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

Friday, 17 March 2006


AMBIEN hit by Onion

Another lifestyle trade mark has just been given a roughing-up by the IPKat's favourite satirical US publication The Onion. This time it's sleeping pill AMBIEN, "increasingly blamed for auto accidents". As ever, the brand owner's best policy - if the company can't laugh it off - is just to ignore it.

Same Old Song

The IPKat thanks his friend Ben Challis for drawing his attention to the BBC Radio 2 Series 'Its The Same Old Song', looking at plagiarism, pastiche and plundering of popular music. Hosted by Marc Riley, the next programme in this four part series can be heard at 21.30pm on Tuesday 21 March. Programmes one and two in the series can be resurrected on BBC Radio 2 online.

The Same Old Song (Four Tops version) here; Same Old Song and Dance (Aerosmith) here
Look What They've Done to My Song, a.k.a. Ils Ont Changées Ma Chanson, Ma (wonderful song by Melanie Safka) here

What's your opinion on relative grounds for TM refusal?

Oliver Morris (UK Trade Marks Registry) has jogged the IPKat's memory and reminded him to alert his readers to the fact that the UK Patent Office has published its long-awaited consultation paper on the future of relative grounds for refusal. The Office is keen (yes, truly, as you'll know if you've ever dealt with them) to receive the views of as many of its users as possible on this important issue. So, if you've anything useful to say, you've got till 17 May 2006 to say it. All comments should be emailed to Louise White at the Trade Marks Registry.

This is a tricky topic. The Kat says it's unfair to expect trade mark examiners to police existing registrations and applications and do their owners' work for them. But Merpel says that, the more the trade mark registration system appeals to small and medium-sized businesses that don't have their own in-house IP capacity and can't afford trade mark watch services, the more possible cases of confusingly similar marks finding their way on to the register are likely to arise. Perhaps the solution is for the registry to run its own paid-for trade mark watch service, or to increase its extremely reasonable fees in order to recover the cost of full ex parte relative grounds examinations.

IPKat post on the Trade Mark Registry's pre-consultation exercise here.

And, for once, here's a competition that the IPKat isn't running ...

The IPKat's friend, scholar, practitioner and author David Musker, has sent him a link to an OHIM competition.

It's the Annual Competition for the Best Dissertation in the Field of Community Trade Marks and Designs. Entry details here; closing date 15 October 2006. This competition is NOT for the faint-hearted: even the entry rules cover six pages.


Guy said...

There is an aspect you did not metion with regard to relative examination by the UK Trade Marks Registry; competition from OHIM who have no relative examination.

Many OHIM applicants take advantage of the "three classes for the price of one" facility and add most of the class items from two classes in which they have little or no interest. A UK applicant then has a similar or equivalent mark refused under Section 5 on the basis of these speculative registrations.

Sadly I often have to advise clients that the UK office will refuse their application but for a higher fee they can obtain UK coverage for their mark through OHIM.

Removal of relative examination in the UK would level the playing field.

insomniac said...

I have taken ambien for well over 10 years. I started with 5 mg and after a few years I needed 10 mgs. At first I loved it, but now I am totally addicted. I am 68 years old and I sometimes take another half because I wake up too early. That leaves me short the end of the month, and I have bad dreams, can't sleep and have memory loss. Want to stop, but can't.

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