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Utynam's Heirs

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

Counterfeiters beware

Any IP offenders in the vicinity of Gleneagles, Scotland at the end of June would have been well advised to take cover as delegates at the IP Vision conference, organized by patent attorneys Marks & Clerk, were let loose on the shooting range.

Armed with shotguns, the attorneys, lawyers and VIPs in attendance took aim at clay pigeons fired at a variety of angles and speeds. Utynam (who, living in south London, is familiar with the dangers of weapons) will not embarrass those who took part by revealing the scores – except to say that the wildlife of Scotland is in no immediate danger from gun-wielding IP practitioners.

He was however pleased to be able to use a gun made by Italian firm Beretta – which can trace its history back to 1526, just...

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