1 This is what it will look like
Oxford University Press has now released this picture of what its new journal, the Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice, will look like. Edited by IPKat co-blogmeister Jeremy, it launches in November. At some stage in November an announcement on this weblog will let you know how and when to obtain a sample of the launch issue, so watch this space.
Incidentally, JIPLP could do with a few more volunteers to referee articles submitted for publication. If you'd like to try your hand at this time-consuming and almost thankless task, email Jeremy here.
2 Reality sheep for the chop?
Ever surprised at human ingenuity, the IPKat is still mewsing over this item from Ananova: animal rights activists in Croatia have criticised a new reality show on the web where viewers vote on which sheep to save from slaughter. In the show, shown here, seven sheep in a house in Zagreb are filmed non-stop as famous writers come in and read their works to them. Viewers then vote on which of the sheep is thrown out of the house. After the 'eviction' the sheep has to be 'adopted' by a viewer or it is sent straight to the slaughterhouse. Activists from the group Friends of Animals said the reality show was "scandalous" and that people were being pressured into adopting a sheep just to save it from slaughter. The man behind the show, Sinisa Labrovic, said:
"I'm not torturing animals. I just wanted to show how people are used in reality shows and become nothing more than sheep".The IPKat notes that there is a keen lobby in favour of the protection of television programme formats. If formats were protected, would the Big Brother format be infringed by this clever parody? Merpel just says, Baah!
Lamb recipes here. Sheep dip here.
3 MIRTILLO application gets the boot
Subscription service Lawtel have surprised the IPKat by noting a rare decision from the UK Trade Mark Registry (something that Lawtel's now-extinct step-sister New Law Online used to do quite often in its youth). This decision, dated 17 August 2005, is in Maglificio Barbara Srl v Creaciones Mirto SA, an opposition proceeding adjudicated by John MacGillivray.
Maglificio Barbara applied to register the trade mark MIRTILLO for boots, shoes and slippers in Class 25. Creaciones opposed under the Trade Marks Act 1994, s.5(2)(b), objecting that MIRTILLO was likely to be confused with its own similar registered trade mark MIRTO for much the same goods. According to Creaciones the marks meant much the same thing in Spanish and Italian and, as the meaning of those marks was likely to be understood by a reasonable number of UK consumers, it was likely that they would believe that the goods provided under the two marks came from the same company. As for consumers who spoke neither Spanish nor Italian (i.e. most true-blue Brits), confusion was likely where the marks would be imperfectly recalled.
John MacGillivray upheld the opposition and refused the MIRTILLO application. He held as follows:
* Although MIRTILLO and MIRTO were both words with botanical meanings, it was doubtful whether that would be apparent to UK consumers even if they could speak Italian and Spanish, given the relative obscurity of the words. The average consumer would not view them as having any particular meaning but might think they were words of southern European origin [The IPKat observes: mirto is both the Spanish and the Italian for myrtle, mirtillo being a bilberry in Italian; no Spanish word mirtillo could be found].Nothing too exciting in this case, says the IPKat, but it's always a pleasure to see Registry decisions getting an airing. Although we all complain about them when no-one from the Patent Office is around, we're lucky that our Registry decisions are of a relatively high standard.
* On a visual comparison, the marks possessed obvious visual similarity. In particular, the marks shared the first four letters and the final letter.
* As for aural similarities, the marks shared the same first syllable and both terminated with an "O". Further, given the fact that they began and ended the same way, and that the words were far less readily distinguishable than known words with similar appearances but different meanings, there would be conceptual similarity to the average customer [The IPKat wonders: is this what he really said? It's generally accepted that the fact that two words are meaningless to the relevant consumer does not make them conceptually similar].
* There was no doubt that Creaciones possessed goodwill in its mark, but it was a good way from demonstrating that it was a famous or household name among the relevant public. However, irrespective of its reputation, the mark MIRTO was inherently fully distinctive and deserved protection.
* Since the goods covered by the marks were identical or closely similar, confusion was likely so the opposition was successful.