|IBIL: striking a balance|
|The IPKat getting ready for a glittering|
IP evening for a good cause
Around the blogs. Congratulations to Afro IP for roaring past 1,000,000 page views! See here for their latest post on the "Please Call Me" Concourt judgment from South Africa. The decision handed down yesterday concludes Mr Makate's 15 year fight against Vodacom. Makate came up with a method "whereby one could send a cell phone message to someone asking them to “please call me” at little charge. This was a useful invention in "the lucrative prepaid mobile phone market... when one ran out of airtime, which was often the case." Mr Makate relayed his idea to his manager, who agreed to give him a 15% cut of any profits resulting from the company's exploitation of his idea (which was conceived outside the course of employment). Makate's tenacious fight to be compensated for his intellectual creation looks set to pay off, as the invention is said to have earned Vodacom "billions."
|You know you are onto a winner when people|
claim you are infringing...
In the courts. An interesting trade mark infringement/fair use decision was delivered on 19 April from a Kentucky district court (Oaklawn Jockey Club, Inc. et al. v Kentucky Downs LLC & Encore Gaming) having to do, of course, with horse racing. Gamblers at a racetrack owned by Kentucky Downs were able to bet on digital re-enactments of famous horse races. The gambler does not know what race they are going to see until the bet has been placed (otherwise those who are versed in their horse-racing history would know the outcome). The Plaintiffs - various horse racing tracks - objected to Encore identifying their race tracks by name. The court found that "presenting the name of Plaintiff's tracks in plain words as the location of a race does not constitute trade mark infringement." Even if there had been a likelihood of confusion finding, the Defendant would have had a fair use defence as the Defendant had used the names of the Plaintiff's race tracks in a good faith and in a geographically descriptive sense. For more information click here.