Friday thingie

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The IPKat's friend Mustafa Safiyuddin (DSK Legal, Mumbai) has been telling him all about a recent Bombay High Court decision, Parle Products Pvt. Ltd v Parle Agro Pvt. Ltd, which drew a distinction between a house mark and a product identification mark. The plaintiffs and the defendants, family concerns that shared a common ancestor, were known as belonging to the 'Parle group of companies' or 'the house of Parle'. The plaintiffs, who registered PARLE in Class 30 (biscuits and confectionery), used PARLE on their products as a house mark together with a distinctive and prominently-displayed product identification mark. The defendants, who registered PARLE for beverages in Class 32, used PARLE as a house mark for those goods together a prominently displayed product identification mark. After many years, the defendants diversified into the confectionery business, still using PARLE as a house mark on their packaging together with prominent product identification marks like MINTROX and BUTTERCUP. Facing an action for trade mark infringement and passing-off, the defendants contended that, having regard to the manner in which Parle has been used by both companies, the public always associated PARLE with 'house of Parle' or 'Parle group of companies', not with any particular entity within the Parle group. This being so, there was neither confusion nor likelihood of it among the consuming public: their use of PARLE as a house mark ‘stated no more than the truth’. Mustafa acted for the victorious defendants.

The now fabled Opinion of Advocate General Mengozzi in Case C-487/07 L'Oréal SA v Bellure (see IPKat posts here and here) is now available in the original Italian. Thanks, Andrea Tosato, for letting the Kats know.

Right: if you think that this spaghetti takes some untangling, try reading paragraph 84 of the AG's Opinion.

While on the subject of that Opinion, here's a fun competition. We've had two AGs' Opinions this week: one in Case C-487/07 (see previous item) and one in Case C-5/08 Infopaq (noted here), which discusses whether the storage and subsequent printing out of 11 words was a 'reproduction'.  Putting the two together, the competition is to summarise Advocate General Mengozzi's Opinion in Case C-487/07 in just 11 words.   The prize? Complimentary admission to the excellent one-day conference on Domains, Domain Disputes and Brands, chaired by the dynamic Shireen Smith and taking place on 25 March in Central London (click here for the programme details).  Entries to the IPKat here, please, quoting "Eleven Words" in the subject line.

An entire tribe of IPKat Guardian readers (IPGrauniKats?), led by the intrepid Tracy McManus, Jon L and Hugo Cox, has sent him this link to the news that intellectual property rights in the famous Maori haka war dance, the Ka Mate, have been given to Ngati Toa, a North Island New Zealand tribal group. The IPKat has no objection to this group being control over the dance in order to prevent the often offensive or trivialised unauthorised exploitations made of it by those who are insensitive to its cultural significance to the Ngati Toa. He just wishes that some term which is more apt than "intellectual property" could be found for rights of this nature.

From longstanding reader Simon Haslam (Abel & Imray) comes this link to news that, now that peace has broken out among the various interested members of the late Bob Marley's family, it is now possible to pay for a licence to use the name and image of the cosmic reggae star. This will doubtless come as a grave disappointment to those many entrepreneurs whose dedication to Marley was so great that they just helped themselves to the use of his name without making any payments at all.  Apparently, trade in unauthorised Bob Marley goods and services is worth a thumping US$600 million, almost as much as a banker's bonus ...

Friday thingie Friday thingie Reviewed by Jeremy on Friday, February 13, 2009 Rating: 5


  1. Could the haka case be viewed in terms of some kind of collective moral rights?

  2. The haka settlement letter can be found at

    The relevant text reads:

    Ka Mate haka
    39 The Crown proposes that Settlement Legislation will record the significance of the Ka
    Mate haka to Ngāti Toa.
    40 The Crown will work with Ngāti Toa in designing an approach to address the issues and
    concerns relating to the use of the Ka Mate haka that is consistent with the Crown’s
    response to Wai 262 and the policy objectives and future outcomes of the Government’s
    Traditional Knowledge Work Programme. This approach will reflect, but will not be limited
    to, the following principles:
    a to respect and give effect to the rights and interests of Ngāti Toa in relation to Ka
    b to strike an appropriate balance between the rights and interests of Ngāti Toa,
    users, and the broader public;
    c to ensure measures and procedures for the protection of Ka Mate are fair and
    equitable, accessible, transparent and not burdensome for Ngāti Toa, whilst
    safeguarding legitimate third party interests and the interests of the general public;
    d to recognise that the benefits of protection should accrue to Ngāti Toa Iwi rather
    than individuals; and
    e to recognise that special protection for Ka Mate should be complementary to, and
    not replace or prejudice the acquisition of, any applicable conventional intellectual
    property protection and derivatives thereof.
    41 It is the Crown’s expectation that any redress developed in relation to the haka ‘Ka Mate’
    will not confer on Ngāti Toa:
    a a right to royalties or other economic benefit from the use or performance of the
    haka by any person; or
    b a right of veto over the use or performance of the haka ‘Ka Mate’ by any person.
    42 It is the expectation of Ngāti Toa that the primary objective of this redress is to prevent the
    misappropriation and culturally inappropriate use or performance of the haka ‘Ka Mate’.

  3. the gingerbread ad can be seen at and the Fiat one at

  4. on related note to your maori story (NZ, copyright...), see this link about NZ harsh new law, and the response to it:


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