Monday, 13 October 2014
8 October 2014
So anyway, today there is a meeting of the Press & PR Committee. Which instantly re-brands itself as the Media & PR Committee. This is a momentous decision. “Media” is so much wider than “press”. In fact, it is so wide that – call me a pedantic old patent attorney – it is actually redundant. We may as well have a “PR and Things You Can Use for PR” Committee, which would be the first ever genuine means-plus-function committee. Or how about the slightly more descriptive “Shouty Things” Committee?
There is much to discuss on the Shouty Things Committee. The main one is how do we make sure that CIPA is the go-to authority on IP issues? It seems the media people do not have a great track record when it comes to finding the right spokesperson on IP. Sometimes they just call up some random matrimonial law solicitor, sometimes an internet service provider. Occasionally they get as far as CIPA, but arrive in such a confused state that they have to be gently re-orientated before we can help them. I am told that one journalist recently assumed that his query on the dragonfly computer virus would be passed to our Life Sciences Committee. Because a dragonfly and a virus are both living things, obviously. This story is testament to the high quality of investigative journalism in the UK. At least the person concerned knew we had a Life Sciences Committee; there are many CIPA members who do not.
We also talk about CIPA tat, I mean memorabilia. Apparently we have been handing out CIPA mugs. I have not been offered a CIPA mug. I am a bit miffed about this. What is the point being VeePee if you do not even get your own CIPA mug? Mind you, it is a little worrying to see standards slipping towards the working-class end of the spectrum. In the good old days it would have been a tankard, not a mug. Before you know it we will be offering a CIPA pie plate.
Next we talk about the “Inside Careers” guide, and opportunities for work experience, and other ways in which to lure unfortunate misguided graduates into the IP profession. Our key message here is going to be: “Come in, come in! Everyone is welcome! Especially the Mega-Beings, although obviously not exclusively the Mega-Beings because that would be bad for diversity. Come in and we will give you a CIPA pie plate and a free pie! Venison or wood-pigeon?”
They will be queueing at the gates.
During the meeting the Shouty People are introduced to Mr Lampert, who is now Chief Shouty Person for CIPA and responsible for our PR. He tells us he used to work for the Probation Service, and before that the Criminal Justice System. So he knows all about trying to put a positive spin on things which are inherently unpalatable.
Mr Lampert announces that soon we are going to have our very own Communications Strategy. Also a Stakeholder Engagement Strategy. Well that’s nice. The more CIPA tat the better. I would rather have a communications strategy than a pie plate, any day.