No love lost in Barrow

The IPKat is rather amused by the dispute between Barrow and Blackburn Borough Councils reported in the North West Evening Mail. On 23 May, Blackburn launched its new logo - a green 'B' with the bottom part of the B elongated so that the logo represented a heart on its side and the word 'Blackburn'. The trouble is, in 17 March Barrow had launched its new logo for its 'Love Barrow' campaign - a pink'B' with the bottom part of the B elongated so that the logo represented a heart on its side and the words 'Love Barrow'.

Barrow is none to pleased and appears to be thinking of infringement action. Unfortunately, it's not clear to the IPKat what that infringement action will be. Here the article takes a turn which IP lawyers won't like too much. Barrow Borough Council's regeneration officer notes that Barrow will have automatic copyright protection but adds that the mark has been registered with the UK Copyright Registration Service. The article goes on to note that there are 'two ways to copyright a trade mark' and notes that it doesn't matter whether the copying is coincidental or not, so long as there are substantial similarities.

The article also records that Barrow paid £140 for their logo, while Blackburn paid £60,000. The designer of Blackburn's logo is recorded as having said "Ours is more wide ranging, and I think looks a lot better.”

The IPKat is appalled at the levels of inaccuracy in this report, particularly since some of the statements seem to have come from a lawyer. He would be very surprised if a council would spend £60,000, only to copy another council's logo. Apart from anything else, the two regions aren't that far apart, and a similar logo would (a) be found out very quickly and (b) wouldn't have the distinctiveness that a good advertising campaign would need.
No love lost in Barrow No love lost in Barrow Reviewed by Unknown on Thursday, July 31, 2008 Rating: 5


  1. Well, I'm sure Copyright Enforcement Officers from the UK Copyright Registration Service will be conducting a raid on Blackburn Council as soon as possible.

    Though I am trying not to think of what a "love barrow" might look like, or what its function might be......

  2. I understand that a "love barrow" is a larger version of the "love handle".

  3. On the subject of bad media reporting of IP issues: I was recently quite annoyed by the BBC News coverage of the Cornish Pasty Association's application for a PGI. The rolling headlines on the bottom of the screen proclaimed that the 'Cornish Pasty [was] to be trademarked' and that the 'Move will stop copycats from stealing the recipe'...


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