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, 3 July 2009

Birmingham to protect the Balti?; Google Book antitrust probe

Will Brum GI plan curry favour?

The IPKat is a little puzzled to read the news on the BBC that Birmingham City Council is pondering whether to get protected geographical status for the name Balti. A Balti is a hybrid British-South Asian curry, which is said to have originated in Birmingham in the 1970s. Unlike other curry dishes, they are subjectecd to high temperatures for the final 10 minutes of cooking. They are served in restaurants across the UK, without rice, in a special metal dish. While their Pakistani predecessor would have been slow-cooked and served on the bone, the meat in a Balti is served off the bone. The proposal has been welcomed by curry aficionados, who have expressed concern that recently the dish has been served on plates.

The IPKat thinks this smacks of protectionism. It looks like an attempt to turn back the clock and exclude others who are using the method of cooking from identifying it as such.


Google Book Deal - antitrust investigation

The LA Times reports that the US Department of Justice has notified the judge overseeing the Google Book Deal case that it is investigating the Google Book Deal for potential antitrust violations. The concern arises over aspects of the agreement in relation to orphan works. It would see Google being uniquely entitled to scan and distribute out-of-print works, arguable giving Google a monopoly on such works, and excluding other companies from similar practices.

The IPKat doubts whether this will be an easy decision for the DOJ. While the agreement may raise monopolistic concerns, the Kat suspects that the creation of the resource is such a massive undertaking that it might only come into existence if exclusivity is given.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi - Interesting fact for non-Indian/non-Pakistani readers: "Balti" is also a Hindi/Urdu word which means "bucket." Would there be any legal implications of this in the context of GI protection?

Anonymous said...

what a lovely thought... food served in a bucket

Anonymous said...

If "balti" means "bucket", considering the state of inebration in which such food is often consumed, one wonders whether this would be a denomination of origin...or of destination.

goldenrail said...

Breaking the chain here and commenting on the other part of the post -
Google Policy Analysist, Derek Slater, spoke a few weeks ago about how Google views Book Search as actually being beneficial to competition, by helping to identify the status of works and by creating the large database that anyone can use. More info on Mr. Slater's position can be found here: http://www.ipswhatsup.com/2009/06/copyright-war-summit-report-future-of.html

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