Monday miscellany

First a trickle, and then a torrent, of readers of this weblog has been sending the IPKat clips, comments and whimsical observations concerning the recent decision of the Cologne Regional Court (a.k.a Koelner Stadt-Anzeiger), also reported in the Guardian, in which the court, finding for HARIBO, banned Lindt from selling its chocolate bears wrapped in gold foil. According to the ruling, the Lindt golden teddy infringed the word trade mark “Goldbären” (“gold bear”), on the basis that the chocolate bear constituted a three-dimensional reproduction of the word. It did not assist Lindt that it specifically decided to label its product “Lindt Teddy” -- as opposed to “Goldbär” -- which would have suggested a brand extension over Lindt's litigious “Goldhase”, the golden bunny that is the confectioner's equivalent of Budweiser beer. The court did not accept Lindt’s point that there is no ground for confusion between a jelly bear and a chocolate bear. The decision is noteworthy, says Thorsten Lauterbach (first to tell the IPKat about this news, following a tip-off from his colleague Kathrin Kuehnel-Fitchen), because it constitutes the first German decision on a registered word trade mark being infringed by a three-dimensional product shape.  One final note: Edward Tomlinson (Frohwitter) also drew attention to this decision, remarking that it was a pity that Birgit -- the IPKat team's resident specialist on anything to do with chocolate animals and bears -- was on Sabbatical.  Fear not, the day will come when Birgit is back, and we may even hear from her before then ...

The invention of shops was
a great boost to retail trade ...
Intellectual property and retail.  There has been a late change to the programme for CLT's Intellectual Property and Retail Conference programme (about which you can read here), in the form of an extra paper which the organisers have squeezed in:  Paul Joseph (a Partner in RPC's IP, Technology & Outsourcing Group) will be speaking on "Retailer liability for dealing in infringing products", covering primary and secondary infringement, how to avoid liability, protecting retailers through contractual terms with suppliers and how retailers should respond to allegations of infringement – legal and commercial options. IPKat blogmeister Jeremy will be in the Chair and it should be a great day for all -- on 13 February.

Maine's greatest invention:  salmon
that have been genetically modified
to jump into fishermen's hands ...
New blogs on the block. THINKING IP, subtitled "Fred Frawley's Take on Copyright, Social Media and Trademark Law Developments", has recently come to the IPKat's attention.  Fred, or Alfred if you prefer a little formality, is one of a very large number of IP folk on the planet to have been touched by the once-mighty name of Howrey (in the days of Howrey & Simon).  Of greater distinction is Fred's self-description as "one of Maine's most experienced attorneys in intellectual property" -- there surely can't be that many of them there, can there?  Anyway, the blog is here for your delectation.  Another blog which, if not actually new, hasn't been around for all that long, is that which belongs to BDK, a law firm based in Serbia and Montenegro. There's quite a lot of IP and competition law news to be found on it, here.

Around the weblogs. Ben Challis's "2012 -- the Copyright Year", which you can find on the 1709 Blog here, offers a broad perspective on events in the past 12 months, while another review of the year, being Daniel Alexander QC's paper for AIPPI UK, appears on PatLit here.  "Don't do contingency deals with inventors", warns Mark Anderson on the IP Draughts blog.  If you want to know why, click here to find out. Mike Mireles, who has just joined the IP Finance blog team, comments on the US$ 527 million Kodak patent sale.

Here's a book which you may wish to peruse ...: It's called Model Law for Intellectual Property A Proposal for German Law Reform and, for the benefit of the lazy, the busy and the impatient, this is the Abbreviated English Edition. Under the stewardship of editors Hans-Jürgen Ahrens and Mary-Rose McGuire, it summarises several years of research and careful thought, backed by GRUR, which led to the publication of the 844-page German version (as against 150 pages for the abbreviated version).  The Model Law on IP will be formally presented to a wider public at a Conference in Mannheim on 7 and 8 February 2013 -- but you can place your order for the English version long before then. At just 29 euros it looks a bargain.  For further details click the Sellier website here.

... and here's a book you won't be able to put down -- assuming that you can pick it up. It's Faking It: Manipulated Photography before Photoshop, by Mia Fineman. Published by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which is currently hosting an exhibition on this very theme, and distributed by Yale Books, this extremely heavy work will consume your hand-luggage allowance with no trouble, but it's well worth lugging it around till you've finished it.  The lavishly-illustrated text provides a great deal to think about if you ever seriously believed the old truism that "the camera doesn't lie".  The publishers also address the 'orphan work' issue by publishing some illustrations which, it is plain, they regard as potentially infringing and asking owners of copyright who have not given them permission to get in touch with them.
Monday miscellany Monday miscellany Reviewed by Jeremy on Monday, December 24, 2012 Rating: 5


  1. never mind Photoshop, here's photographic evidence (genuine, according to the secure time and date stamps) that the Russians landed on the moon first, Stalin owned on iPhone and some other gems:

    two articles discussing

  2. I've just ordered the book by Mia Fineman, I expect I'll enjoy it, but I wonder about the comment in the editor's blurb on John Heartfield and friends being "treated as conspicuous anomalies".

    Regarding orphan works, I'm a fixture of restored film screenings.

    A common feature of such events is to listen to someone recounting how decaying nitrate copies were hunted down in Valparaiso, Vancouver, Vladivostok, Vientiane and Venice. How they lovingly rebuilt the copy frame by frame, and figuring out which order they went in by decrypting censorship reports. And then how some random bloke came out of the woods purporting to own some rights over the material that would have sunk into chemical oblivion hadn't it been for the toils of others. You can't help wondering about the legitimacy of copyright law.


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