Evidence of lack of evidence of confusion? Latest IJLIT

Evidence of lack of evidence of confusion?

The IPKat's eagle eye spotted Lunan Group Ltd v Edwin Co Ltd, which was lurking on LexisNexis Butterworth's subscription service. It's a 14 December 2006 decision of Alan Steinfeld QC, sitting as a deputy High Court judge. So what's it all about?

Lunan, who owned the trade mark FIORELLI, applied to register it for glasses and sunglasses in Class 9, watches and jewellery in Class 14, bags, unbrellas and small leather goods in Class 18 and clothing in Class 25. Edwin opposed, saying FIORELLI was confusingly similar to its own earlier registered trade mark FIORUCCI. Both marks were in use in the fashion/designer goods market. The hearing officer upheld the opposition and Lunan appealed, maintaining that there was evidence, based on parallel trading, that the business's respective goods had been traded for a significant period in the same market without generating any actual confusion.

Judge Steinfeld QC allowed the appeal. In his opinion the evidence of parallel trading in the two marks in what was substantially the same market was critical and the hearing officer should have taken it into account. In the light of that evidence it could not possibly be said that there was a likelihood of confusion between the two marks.

The IPKat may have got this wrong, but from the note it looks as though the evidence following the parallel trade was regarded as evidence that there was not evidence of confusion. Or is he just getting a little confused himself?

Confusion here and here
Replace boredom with confusion here
Confuse a cat here

Latest IJLIT

White and gleaming, the current issue of Oxford University Press's International Journal of Law and Information Technology has now been published. It must be a reflection of global warming that this issue, despatched in mid-December, is described as "Autumn 2006".

Left: nano-biotechnology - not leaving the little to the imagination?

The first of two articles that most caught the IPKat's eye was "Software Patents - Boon or Bane for Europe?" by Andreas Grosche, an article that raises a wide spectrum of issues and which is worth reading even if you're British and think the world starts afresh after the Aerotel/Macrossan ruling of the Court of Appeal (on which see the IPKat and a number of his correspondents here). The other eye-catcher is Georgios Zekos' "Nanotechnology and Biotechnology Patents", if only because he'd never have thought of looking in a journal of information technology law for an article on nano/biotechnology patenting.

Full contents of this issue here
See who's on the Editorial Board here
Get your free sample here
Evidence of lack of evidence of confusion? Latest IJLIT Evidence of lack of evidence of confusion? Latest IJLIT Reviewed by Jeremy on Monday, December 18, 2006 Rating: 5


  1. Jeremy, half the field of nanotech is devoted to information technology in general, and probably half of that to bioinfotech in particular!

    Nanotech is all about the very small. A huge part of IT is cramming enough stuff in as small a space as possible - where stuff equals information, and information is expressed in some physical way. Once you get small enough, essentially everything is "information". My wife's been working on quantum dots for instance for use in labelling of nucleic acids for single molecule florescence, a reasonably hot field at the moment that could fairly be chracterized as mostly in the stage of patent-preparation and examination, but not publication. Looking an single molecules is as small as current technology can envisage for information purposes, and it is harder to imagine a more information-packed molecule than a strand of DNA.

    (There is something of a philosophocal point here. When you start using molecules for their information content as opposed to other physical properties, they are no longer "a molecule like any other", if I have mo quote (CAFC) correct, and their patentability needs to examined in a different way in recognotion of this)

    Regards, Luke Ueda-Sarson

  2. I can't say I agree, I'm afraid. The reasoning by which you designate nanotechnology a branch of information technology could effectively deem many other areas of technology to be IT too. Surely it's not the size of something that determines whether it's "information".


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