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.