What would Jesus® do?
the trade mark Jesus has failed in many countries, Italian
company BasicNet apparently succeeded in the US when it was
granted trade mark registration number 3232057 in 2007 for the
word Jesus in class 25 for clothing and sportswear. So when
Michael Julius Anton of Virginia attempted to trade mark Jesus
Surfed for clothing, he quickly discovered that BasicNet-owned
company Jesus Jeans wasn’t going to let him do so
without a fight. Not very Jesus-like perhaps, but
it’s still a bit of a stretch to claim that the
monopolised all rights to the name Jesus. And it seems like
the company has some competition. Michael Bagby of Maryland has
had a US registration number 76305357 since 2008 for the mark
Jesus Jeans for jeans - although the two may have already have
worked out an agreement.
Patents make the funnies
The US comic strip Dilbert yesterday
poked fun at US patent juries – specifically their
inability to do the kind of math it takes to figure out patent
damages awards. This problem
was highlighted in the epic
Apple v Samsung battle, where the lack of detail
provided with the jury’s $1.05 billion damages
award to Apple raised more than a few eyebrows, not to mention
an appeal to the Federal Circuit. The presence of juries in US
patent cases remains bemusing to those of us in other
countries, as a recent poll we ran showed, but they will stay
– whether or not the members can add up.
Israel performs U-turn on Crocs trade mark
overturned its policy on 3D trade marks,
reports the IP Factor blog, allowing the registration of
the Crocs sandal four years after it was rejected. It seems the
difference was a large volume of evidence, a change in attitude
generally and a new IP arbitrator in Israel, Yaara Shoshani
Caspi. Whether the Crocs design is functional or aesthetic, and
how this compares to Crocs
failing in a Venice court recently, is
all discussed by Michael Factor. But did we really also
need to know that Michael bought Havaianas in Brazil for his
family, and that he was a "fashion leader" in wearing Dr
Martens in college?
Lion lies down with lamb
The Electronic Frontier Foundation and Microsoft make
unlikely bedfellows, but they are united this week in their
support for the
SHIELD Act re-introduced into the US House of
Representatives by Rep Peter DeFazio and Rep Jason Chaffetz.
EFF called the plan to force patent trolls to pay
defendants’ legal fees if they lose "
a great first step" while Microsoft corporate vice
president and deputy general counsel Horacio Gutierrez
described it as "
an interesting effort to address a real problem and ... a
thoughtful contribution to the debate about how to curb
litigation abuse". The brief Act provides for the award of
reasonable attorney’s fees in cases where the
plaintiff loses, unless the patent owner is the original
inventor, is exploiting the patent or is a university or
technology transfer organisation. I suspect this will need some
more thought and revision before it wins wider acceptance.
David’s digital debate – the
Sydney Morning Herald and
TechSpot were among those to note comments made by Game of
Thrones director David Petrarca at a Writer’s
Festival in Perth this week. According to reports, Petrarca
said that downloading didn’t matter because it
created a "cultural buzz". Inevitably, given his
show’s popularity in certain groups (it was the
most pirated TV show last year) his comments quickly
circulated online. Unfortunately, it seems he was
misunderstood. Petrarca took to twitter repeatedly
to clarify: "I am 100% against illegal downloading. I said that
downloading creates buzz but def am NOT in support of illegal
downloads." Illegal – important word that.