For the half-year to 31 December 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie-Andrée Weiss.

Regular round-ups of the previous week's blogposts are kindly compiled by Alberto Bellan.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Name change ... and strange name

With a grand total of 323 votes cast, the IPKat is now better informed with regard to readers' preferences for the name of the body that administers Community trade marks and Community designs from its beach bunker in Alicante. Voting was as follows:

* 112 (34%) voted for the neutral and descriptive name Trade Marks and Designs Registration Office of the European Union;
* 79 (24%) opted for IP Europe, by analogy with IP Australia;
* 56 (17%) preferred the exotic charms of OAMI, the Spanish acronym for the office's current name;
* 52 (16%) conservatively supported The Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (Trade Marks and Designs) (OHIM), this being the existing name;
* 24 (7%) bravely held out for The Brand and Design Factory.
There were also half a dozen write-in votes for 'OHIM' by itself, five of which were from prominent Britons. All of this goes to show that, while there's not much support for the current cumbersome name, there's little consensus as to how best to replace it.

Anyway, it's over to you, European Commission -- you can sniff out some genuine European talent and have some fun by holding competitions for a new name and accompanying logo, while incidentally raising the profile of both trade marks and designs in the European Union. And the Kats would like to offer their sincere apologies to the small number of souls who mistakenly believed that the poll discussed above was indeed an official one.


Spotify: a succinct explanation. For those readers who haven’t yet heard about the Spotify website (and remarkably the IPKat has never devoted any space to discussing it), it is an exciting development in the world of online music access. The IPKat's friend, IP enthusiast Rebecca Dimaridis explains: not only does it provide a free internet radio service, along with a streaming music player downloaded by the user, it also allows users in the UK, Sweden, France and Spain to purchase mp3s of albums and tracks from their download partner. In response to questions asked on the site, Spotify provides the following information as to the legality of its service:
“ We have deals with all the major record labels and indie aggregators to ensure that all artists who have music on Spotify are properly paid. http://www.spotify.com/en/work-with-us/labels-and-artists/
“Artists get compensated from both the ad version and premium version, the "Buy this track" feature sends users to iTunes at the moment and therefore is not part of our compensation to artists.”
The distinction drawn between Spotify and Napster is explained on the website as follows:
“napster was a file sharing software that had a media player integrated in to it wherein anyone could share/download anything they wanted (and had acquired by any means), spotify streams music that they have got the rights to from record labels”
The founder of Spotify, Daniel Ek, does not deny the challenges of making money from its website, and this report in The Guardian suggests that Spotify is likely to be hurt by the millions of pounds it is likely to incur in streaming costs. However Ek, who is not looking for overnight success, has stated his intention to be “to solve the complex problem of making money from music streaming” and notes that big success takes years to build. An admirable attitude, and this author hopes it leads to the success sought after. Adds the IPKat, if you want a really detailed analysis of Spotify's business model and its likelihood of success, you might want to take a look at Ben Challis's account of it here. Merpel wonders, why is it called Spotify? Is it anything to do with spots?

2 comments:

Mark Cruickshank said...

The Spotify name is a hybrid of the words "spot" and "identify" and is intended to be a reference to "simple and instant access to ‘spot’ and ‘identify’ millions of music tracks". There was a very interesting seminar held by the Scottish Society of Computers and the Law last week in Edinburgh at which Niklas Ivarsson, Director of Content at Spotify spoke on how Spotify had developed its business model and the challenges it faced to attract illegal file sharers into the realms of legal streaming/downloads.

Paul said...

I have been wondering how best to categorise the existing name "OHIM" and believe what it really stands for is "Office for the Hindrance of International Marketing."
(This is what comes of reading too many judgments of the Court of First Instance.)

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