Wednesday whimsies

From one of the IPKat's readers comes a request for information which requires some crowd-sourcing Kat-style. He writes:
 "A few days ago I was at the Ludlow local produce market where I bought a pat of very nice butter from one of the local farms. The stallholder told me that the pattern pressed into the top of the pat represented a ploughed field and had been the trade mark of butter from her farm for at least three generations. The stallholder’s mother then told me it was common practice in years gone by for less successful buttermakers to take blank pats to market, see what was selling and impress that mark on their butter"
Do readers know anything about this practice? While it may be of historical interest, in an age of so-called non-traditional trade marks we might expect other soft products, in particular ice cream, from being branded by impression -- in which case it would be good to be aware of devious practices like that mentioned here.  Merpel says, if a person sends useful to this weblog he gets a katpat. But if a person turns cows' milk into butter, does he get a cowpat?

Merpel wanted to show a
picture of the Darjeeling
thong, but it wasn't visible ...
Tea and titillation, or why you can't dilute Darjeeling tea in Taiwan.  These are not the words of the IPKat, but of Shaoli Chabrakbarty, writing in The Telegraph to report on the triumph of Darjeeling Tea Board over Delta Lingerie before the Taiwan Supreme Adminstrative Court. Delta had been selling thongs, bras, bikinis and other itsy-bitsy garments under the DARJEELING brand and its appeal against a lower court ruling against it has now been laid to rest.  The court conceded that tea and lingerie were quite different classes of goods but, given the immense reputation of the word in respect of tea, use by Delta would dilute it.  Ironically, the author observes, the Tea Board seems to have better fortune in protecting its geographical appellation abroad than at home [a katpat goes to Amartya Bag for the tip-off].

How much use do businesses make of IP? If you've ever asked yourself, or indeed anyone else, that question, you might like to take a look at Business Use of Intellectual Property Protection Documented in NSF Survey, by John E. Jankowski, which was published last month. According to the abstract:
"... New survey findings from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.S. Census Bureau (Census) indicate that trademarks and trade secrets are identified by the largest number of businesses as important forms of IP protection, followed by copyrights, and then patents. However, the level of reliance on each of these forms of IP protection varies considerably across industry sectors". 
The IPKat thinks we might just have guessed this, especially the final sentence. Still, it's good to have one's intuitive feelings supported by real research that someone else has paid for [Chris Torrero gets a katpat for this lead].

New look for WIPO Magazine.  After many years with the same pleasant but ever-so-unchanging cover, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has decided to do something excitingly different: it is putting eye-catching artwork at the front of its cheerful, informal and diplomatic bimonthly. The contents of this, the first issue for 2012, can be viewed here. The picture on the cover is not, as was first suspected, a bunch of men running in terror from a Kat but a group of rugby players. This alludes to an article by Bird & Bird's Jonathan Taylor (Legal Counsel of Six Nations Rugby Limited) on "Rugby, Rights and Revenues". The photo is by Getty Images, who will doubtless be suing this weblog for reproducing it in here ...

New look for IJLIT. The cover of the International Journal of Law and Information Technology (IJLIT), published by Oxford University Press, has been given a makeover. This means that, instead of its inside being a good deal more exciting than its outside ... Seriously, IJLIT is a quality peer-reviewed title which from time to time carries articles of genuine interest to intellectual property owners, practitioners and policymakers. Qian Tao's article on internet intermediary liability in China is a case in point: how much knowledge of infringing content need be proved in order to establish civil liability? The IPKat likes the new look and hopes that JIPLP's little cousin will thrive.
Wednesday whimsies Wednesday whimsies Reviewed by Jeremy on Wednesday, March 07, 2012 Rating: 5


  1. Should not the front page of the WIPO magazine have shown a picture of the All Blacks winning the world cup, instead of a photo that is now totally outdated since it was Wales that beat England in this year's Six Nations ...

  2. shocked that you would suggest that branding by impression is a non-traditional mark. The trite examples we all use of branding cattle and potter's marks work thus.
    The example shows that counterfeitng has always been with us.
    I suspect the ploughed field trademark is just the wavy lines in the pat to make a change from straight grooves, but I doubt they have distinctive character and may even be functional. Stamps are differnt from pats.
    No cowpats please

  3. The Tea Board lost against Delta Lingerie in the Israel Supreme Court on this issue.

    See Israel Appeal 10639/06A
    Tea Board of India v Delta Lingerie SA of Cachan (April 13 2008)

    Apparently the justices in Israel are less likely to dilute their tea with their underwear than their Indian equivalents. Personally, I've always found Darjeeling tastes like old socks...


All comments must be moderated by a member of the IPKat team before they appear on the blog. Comments will not be allowed if the contravene the IPKat policy that readers' comments should not be obscene or defamatory; they should not consist of ad hominem attacks on members of the blog team or other comment-posters and they should make a constructive contribution to the discussion of the post on which they purport to comment.

It is also the IPKat policy that comments should not be made completely anonymously, and users should use a consistent name or pseudonym (which should not itself be defamatory or obscene, or that of another real person), either in the "identity" field, or at the beginning of the comment. Current practice is to, however, allow a limited number of comments that contravene this policy, provided that the comment has a high degree of relevance and the comment chain does not become too difficult to follow.

Learn more here:

Powered by Blogger.