For the half-year to 30 June 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Alberto Bellan, Darren Meale and Nadia Zegze.

Two of our regular Kats are currently on blogging sabbaticals. They are David Brophy and Catherine Lee.

Saturday, 27 December 2003

POP GOES THE TRADE MARK

The BBC reports that the pop star Robbie Williams has registered his name as a trade mark for “goods ranging from videos and CDs to crayons and napkins.
He is also protected for "printed matter", which includes calendars”.

The IPKat is a little puzzled. Thorough mouser that he is, he paid a visit to the Patent Office website and searched for Mr William’s trade mark. Lo and behold, he found both a CTM registration and a UK registration. To his surprise though, while the BBC’s story was dated 26 December 2003, the registrations were dated 11 September 1998 and 19 June 1998 respectively. The IPKat suspects that either: (i) the BBC were trying to “create” some news over the quiet festive period or (ii) that the Patent Office has been trying to drum up trade by issuing a press release explaining how the trade mark system works and has used Robbie Williams as an example to attract people’s attention. The IPKat notes that the story does go into a great degree of detail about the workings of the system, though perhaps not enough since, according to the BBC, “The 29-year-old is covered for a wide range of music and video recordings as well as clothing merchandise under the terms of the patent”. (Yes – the IPKat is a pedant, and what’s more, he’s proud to be one).

The IPKat also doubts that Robbie Williams will get a particularly wide scope of protection. There are many people whose names are variations of the underlying name Robert Williams who, even in the case of confusion, will be able to rely on the own name defence to trade mark infringement.

Let him entertain you here, here, here
Potential infringers here, here, here, here and here


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