Initial interest

With hidden cameras installed in
all hotel bedrooms, the cats took
in in turns to watch for illicit
raids on the minibar ...
The keenly-awaited trial and current tribulations of International Monetary Fund head Dominique Gaston André Strauss-Kahn have attracted copious quantities of media attention following his recent arrest for sexual assault in a New York Hotel. There has also been considerable speculation as to whether DSK, as he is conveniently known, should be relieved of his all-powerful role as a maker and breaker of national economies, and also as to whether it is merely the man himself who stands accused -- or all men, as personified by him. So great is the public interest in the affair that the celebrated French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy (or BHL, as he is conveniently known) has had to break with the generally-accepted practice of philosophers today and say something that ordinary people can understand in coming to the defence of his banking friend.

This episode is being watched with interest by more than just the curious public and concerned parties. An Italian company, DSK Srl from Milan, has registered as a Community trade mark (or CTM, as it is conveniently known) a logo (left) representing the now famous letters DSK for goods and services in Classes 2, 28 ("Games and playthings ...") and 40.

A Spanish company, Silver Sanz SA of Barcelona, has also registered as a CTM a DSK logo (right), this time for goods in Class 9: "galvanic batteries, fuel cells, batteries and accumulators and parts therefor; primary packs of rechargeable alkaline batteries; apparatus and instruments for charge surveillance and control of aforementioned goods".

The IPKat has been wondering about the impact of all this publicity for the IMF DSK on the other ones.  Clearly this is not the sort of event against which even the best standards and practices of IP portfolio management can easily guard.  One imagines that, on these facts at least, any attempt by the trade mark owner to cash in on the publicity would be regarded as being in bad taste -- but in different circumstances that might not be so, such as when the owner of a trade mark consisting of a three-letter figurative mark finds that someone who shares the same initials has just won a major golf tournament, been elected to high office or accorded some other high-level status.  Merpel says, if anyone was considering a marketing campaign based on bad taste, the descriptions listed in respect of these two marks would be easy to make use of.

More famous initials:
JK Rowling
PJ Proby
VS Naipul
EL Wisty
IP Kat
Initial interest Initial interest Reviewed by Jeremy on Thursday, May 19, 2011 Rating: 5


  1. According to various press reports this morning, DSK has resigned from his post at the IMF.

  2. What about TopCat ("close friends call him TC...")

  3. For somebody who starts his article with "I do not know...", BHL certainly shows many certainties.

    His article is outrageously slanted in favour of his acknowledged friend, the alleged perpetrator (whom he knows not to bear any "resemblance to this monster"), and against the alleged victim (about whom he "does not know" how she "could have walked in alone" and from whom she demands an answer "without delay").

    Presumption of innocence is a fundamental principle in justice, and it is indeed troubling to see people (any people, even those who don't have the questionable fortune of having BHL among their friends) lynched by the summary justice of the mass media. However, the attitude of BHL is all too redolent of the outrageous tolerance of a certain elite for their own, best exemplified before by the Polanski case (and Polanski isn't "presumed innocent": he was duly judged and found guilty before he decided to skip jail).

    Such a chummy attitude among the mighty and powerful is a slow poison for democracy, and a dangerous fuel for the kind of populist, resentment-driven movements that blighted the twentieth century.

    Whether BHL likes it or not, his friend is "a subject of justice like any other", and the judge has the right, and indeed the obligation to treat him thusly.

  4. Unfortunately, if you scroll down to the next story (on breadcrumbs) very slowly you may note that the image on the right seems like it might be rather apt to the DSK story... thankfully once you scroll further down you realise that the black line drawing is not what it at first appears, and is fully revealed to only be a mouse.... PHEW!


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