*ZDNet Australia reports that the Australian Trade Marks Office has turned down an application by the Linux Marks Institute (which was set up by Linux creator Linus Torvalds) to register LINUX as and Australian trade mark because it is not distinctive. The Office said that for the mark to be accepted, the Institute had to show that the marks had an
'inherent adaptation to distinguish in the marketplace…In other words, it cannot be a term that other traders with similar goods and services would need to use in the ordinary course of trade."
The IPKat thinks he has spotted an Antipodean example of the “need to keep free” principle, beloved on the ECJ (most of the time), even though the Aussies are using it under distinctiveness rather than descriptiveness.
*Friend of the IPKat Edgar Forbes has tipped him off that a company is claiming that the Blackberry 7100 portable organiser device’s combination of a QWERTY keyboard and predictive typing infringes its earlier patent. The IPKat (who admitted isn’t skilled in any art) reckons this combination sounds pretty obvious. Coverage here.
*The BBC reports that the EU and US have reached agreement in their longstanding dispute over protection of wine names. The US will gradually stop using the names of European wines until it has completely phased their use out. In return, US wines will be given greater access to the EU market. The IPKat wonders whether a similar accord will be reached over the designations of origin of other foodstuffs (such as cheese) which the EU would like to “claw back”. He also wonders whether consumers’ perceptions of what these wine names mean with regard to geographical origin will keep in step with the changes.
Friday, 16 September 2005
Posted by Ilanah at 11:27:00 a.m.