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.