A monthly column devoted to IP curiosities and controversies, named in honour of John of Utynam - who received the world's first recorded patent in 1449
Divas on display
While at IP Australia's Trading Ideas symposium in Sydney last month, Utynam enjoyed the country's famous hospitality at the conference banquet.
Eyebrows were raised, however, especially among the delegates on Utynam's table from Thailand and Cambodia, as we heard the haunting melodies of Men at Work's 1980s classic "I come from a land down under" ("where women glow and men plunder" it continues) played on ... electric violins.
We soon found out that corporate entertainment sensations the String Divas had arrived. The three shapely young women proceeded to distract the delegates from the worries of patent pendency and widespread counterfeiting by playing electric violin versions of classic pop hits while smiling and wearing impressively voluminous skirts.
During an evocative rendition of the Habanera from the opera Carmen the divas even went as far as to walk around the tables to serenade the...
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