07 September 2006

Clever Trevor holds forth in Leeds

Yesterday, an old friend from St Andrews sent me an email headed "What happened to the Blogs?" It was one of 162 emails (most of which were caught by my spam filter) which were waiting for me when I staggered back to my Pennine fastness at 22:00 for the third night running. If I say that on Monday I was chairing Peter Bissell at the Sheffield Inventors Club, on Tuesday I was listening to Mark Wyatt of Enterprise Ventures at the Manchester Inventors Club and yesterday to Trevor Baylis at Fox Hayes in Leeds I think folk will appreciate what is happening to my leisure time.

Trevor gave a very entertaining performance relating his life story as a swimming champ, PT instructor, swimming bath salesman and inventor. He spoke of all the scepticism that he had met when he tried to market his wind-up radio. Apparently someone suggested that a more abundant source of energy might derive from his bodily recesses than from the winding mechanism. That must surely rank as one of the most witty put downs of an inventor ever and it is one that I may well be tempted to use myself next time I am accosted on the stairs of a library with an invitation to learn about an invention to "solve the energy crisis" or "promote world peace".

There was a good mix of inventors as well as patent agents, lawyers and other professionals there. I met a couple of chums including Michael Harrison (Past President of the CIPA) who has now started a new venture to help develop some new technologies. Good luck with that Michael! He and I were gobsmacked to hear Trevor tell us that the BSI had recently published a British standard that will be compulsory for everyone who helps inventors. "Does that apply to patent agent?" asked Michael. "Dunno" I replied "but Trevor just told me that it will apply to the Leeds Inventors' Club".

Other chums there were Richard Hall of pd-m International, Carin Burchell of Branded!, Ian Macleod of IP Insurance Services and many, many more. I know this blog risks resembling "Jennifer's Diary" but I was pleased to see that like me, Michael Harrison, drives a Prius. Saving the environment seems to appeal to IP professionals.

US Civil Litigation - Spyware Claim Dismissed

Just under a year ago I blogged a report of a class action in Illinois against 180 Solutions Inc and 180 others ("Spyware Claim in Illinois" 15 Sep 2006). I did so mainly because of the opportunity to study the claimant's statement of case which was very curious to my eyes but also because of the subject matter which just about falls within the scope of this blog. Extravagantly, I promised to follow this case and keep everyone posted.

Now I have some news of this litigation thanks to Mr Steve Stratz, Director of Public Relations of
Zango. Mr Stratz says that "the putative class action lawsuit (Simios, et al. v. 180solutions, Inc.) filed nearly a year ago in federal court in Chicago has been dismissed, with prejudice." He adds that "a dismissal with prejudice prevents the plaintiff(s) from bringing the same lawsuit against Zango in the future and is a drastic remedy and one granted only in the most egregious cases". He invites further enquiries on + 1 425 2791321 or indeed his mobile on + 1 206.300.9134 or sstratz@zango.com.

Mr Stratz sent me a press release about the decision to substantially the same effect. In it he describes his company as
"a pioneer of what we call the Content Economy ...... an online media company, fulfills millions of consumers’ growing demand for free, sought-after online videos, games, music, tools and utilities, giving those consumers greater choice and control over when, where, and how they access that content. Zango’s vision enables content creators to monetize and distribute their content, provides publishers access to valuable and unique content as well as a way to make money from their web traffic, and delivers to advertisers industry-leading ROI through time-shifted ad delivery by engaging more than 20 million consumers precisely when they are most likely to make a purchasing decision. Committed to safe and ethical practices, Zango welcomes more than 200,000 new opt-in consumers every day. For more information, visit www.zango.com."
So there. Never let it be said that this blog does not keep its promises to keep its public informed. If anyone wants to discuss this case, please get in touch with Mr Stratz rather than me.