Monday miscellany

The current (April 2010) issue of Sweet & Maxwell's European Trade Mark Reports (click here for details) carries reports on various important recent trade mark cases, the first of which is an English translation of the ruling of the Court of Appeal of 's Hertengebosch in Revillon Chocolatier v Trianon Chocolatiers BV. This was a hard-fought trade mark infringement action brought by the owner of a three-dimensional chocolate twig trade mark and an equally keenly-contested counterclaim for invalidity. This drama has plenty to chew over: whether a chocolate twig is devoid of distinctive character; whether such shapes should be kept free for use by others; whether twig shapes are such as to give value to the product in question. The same issue of the ETMR contains the fascinating Battle of the Bottle, between Diageo, a leading company in the vodka market, and the makers of a non-vodka product called VODKAT.

In case you've not heard the news, the End of the World is nigh. Worlds, actually. This month sees the final issues of Trademark World, Patent World and Copyright World, all of which were once upon a time edited by IPKat team member Jeremy. In their place, from May 2010, comes Intellectual Property Magazine. The Kats have no further details right now, but will try to keep you up-to-date. Pictured, left, is the final issue of Patent World. It contains a highly interesting piece, "Sun Tzu and the Patent Trolls" by David Watenick (MD, Incremental Advantage), which was originally hosted on the IP Finance weblog this January (you can access it here).

The Romanian rock band Vama recently lost its legal battle against another rock band, Trupa Veche, over copyright infringement involving the songs composed during the existence of their common former band Vama Veche. While this sort of thing is almost routine in England, where old rockers, survivors of the '60s, struggle to remember what happened 40 years or more ago, this is the first time that a Romanian court has ruled on any copyright infringement dispute between two such bands. Three members of Trupa Veche sued Vama in December 2006 for performing the former band’s songs on tour without their approval. On 11 March this year the Romanian Supreme Court ruled against Vama on the infringement issue, ordered them to pay EUR 15,000 in damages and legal costs, and ordered them not to perform Vama Veche's songs without the authors’ consent. Source: Petosevic, 30 March.

With mixed feelings the IPKat announces the publication of Volume 35 of the Proceedings of the Hungarian Group of the AIPPI. The volume has plenty of good material, rendered into an accessible English by Danubia's Dr Tivadar Palágyi, and topics reviewed include Exhaustion of Rights, the increasingly controversial issue of genuine use of a trade mark, and the implementation of the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive. On the downside, this volume appears to exist on paper only, in a dowdy little green A5 format without even enough information on the spine to tell readers which volume in the series this is. The Kat respects his Hungarian friends and is not about to have a rant -- but he is telling them now that, if they want their hard work, careful legal analysis and patient writing to be read by anyone except themselves and a small coterie of friends, they should make sure that next year's Proceedings are placed online and that this fact be clearly stated on the printed edition (if there is one ...)
Monday miscellany Monday miscellany Reviewed by Jeremy on Monday, April 12, 2010 Rating: 5

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