Saturday, 7 February 2009

IP news roundup

The Financial Times reports that the one of the first beneficiaries of the government's new loan guarantee scheme is an online trade mark registration service called, imaginatively, Trade Mark Direct.  Lloyds TSB is advancing it £50,000, with a government guarantee of 75 per cent of that.  But who are they going to lend the money to?  The web site refers only to "Trade Mark Direct" (and sometimes "Trademark Direct"); no proprietor is mentioned; and there is no Trade Mark Direct Limited on the Register of Companies.  Surely Lloyds TSB will have picked this up in their due diligence?  Not a good start for someone offering a legal service!
tells us that Ben Goldacre, another person of many accomplishments, among them being a doctor and a Guardian columnist, has been forced by LBC to remove "an extract of [sic] a radio broadcast" from his blog.  LBC's legal team contacted him as, according to the broadcaster, "he did not have the necessary permission".  LBC's legal team might do well to read section 30 ... though I'm not going to stick my neck out very far on the strength of one blog entry.  I am however forever indebted to Dr Goldacre for introducing, perhaps for coining, the expression "intellectual property absolutists" to describe his nemesis.  I'll credit him with the authorship of the phrase here, and reuse it several times a day hereafter.  Without prejudice to the question whether he has copyright in it in the first place (see Exxon Corp v Exxon Insurance Consultants [1982] Ch 119.

Now I have the phrase I have been looking for, I've got another two items about IP absolutism which Google Alerts has thrown up in the last 24 hours.  First, a report of a presentation by Prof Sunder of Chicago Law School, who seems to be calling for new thinking about what IP is trying to do, and second a feature about Antarctic patents - no, not that there's a new patent office in the world, nor that my old friend Charles Stewart's visit to run the Antarctic Marathon last year led him to start practising IP law there - just the old, old story of corporate greed.

Maybe the absolutists are behind the small battle raging in Canada over the use of the word "Glen" (in the brand Glen Breton) for Canadian whisky.  The Scotch Whisky Association has challenged Glenora Distillers' trade mark registration or application (not clear where it has got to from this report) but without success so far.  This report tells us that the Federal Court of Appeal has found for the applicant (respondent) on a particular interpretation of the law.  I wonder whether they referred to the Wee McGlen case [1980] RPC 115 - or Wotherspoon v Currie, the Glenfield Starch case, (1872) LR 5 HL 508?

No comments:


blogger templates | Make Money Online