"Corruption and illegality are unfortunately evident in the conduct of the economic and political class in rich countries, both old and new, as well as in poor ones. Among those who sometimes fail to respect the human rights of workers are large multinational companies as well as local producers. International aid has often been diverted from its proper ends, through irresponsible actions both within the chain of donors and within that of the beneficiaries. Similarly, in the context of immaterial or cultural causes of development and underdevelopment, we find these same patterns of responsibility reproduced. On the part of rich countries there is excessive zeal for protecting knowledge through an unduly rigid assertion of the right to intellectual property, especially in the field of health care".
"31 ... as regards the allegedly distinctive characteristics of the shape in question, ... an elongated shape is almost intrinsic to a chocolate bar and does not therefore significantly depart from the norm and customs of the relevant sector. Furthermore, the word ‘bar’ itself suggests that the shape of the product it describes is elongated. It is a shape which comes naturally to the mind of the consumer of mass consumption goods such as the goods concerned ...In other words, bars are bar-shaped and this is often the case with chocolate bars. The word "bar" makes people think of a bar. Other bars also look like bars, and some even have rounded corners. People who eat them don't study the top to see if there's a pattern on it and, if they do, they think it's decoration. Oh, and most people choose one bar over another because they read the label or identify the wrapper.
32 Secondly, the applicant’s argument that ‘applying rounded ends to an elongated rectangular chocolate bar is in itself unusual in the sector’ must also be rejected. ... many chocolate bars available on the market display that combination of elements. Furthermore, the applicant itself admitted in the application and at the hearing that there are other chocolate bars on the market which have a shape similar to that of the mark applied for. The applicant has not however shown in what respect those other goods are merely copies of the mark applied for in the present case.
33 Lastly, as regards the three chevrons on the top of the shape at issue, ... the Board of Appeal was correct to find ... that the average consumer of the category of goods concerned will perceive those chevrons, at the most, as decorative elements and not as a sign indicating the commercial origin of the product. The applicant has not established that the relevant consumer would pay particular attention to that characteristic or to the rounded ends to the point of perceiving them as an indication of the commercial origin of the product concerned. ... the end user will usually pay more attention to the label on the product or its packaging and the name, image or graphic design displayed thereon than simply to the shape of the product. Furthermore, as the product in question is sold in opaque packaging the consumer will generally see its shape only after having removed that packaging".
Secular Citizen brings news that the Hindu goddess Lakshmi has been converted into a brand ambassador for Burger King. Unsurprisingly there have been protests.
"The 'Texican Whopper' is an affront to Hindu sensitivities in its own right – it includes an all-beef patty, a beef chilli-con-carne slice, egg-based Cajun mayonnaise, all forbidden by strict Hindus. Some devotees would even be offended by the inclusion of onions which they believe inflame passions. But it is the depiction of Lakshmi which has provoked widespread anger with its suggestion that a Hindu deity eats beef".The IPKat wonders what is in worse taste: this tactless depiction or the burger itself. He is however mollified by the fact that he has learned a little about Cajun mayonnaise, a product of which he was previously ignorant.