Will Obama change 'Change Rocks'
The IPKat has learnt of another setback for US presidential hopeful Barack Obama. A university student, Stefan Doyno, has challenged his use of the 'Change Rocks' slogan, claiming that he has a registered trade mark over the phrase, which he uses on jewellery where you can indeed change the rocks. A visit to the USPTO's website reveals that the student does have a trade mark which was applied for in January 2005 - two years before Obama announced his candidacy.
According to the student's lawyer
"Mr. Doyno would be more than willing to grant Mr. Obama a license on quite favorable terms to use the Change Rocks trademark in connection with products other than jewelry...Mr. Doyno is far more interested in exploring possible synergies ... than he is in preventing Mr. Obama from using the mark in connection with his campaign."
Obama's campaign has rather sweetly answered
"We invite him to be part of our grassroots campaign. He can come down and volunteer and wear his T-shirt [which features the 'Change Rocks' slogan]."
A spokesman also notes that no memrobillia has been sold under the slogan.
The IPKat reckons that Donyo would do well to remember that a trade mark registration doesn't give you a monopoly over every use of the phrase which constitutes your mark. However, he's secretly hoping this one will go all the way to court and give us a juicy case about the status of political uses of trade marks.
UK plc - change in IP personel
The IPKat may well be the last to have learnt that Lord Triesman, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department for Innovation responsible for IP is to become the Football Association's first independent chairman (see the BBC article here). Being part of the government is somewhat incompatible with being independent and consequently he will step down from this position.
The IPKat wishes Lord Triesman well in his new post, but feels it's rather a shame that he's leaving so soon after taking up the job. Merpel adds 'giving up IP for football - he must be mad!'