[Wacky Patents] Valentines Special

A belated Valentines special:

Do you have a “sexy walk”? what even is a “sexy walk”? According to inventor of our first patent, C. William Hanson III, “its definition is analogous to the definition of pornography – ‘I know it when I see it.'” But that didn’t stop him developing the Pevlic Extension Frame, see US7029428B, to help train your hips not to lie. The invention works by exaggerating the movement of the pelvis and thereby the user can clearly see how their hips swing and hopefully develop that sexy swing.

The Pelvic Extension Frame, from US7029428B, teaches your hips not to lie.

In 200 BC Archimedes developed a principal that has been the corner stone of Fluid Mechanics. However, after pencilling his thoughts on how the upward buoyant force that is exerted on a body immersed in a fluid, is equal to the weight of the fluid that the body displaces (thanks GCSE Physics) – I hardly think Archimedes thought just a short 2200 years later Jason E. Turner would be running with that idea to create inventions of this nature…

Meet the Penile Volumetric Measuring Device… to… err… measure the volume of… appendages?… of 50% of the population. See US7147609B for more details.

Ahhh Physics, the study of literally everything!

Breast augmentation is a huge industry, expected to exceed $4.6 Billion USD by 2025. I assume one of the decisions to be made is how big? Well, never fear, meet the Hinging Breast Implant, unsurprsingly invented by a man, Matthew Lamar Turner (see US6875233B). The implant’s size and firmness can be altered at anytime with just a minor surgery; via a valve 150, that remains close to the surface of the skin.

For those who change their minds often.

Now the best of the smut is out the way, (and believe me these were the most PC I could find… I now have a folder full of x-rated patents on my work laptop I didn’t feel I could share, things I do for this role…) I also found a few US Design Patents. Notably:

USD494820 – the ‘Nutcracker’.

Someone took the name very literally with this design, well played.

and USD491711 – the Heart Shaped Cheese Slice.

You could’ve guess this one.

So, for when you thought buying any of the above was a good idea for Valentines Day, there is US7082634 – the Dividable Mattress.

If the board comes out, you’ve done something really wrong.

Thanks for reading!

[Wacky Patents] Bicycle Attachment…

At first glance US Patent 650,082 from inventor, Adolf A. Neubauer, is just your typical application; but thanks to the keen eyes of a work colleague of this Editor, it appears there is a special surprise inside – – his words, not mine.

Neubauer himself put it best:

I have invented a new and useful improvement in Bicycle-Seats. The invention is for preventing the stealing of bicycles by riding them away. The seat is provided with one or more upwardly-projecting needles or pricks

Ouch!!~~ US Patent 650,082

Take a closer look at figure 2, parts L and I – – you’ll now see the rather large needle awaiting would-be theifs that attempt to steal your bike. It looks Mr. Neubauer had a tough time on the streets of Camden, New Jersey in around September 1899.

I’m sure there are readers who have been at the hands of such a theft and wish this was installed on their bikes; in fact, I have a couple in mind specifically. However, I am not sure you would want your bike back after this invention took effect. Nor would I like to forget I engaged it after the end of a long day at the office.

I’ll just walk.

[Call for Action] Mercer Review Call for Evidence Ending Soon!

Futher to the email many of you will have received from CIPA last Friday, the Informals Committee would like to remind you that the call for evidence for the Mercer Review being conducted by CIPA, closes this Friday, 14th February 2020.

For those who don’t know what the Mercer Review is, we wrote a detailed blog post all about it here, but it is essentially a review of the education, training and assessment of UK Chartered Patent Attorneys. The Mercer Review is deliberately broad in scope to encourage opinions and evidence from all stakeholders, which includes you!

Within the review, which can be found here, there are a number of questions that have been outlined, which are provided to encourage responses, but any comments you may have are welcome.

The [Call for Action] has now come again.

Your opinions are needed for the Mercer Review, so don’t delay any longer!

Some of the questions the Mercer Review is suggesting for discussion include:

  • Foundation Certificate Exams
  • Final Diploma Exams
  • Assessment Methodology
  • European Qualifying Examinations
  • Education and Training
  • Any additional comments

There is a lot of content up for discussion and any opinions, comments and evidence you wish to provide can be done by: emailing the Mercer Review at MercerReview@cipa.org.uk; or emailing the Informals Committee at informalsyellowsheet@gmail.com and we will collate submissions and provide them annoymously, should that be of concern for you.

Any opinions, comments and evidence you wish to provide can be done by: emailing the Mercer Review at MercerReview@cipa.org.uk.

[Call for Action] providing evidence for the Mercer Review!

[Wacky Patent] The Cordless Jump Rope

Have you always dreamed of being provided “all of the benefits of jumping rope with none of the disadvantages”? Of course you have, and you can’t believe you didn’t know about US7037243B1 before.

Wait, you didn’t even realise that the rope in the skipping rope was a disadvantage? Then you clearly have adequate co-ordination skills – but for those of us who don’t – finally, we can jump right in… … … … sorry .

[Guest Post] Time to Talk.

I am honoured to be bringing you, our readers, a [Guest Post] written by Val McCartney from the Charity Jonathan’s Voice. This Thursday is ‘time to talk’ day, which encourages everyone to be more open about mental health – to talk, to listen, to change lives.
So on that note, I’ll let the artricle speak for itself – Joel.

Time to Talk?1

The patent profession is acknowledged to be a rewarding and very stimulating career; that’s probably why you’ve chosen it. There are so many positive aspects of the job. However, it can bring its challenges from time to time; exam pressures, work loads, deadlines, a feeling of not being up to the job. Transitioning straight from university can bring additional demands, particularly if it involves an office in an unfamiliar location and moving away from a strong friendship group. If you are in a small office, you might find that there are a limited number of people at the same level from whom you can get support when you are not really sure what you are supposed to be doing. This may well not be a position that you’ve found yourself in before!

Jonathan’s Voice was established in 2017, following the sudden and tragic death by suicide of our son, Jonathan McCartney. Jonathan was a partner with Haseltine Lake, now Haseltine Lake Kempner. He frequently said he loved his work, despite there being too much of it most of the time, but he couldn’t think of a profession he’d rather be in.

Jonathan found the transition from university to work quite tricky but sought support through his GP of whom he said, “She made me feel I was normal”. This support was invaluable in managing his anxiety. Tragically, in the period before his death, Jonathan felt unable to share with his family, friends or colleagues the pressures he felt he was under and how bad we now know he must have been feeling.

In Mental Health Awareness Week 2019, IP Inclusive, CIPA and CITMA conducted a survey about mental well-being in the patent and trade mark professions. During the month leading up to the survey, 17% of the student respondents had experienced severe or extreme stress. Worryingly, roughly 1 in 16 of the student respondents had contemplated suicide in the preceding twelve months. However, well-over half of all the respondents to the survey had not felt able to share their mental health problems with their employers, or only share them in part.

One of the aims of Jonathan’s Voice is to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and to encourage people to share how they are feeling; to speak out for mental health. Our message is that “It’s ok not to be ok”. You are not alone. The statistics record that about one in four of us experience a mental health problem each year.  

It’s really encouraging to learn of the proposed buddy scheme, whereby new trainees entering the profession are provided with buddies who can support them as they transition from academia/industry into the profession; someone to talk to and who can offer support.

Jonathan’s Voice is committed to developing resources to support mental health and well- being and is currently co-producing a booklet that is specific for patent and trade mark attorneys, “Protecting Your Mental Health”. An A-Z card designed particularly for patent attorneys in training is available and can be viewed on the website www.jonathansvoice.org.uk  It can be provided in hard copy or as a pdf; just email us at info@jonathansvoice.org.uk or val@jonathansvoice.org.uk   

Above all, the message is don’t feel that somehow you are not “normal” if you are feeling stressed, anxious or depressed. Seek some support, either informally, from a Mental Health First Aider or from a professional. If you sense that a colleague or friend is not feeling o.k, reach out to them. It won’t make them worse and it will probably make them feel a whole lot better. 

“It’s ok not to be ok”

The message from Jonathan’s Voice

1February 6th 2020 is Time to Talk day. Read more about it here. https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/get-involved/time-talk-day

Val McCartney

[Tutorials] Reminder for EQE Paper D 2018

The hand in date for the organised tutorial below (previously posted here) is fast approaching. Make sure to meet the deadline to get feedback in time.

  • EQE Paper D 2018 – CIPA, London on 19 February 2020 at 2pm (in person) (hand in work by 5th February 2020)

A quick reminder for those that handed in work for the below tutorial, don’t forget the tutorial (in person or by telecon) is this Thursday!

  • EQE Paper D Part II 2019 – London (SW1H 0RJ) on 30 January 2020 at 5pm (in person or teleconference)

To sign up or for more information, make sure to contact our Tutorial Coordinator, Waseem.

[Call for Action] Mercer Review – your views needed!

The Informals Committee would like to know your views on the questions raised in the Mercer Review being conducted by CIPA, which closes on 14th February 2020.

For those who don’t know what the Mercer Review is, it is essentially a review of the education, training and assessment of UK Chartered Patent Attorneys currently being undertaken by CIPA and chaired by Chris Mercer – hence the name. The Mercer review is deliberately broad in scope to encourage opinions and evidence from all stakeholders, which includes you!

Within the review, which can be found here, there are a number of questions that have been outlined, which are provided to encourage responses – so anything outside of these questions which you feel is a valid point of discussion should also be raised. Some of the questions may be a non-issue to you as a trainee and therefore you have no opinion on the matter; however, other questions such as the knowledge, understanding and practice of the Foundation Certificate and Final Diploma exams are relevant to us all – so take this opportunity to voice your opinion!

The Mercer Review is not the first of its kind, the Informals has covered a previous iteration of the review carried out by IPReg back in 2013 – which gathered many comments and responses due to its suggestions on simplifying and modernising the examination system for qualifying patent attorneys. One of these responses was a detailed response from the Informals, providing a combined stance from 209 of the informals who clearly indicated their disapproval of IPReg suggestions. These responses from the informals, as well as others, resulted in the proposals not going ahead – so you’re voice really does count.

The [Call for Action] has now come again.

Some of the questions the Mercer Review is suggesting for discussion include:

  • Foundation Certificate Exams including: adding and removing knowledge, understanding and practice covered by the exams; and the use of university courses such as those provided at Queen Mary, Bournemouth and Brunel universities.
  • Final Diploma Exams including: adding and removing knowledge, understanding and practice covered by the exams; and practical matters such as timing, subject-matter, language and training periods for eligibility
  • Assessment Methodologyincluding the use of closed book examinations vs. open book examinations, and exemptions from FC examinations based on the qualifications in Schedule 3 of the IPReg rules
  • European Qualifying Examinations including IPReg’s recognition of the success in the EQEs as equivalent to passing FD2 and FD3
  • Education and Training including: professional education and training of trainee patent attorneys; guidance on the knowledge required for a trainee to undertake the PEB examinations; mandatory training requirements before eligibility; support provided for trainee patent attorneys by the informals
  • Any additional comments

As you can see, there is a lot of content up for discussion and any opinions, comments and evidence you wish to provide can be done by: emailing the Mercer Review at MercerReview@cipa.org.uk; or emailing the Informals Committee at informalsyellowsheet@gmail.com and we will collate submissions and provide them annoymously, should that be of concern for you.

Thanks for reading, I really hope you take part in providing evidence to the review. Also, please share this post around to all your fellow trainees (why not use the click to tweet button below?) and provide additional opinions, where appropriate.

Joel David Briscoe
Website, Social Media, and Blog Editor of the Yellow Sheet.

Fellow trainee patent attorneys, I have just answered the [Call for Action] and provided evidence to the Mercer Review, you should too!

[Wacky Patents] Work Space Divider

January is nearly over already and we are all back in the swing of it – well, some of us are…

Are some of your colleagues still talking about their xmas eve antics? Their not-so-PC Grandfather’s comments RE Brexit (again, again!)?… Well, not only does the Work Space Divider from USD530104 keep you alientated from your colleagues, its igloo inspired shape also keeps you nice and toasty to get through the winter months ahead.

I’ve already thought of a name for it too… the Cubigloo

*runs to Trade Mark Attorneys at the other end of the office*

[Regional] North East Social!

From our North East Regional Secretary, Elliot Stephens

Please join us at Lane 7 Newcastle from 6pm onwards on Wednesday 12 Februrary for a night of nibbles, drinks and ping pong!

Lane 7, Newcastle, from 6pm on Wednesday 12 Februrary

Time & Date for the North East Social.

We have two tables booked from 6:30pm until 7:30pm. The cost of ping pong will kindly be met by the CIPA Informals.

Please respond to Elliot Stephens (estephens@hgf.com) if you would like to take a break from revision with a night of ping pong!

Thanks,
Elliot

Word Hunt – Answers

Last Friday, I let you all in on my secret that I snook a series of Take That references in to the Yellow Sheet section of the December 2019 CIPA Journal. As promised, answers have been highlighted below, there was 5 in total – did you get them all?

“Hi Everyone, I’m Joel the new Blog, Website and Social Media Editor of the Yellow Sheet (so you won’t see me here much!). We have a new email address (informalsyellowsheet@gmail.com), twitter (@sheetyellow) and look to our website (yellowsheet.wordpress.com), so make sure to follow us on these platforms for frequent updates, news, tutorial info, guest blogs and other shenanigans – because we are back for good! Coming soon we have: 12 days of Christmassy Patents; a series on patents and applications based on Tea and Coffee; and never forget, the wacky patent of the month.

If you have an idea for a series of blogs or titbits you’d like to share, reach outit only takes a minute!

Ok, I’ve said it all. Thanks!”

CIPA Journal – December 2019 – Joel Briscoe – Blog, Website and Social Media Editor

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