Flint - A User's Guide to Copyright reviewed
The IPKat has been purring over his pristine copy of Michael Flint’s classic book, A User’s Guide to Copyright. This title has been long established as one of the key texts in this field and the Kat recalls reviewing the first edition back in the 1980s, when he still had a full complement of whiskers. More to the point, this title has generally been the Kat's first port of call when investigating copyright topics he's not so familiar with.
This edition has been crafted by the triumvirate of Michael Flint, Nicholas Fitzpatrick and Clive Thorne. Michael Flint has been around since before the IPKat can remember: he's a former chairman of the Intellectual Property and Entertainment Committees of the International Bar Association and of the Council of the Intellectual Property Institute. Nick Fitzpatrick is a partner in DLA Piper Rudnick who specialises in media and copyright law (in his spare time he doubles as Chairman of the Copyright Committee of the British Screen Advisory Council. Veteran copyright commentator Clive Thorne (partner, Arnold and Porter), has over 30 years' experience of IP litigation and arbitration in the UK and in Asia.
The 6th, fully revised edition is split into two parts. Part 1 contains a detailed breakdown of the relevant UK legislation, of which there is rather a lot these days, while Part 2 takes a sectoral approach, applying this legislation to the main industries in which copyright material is commonly exploited. Coverage of new topics reflects the emergence of new means of digital exploitation, including P2P distribution. There is also a welcome increased emphasis on international copyright law. As in previous editions, the text is lucid and welcoming - both in respect of the law and with regard to the increasingly unfamiliar technological terrain across IP concepts are now sown. It's a pity that the statutes it explains have not made so user-friendly or intelligible.
Previous editions have been published by Butterworths, but the title is now in the hands of Tottel - a company that has taken over what must be hundreds of old Butterworths titles following the decision of LexisNexis Butterworths to pursue electronic rather than paper publication as its prime objective. Tottel's website (which is reputedly being revised) is way beyond the IPKat's capacity to cope ...
Bibliographic details: As usual, this book is a paperback; its ISBN is 1 84592 068 6. It retails at £78. Rupture factor - no threat (more than pocket-sized but light and manoeuvrable).
Bergkelder bottle mark invalid - crayfish escapes liability
The IPKat's friend Dev Gangjee has kindly sent him a link to the South African Supreme Court of Appeal decision in Bergkelder Bpk v Vredendal Koöp Wynmakery (9 March 2006)  SCA 8 (RSA), in which that court dismissed an appeal against a judgment of the Cape High Court concerning the trade mark infringement of the so-called Grünberger wine bottle. Bergkelder owned a trade mark for a container for South African wines in the form of a Bocksbeutel ("goat's pouch") bottle. Vredendal Koöp sought to market a local wine in a similarly shaped bottle, except that it had a large and prominent crayfish embossed on one flat side of the bottle.
Bergkelder applied for injunctive relief but the trial court, without even deciding whether the mark had been infringed, expunged it on the ground that the shape of the bottle could not by itself distinguish Bergkelder's wine from the wines of others who use and have used the particular bottle legitimately. This was because the bottle shape had been used by foreign wine producers whose wines had been on the local market long before Grünberger wines became available.
The IPKat enjoyed reading this report for the erudition with which the court treated the historical aspects of the use of the registered bottle shape. He thinks the court got the decision right too.
Recipes for crayfish and wine here
Origins of the word Bocksbeutel here and (for German-speakers who like pretty pictures of bottles) here