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.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Monday miscellany

Of Cooks and Turnips. Scott Smith is a man with a mission.  Incensed that collection attorney David Cook was granted a US trade mark which conferred exclusive rights to the surname COOK for legal services, he decided to file pro se a petition to cancel it with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the US Patent and Trademark Office. While he was at it, Scott decided to take a pot-shot at another David Cook US mark, SQUEEZEBLOODFROMTURNIP.COM, on the basis that it's "immoral or scandalous" for a collections attorney to own such a mark (the petition to cancel can be read here). Merpel surmises that it's not such a bad idea for just one Cook to monopolise the word, on the basis that ... you've guessed it, too many Cooks spoil the turnip broth.

If you're only getting
one glass, it may as
well be a big one ...
This event is coming up so soon  that there's no point in listing it on the IPKat's special Fothcoming Events page: it's the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (ITMA) Seminar and Drinks Reception with the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO). This event is hosted by law firm Burges Salmon at One Glass Wharf, Bristol. Says Merpel: this presumably means that if you want a second glass, you'd better bring your own.  Full details, for those who wish to have an informal drink with an IPO examiner, are available here. If you miss this event, you can catch up with the itinerant ITMA reception circus a week later when it hits Glasgow in time for Burness Night (no mistake: this event is hosted by Burness LLP). This time there are no examiners to meet; presumably they are all drying out after the Burges Salmon bash the week before. There is however a theme: "To write or not to write? That is the question". Further details are available here.

In case you were wondering:
Michael Factor really does
look like this ...
Around the blogs. What message about the America Invents Act are the US judiciary sending out for foreign consumption? The IP Factor reports here on what leading US patent judge Randall Rader has been telling a sharp-witted and enthusiastic audience in Israel.  Still in the US, take a look at the Scrivener's Error, where a penetrating beam of creative criticism from the Kat's friend C. E. Petit shows SOPA in a whole new light. Over on the 1709 Blog, the delightfully productive Eleonora Rosati has been reporting on Kopimism and on Groovesharks.  Over on the IP Finance blog, fellow Kat Neil Wilkof muses on "gaming the patent system": what does this curious expression mean? On IP Tango, Patricia Covarrubia waxes lyrical on the concept of the Andean trout.  Meanwhile, writing for Afro-IP, Kingley Egbuonu admires Malawi's surprising link with Scotland. Finally, the IPKat and Merpel salute Dennis and Jason at PatentlyO on winning the ABA's Favorite Law Blog award for 2011 -- an award that, in the Kats' opinion, is well merited.


IPKat reader Kenneth Yip has a good eye for an eyebrow-raising news item. He tells us how, in the vibrant and ever-awake city of Hong Kong, a D&G shop has made the astonishing claim that copyright protection allows it to forbid the local members of the public to take photos of its window display from a pedestrian walk -- a privilege which is open only to luxury goods purchasers from China's mainland (click here for CNN report). Hong Kong copyright law has many fine provisions for the protection of authorship, but this is not apparently among them: shopkeepers and window-dressers have no such power. Is this another unfortunate example of how a few copyright owners abuse the law and give copyright law a bad name? A brilliant way to draw attention to the creative content of one's window display -- or another reason why the man in the street, especially if he is armed with any sort of mobile device that lets him take photos, deserves to know more about copyright law?

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