For the half-year to 30 June 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Alberto Bellan, Darren Meale and Nadia Zegze.

Two of our regular Kats are currently on blogging sabbaticals. They are David Brophy and Catherine Lee.

Friday, 27 June 2008

Friday flings

The IPKat's 'Forthcoming Events' feature, which you will find in the left-hand side-bar of this weblog's front page, contains some fresh entries which you may not yet have seen. Don't forget to check them out.


Judging by his post-box, the IPKat guesses that most of his readers spend their time between posts on this weblog in hunting down the latest news of the Naked Cowboy and his dispute with Mars over its M&M advertising (see earlier post here). Well, there have been developments. To recap, Naked Cowboy Robert Burck sued Mars Incorporated, objecting that the company had misappropriated his image by outfitting the image of a dark blue M&M confection with boots, hat, underpants and a six-string guitar, deploying this image in animated cartoon which it ran on two video billboards in Times Square, New York.

Right: Naked Cowboy -- nonsuited in his privacy claim

Judge Denny Chin (United States District Court, Manhattan) has ruled that his privacy rights have not been infringed: the law protects the “name, portrait or picture of a living person” but not a character created by a person — no matter how famous he might be. However, he has been permitted to press ahead with a separate cause of action in respect of his trade mark rights, on the basis that "consumers seeing the defendants’ advertisements would conclude — incorrectly — that he had endorsed M&M”.


The IPKat has received from many sources (for which he says "thanks") the news that an Israel Boycott Declaration will no longer be required from anyone applying for trade mark, patent or industrial design protection in Syria, following the issue of Directive 4964/1 on 4 June. The effective date of this reform has not yet been indicated.


This may not change your life, but Commission Regulation 606/2008 of 26 June 2008 amending Regulation 831/2002 implementing Council Regulation (EC) No 322/97 on Community Statistics, concerning access to confidential data for scientific purposes has just been published online in the European Union's Official Journal.

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