The team is joined by GuestKats Mirko Brüß, Rosie Burbidge, Nedim Malovic, Frantzeska Papadopolou, Mathilde Pavis, and Eibhlin Vardy
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SpecialKats: Verónica Rodríguez Arguijo (TechieKat), Hayleigh Bosher (Book Review Editor), and Tian Lu (Asia Correspondent).

Friday, 19 August 2005


Despite appearances, the IPKat is in truth a bit of a furry luddite so, even though a number of his readers have tipped him off about it, he has only just discovered Altavista’s Babelfish for himself. Named after the universal translator used by Arthur Dent, Ford Prefect and friends in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, this natty little site takes blocks of text (150 words at a time) and translates them into English or any other language you fancy. This could be invaluable for translating cases that are unavailable in any other way.

The IPKat put in the reasoning part of the OHIM decision in Spa v Cosmetics Ltd, one of the few cases where a successful opposition under Art.8(5) CTMR has been made, but which had been eluding him for months. The resultant text only appeared to have a couple of mistranslations. What he found was that, in comparing the two marks, the Board of Appeal had adopted a global appreciation and had paid particular attention to the distinctive elements of the two marks. While it’s no surprise that they took this approach, which is the same as that taken to judging similarity in confusion cases, thus far the ECJ has not commented on whether particular attention should be paid to the distinctive elements of marks in dilution cases.

The IPKat thinks that it’s a sorry state of affairs that, even though he understands that OHIM makes unofficial translations of certain decisions, he and the rest of the world have to rely on an automatic website modelled on a fictional fish. Wouldn’t it make more sense for OHIM to disseminate the unofficial translations, the contents of which it has at least some control of?

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