave it a very Old English effect. A young lady with a confidential voice favoured us with a long recitation about a little girl who died or did something equally hackneyed, and then the Major gave us a graphic account of a struggle he had with a wounded bear. I privately wished that the bears would win sometimes on these occasions; at least they wouldn’t go vapouring about it afterwards. Before we had time to recover our spirits, we were indulged with some thought-reading by a young man whom one knew instinctively had a good mother and an indifferent tailor–the sort of young man who talks unflaggingly through the thickest soup, and smooths his hair dubiously as though he thought it might hit back. The thought-reading was rather a success; he announced that the hostess was thinking about poetry, and she admitted that her mind was dwelling on one of Austin’s odes. Which was near enough. I fancy she had been really wondering whether a scrag-end of mutton and some cold plum-pudding would do for the kitchen dinner next day. As a crowning dissipation, they all sat down to play progressive halma, with milk-chocolate for prizes. I’ve been carefully brought up, and I don’t like to play games of skill for milk-chocolate, so I invented a headache and retired from the scene. I had been preceded a few minutes earlier by Miss Langshan-Smith, a rather formidable lady, who always got up at some uncomfortable hour in the morning, and gave you the impression that she had been in communication with most of the European Governments before breakfast. There was a paper pinned on her door with a signed request that she might be called particularly early on the morrow. Such an opportunity does not come twice in a lifetime. I covered up everything except the signature with another notice, to the effect that before these words should meet the eye she would have ended a misspent life, was sorry for the trouble she was giving, and would like a military funeral. A few minutes later I violently exploded an air- filled paper bag on the landing, and gave a stage moan that could have been heard in the cellars. Then I pursued my original intention and went to bed. The noise those people made in forcing open the good lady’s door was positively indecorous; she resisted gallantly, but I believe they searched her for bullets for about a quarter of an hour, as if she had been an historic battlefield.
I hate travelling on Boxing Day, but one must occasionally do things that one dislikes.
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I am adding this wonderful search and analysis tool to my high tech pencil case. My patent searches be more efficient (good for me) and effective (good for everybody). I can also monitor who is citing whom. And whom they are. I have eyes in the back of my head!
And I now have a business partner in London, which is pretty cool and makes me feel all global! Nothing nicer than a call from London in the morning.
Gads, but they get up early over there.
On March 31st, the Competition Bureau of Canada published guidelines on the intricate dance of the various Acts governing intellectual property and unfair competition. It is not a bad read at all, as it provides succinct definitions of intellectual property types (which I will no doubt use for inspiration when explaining things to my clients – they are that good), as well as 9 examples of unfair practices in which the Competition Bureau would be called to intervene.
Some of the examples are:
- Price fixing
- Exclusive Contracts
- A Patent Pooling Arrangement
- Refusal to License Intellectual Property
- Representations Made in the Context of Asserting Patents
- Reneging on a Licensing Commitment
- Seeking an Injunction after Making a Licensing Commitment
Enjoy the read. As always, the proof is in the pudding, or more accurately, in the implementation of these new Guidelines.
Between a client and his agent, things can go wrong very quickly. Here are some common reasons.
- Money. The cost of some activity is not clear to the client, or they think that once an application is filed, that issuance is just a matter of time, and not a matter of time AND money. On the practitioner’s side, if a client does not have money, you are not going to get paid.
- Information. Every client has a different level of sophistication. Some are overwhelmed easily, and I find that with those, giving a time frame and full cost beginning to end is best. Knowledgeable, clients are merely worried about getting a good deal. Regardless of the type of client, the practitioner should be careful to have a written record of what was disclosed to the client in terms of risks and costs. It is a good idea to confirm all instructions in writing.
- Bandwidth. Practitioners must be aware that some clients need a lot of help with the patenting or trademarking process. Clients need to be aware that all practitioners need to bill their time, and cannot live off last year’s filing. If you want your agent /attorney to have bandwidth for you on a daily basis, you must be prepared to pay something for it.
- Endings. Know when to say good-bye. Circumstances change. Be prepared to lose clients who think they have found greener fields somewhere else (as if that could possibly be true!). Try to be grateful when a difficult client leaves you. It’s hard, I know. Clients, some practitioners may not be able to give you the intensive service you once had from them when they were starting out and filing your application because of a larger workload, or even personal matters. Do not take it personally; find a new practitioner and move on.