Cost of IP litigation; Buy the sponsor, change the brand

Last week this blog carried a post ("The cost of a good cigar case") on the escalating cost of trade mark litigation and the consequences of a law firm's failure to keep his client fully informed of the likely consequences of its continued participation - in this instance a five-fold increase in costs.

Right: Eiffel may be towering, but French costs remain low

Surprisingly there have been almost no responses to this, but Richard Milchior (Granrut) has written to tell the IPKat:

"In France, the trial or actual hearing before the Court at first instance and/or on appeal would have lasted between one and three hours. Unfortunately for French lawyers, even if the case would have become more difficult than expected, we would never have reached £1 million - and even £200,000 for a such case would be quite high".
The IPKat marvels at the ability of the French to deal with complex legal issues in so concise a manner. Merpel says, though, it must be a lot easier for the French to prepare their legal arguments, though: they're a lot less shackled by the precedental weight of earlier decisions.

Miri Frankel (Beanstalk Group) has sent the IPKat this news item from the New York Times concerning an attempt by NASCAR (the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, a US body) to prevent telecoms giant AT&T - which now owns the Cingular business - replacing the Cingular logo with its own AT&T logo on a racing vehicle originally sponsored by Cingular. According to the judge,

"the continued appearance of the Cingular brand on the No. 31 car, unaccompanied by any indication that Cingular now does business as AT&T, is likely to confuse NASCAR fans"
and AT&T had shown it would suffer irreparable harm from the loss of goodwill and exclusive rights to renew its sponsorship agreement unless the court ordered NASCAR not to interfere with the respray. The root of the dispute was the fact that NASCAR's race sponsor, Sprint Nextel, is also a telecoms company.

Says the IPKat, disputes like this should be eliminated before they blow up, through responsible and forward-looking drafting of the terms of the sponsorship contracts; if they're not, prospective sponsors may be deterred from underwriting good and/or popular causes. Merpel guesses that many high-profile instances of sponsors being taken over must have occurred in the past. How were they dealt with?

Stock cars here
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Scrap your wrecked car here
Cost of IP litigation; Buy the sponsor, change the brand Cost of IP litigation; Buy the sponsor, change the brand Reviewed by Jeremy on Monday, May 21, 2007 Rating: 5

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