For the half-year to 30 June 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Alberto Bellan, Darren Meale and Nadia Zegze.

Two of our regular Kats are currently on blogging sabbaticals. They are David Brophy and Catherine Lee.

Friday, 8 July 2011

More Friday Fantasies

A sign of the times?
Initial Interest Confusion is the title, and indeed the subject matter, of a half-day seminar to be hosted by barristers' chambers Hardwicke in the lovely setting of Lincoln's Inn, London.  The date is 7 September and it's one of those lovely little 11-to-3 seminars with a tasty buffet in the middle of it.  Participants in the seminar, which tackles initial interest confusion in its US, UK and European guises, are barrister Mark Engelman (Hardwicke), solicitor and Kat team member Annsley Merelle Ward (Collyer Bristow) and fellow solicitors Ben Allgrove (Baker & McKenzie) and Alice Gould (Wedlake Bell). IPKat team member and Olswang LLP's IP Consultant Jeremy will be in the chair.

Following an explanation of the doctrine's origins in the US, particular attention will be given to the implications of initial interest confusion for the use of trade marks as keywords, Mr Justice Arnold's groundbreaking judgment in Och-Ziff and the pre-trial and evidential issues which it raises.

You can get there and enjoy a coffee from 10.30am onwards. If you miss the morning coffee you can still collect the 3 CPD Points which are on offer -- and the cost, even including the eat-all-you-can-manage buffet lunch -- is a thoroughly modest £70.00 per person (inclusive of VAT).

To book your place, do get in touch with Lisa Pick by email or give her a call on +44 20 7242 2523.


Can you spot the genuine product?
If so, you're imagining things!
Another event -- this time one which is heavily backed by the Art & Artifice (AandA) weblog -- is this year's Handbags at Dawn: Intellectual Property in the Fashion Industry.  The date is 22 September and it's an all-day affair which is slated for Central London.  The brochure reveals that AandA bloggers Simone Blakeney (Clifford Chance LLP) and Rosie Burbidge (Olswang LLP) are speaking -- as is the IPKat's duo of the AmeriKat (Annsley Merelle Ward) and Cat the Kat (Catherine Lee). Fellow IPKat and AandA team member Jeremy is again in the chair.  AandA will be launching an IP and Fashion competition next week, so watch this space for future developments. Note for conference sceptics: this is the severalth time that this conference has run and each year it has been really enjoyable for speakers and registrants alike.  It's very interactive and is quite apt to stretch the imagination too.


IP scammers be warned:
we want justice now!
Those scammy so-and-sos who write letters to patent and trade mark applicants, masquerading as the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) or regional or national offices and seeking fees for non-existent services or valueless listings, have caused the IPKat to spring into action this week.  Faced with a letter demanding payment and giving details of a bank account which was held with a reputable and well-known bank, the Kat contacted the legal department of the bank concerned and asked what could be done about it.  The bank's legal department informed him that it had previously contacted various offices and  government departments.  One felt that, while they could issue notices to raise awareness of the problem, it was for the IP applicant to be vigilant. Another agreed, adding that you can't just take enforcement action at will: there are jurisdictional issues involved. A third made no response at all.  The bank in question, rightly conscious of its responsibilities, has commenced its own fraud investigations, for which it should be commended.  If this procedure bears fruit, this Kat promises to keep his readers informed.


In their cunning disguise, Bunglewart and
Muddleby could go about their daily job
of finding out whether IP is actually
worth anything without attracting the
attention of the business community
Two new reports, 'The Role of Intellectual Property Rights in the UK Market Sector' and 'Film, Television & Radio, Books, Music and Art: UK Investment in Artistic Originals', have been published today.  You can access them here.  Commissioned by the United Kingdom's Intellectual Property Office (IPO), they purportedly show that "investments made by businesses in products and services that are protected by intellectual property rights are worth £65 billion a year".  The IPKat is monumentally unimpressed with these reports, not because they are in any way flawed or inadequate [he leaves that sort of criticism to his readers, who generally always know better than he does on matters like this ...] but because they are at base irrelevant.  Whether the amount is £10 billion, £25 billion, £65 billion or £100 billion makes no difference at all to the decision of investors to invest, of innovators to innovate, of consumers to consumer or of entrepreneurs to entrepren.  Nor does it make any difference to two of the most important of factors to take into account: the decision of infringers to infringe and of consumers to consume.  Since (i) the amount spent on the administration of justice in the court, customs and police sectors and (ii) the amount invested in the institutional functionality of the IPO, the Office of Fair Trading, the Competition Commission etc is not affected by the aggregated national sum invested, what do we need these figures for? Surely it can't be to persuade ourselves, for the 8,967th time, that intellectual property is important and that we have to -- what's that phrase, again? -- oh, yes, "do something about it"!

nb More serious, detailed and respectful reviews of both reports will be forthcoming in due course.


A reader who endearingly describes this weblog as "admirably British" -- written as it is by a team of seven, of whom the preponderant majority are, er, non-Brits by origin -- has a request for information.  Although he is apparently a lawyer than an editor, he calls himself "Ed", but he has already been forgiven.  Anyway, Ed writes:
"Are any of you aware of any cases as follows? 
(1) Party A gives requisite consent for party B to register party A's name as a mark;
(2) Party B receives registration for mark consisting of party A's name;
(3) Party A later revokes consent for Party B to use Party A's name as a mark;
(4) Party A seeks to have registration for Party's A's name invalidated. 
I'd be interested in any such scenarios regardless of jurisdiction)".
The scenario has much in common with Edwin v OHIM, Elio Fiorucci and is not so very far from Safariland v OHIM, DEF-TEC -- but if readers can pinpoint any 'direct hits' our reader (who is not actually a Kat but does have the letters k, a and t in his surname) would be massively grateful.

2 comments:

Roland Mallinson said...

I can't immediately think of closer cases than those you cite to help your reader Ed but he might also want to consider the unregistered rights position. If any goodwill that Party B generated can be said to be owned by Party A (e.g. under implied licence), then Party A could stop any future use by Party B irrespective of the registered TM ownership position. They may also be able to cancel the registration if necessary, if the reputation had been established pre-TM application. If it hadn't or if Party B owns the goodwill, there's the potential for an impasse - qv the Interlotto case. Perhaps Party A can rely on Art 6septies of Paris Convention (s60 TMA) on basis that Party B is an agent or representative of Party A?

Anonymous said...

cld u pls post the PPTs like u did with the seminar on (c) in themes? tks.

Subscribe to the IPKat's posts by email here

Just pop your email address into the box and click 'Subscribe':