|Mata Hari: shot by the French for espionage.|
In modern times, would she have been an
The rest of the release is taken up by a reminder from Antony Gold (Eversheds) about the scope for protection and IP abuse in the automotive industry. Antony concludes: " ... some very valuable rights - such as confidential information/trade secrets and unregistered rights like design rights - are notoriously difficult to define and protect. In any environment whereby the obtaining and misuse of precious know-how can lead to potentially enormous commercial advantage, concerns about espionage are bound to arise". Registered rights are difficult to define and protect too, says the Kat -- look at the automotive industry's attempts to protect the shapes of cars and their accessories through the use of registered Community and national designs over the years [visit Class 99 and search for 'car'], as well as through trade mark registration. But if things are difficult for Renault to protect, that means it's easy for Renault to appropriate other people's assets -- even their personal names.
Merpel is much taken by the reaction of French Industry Minister Eric Besson, who warned his patriotic nation that it was facing "economic war" following this episode:
"Unfortunately, the affair appears serious [unlike, presumably, those which the Minister is said by his former wife to have had over the past 30 years with "interchangeable mistresses"]. The expression 'economic war', while sometimes outrageous, for once is appropriate".M. Besson is at least consistent on the subject of protecting secrets, having called for WikiLeaks to be banned from using French servers [Hmm, says Merpel, some of us don't have the option of being banned. Do you know how difficult it is for a cat to get served in a French restaurant?]. But whose secrets are they? While patriotic French readers will be confident that they are the product of creative French minds -- along with the croissant, Brie and the magnificently non-Renault 2CV -- the Japanese will tell you that all the creative work came from them, via Renault-held Nissan's white-hot technological expertise.
Strange, isn't it, says the IPKat: in the olden days "suspension" meant part of the car, and you were in for a bumpy ride if it didn't fulfil its function properly. Now it's what happens to executives who don't fulfil their function properly ...
Sylvie Brunel (ex-Besson's) book here
Mata Hari here
The secret croissant here
Obvious choice of lawyer in case of an automotive dispute here