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.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Friday fantasies

It's not every day that the IPKat brings news from a Saudi BOG but, courtesy of the Abu-Ghazaleh Intellectual Property Group's newsletter comes tidings that will warm the hearts of all true IP owners:

"Saudi Arabia has sentenced a piracy trader in a landmark judgment, the country’s Board of Grievances (BOG) [Merpel just loves this acronym] said ....  According to alarabiya.net, a Saudi court jailed the offender after a retail outlet and warehouse had been raided a total of seven times since 2006, resulting in the seizure of over 100,000 counterfeit products and several  [items of] reproduction equipment.

Each of the first six offences resulted in escalating fines. However, following the seventh raid in 2010, the Minister of Information recommended to the highest judiciary authority, the BOG, that the offender be imprisoned.

Saudi Arabia holds the highest piracy rate in the Gulf region at 60 per cent, the BOG said ... :

“This is a very important victory for anti-piracy advocates as it is the first-ever court judgement in Saudi Arabia resulting in imprisonment,” Arabian Anti Piracy Alliance Chief Executive Officer, Scott Butler, said ... “Pirate activities have already resulted in huge losses for the Saudi economy, with studies indicating that reduction of piracy rates could have potentially yielded up to $1 billion in GDP in the past two years. This clearly represents a huge incentive for the Saudi government to step up its efforts to break up pirate syndicate,” Butler added".
The IPKat is naturally impressed but wonders why no mention is made of the length of the detention -- and it is that which is most likely to determine its deterrent effect. Can anyone advise?


"As I know that you that you appreciate David and Goliath IP battles, particularly ones where the underdog wins", writes the IPKat's friend Lindesay Low (Legal Adviser, Scotch Whisky Association, Order of the Katpat), "I thought you might like this story that appeared in the Scottish Legal News": D & G Autocare, a motor repair garage business, was threatened by lawyers acting for the Italian design house Dolce & Gabbana when it applied to register its name as a UK trade mark for a range of motor-related goods and services. Autocare’s lawyer called Dolce & Gabbana’s bluff and a compromise was struck.  Like any red-blooded Kat, this blogger holds no particular brief for dogs, whether underdogs or overdogs: he was however delighted with the outcome.  Merpel says, by strange double coincidence, "D&G" looks quite similar to "DOG" -- and it also stands for "David and Goliath", the metaphor with which Lindesay introduced this item.


The IPKat has just been welcomed to the first issue of the ARUC Quarter Newsletter, covering January to March 2012. ARUC, as keen readers will recall, is the Association for Resistance to Unfair Competition, Ukraine's cell of that subversive organisation, the International League of Competition Law (LIDC).  There's some interesting material to be found here: not just local Ukrainian stuff but a review of decisions of the European Commission and the European Union's courts together with a feature on th very IP-flavoured topic of official sponsorship v ambush marketing.


Is China your cup of tea? If so,  the China Team of European trade mark organisation MARQUES welcomes you to its one-day seminar, "Brand Protection in China and Europe in the 21st Century - When West meets East to Join Forces in Brand Protection". Chinese officials and judiciary, international brand owners, major industry players in China and legal professionals will be on hand to present their thoughts -- in English -- on contemporary brand protection. The date is 15 June and the venue is Shanghai so, if you happen to be there, or not too far away, and want to enjoy a powerful and informative experience, you can get full details here.

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