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, 24 May 2013

Friday fantasies

Taking no chances: this is a photo
of Rihanna hiding behind the tree
on the left ...
Publicity-shy: no; publicity-conscious: yes.  Famed (or infamous?) US-based singer Rihanna is apparently preparing for a new career as a UK litigant, it being reported that the Barbados-born bombshell has filed a $5 million lawsuit against high street retailer Topshop. Rihanna claims that Topshop’s sale of a t-shirt bearing her image falsely implied her endorsement of both the product and the retail chain.  If the shirts had been sold in the United States, Rihanna would have a strong claim of violation of her right of publicity.  Topshop has retail stores in New York, California, Illinois and Nevada, and each of those states has some form of right of publicity law that protects an individual’s right to control how his or her name, image/likeness or voice is used commercially.  However, Topshop did not make the Rihanna shirt available in the US. In the UK, where the shirt was a sales success, Rihanna will have to bring her claim within the scope of a passing-off action, as did Eddie Irvine in Irvine v Talksport Ltd -- an action in which a motor racing driver whose image was wrongly used so as to imply endorsement of the defendant's radio service, famously stated that he "wouldn't get out of bed" for less than £25,000.  It is not currently known how much money Rihanna would not get out of bed for, but she might be a little disappointed at the quantum of damages awarded in jurisdictions outside the United States, where compensation is a trifle more, er, compensatory.  Adds Katfriend Miri Frankel, who spotted this news item: "who wouldn’t be distraught upon discovering an advert or a product featuring your own image, as happened here, here and here -- among other examples (click here for six people who had no clue their faces were world-famous)".


Around the weblogs.  First, here's a new blog on the block from distinguished US academic Professor Tom Cotter, called Comparative Patent Remedies.  This blog is the online continuation of Tom's recent book Comparative Patent Remedies: A Legal and Economic Analysis, which in turn extends his earlier co-authored book on the economic analysis of IP remedies -- a cherished copy of which happens to be in this Kat's possession.  Good luck Tom, we'll be keeping an eye on you.  Elsewhere there's a post with a link to a lengthy and powerful piece by Keith Mallinson, this being yet another highly persuasive account of the benefits attached to standard-essential patents (SEPs) and an equally convincing attempt to defuse theories that SEPs are harmful.  On the 1709 Blog, Ben Challis reveals the recent woes of the Center for Copyright Information, while on the Afro-IP weblog, we learn of the emotional roller-coaster that Isaac Rutenberg experiences when contemplating Kenya's Science Week. Finally, self-confessed opinionated and always entertaining IP blogger Michael Factor speculates as to whether the UK IPO's new IPO FACTO blog trespasses on the goodwill of his own similarly-named IP FACTOR blog, here.


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