Ananova reports that Casablanca has seen its first real Rick's Café open its doors. The restaurant is named after the cafe from the 1942 classic film Casablanca,starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. The café is owned by Kathy Kriger, a former US diplomat and entrepreneur who worked at the US Embassy in Morocco's capital, Rabat.

Ms Kriger has invested around $1m (£600,000) in US and Moroccan funds into the venture. She claims to have studied the famous film extensively, to work the details depicted in the fictional cafe into her real one. She said that, if Bogart could come back, she would know where to put him. "I'd put him at the bar where I sit in the corner, there's a dark corner with a very cosy little lamp, and from that corner you can see who comes in the door”.

The IPKat marvels at the intellectual property issues that this simple venture raises. Morocco, a member of the Berne Convention http://wipo.int/clea/docs/en/wo/wo001en.htm since 1917, provides protection for literary and artistic works until the end of the fiftieth year following the death of the author: but does “artistic work” include the scenery for Rick’s Café? As to copyright in the film, is the making of a café from a film of a stage café a reproduction of a substantial part of the film itself? Is the name RICK’S CAFÉ registrable as a trade mark for restaurant services, given its heavy association with the Casablanca film? Finally, can Ms Kriger register the trade dress of the inside of Rick’s Café as a trade mark?

Other Rick’s Cafés here, here, here, here, here and here
A night in Casablanca here and here

“PLAY IT (AGAIN), SAM” “PLAY IT (AGAIN), SAM” Reviewed by Jeremy on Monday, May 10, 2004 Rating: 5

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