Guidance on TM examination

The IPKat notes that the UK Patent Office has added an addendum to the Examination and Practice section of the Manual of trade mark practice.

Rather sportingly, this provides a list of terms that may commonly be included in trade marks but which may be thought of as suggestive, and indicates what the examiner’s attitude should be to each of them.

The IPKat salutes the Patent Office’s continued attempts to remove the element of surprise from IP law.

Pierre Hugo is miserable

The IPKat reads in The Guardian that Victor Hugo’s great-grandson has failed in an attempt to prevent the circulation of Les Miserables. Pierre Hugo argued that Cosette ou le Temps des Illusions, in which the villain found in Les Miserables is recast as the hero (in the original he drowned in the Sienne), violated the ‘respect of the integrity’ of the original. Pierre Hugo said:

"I don't mind adaptations and many are very good but this book is not an adaptation. I have read it and it is not badly written but the publishers used Victor Hugo's name and the title Les Misérables as a commercial operation ... It was nothing to do with literature, they were just trying to make money."

However the French Court of Cassation said 'non'.

Victor Hugo died in 1885.

The IPKat says that this is clearly the right decision. Any other verdict would leave the public domain depleted, since authors would need to perpetually worry about harming the reputation of authors whose work copyright would otherwise allow them to use.

Have moral rights gone to pot?

While the IPKat is on the subject of French moral rights, he’s grateful to McGill CIPP’s IP News this Week Service for tipping him off that the artist who last year smashed one of Marcel Duchamp’s urinal statutes (blogged by the IPKat here) is claiming that his moral rights have been violated by the Pompidou Centre’s repair of the Duchamp work.

The IPKat is speechless.


  1. Ooooh, that's nice. Can I informally accept the salute on behalf of all involved here at UKIPO (formerly known as The Patent Office)in the production of the 'Addendum'.

    Don't forget everyone,it is just practice. Every case on its merits !

  2. In the Victor Hugo case, the Cour de cassation had sent the case to a court of appeal, which was charged to examine whether the follow-up to Les Miserables were infringing Victor Hugo's moral rights.

    The Paris appeal court ruled on 19 December 2008 that the books at stake («Cosette ou le temps des illusions» and «Marius ou le fugitif», by François Cérésa) did not harm Hugo's moral rights.



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