The IPKat smells a rat

Bad news for lovers of pine-scented competition everywhere. WCAX reports that Texas-based Corndog Cards and Novelties has reached an out of court settlement with Car-Freshner Corporation, producers of the tree-shaped air-fresheners for cars. Under the terms of the agreement, the Texas company will stop making greetings cards which feature a shape similar to that of the tree.

The IPKat didn’t realise that tree-shaped air-fresheners were an indication of source pointing back to a single company, perhaps because he’s not a driver. He wonders if his readers did.

Time for copyright trolls?

The IPKat has read in the New Zealand Herald of yet another small author claiming that the big boys have stolen his idea. This time it’s Gavin Bishop, author of 24-page children’s book The Secret Lives of Mr and Mrs Smith. He claims that 20th Century Fox has infringed his copyright by making the film Mr and Mrs Smith. While Bishop’s Smiths are spies, Fox’s Smiths are assassins. Bishop is still deciding what action to take.

The IPKat says that by now we’re all familiar with the idea of the patent troll. Perhaps we need a new concept – the copyright troll – to designate the band of authors who claim, on spurious evidence that often seems to rely on copyright in ideas and the loosest of plots, that big evil baddies have stolen their stories. Ever the pragmatist, Merpel points out (i) Smith is really rather a common name and (ii) does it really help Bishop to compare his children’s book to a story about assassins containing strong language and sexual content?


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RATS AND TROLLS RATS AND TROLLS Reviewed by Unknown on 23:42:00 Rating: 5

1 comment:

Rob Harrison said...

Of course some of the IP Kat's readers realised that the magic tree air freshener was an indication of source - the German Courts have been telling us for years.

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