Saturday, 13 June 2015
Piranha & pizza
11 May 2015
There is a large helium-filled piranha floating menacingly around CIPA Hall. It approaches The Queen and Prince Philip, veers away at the last minute and turns on Byte-sized Bill instead. Then it hurtles towards the ceiling, almost incinerates itself on a chandelier and nose-dives towards Mr Davies, who is busy filming it for tweet-related purposes.
This is, apparently, a staff training session.
Once the CIPA staff have been thoroughly trained in the manoeuvring of remote-controlled helium-filled piranhas, a patent attorney friend of ours teaches them how to turn an entertaining toy into a page full of pedantic, punctuation-less pomp, patent attorney-style. They throw themselves into this claim drafting exercise with gusto. Some of them soon reveal their competitive sides, especially when they are issued with an examination report and some new prior art. Mr Davies clearly thinks the examiner is an imbecile and is about to pen a response along those lines which would be worthy of the most aggressive of 19th-century patent attorneys. When presented with a potential infringer, he is most definitely not for settling.
Mr Lampert’s team, on the other hand, spend twice as long as the others crafting a beautiful claim, and miss the filing deadline by three days. They are allowed a patent anyway, under regulation 3 of the Standard Workshop Protocol, and proceed to sue the potential infringer for everything he has. Mr Davies’s team also sue the infringer but omit to check first whether they have a case for it under their timely-filed but exquisitely optimistic main claim. Their optimism is misplaced; they lose a million Euros. Mr Davies demands a recount.
Spreadsheet Spurgeon, who is also on Mr Davies’s team, wants to know how much the helium-filled piranha has knocked us back and whether he can apply straight-line depreciation to this latest CIPA acquisition. Especially since Mr Davies has just lost him a million Euros.
Unlucky Gary had ordered us pizzas for lunch. But when he told the pizza company his name, they said that unfortunately the pizzas would be delayed by 48 hours due to an international mozzarella shortage. By 1.15 we are tired of waiting, so we eat the pizzas Gary ordered for last Thursday’s meeting, which have just arrived.