The European Commission has this week launched a Green Paper consultation on a potential extension of geographical indication (aka 'GI') protection to non-agricultural products.
This Kat finds this quite an interesting issue which the European Commission's press release of 15 July 2014 summarises the issue neatly as follows: "Agricultural products (e.g. cheeses, wines, meats, fruits and vegetables) from a specific geographical origin possessing certain qualities or made according to traditional methods may be afforded EU-wide GI protection (e.g. Parmesan cheese). However, non-agricultural products (e.g. ceramics, marble, cutlery, shoes, tapestries, musical instruments) do not to date enjoy unitary GI protection at EU level beyond national laws."
In other news, (German) media reports tell us that German F1 driver and football fan Nico Rosberg has now changed the design of his helmet after Fifa had gently advised him that use of an image of the Football World Cup trophy on his "celebration" helmet would in their view breach their "intellectual property rights". Nico, a good sport, will instead use 4 stars (representing the German 4 World Cup wins) on his helmet for the Hockenheim race on Sunday; see here.
German trade mark blog Markenblog.de has noticed the importance of the underlying legal issue(s) and a survey on the blog now invites its readers to decide whether Nico's proposed use of the trophy was indeed trade mark infringing. "Ja", "Nein" or "if in doubt will be decided by the Bundesgerichtshof" are the options. If you would like to cast your vote, please click here.