|Taking a project to the next stage|
is never easy if you need to sleep
eighteen hours a day ...
What's this all about? In July of this year the BBG reviewed a major study, "The Impact of Lookalikes: similar packaging and fast-moving consumer goods", which the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) had commissioned back in 2010 in order to assess the harm caused to consumers and businesses which arose from competitors mimicking the packaging designs of familiar brands. Since that review [noted by the IPKat here], the BBG has been working with the IPO to reach a common understanding of what the evidence now tells us about the effect of such packaging. That common understanding is now available on the BBG's website.
This document, Issued by the IPO, identifies the following key findings:
4. The evidence exploring whether German unfair competition law provides a more advantageous regime for tackling lookalikes is inconclusive.
This Kat is tantalised by the bit about "the evidence exploring whether German unfair competition law provides a more advantageous regime for tackling lookalikes is inconclusive". Do we need more evidence, he wonders, or better evidence? And isn't the real problem when comparing passing off with unfair competition the fact that both have a sort of chilling effect in that they may deter some businesses from look-alike mimicry, but we can only measure both systems by what happens when business do emulate packaging etc, not when they don't?