Monday miscellany

Around the blogs. Masterminded by Christoph Roman Endell and his friends, IP Notiz looks like a promising weblog for German readers, and the Kats all wish it luck.  Meanwhile you can almost hear the corks popping as the MARQUES Class 46 weblog celebrates the acquisition of its 1,800th email subscriber.  The jiplp weblog reports that the subscription base for its associated journal, the Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice (JIPLP), rose a remarkable 11.1 per cent during 2010 -- not bad, considering the recessionary market conditions. The SPC Blog lists details of the two most recent references to the Court of Justice of the European Union involving supplementary protection certificates for patent-protected pharma products here and here.  Finally, another delightful thing to emerge from Canada -- along with this Kat's favourites Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Margaret Atwood and Mordecai Richler -- is Norman Siebrasse's new patent blog, Sufficient Description.  The Kat has seen enough here to convince him that this is a contribution of genuine scholarship and insight and he hopes that, like the famous folk listed earlier, Norman will attract and retain a loyal following beyond Canada's ample borders.

Lassi Jyrkkiö was first to break the news to the IPKat that lawyers for US pop icon Lady Gaga have threatened legal proceedings against the makers of breast milk ice cream named "Baby Gaga".  It is reported that the lawyers have given the manufacturers, London restaurant The Icecreamists Limited, until 1600 GMT on Wednesday to change the name if they wish to avoid proceedings for trade mark infringement and passing off".  In a letter no doubt inspired by the phraseology of the Court of Justice of the European Union in L'Oréal v Bellure (see post here and earlier posts from the IPKat), the letter from law firm Mishcon de Reya accuses The Icecreamists of "taking unfair advantage of, and riding on the coattails of" Lady Gaga's trade marks in a manner that is "deliberately provocative and, to many people, nausea-inducing".  The ice cream, said to be produced milk expressed by 15 women who replied to an advertisement posted on an online mothers' forum, has now been seized for health and safety checks.  Merpel says, noting some of Lady Gaga's dance routines on YouTube, wouldn't milkshakes be more appropriate?  The IPKat says, here's Pravda's take on the dispute.

The IPKat is happy to hear that, in the wake of his piece "Patent law and the workshop ethic" (here), bookings for such a challenging event have been buoyant. If you enjoy a good intellectual tussle with your topic, then this programme on Patent Validity and Infringement, coming up in London on 14 April, may just be for you.

Always on the look-out for cryptic clues contained in logos, this Kat thought he was really quite an expert.  He even spotted the hidden bear in the Toblerone logo. But now he must concede that pride of place goes to the Iranian government, which has identified the word 'Zion' (or possibly 'Zoin') in the logo for the 2012 London Olympics (left).  According to the BBC report, there is some bafflement at the British end: "An IOC official confirmed that the Iranian letter had been received but said: "The London 2012 logo represents the figure 2012, nothing else"". This is news to Merpel, who didn't even think it represented the figure 2012.

A blog with a difference, and one which the Kat would love to give more support to if only time permitted, is the Free Legal Web blog, which is part of a far wider vision of Nick Holmes.  The Free Legal Web movement seeks to help make law as easily, freely and publicly accessible as it should have already been a decade ago, and as intelligible as it should have been a hundred years ago.  This applies not just to IP law but to all law. The IPKat wishes it every success.
Monday miscellany Monday miscellany Reviewed by Jeremy on Monday, March 07, 2011 Rating: 5



    You'll never look at it the same way again

  2. Just to be clear, are Lady Gaga's lawyers arguing that their client has an exclusive right to be "deliberately provocative and, to many people, nausea-inducing"?

  3. In my opinion, the Iranian position is quite reasonable. The symboly used can be understood to read ZION. My suggestion to the NOC would be to scrap this awful logo which nobody likes.

  4. "the iranian position is quite clear"

    It also happens to be barking mad.

  5. No I think their point is that only Lady Gaga can use a name which is a rip-off. Hers apparently came from Radio Gaga..

    I have to say it's not the greatest name in the world (the ice cream)... why do something similar.. I mean reminiscent... I mean inspired... by Lady Gaga if it is supposed to be clever and satirical?

    Perhaps the Kat could start a competition for readers to come up with a new name for the icecream. Raspberry nipple? Titti Frutti?

  6. Re: Baby Gaga. Looks as though Westminster Council's food safety unit will get there before Lady Gaga's lawyers which, I for one, consider a great pity.

  7. "It also happens to be barking mad."

    If the different symbols are meant to represent "20" on the top line and "12" on the bottom line, they can just as easily be considered to show "ZO" on the top line and "IN" on the bottom line. Reading the whole by columns gives "ZION". I have no idea what the dot in the middle is meant to represent. To dismiss Iran's objections out of hand is unreasonable and in my opinion not in the olympic spirit of inclusiveness.

  8. Re Iran... it's purely a cognitive bias. I do not think that we should dismiss it out of hand, since I do not perceive that the complaint is motivated by ill-will or nefarious reasons.

    Unfortunately, it is a result of cognitive bias and the logo should stay. Let's leave it up to the diplomacy of the IOC.

  9. If you look the four chunks of the London Olympics logo long enough you will see that they can also be read as IRAN (the top letters being I and A, the bottom letters being R and N). I am astonished that this has been allowed to happen.

  10. A 2 is not an N.

    However, I've noticed that the number 42 is becoming increasingly significant in my life. I got on a number 4 bus this morning and there were two old ladies on the front seat. I arrived at work at 8:42. I opened the fridge and there were two pints of milk on the fourth shelf and four (exactly 4!!) different brands of yoghurt on the second shelf. Imagine my horror when I realised there were 7 items on my diary list for the day which related to 6 different clients. You can call it coincidence if you like but I know (I know!!!) that 6x7=42.

    Everywhere I look there is the number 42.

    did I mention that I saw my face burnt into a piece of toast this morning?

  11. The logo looks like a disjointed swastika.

  12. From the readers' reactions to that disjointed cubist blotch, I think London could have saved itself a lot of pennies by simply recycling any old Rorschach card out of a second-hand psychiatrist's playset. Everyone sees in it whatever they like. Why design a memorable logo for an event people won't care that much to remember afterwards, and which a lot don't desire?

    As far as logos are concerned, Montréal's 1976 design is hard to top, with the combination of an M, a racetrack and the Olympic rings.


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