For the half-year to 31 December 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie-Andrée Weiss.

Regular round-ups of the previous week's blogposts are kindly compiled by Alberto Bellan.

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

Making a stink over Pooh; Macdonald Duck naming ceremony

The IPKat received this delightful news item from Swedish IP academic Edward Humphreys: apparently Stephen Slesinger Inc. has petitioned the USPTO to cancel numerous The Walt Disney Company’s Winnie the Pooh trade mark registrations. Some 25 Pooh-related names are believed to be at risk, the ground of cancellatioan being that Disney "was not the owner of the registered marks at the time that these filings were made”. Disney unsurprisingly is opposing the petition, claiming it duplicates SSI’s request from an ongoing lawsuit between the two companies.

Right: Mr Pooh is taking news of his possible cancellation very bravely

History of the dispute here (scroll down to Ownership controversy)


At an “Inside Track Briefing Lunch” organised by managing partner Peter Crossley of ACID’s accredited law firm Hammonds, IP reform celebrity Andrew Gowers was the guest speaker. Attended by a small group of diverse stakeholders Andrew Gowers confirmed that both he and Government were surprised at the volume of responses from over 600 organisations to the call by the review body for submissions on intellectual property in the UK.

Photographed with Andrew Gowers (far left) is Dids Macdonald, Chief Executive of ACID (she won the right to name one of three ducks signed by Andrew Gowers, see earlier IPKat postings here, here and here). Dids seized the opportunity to remind him of her claim to the name “MACDONALD DUCK”, confirming the Duck’s intention that “ACID will keep design right afloat”. During the lunch Dids Macdonald explained to the group that for many thousands of SMEs it was still virtually impossible to (a) take action against copying and (b) seek help with enforcement. She suggested that design right should be added to the recommendation and implementation of Section 107A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 that copyright and trade mark infringement can be enforced by Trading Standards -- one of Gowers’ key recommendations. Andrew Gowers confirmed that the route forward to progress this request may lie with the soon to be created Strategic Advisory Body for Intellectual Property (SABIP).

Dids Macdonald is determined to secure a seat at SABIP’s table on behalf of UK designers who rely on design right, to pursue this and other lobbying objectives.

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