Friday frizzlings

This week there are several new events listed in the IPKat's superbly-updated 'Forthcoming Events' feature, which occupies a large slice of space on the left-hand side-bar of this weblog's front page. The number of events currently listed is 37. FREE events are listed in a cheerful blue.

From the IPKat's Greek friend Nikos Prentoulis comes information concerning a city in Turkey which rejoices in the name of Batman. According to Athens newspaper Kathimerini, citing Turkish news agency Dogan, the mayor of Batman has decided to sue the producers of the Batman movies for unauthorized use of the city's name. Apparently the mayor of Batman said that, if necessary, he would travel to the US to file the action. Are there, Nikos wonders, any decent IP lawyers in Gotham City?

If you missed last month's free Counterfeiting and Enforcement Seminar, run by the UK IPO out of the Coventry Techno Centre, England, you can at least enjoy a selection of slides and papers from the event by clicking here. Merpel notes a message at the bottom of the page that reads: "Please note that not all presentation slides are available". She hopes that this is not the consequence of a failure to obtain copyright clearance ...

Another IPKat friend, Swan Turton's Tom Cowling, sent him this link to the BBC's report on a curious little dispute between the New Zealand All Blacks rugby team and the tiny Launceston rugby club, which has applied to register as a UK trade mark the name CORNISH ALL BLACKS, since the team also wears a black kit. Says a spokesman for the NZ team:

"The New Zealand Rugby Union has, during the course of more than 100 years of test match rugby, built a significant reputation in the All Blacks name. In the professional era, the name "All Blacks" is a highly recognisable, and commercially valuable, brand, with the NZRFU relying heavily on it for its revenue which, in turn, is vital to sustaining rugby at all levels in New Zealand."
The IPKat doubts that the Launceton team will get away with this. Merpel, meanwhile, is chortling over the application. She notes that, among the goods for which the macho hulks of Cornwall want to register CORNISH ALL BLACKS, you'll find handbags ...

From another valuable informant, Kristof Neefs (Laga), comes news that the Belgian Constitutional Court (Grondwettelijk Hof/Cour Constitutionelle) yesterday gave judgment on a referral by the Court of First Instance of Courtrai. The question submitted to the Court was whether a levy for copyright on audiovisual media on blank recording media (eg DVD-Rs and CD-Rs) constitutes illegal discrimination by not differentiating between consumers intending to use the media to copy third party copyright-protected content and consumers who intend to record media in which they are the rights-owners or to store media that is not protected by copyright. The court has held that the measure is objectively justified by the legislative consideration that a levy taking the actual use of the recording media into account -- if such levy were feasible -- would be inefficient and impose an unreasonable administrative burden. The text of the judgment (in French and in Dutch) can be retrieved from the Constitutional Court's website.
Friday frizzlings Friday frizzlings Reviewed by Jeremy on Friday, November 07, 2008 Rating: 5


  1. The CORNISH ALL BLACKS mark specifies three classes, 18, 25 & 28, which are specified in UK registered trade mark 2362917 ALL BLACKS owned by the New Zealand players; they are on to a loser. However if they had filed the mark in Cornish they might have avoided conflict.

  2. Further to the hilariously misguided Batman lawsuit, don't forget there's a village in Nottinghamshire called Gotham. Perhaps that's where the Turks should file? Though it is pronounced 'Goat-am' and is, appropriately for this case, the origin of the sarcastic phrase "the wise old men of Gotham" who feigned madness to avoid what would have been a heavily taxed visit from the King in the 15th Century.


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