Class 46 weblog, Laetitia Lagarde brings news of an ever-so-recent bit of General Court jurisprudence on the registration of colour pairings as Community trade marks. Deutsche Bahn can't monopolise them, since they are distinctive neither by themselves nor in combination. The big question, it seems, is whether the funny colour that isn't red is "light grey" or "dirty white".
Ben Challis comes this report, "Superman' logo drug dealer jailed", about a drug dealer who used trade marks in order to differentiate his cocaine products. It wasn't his own brands he was using, though, but others: Superman, F1 and the Playboy Bunny, to be precise. According to the news item,
"A drugs kingpin who sold 1kg blocks of cocaine branded with Superman logos as a "trademark" has been jailed for eight years at the Old Bailey. Ashley Wiltshire, 31, led a gang which used presses to stamp images on the £50,000 blocks - also using "F1" and "Playboy bunny" symbols. Police seized drugs with a total street value of £500,000 at a youth club in Poplar, east London, in April and at a house in Loughton, Essex, in June. Wiltshire, of Romford, Essex, along with Larry Hammersley, 44, of Poplar, Jay Putinas, 25, of Woodford Green, Essex, and Daniel Vann, 32, of Ongar, Essex, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine.Sadly, though perhaps it's to be expected, the judge doesn't seem to have had any words of consolation for the trade mark owners. Perhaps DC Comics might feel inclined to move, says Merpel, since at least one SUPERMAN figurative mark is registered in the UK for goods in class 5, including "pharmaceutical and veterinary preparations" and, for the young at heart, "baby aspirin".
Hammersley was jailed for six years, Putinas for four-and-a-half years, and Vann for four years, following the investigation by City of London police. Judge Martin Stephens told the men: "You did it to make money quite unconcerned about the misery that the trade would bring to so many people."He said the operation to prepare and distribute cocaine across the South East on a "very substantial scale" was "sophisticated and professionally organised". "Not only cocaine and its necessary cutting agents were recovered, but also mechanical equipment especially manufactured to process and prepare the drug, even with its own trademark for onward sale to users," he added. Police said the money Wiltshire earned funded a lavish lifestyle of high-powered cars, designer goods and an apartment in a converted manor house".