The Onion is having some more fun with other people's trade marks. This time it's Dippin' Dots - a brand with which the IPKat is unfamiliar: the thesis is that, in the future, the earth's inhabitants will consume Dippin' Dots rather than traditional ice cream.
" ... dessert items are made by flash-freezing beads of cream with liquid nitrogen, then storing them in subzero conditions. People enjoy these treats with great regularity, and often remark upon how delicious they taste ...It seems to the IPKat that one way to gauge the ubiquity of the public's consciousness of a brand is to see whether it features in parodies, satires and humorous pieces aimed at the general public. The Dippin' Dots feature works well for US readers, but the brand is little known outside its home markets (see the brand's biography in Wikipedia).
Put down your crude melting desserts of churned animal's milk and embrace the glorious world of high-tech flash-frozen treats ..."
The IPKat says a big thank-you to his friend Kristof Neefs (Laga, Belgium), for sending him here also, on Ars Technica). This is all about AV v iParadigms, a Virginia District Court decision on whether students have rights to the material they hand in as class assignments. If they do, can they then sue iParadigms (owners of the turnitin automated plagiarism-detection operation) for infringing their copyrights when their works are uploaded not for the purpose of receiving a grade but for the purpose of seeing how many people may have already submitted the same assignment? And can iParadigms plead "fair use"?
In brief, Judge Claude M. Hilton rejected the students' claims. To use the service at all, the students had to agree to a clickthrough statement that absolved iParadigms from legal liability. The students' attempt to get around this by attaching a disclaimer to the material they submitted failed since the iParadigms scheme had no provisions for disclaimers. Arguments based on lack of capacity (the students being minors) and duress got equally short shrift.
What was the IPKat doing back in October 2007 when he missed the registration by Pfizer Inc of a Community trade mark for the word VIAGRA in Classes 01, 03, 09, 10, 16, 25, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 35, 41, 42 and 44. The large range of goods and services covered by this registration includes the following, which the IPKat offers without comment:
"Class 28: Games and playthings; ... decorations for Christmas trees.
Class 29: ... frozen, dried and cooked ... vegetables; jellies ...; edible oils and fats.
Class 30: ... tapioca, sago, artificial coffee; flour ...; salt, mustard; vinegar, sauces (condiments); spices; ....
Class 31: ... live animals; fresh fruits and vegetables; seeds, natural plants and flowers; ....
Class 32: Beers; ...; syrups and other preparations for making beverages.
Class 33: Alcoholic beverages (except beers).
Class 35: ... office functions.
Class 41: ... entertainment; sporting and cultural activities.
Class 42: ... design and development of computer hardware and software".