Friday fillers

Don't forget to check out the forthcoming events and dates listed in the IPKat's side-bar. Right now there are 60 of them! Some are free, some are fun, some are merely topical and essential ...

Thanks for the tribute -- but no thanks! Asianet reports that the Kerala Wildlife Department, India, dropped the name of legendary Australian television personality and wildlife expert Steve Irwin from the title of its crocodile park at Neyyar, Thiruvananthapuram, to avoid the charge of violating intellectual property rights. Irwin’s widow had threatened action. Said a spokesman for the park: "We meant it as a token of our respect for him and his work as a naturalist and conservationist". The crocodiles were not available for comment [thanks to Adam Smith, World Trademark Review, for the link].

Around the blogs. The IPKat and Merpel have been perusing a relatively recent and well-presented addition to the blogosphere -- Austrotrabant's Blog, a trade mark blog by the enthusiastic Maximilian Schubert. Good luck, Max, we wish you well! The Kats' congratulations are also offered to blogs that have reached some landmarks. The African intellectual property weblog Afro-IP has now secured its 250th email subscriber, and Fashionista-at-Law has welcomed its 200th.

The IPKat salutes John (formerly Peter, thanks to a speed-blogging typo) Brown, who has been recycled as President of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) -- he's only the third President since 1882 to have held the office twice. John promises to rally the troops in the battle to ensure that the organisation provides its customary exemplary service despite the various hindrances, however well-intentioned they may be, which have been imposed by a well-meaning government. Funny, says Merpel, recycling usually means 'green', not 'brown' ...

Family photo fun. The BBC reports that a St Louis couple, Danielle and Jeff Smith, were surprised to discover that their family photo -- which they used on a Christmas card and then posted on a blog -- was being used, withour authorisation, on an advertising poster for the Grazie supermarket, Prague. The owner of the shop has promised to remove the image, adding that if the family had lived locally he would have offered them a bottle of wine. The IPKat suspects that, if the family had lived locally, they would have told him what to do with it [thanks to David Goldring for this link]. For further speculation on copyright issues see The 1709 Blog here.

Battle of the quackers. This item reached the Kats via Brian Stevens (Schlumberger), to whom they express their grateful thanks. It concerns a dispute between two San Francisco boat operators, one of whom claims the exclusive right to the use of Wacky Quackers, duckbill-shaped kazoos that are played -- if that be the word -- by their customers in the course of bay tours.
Says the IPKat: while this article discusses sound marks as a species of trade mark, it misses a point that will instantly occur to European trade mark enthusiasts: if the distinctive sound in which the senior operator claims monopoly rights is one which is generated by customers, who presumably have some choice in the length, volume and pitch of their wacky quacks, the mark will be difficult, if not impossible, to portray in terms of graphic representation. Says Merpel, what about passing-off and unfair competition, then?
Friday fillers Friday fillers Reviewed by Jeremy on Friday, June 12, 2009 Rating: 5


  1. Peter Brown? It looks like John to me...

  2. I've been in the City (San Francisco) for a couple weeks now and haven't heard one quake. Maybe ducks aren't in season yet?

  3. Probably a good sign if you can't hear any quakes in San Francisco.

  4. Whoops! Thanks Anon. I meant quacks. (I did hear a quake, about a week or so ago we had one in the East Bay.)


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