From March to September 2016 the team is joined by Guest Kats Emma Perot and Mike Mireles.

From April to September 2016 the team is also joined by InternKats Eleanor Wilson and Nick Smallwood.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Brown epilators? There may still be one in Albania

Don't even think it ...
Some people are embarrassed at having excess hair, or at any rate at having hair where they would rather not be seen to displaying it. This is why epilators are so popular. Other people, this Kat guesses -- since felines and epilators are not best friends -- are more concerned that their domestic and personal appliances should match, or at least be colour-coordinated.  Now, epilators come in a range of colours, but a casual inspection of the Image facility of a well-known search engine suggests that they are usually pink, mauve, white, silver or (presumably to mask any spillage of blood) red -- but never brown. Imagine the excitement, then, of a prospective purchaser who is seeking a brown epilator and learns that you can get them in Albania. But imagine their disappointment too. This Kat's friends at Petosevic explain:
On January 23, 2015, the representatives of Petosevic Albania and the local customs authorities organized and witnessed the destruction of 119 fake “Brown” epilators, found to infringe trade mark rights of Braun GmbH, one of the world’s leading designers, developers and sellers of small electrical appliances.

The prior art
The Albanian Customs detained the epilators marked “Brown” on October 27, 2014. They originated in China and were intended for the Albanian market. Braun GmbH is the holder of the customs watch application for Braun stylized word mark, approved by the Albanian Customs in 2011. Guided by the risk that the epilators might infringe the IP rights of Braun, the local customs authorities informed the right holder of the detention.

Following Braun GmbH’s approval and with no objections from the importer, the goods were destroyed through the simplified procedure. The epilators were smashed with a hammer at the customs premises in Tirana and the leftovers were taken to a local landfill [smashing epilators with a hammer is a 'simplified procedure' too -- but the one referred to here is a simplified legal procedure].
Merpel thinks she can explain the deep and meaningful significance of there being 119 fake epilators.  Almost certainly, since even dealers in fakes are usually tidy-minded businessmen, there were 120 to begin with, but whoever was bringing them into Albania kept one for him/herself or a significant other.  Whatever happened to it? Merpel's not sure, but if you are in Albania you may find that you can hear the sound of distant screaming ...

This Kat is pleased to see that Albania is getting its act together when it comes to dealing with imported infringing goods. It's nine months now since that country became a candidate for European Union membership and it looks as though it's making progress.

Get rid of unwanted hair here
Get rid of unwanted hare here

2 comments:

Roufousse T. Fairfly said...

Your choice of picture for prior art reminded me of the type of cases used for training at the EPO.

A notable example was the Epilady case, which was the object of much litigation.

IIRC, the opponents rustled up a document describing a device for skinning hogs (a rotating spring grabs the hair and guides a cutting disk under the hide). Another one could have been an implement for plucking chickens.

The discussion hinged on the point of whether the skilled person in personal grooming would be inspired to borrow from meat packing or poultry preparation technology.

I believe I was wondering if I had landed in some kind of madhouse...

Poilu said...

What if the customs employees don't epilate? How are they supposed to know about Braun?

However, owing to my own painful experience of counterfeited brand shoes in that country, I personally welcome the simplified procedure :)

Subscribe to the IPKat's posts by email here

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