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This week's IP news round-up

18 January 2005

Buckle up your moral rights and hold on to your intellectual property hats – because it’s time for the Own It weekly IP news update. Woo!


First up, some exciting news from our friends at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). On Friday the organisation revealed that companies around the world have filed applications for 1 million international patents since the patents system began in 1978. Apparently the US is by far the most enthusiastic global patenting nation, filing 205,286 applications since 2000, Japan is in second place with 72,891, followed by Germany with 70,513. Britain trails with 25,916. The international patent system allows companies to protect their inventions in any or all of the 124 countries who have signed up to the WIPO registration system, rather than having to register in each of them separately.

Associated Press have the full story.

Oh good, it’s time for another wave of Harry Potter fever. While bookshops are busy pre-selling J.K Rowling’s next title – Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince – scammers have already begun to prey on desperate Potter-heads who just can’t wait until July for their next fix. Only last week, publisher Bloomsbury took legal action to close down a website that claimed to be offering a downloadable electronic version of the yet to be published book.

According to, Bloomsbury are watching closely for any other scams and are taking ‘pro-active steps to cut down on anything which may infringe the intellectual property rights associated with the Harry Potter name and books’. We’re pretty sure the Secret Seven never had to deal with problems like this.


Finally, the least said about Otis Ferry the better, and not just because his name sounds like that of a sea freight company. But Own It members might remember that Brian ferry’s wayward son got himself in a spot of a bother last year when he wore a pro-foxhunting t-shirt with the slogan ‘FCUK YER BAN’.

Lawyers for French Connection (UK) who use the FCUK trademark in their advertising were quick to act, warning that they may sue if Ferry wore the t-shirt again. But now the Guardian is reporting another misuse of FCUK’s IP – by none of ther than Filton College Bristol, or FCBUK as they’ve decided to style themselves. We imagine a lawyer’s letter is in the post.

Until next week...

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