Sunday 3 October 2010

Make money from IP? Not this way!

Tonight marked the close of the IP Finance "IP begging letter competition", for which the prize was complimentary admission to CLT's IP and Finance Conference on 20 October.  To everyone's disappointment the organisers have had to postpone this event -- which this blog hopes will be held at an appropriate future occasion.

The competition was a simple one. We all receive scam emails. Some are from people purporting to be in possession of funds which can only be released once the recipient has himself paid some cash over to the scammer, or which require the recipient to part with his confidential online login and password details. The task, in entering this competition, was to compose a plausible scam email which seeks to entice recipients to invest money in an imaginary IP-protected business venture of their choosing.

Readers are invited to vote on their favourite.  Those who receive their IP Finance posts by email should note: the poll can be found at the top of the side bar on the weblog's front page.

Entry 1: "The Capodistrian Caper"
Learned Sir,

I write to you in the hope that you can assist me with a matter of some difficulty, which may be of benefit to your good self and the cause of IP.

I reside in Koper (Capodistria, the Italians called it). I am the executor of the late Simon Gregorcic, who from 1948 until his decease was the local agent of the U.S. Office of the Alien Property Custodian (and of comparable authorities of other victor nations).

You will no doubt remember that in 1942, President Roosevelt issued an Executive Order (No. 9095) creating the OAPC. This body acquired the property of enemy aliens. Of course, this included their valuable copyrights.

Now, as you will well recall, Trieste was the resort of many authors. Joyce, Freud and, of course, Scipio Slataper are a few of the important writers who sojourned there. Many valuable works were first published in the region both before and after 17 June 1930, when the Kingdom of Jugoslavia acceded to the Berne Convention. These books were all published by the leading publisher of the region, Igor Smircic.

The Kingdom of Italy had been party to the Berne Convention since 1887, so the books published in Trieste were protected by copyright in many countries, including (through simultaneous publication in Canada) the United States. After 1930, they were also protected in Jugoslavia. The works acquired by Igor Smircic included many works popular in Jugoslavia and the Warsaw pact countries.

At the risk of repeating matters that are very familiar to you, from 1947 to 1954 a state called the Free Territory of Trieste existed. During this time, my late client acted on behalf of the OAPC, accumulating royalties payable locally in respect of the US and other Allied copyrights of Italian (enemy) nationals . It was only with the Treaty of Osimo in 1975 that the disposition of the Istrian Littoral was settled, with the area around Trieste (called “Zone A”) going to Italy and the rest (“Zone B”) becoming part of Jugoslavia.

Smircic’s office was in Koper in Zone B, a few kilometres from the border with Zone A. With the abolition of the OAPC in 1966 and the accession of Zone B to Jugoslavia in 1975, it became impossible to repatriate these royalties to the US. Accordingly, the sum of 45,321,892 Jugoslavian Dinar has accumulated in the bank account of my late client at the Maritime Bank of Koper which constitutes bona vacantia. (Please be assured that by a confidential annex to the Treaty of Osimo, my client’s title to these moneys was confirmed.)

With the passing of my client, who died without heirs, it is essential to liberate these funds for the excellent pro-IP purposes that only you, learned Sir, are able to devise. If you would be so very good, therefore, as to provide me with your bank details and the small sum of $2,436 to cover the formalities, I shall be happy to transfer these moneys to you.


Dr. T Dilczin
Entry 2: "The Trusty Troll"
My good friend,

I am writing this revelation to you under strictest confidence and secrecy as I am sure you are one of the few people understanding the value of Intellectual Prosperty (IP) and also patents, according to my father who instructed me to trust you with this informations.
I am Kees Jokkebrok, 20 years of age, the only child of my parents, Mr and Mrs J. Jokkebrok. My parents were natives of Belgium before they migrated to the Nederlands when I was just 4 year old. We lived at No 1010 JulianaBeatrixlaan in Wassenaar, the Netherlands, and I attended the famous KoningWillem-XI School in Leiden, but when my mother fell sick and died Friday, 13 June 2008, my father became weak, I believe it was the shock of my mum's sudden death that deteriorated his health. He retired from the European Patent Office (where he had access to a lot of secret IP) in November 2008, from there he moved to Zürich Switzerland because of his medication, I stayed in Leiden to study Mechanical Rocket Engineering. Then in December 13, 2008 my father called me and told that he was ready to set up his own IP-Troll company, and he also told me that he want me to learn about his secrets and the fortune we could make with trolling. On 14 December 2008 I flew to Zürich. Unfortunately on 22 December 2008 my father collapsed and later died. Then my uncle Boef Jokkebrok seized all my fathers bank documents and properties. But he doesn't know that I have hide the most valuable documents of IP in a safe place outside the house where he can not find them based on my late father's advice on his sick bed before his death. This secret IP has been in my mind for more than 18 months now and I don't even know who to tell because I need someone to help me to develop these secrets into a real company and to enable me leave Zürich rich and peacefully. This is the reason I make contact with you to help me develop this IP. That mean you will provide an account with some starting money in Switzerland with which we start the a company "Troll-IP inc" in which I put the IP. As an engineer in mechanical rocket engineering I can understand the abracadabra IP very easy and soon I will be able to make out of the IP within a few weeks some strong WIPO-Patents to extort money from other rich foreign companies. Thus the value of the company "Troll-IP inc" will multiply thousand times within a year, making you and me rich.
I have thought about it long and I came to the conclusion that, this is the only way I can get the IP work for me without my uncle knowing about it.
If you believe that you can help me please respond to this mail and include with it your telephone number to enable me give you a call please.
Of course as someone who knows about IP, you know that we need a small fortune to file the patents I will make from the IP and even more later on for all the translations, but I guarantee that the resulting patents will scare even the biggest foreign companies, who will gladly settle quickly, giving us a huge leverage.
I want you to know that I passed by so many patent experts before I came in contact with your contact info and when I did, my heart and the spirit of God dwelling inside me asked me to confide and trust you.
Please get back to me ASAP.  God bless you as I look forward in meeting you soon!!!
Kees Jokkebrok, Immersauerstrasse 6, Zürich, Switzerland.
Entry 3: "Verily Val Verde"
Dear Mr Dr Jjip,

Forgive my no good English - I hope that this letter finds you with full heart.

My father Mr Ausgustus del Fonto del Monte del Boy recently died. Before his death he was the head of a small company based in Cuba which he began by his own hands when we fled the evil regime in Val Verde. I do not need to tell you the sad story of Val Verde, but he was fatally injured in helping us to escape.

My father explained to me before his death that his entire business was now in the hands of the US government, who I understand are now controlled by Arnold Schwarzennegger after he took over from Bill Pullman when he died saving the USA from alien invasion in Independence Day. Excuse my contacting you but I believe that as one who converses with cats you are able to help me to solve this sad affair by getting the trade marks transferred to you and then to me.

If you are able to provide me with help in the form of an amicus brief then I am willing to share with you the IP portfolio of my fathers business which I have concrete proof has the value for you of 81.2 (EIGHTYONEPOINTTWO) million US dollars. I will need you to provide me with a few details to allow for the transfer of half of this value now. I will need your full name, passport number, sort code.. let these things not be a gap between our safe meeting in London on Tuesday next week.

I have been able to safely escape to London, but to be able to safely live in the UK I have had to change my name to David Victor Ambwile. Please excuse my new name. You will also find that I have taken an accent to hide from the hideous officers of Val Verde that still hope to secure my return, and I have had to disguise myself. I must secure your privacy and speed in this matter, and to avoid detection and to guarantee your safety once you have given me your details I must ask that you do not check your bank account for 24 hours.

Yours with full heart

Simone del Fonto del Monte del Boy (David)
Please cast your votes, which will be decisive as to the winner.  Meanwhile, the IP Finance weblog will try and sort out a fresh prize for the winner that is of a value commensurate with that of the now-postponed confernce.


Unknown said...

All three are fantastic- thanks for providing a good laugh on a Monday morning.
Maureen Veterano

Unknown said...

What an irony posting an IP begging letter relating to one of the last territorial disputes arising from the second world war on the day that Germany was celebrating its reunification twenty years ago having been separated for the previous forty years.