Great Scott!

All but the IPKat's most recent readers will recall his post earlier this month about the sad saga of Wal-mart's UK presence Asda not being able to face an early date for a trade mark infringement trial because its legal team from Pinsent Masons was busy filling shelves as part of a getting-to-know-you exercise for its giant client.

The IPKat, having wondered what Asda would have to make its shoppers pay if it charged its shelf-stackers out at their usual hourly rates, then let Merpel have her way by running a caption competition. Merpel offered a copy of the just-published 9th edition of the Butterworths Intellectual Property Law Handbook for the best law firm-related caption to go with the Asda staff photo below, generously opening the competition even to employees of Asda and Pinsent Masons.

Here are the best entries:
* "Try our fresh Pannone! Rain-drenched in Manchester, they sparkle with entrepreneurial zeal! Only half the price of regular brands" (Mark Anderson)
* "To the right, lawyers for the defendant stand proudly by their prize for preparing the best defence for their clients. To the left, lawyers for the claimant ... who clearly didn't go to Specsavers" (Dinusha Sirisena)
* "Asda launches new product line: BOGOF solicitors" (Anon)
* "Should have gone for Penguins ..." (Steve Kuncewicz)
* "Pinsents' employees of the month enjoy their reward of 3 days stacking shelves at ASDA - 'beats being in the office, they chimed in unison'" (Michael Burdon)
* Woman in red: "It was either here or an NQ position at Lovells" (Gilman Grundy)
* "Hard-up Asda lawyers receive payment in first-of-its-kind 'no win, no TV' conditional fee agreement" (Scott Roberts)
* "Prices so low you can't even see them" (Jeremy Pennant)
* "Asda's in house legal team send a clear message on fees to their external legal advisors" (Ben Mooneapillay)
There were some other very funny entries which, alas, couldn't be listed. Three were definitely defamatory, one might well have been, two were a bit too rude for a blog which prides itself on being good reading for all the family. There were also a couple of entries that were very long and so unfunny that they could have been written by Ibsen -- which made them very funny but not for the right reason. Merpel, who has not been tasked with judging a competition on this blog before, found it difficult to decide between them. In the end she opted for Scott Roberts' entry. Well done, Scott, a copy of the prize will be winging its way to you later this week.
Great Scott! Great Scott! Reviewed by Jeremy on Monday, November 16, 2009 Rating: 5


  1. I am slightly disappointed: I do not really think the captions you have found are funny at all. Now, the task set was not very precise, it did not even say that the caption had to have a bearing on the situation that ASDA finds itself in. However, we were told that the four persons were members of a legal team.

    In 1987 I pinched a laminated and office copier made sign from an ASDA trolley. Bad me. The sign said "it ASDA be George". I could only guess that this was a slogan, not being a resident. Probably nobody remembers it except me, but then I am a George.

    This was at the back of my mind when I entered a caption in the competition, absolutely unbeatable in my view, because it summed up the legal profession (with a female partner and all):

    "George, George, George, and George, LLC" -- it ASDA be George.

    Now only a bad loser, I see that my caption does not even get a mention. And I did not win the desirable 9th edition of the Handbook (probably left over when somebody acquired the 10th, even more recent). I suppose I could have used my caption 20 years ago when the slogan was fresh in prospective customer's and legal minds. But except for Jeremy nobody was around to make competitions then.

    Kind regards,

    oh, a bad, bad loser, indeed!

  2. For what its worth, I think your caption is very funny George!

  3. A pat on the back! Thank you, it warmed my heart. To be quite honest, Jeremy thought it was very funny, worthy of the IPKats, when he acknowledged my entry. But it ended up as an 'alas', because I can't see it was defamatory, or rude for that matter. And Ibsenesque it was not, probably more Shavian.

    Kind regards,

    George (not related to the law firm)


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