Friday fantasies

Bogus bruin: more than
the Cubs can "bear"
Baseball team Chicago Cubs are reported to have filed a lawsuit against a group of five people who, they say, have been dressing in bogus "Billy Cub" mascot costumes, following which they are said to be participating in “inappropriate and unsavoury actions” in the vicinity of the Cubs' Wrigley Field stadium (thanks go to Lauren Somers of HGF for this link: she earns herself a Katpat). The inappropriate and unsavoury action in question appears to include exacting charging fans for pictures and getting into bar fights. Three of the five fake Cubs are not identified in the charges which are being brought against them.

The real item
According to the Cubs the accused, who are not affiliated with the Cubs in any way, are infringing the team’s trade marks by using the character to mislead people into thinking Billy Cub is associated with the team.  The suit alleges “mascot-like activities” and specifies such practices as dancing with fans and, in a presumed departure from normal mascot practice, making “rude, profane and derogatory remarks and gesticulations to patrons, ticket holders, fans or other individuals located in the area of Wrigley Field". One "Billy Cub" was also caught on video apparently punching a man in a local bar. There is also a website promoting the character,, the home page of which contains the following statement in defence of what many may quite reasonably demand as being indefensible:
"Help Save Billy Cub!!! 
For seven out of the last one hundred and ten years the Chicago Cubs have had a positive off the field image; a figurehead for the organization. From 2007 to present this significant role has been graciously filled by Billy Cub. During this time Billy Cub has served as the unofficial mascot of Chicago Cubs, positively impacting and improving the Wrigleyville game day experience for over 2,000,000 fans. Billy Cub wants nothing more than to be the official mascot of the Chicago Cubs but bureaucrats are trying to take Billy’s passion away. Official mascot or not, Billy Cub will never stop giving baseball fans, young or old, the best game day experience possible. Please support Billy Cub’s selfless efforts by signing the “Save Billy Cub” petition as well as posting your photographs and unforgettable moments on facebook. With your non monetary support you can help keep Billy Cub off the endangered species list and his dream of being the official mascot alive!"
The IPKat will continue to monitor the situation, rather suspecting that trade mark expert, American sports-lover and blog team member Neil will feel tempted to write something on it when the moment is ripe.

Another curiosity from the United States may be perused in this Daily Mail article, "New Jersey sues Florida pizza shop 1,300 miles away because logo is 'too similar' to Garden State Parkway", via a tip-off from Chris Torrero (Katpat!). New Jersey is known as the "Garden State": this dispute has arisen because the New Jersey Turnpike Authority felt that the Florida pizza shop's logo was too similar to the Garden State Parkway's green and yellow signs. This Kat is a little amused, recalling the ONEL case and the debate in the European Union as to whether use in one little corner of its territory should be regarded as genuine use in the EU.

Around the weblogs. After a week or two of relative torpor, PatLit has awoken, with posts in rapid succession on last month's "Limitation and Amendment of Claims during Litigation" event (here) and two applications to stay proceedings: in one, the idea is to stay office proceedings pending the outcome of a trial; in the other, the application was to stay court proceedings pending the outcome of an office action.  The 1709 Blog has been busy too, with a terrible tale of a copyright infringement claim that got out of control in the hands of an unreasonable claimant, who has now received a civil restraint order, plus the next of Ben Challis's oh-so-enjoyable CopyKat round-ups. Class 99 boasts a guest piece by José Ángel García-Zapata on locus standi and why Spanish distributors of goods made by their parent company outside Spain don't have it when they want to sue a competitor for design infringement.

Dr Parminder Lally is, during normal working hours, a Technical Assistant for Marks & Clerk LLP in its Cambridge office.  Once set free from his employment duties, she assumes an altogether different role: that of editor of the Yellow Sheet, the official blog of the Informals [no, explains the IPKat, it's not a paramilitary organisation; it's the (informal) organisation of student members of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys, or CIPA]. Parminder asks the Kats to spread the following message:
“Those of you in the patent profession in the UK may be aware of the existence of the Yellow Sheet, the official blog of the Informals. The Informals is, as its name suggests, an informal association of the unqualified (and part-qualified) Student Members of the patent profession. The Informals provide a UK-wide support network for trainees, organising lectures and tutorials directed towards the examinations, trips to the UKIPO ["But why would anyone want to go there ...?", wonders Merpel] and social events. The Yellow Sheet blog (which some years ago replaced paper versions of the Yellow Sheet in the CIPA Journal), is used to publish information of interest to Student Members of CIPA. 
The blog includes information on upcoming social events across the UK, sporting fixtures, practical information relating to tutorials and Informals lectures, and the time-honoured “Wacky Patent” feature. The blog also contains links to other sites which may be useful when preparing for the PEB [Patent Examination Board] exams and the EQEs [European Qualifying Examinations]. Student Members, Fellows of CIPA, and anyone who’s just interested in finding out what patent trainees are up to -- all are encouraged to subscribe to the Yellow Sheet to keep up-to-date with Informals activities and education-related matters. Simply visit the site and enter your email address to subscribe. Subscribers will receive an email whenever a new post appears on the blog. If any IPKat readers have any news which may be of particular interest to patent trainees, they are most welcome to contact the Yellow Sheet Editor by email".

Finally, a word from Katfriend Aaron Wood (Swindell & Pearson) who advises the Kats that they may wish to blow the trumpet of a fellow IP professional – Keith Beresford. He is a patent attorney advocate and appeared in the Court of Appeal for England and Wales on Wednesday in Lantana Ltd v Registrar of Patents. Aaron thinks this is the first time a patent attorney advocate has appeared in the Court of Appeal. Can anyone confirm if Aaron is right about this? If so, well done, Keith!
Friday fantasies Friday fantasies Reviewed by Jeremy on Friday, July 25, 2014 Rating: 5


  1. Well done Keith! It's the beginning of the end for those pesky barristers being part of IP litigation.

  2. Dr Parminder Lally is also, during normal working hours (and presumably at other times too), not a he...!

  3. Thanks, Neil. Parminder's gender has been duly reassigned!


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