The not so simple paper clip

It is surprising where the topic of inventions and patents can pop up. This evening on BBC 2’s topical comedy show Mock the Week, one of the panellists mentioned the humble paper clip and how it had never been patented.

As I soon discovered this could not have been further from the truth as can be seen at


However the iconic version of the this ubiquitous product shown above and produced by Gem Manufacturing an English company prior to 1899 was first patented by Johan Vaaler a Norwegian. However it appears that Vaaler did not make any money out of ‘his’ invention. Which just goes to show.

Respect Copyright Badge – Boy scouts Brainwashed by MPAA

I’m not sure how successful this attempt to ‘get them while their young’ will be. Especially given the hostile nature of the Internet press coverage of the story.

With the opportunity to earn a ‘Respect Copyright badge’, Los Angeles Boy Scouts now have an extra level of ‘encouragement’ to protect the copyrights. The badge has been developed by the Motion Picture Association of America. As part of the program, the boys get to tour Hollywood studios to see all the different people impacted by copyright violation.

“Working with the Boy Scouts of Los Angeles, we have a real opportunity to educate a new generation about how movies are made, why they are valuable, and hopefully change attitudes about intellectual property theft,” said Dan Glickman, chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America

New trademarks equals new products

Thursday 19 October 2006

Keeping an eye on new trademarks can give a good insight into what might be round the corner in terms of products.

apple_logo_blueiPhone tantalisingly close as Apple register trademark. Dual model rumours start.

An Apple iPhone or two could be a step nearer as there are reports of Apple officially filing for the ‘iPhone’ trademark. An analyst from Prudential Equity also believes that his ‘sources’ and ‘recent checks’ suggest that Apple could release two models – one a smart phone and the other a slim music phone. At least one of them will have wi-fi connectivity, and a keyboard for messaging.

American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu has written “Our research indicates that an Apple-designed smart phone has moved from concept to prototype and recently has progressed to near completion as a production unit. We believe this smart phone has been in development for over 12 months and has overcome substantial challenges including design, interference, battery life and other technical glitches”.