Web week

The Lawyer‘s Web Week is a weekly commentary on legal activity on the web. This includes an overview of the best of the week’s blogs. If you want to direct us to useful links, email webweek@thelawyer. com.

It’s official – IP lawyers are the funniest lawyers around. There are more humourous blogs to do with patents than any other area. Well, it’s not easy to make jokes about syndicated lending arrangements.

The newest blog is called WTF Patents (http://wtf patents.com), which stands for ‘What The Funny’, in case you were wondering. The authors pick out all the funniest odds and sods of the patent world.

This includes the patent for a code-breaking device that was filed in 1936, and finally granted 64 years later in the year 2000. Unfortunately the inventor popped his clogs before he could pop the celebratory champagne cork, dying 31 years before his invention got the official seal of approval. These things happen to the best of us, what with the distractions of World War II and everything. The application was probably under a pile of papers on someone’s desk.

The site also features the usual bunch of crackpot ideas, such as the rocket-powered surfboard, which looks like the perfect invention for people who like to walk around on crutches.

The IP madness continues, this time in France. The website in question is the elegantly named Le Petit Musée des Marques (www.museedesmarques.org), which is run by and for “legal unusual people” who trawl through the strange trademarks that litter Europe’s IP offices.

The blog is lot more philosophical and a lot less sensational than its US cousins. Musing on a trademark application for the word BERK for a maker of cutlery, the blog says: “Placed in a certain context, there are words which surprise and amuse.”

But that’s not to say Le Petit Musée shies away from the good stuff. The site flags up trademarks such as Super Piss (for a Finnish antifreeze) and FART (for a chocolate bar).

Here’s hoping that ads for FART appear on our television screens in the near future.