1 Catering for all tastes
The IPKat stumbled over this in Caterer Research: generic road signs for British motorway service stations could be altered to incorporate brand names such as Wimpy and Little Chef. RoadChef, Welcome Break and Moto are lobbying the Highways Agency and the Department for Transport to allow motorway service operators to display branded facility signs instead of symbols of beds, knives and forks and petrol pumps. Said Martin Grant, chief executive of RoadChef:
“The current signage regulations are totally outdated. We believe that changes to signage regulation will more accurately reflect what is available and thus encourage drivers to take more breaks".At present, operators are able to change their names to incorporate brand names. After RoadChef became RoadChef Costa Coffee in May, its transactions increased by 60%.
2 Latest EIPR
The August 2005 issue of Sweet & Maxwell's monthly European Intellectual Property Review has now been published. The IPKat has been pawing at its pages. It contains a quite depressing article by Chinese academic Li Hua on how intellectual property law, though technically enforceable in China, has yet to win the hearts and minds of what the abstract calls the "common people". Also, Vicki Salmon and Nick Minogue (Eversheds, London) look at the modifications made to UK patents threats law by the Patents Act 2004.
Merpel hopes there are more pages in the next issue: this one is very thin and even then it's a bit padded. Must be the slim-look f0r summer.
3 How ugly
Skimming through his incoming electronic correspondence, the IPKat chanced upon a masterpiece of corporate name-change. Interbrew was a boringly descriptive title for an international company that had brewing interests. Well, for an international company with an interest in beverages, it's no shock to discover that it has become InBev, with the now almost-obligatory internal capital letter.
So far as the Kat is aware, the new InBev name is not planned for any specific product that a consumer may wish to imbibe. It's presumably a device to impress investors and financial whizz-kids. Well, the IPKat thinks it's crummy -- unless it's meant as some sort of deterrent to any corporate predator who might fancy acquiring it.
4 Awaking from its long hibernation ...
... is the Information Technology Law Reports, published six times a year by Lawtext. Issue 1 for 2005 contains just one case: the splendid copyright and database right infringement litigation in Navitaire Inc v easyJet and BulletProof over easyJet's attempt to get software for a ticketless booking system that worked like Navitaire's but at BulletProof's prices.
The IPKat hopes he won't have so long to wait for issue two (which, he believes, has already been proof-read).