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.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Pipcu prevails, counterfeiter calamities and now YOU can be a trade mark 'intern' on your smartphone!

With Easter now over, we begin another sacred event: the four day working week. To ease you into it, here is a trio of anti-piracy titbits of news and entertainment.
Pipcu prevails, pirates panic
Pipcu – The City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit – has scored a big hit in the eternal fight against online piracy, having forced a major file-sharing site to shutdown merely by sending it a threatening email, reports the BBC and Torrentfreak. Pipcu, in its own words, is an “operationally independent law enforcement unit dedicated to tackling serious and organised intellectual property crime (counterfeit and piracy) affecting physical and digital goods (with the exception of pharmaceutical goods).” Its focus is on online piracy. It has been running since September 2013, based in the City of London (for those who don’t know this is effectively London’s business centre).
Grumpy cat's expression is actually
a result of feline dwarfism
Pipcu has a number of initiatives underway, including its Infringing Websites Lists (or IWL), a blacklist of pirate sites it will share with advertising networks and agencies to discourage them from placing ads on the sites, thus depriving them of their major (if not only) source of revenue. Controversially, the list is not being made public.
It has also been writing angry emails to alleged infringing websites, including The Sports Torrent Network, a popular sports-focused bittorrent tracker providing links to downloads of football (or soccer to the Americans), basketball and Formula 1 events, amongst others. The emails have threatened police action if the sites do not respond although this Kat hasn’t seen the correspondence and so can’t be sure precisely of what offences the sites have been accused. The email sent to The Sports Torrent Network has apparently done the trick without any actual prosecution or even arrest having had to be made – it closed yesterday.
Brand owners baffled at counterfeiter calamities
Counterfeit products are no laughing matter for brand owners. But with thanks to Andrew Digwood for sharing this one, here is an amusing photo list of 30 such products that demonstrate a complete misunderstanding of trade mark law, an ingenious imagination or (in the case of number 20) a desperate need for an educational tour around a zoo. I give you Buzzfeed’s “30 Knockoff Products That Are Almost Better Than The Real Thing”, which includes this gem:
Courtesy of Reddit.com - a fruity line in fashion 
Now YOU can be a trade mark 'intern' on your smartphone!
If the long working days of the city trade mark lawyer simply aren’t long enough for you, or your blackberry just won’t flash its evil red eye at you as regularly as you’d like, help is at hand from indie game developer The Men Who Wear Many Hats in the form of the smartphone game “Intern Saga: Trademark Lawyer”. The game is a parody of, amongst other controversies, the trade mark battle over the word CANDY reported earlier in the year by the AmeriKat here. It sees you take on the role of an intern striving to pay off his or her student debt by sending cease and desist requests to developers uploading infringing games to a fictional app store. To give an indication of what the makers think of lawyers, the opening message tells you “This job is so easy a monkey could do it.” If you have an Android phone, find it here. If you have an iPhone, tough luck – Apple refused to approve it without giving much in the way of a reason: “The concept of the app is not the sort of app we want in the app store” Apple is reported to have told the makers.

Can you earn $100,000 to pay off your student debt?

1 comment:

Charles said...

The wonderful Dolce&Banana from South Africa reminded me of events in the breakaway republic of Scotland two years ago, when D&G Autocare sought to register their trading name, derived from David and George, as a mark.
"Dolce & Gabbana's trademark agents wrote to the Fife firm saying their application overlapped with their registered trademark and that it was likely that people could be confused between the two businesses." (http://ow.ly/w2Q5h)
In this same (not a)law report, we see a photographic portrayal of people wearing stylish overalls (http://ow.ly/w2QxW). Hence, one might be forgiven for assuming there was a Class 25 problem. Oh, no. Dolce & Gabbana had registered D&G in Class 12 as well, hence the clear likelihood of confusion with a garage in Fife :-)
P.S. Blogger's spellchecker recommends that 'Dolce & Gabbana' be spelt as 'Dolce & Banana' - which last will probably leave Dolce & Gabbana's TM agents going quietly gabannas.

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