This month the Naked Engineer dwells on the subject of patents.
Bit of an industrial-sized palaver post- Christmas party. One of the directors – no names to protect the guilty – took it upon himself to photocopy certain parts of his anatomy, which should never see the light of day, and distributed the images to, amongst others, our illustrious chairman Sir Patrick. Fingers crossed he won’t want to run an identity parade.
My musing on this is disturbed by Jimmy the Greek bowling in, in as much as any finance boffin who’s 5’ 4” and thinks Plaid Cymru will win the next election could be said to bowl into anything.
“Need to talk about this Patent Box thing. I’ve been doing some digging on some old patents. Bit of a cock-up on renewal last year I’m afraid,” reported Jimmy. Unfortunate turn of phrase bearing in mind the Christmas party shenanigans but I let it pass.
“It seems Commercial didn’t renew any of the patents on Home and Beauty division’s laser hair removal products so we’re buggered. Our Random Undulating Filament technology is market leader, but now anyone will be able to sell RUF hair removal devices.”
It was news to me that we had a Home and Beauty division but I winced to think what Sir Patrick’s reaction would be to this new embarrassment. Intellectual property had very obviously been hot property with him when we’d last met during his monthly MBWA (Management by walking about) session.
“Right,” I said. “Let’s get down to that new Brazilian place for a couple of red redeemers and we’ll come up with a scapegoat, err…I mean explanation for Sir Patrick. Apparently the waitresses are pretty thorough at adopting the Brazilian culture, if you know what I mean, so we can double it up as a RUF sales outing.”
We grabbed Dave (ops director) on the way – rumour is he knows what a patent is – and thought we managed to get past Attila the Hun (my PA) without her noticing until a strident “finishing early today are we?” chased us out the door.
I was sweating a bit as we explained the problem to Dave. I didn’t need Sir Patrick bustin’ my balls over patents while he was also on the hunt for the appendage photocopying culprit.
But our ops man’s response was a heady relief that had nothing to do with the fine cab sav I was quaffing as he spoke.
“What’re you worried about?” he asked.
“We’re about to release the next generation of laser hair removal products with BiURN technology and we have worldwide patents.”
“What the hell is BURN technology when it’s at home?’ I asked.
“It’s BiURN,” he responded. “Stands for Bipolar Ultraviolet Reduction and Normalisation. RUF never really worked anyway. We’re incorporating BiURN into every laser product so you can pack ‘em all in your patent box.”
Jubilant, I returned to the office and sought out our leader. “Good news on the patent front Shurr Patrick’ I slurred. We’d celebrated our new face saving – and quite possibly face burning – technology enthusiastically. “Hevery product in the hume and booty divishun ish goin’ in the patent box sho we’ll cut our corporashun tax nexsht year by £1.3 million.”
Sir Patrick was so delighted to turn the tables on HMRC that he completely forgot about the photocopied member of staff (pun intended) and left with a broad smile on his face.
Note to self…cut the plugs off all photocopiers next Christmas.
Any similarities of characters to persons living or deceased is completely intentional.
Disclaimer from the publisher: The Naked Engineer is an anonymous monthly satirical column. If offence is caused by this column, please remember the columnist is a fictional character and is deliberately lampooning commonplace issues and events.