1 Tiger in the tank?
The IPKat is perturbed to discover from Ananova that Dr Christian Koch, of Kleinhartmannsdorf in Germany, says he's found a way to make cheap diesel fuel out of dead cats. They are apparently heated up to 300 degrees Celsius, to filter out hydrocarbon which is then turned into diesel by a catalytic converter. He said the resulting "high quality bio-diesel" costs just 15 pence per litre. The cadaver of a fully grown cat can yield 2.5 litres of fuel, which suggests that around 20 cats are needed for an average full tank. Said Koch:
"I tank my car with my own diesel mixture and have driven it for 105,000 miles without any problems".The IPKat is all in favour of the environment; it's just that he doesn't want to be part of it just yet ...
2 I see, it's ICU
According to an OHIM Board of Appeal decision recently posted on the OHIM website, AOL's application to register the letters ICU as a Community trade mark for goods and services in Classes 9, 35 and 38 was thwarted by the earlier registration of the mark ICQ for goods and services in Classes 9, 38 and 42. Remarkably the Opposition Division didn't consider the marks to be similar, on the basis that they would be read as "I see you" and "I seek you" respectively. The Board considered that ICQ had secured a special degree of distinctiveness on acocunt of its high degree of use in instant messaging services. Then, in assessing the risk of confusion, the Board said this:
"35 The signs are visually identical with respect to the first two letters, which being the beginnings, customers are inclined to pay more attention to. The marks are also similar phonetically. Moreover, because of the intended meaning of ICQ (‘I seek you’) being well known among the large consumer base, it is likely that these same consumers, on encountering the applicant’s sign ICU for the same or similar goods and services will read it, at least in English speaking parts of the Community as ICU, ‘I see you’. Therefore, given the degree of similarity between the signs, and the principle of "interdependence’ the Board finds there is a likelihood of confusion between the signs in the Community, on the part of the relevant public for the contested goods and services which were found, above, to be identical or similar.The IPKat thinks this must be the case and is pleased that the puzzling factual finding of the Opposition Division has been laid to earth.
36 Furthermore, given the reputation of the earlier sign, and hence its increased scope of protection due to its heightened distinctiveness, it is likely that the relevant consumers will believe both signs derive from the same trade source, or the same family of marks, even when the conflicting services do not have a high degree of similarity. All of the applicant’s ‘retail’ service activities in Class 35 may make use of the appellant’s ‘provision of access’ to ‘shopping databases’ across the Internet. Similarly, the applicant’s ‘advertising and management services; business management and operations; office functions; import and buying services; sales promotion’ in Class 35 may all make use of the various databases and their access provided by the appellant".