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.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Monday miscellany

News from Eleonora: a competition -- and a course.  A lot of readers of this weblog were away last week when fellow Kat Eleonora posted this item on the contest she is running, which carries the generous prize of free registration (worth £239) for this year's Copyright and Technology one-day conference on Wednesday 1 October in which she is participating.  To enter the competition, all you have to do is create an artistic work, whether a photograph or something more challenging, that best reflects the relationship between copyright and technology.  But that's not all: ever creative in her own right, Eleonora has just come up with another of her highly-rated bespoke copyright courses, masterminded via her e-LAWnora copyright consultancy.  On the afternoon of Wednesday 24 September, she offers "The Fabulous World of EU Copyright: what's (just) happened and what will be next".  Tickets are limited but, in response to consumer demand, the course can be followed through the simple expedient of live streaming.  Click here for details.


Around the weblogs. "Mirror, mirror on the wall, who has the biggest banana of them all?" No, Ben Challis hasn't taken a sudden interest in plant breeders' rights -- this is the title of his most recent CopyKat feature on the 1709 Blog.  Zooming off to Djibouti, Afro-IP happily reports on the restoration of the ULKER BISKREM trade mark to its rightful Turkish owner, after it was hijacked by a bad faith application by a local business. Now crossing the Atlantic to Canada, we ponder -- along with Katfriend and fellow blogger Howard Knopf -- whether Canada is to blame for Europe's current spell of unsettled weather impetus towards copyright reform [Merpel enjoys the idea of blaming the former colony for the woes of its one-time British and French masters, since it's usually the former colony that does the blaming ...]. Finally, Tomasz Rychlicki, writing on Class 46, discusses recent Polish jurisprudence on whether a law criminalising the affixing of a trade mark on counterfeit goods applies also to trade marks for services.


Great campaign, shame about the rubbish brands ... "City’s anti-littering ad campaign pulled due to trademark issues" is the title of a staff article published by CityNews, Toronto, and spotted by Chris Torrero (katpat!)  This piece reads, in relevant part:
"... Livegreen Toronto had launched a clever marketing campaign to shame litterbugs in the city. The ads, which featured insults put together with pieces of garage, were posted on various sites ...  Some examples include a Du Maurier cigarette pack and a Red Bull combining to say “Dumb,” a bag of Lays chips and packaging from Crazy Glue put together to read “Lazy,” and a Reese’s Pieces wrapper with a Gatorade bottle to make “Pig.” The ads were set to be put on the sides of buses and in newspapers.

City spokesperson Siobhan Ramsay said the city launched the campaign earlier this month, but it was “discontinued” over trademark concerns. “Concerns were subsequently raised by various companies about the use of their trademarks and the potentially negative effect that this campaign might have on their brands, even though the affected companies have indicated their support for the City’s anti-littering initiatives,” Ramsay said .."
A good try, thinks Merpel, who wonders what would have happened if the City had dug its heels in and decided to persevere with the campaign.  After all, it's not as if the municipality was actually selling anything, and there can be few consumers who are reluctant to carry on purchasing a branded product on the basis that they've seen it in an anti-litter campaign (or as real, live litter, come to think of it).

1 comment:

James Wagner said...

It might have been a bit of an uphill fight for the City had they persisted.

The brands do seem to be recognizable (that's part of the point of the campaign), and are being used in an arguably disparaging light (a key feature of the campaign).

Disparagement of a registered mark (which most of these likely are) is prohibited by S. 22. (1) of the Trade-Marks Act:
No person shall use a trade-mark registered by another person in a manner that is likely to have the effect of depreciating the value of the goodwill attaching thereto.

Unlike copyright, no fair dealing defense applies.

Subscribe to the IPKat's posts by email here

Just pop your email address into the box and click 'Subscribe':