1 Death of the Department Store
Today's Telegraph carries a sad little piece about the decline of British department stores. It seems almost ironic that, when at last the European Court of Justice has confirmed that trade mark protection is available for the service of selling goods retail, those harmless dinosaurs called British department stores are plodding off into the sunset. Last year Allders ceased trading; now both Barkers and Dickens & Jones (alias Chickens & Bones) are to follow suit.
While Harrods and Selfridge are hanging on in there, the IPKat wonders what their fate will be. Harrods has successfully turned itself into a brand for luxury goods (mainly foreign-manufactured products, purchased by mainly foreign tourists, he thinks), while Selfridge has become little more than a cavernous shell in which brand owners rent their little territories and carry on their own retail sales.
Don't be so negative, says Merpel, while the old-fashioned department stores may be dying, retail chains like Tesco, Asda and Marks & Spencer have diversified to the point at which they can be called department stores themselves ...
2 Latest EIPR
The October 2005 issue of Sweet & Maxwell's European Intellectual Property Review contains a bright collection of pieces on some matters of contemporary interest. They include
* two case notes on the Court of Appeal ruling in Douglas v Hello!, one on property rights in secrets (by Eversheds' John Hull and Sarah Abbott), the other by barrister Christina Michalos on image rights and privacy;
* Steven Ang (left) discusses the impact of patent term extension in Singapore;
* Veteran copyright commentator Herman Cohen Jehoram waxes lyrical on the dangers to copyright caused by greedy users;
* Tanuja Garde writes perceptively on the destabilising effect upon certainty of recent US decisions on the doctrine of equivalents;
* Adopted Scotsman and IP commentator/musicologist Andreas Rahmatian, writes a provocative piece on the commodification of copyright.