What do you do when someone registers the domain name [yourbrand]sucks.com? What should you have done before it got registered?
Apparently, more than 20,000 domain names take the form [yourbrand]sucks.com. Sometimes, the person that registers it is just after your money (and lots of it); sometimes, they have a very serious grievance with your company and they want to air all the dirty details out there in cyberspace.
When they’re just after lots of your money, WIPO’s Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions indicates that a majority of panellists will probably find the name is confusingly similar to your domain name (but by no means all), but your chances on the other 2 requirements are very hard to predict. Compare para. 1.3 to 2.4.
In Australia, it is likely that a genuine gripe site won’t infringe your trade mark for the simple reason that the griper is not using your trade mark as a trade mark. (I’m not sure if it would fall within s 122(1)(b), but s 120 specifically requires use as a trade mark and the cases derived from Irving’s Yeastvite v Horsenail indicate that use to refer to the trade mark owner’s own product marked with the trade mark is not use as a trade mark). Of course, the griper might be engaging in defamation or slander of goods or something similar.
Now, Fairwinds Partners, who are Internet Strategy Consultants, have published a report via brandchannel (pdf) on this issue from a marketing perspective. The report looks at what’s happening including the clever, but nonetheless brave, strategy adopted by Loews to use the name to field and address their customers’ concerns.
Brave because there aren’t that many brand owners who are going to want to see that word “sucks” joined with their prized asset; clever because … well, they are doing what the customer wants in the main: finding out about the problem and dealing with it.
IPKat reviews 2 new texts on the “interface” between aspects of IP and anti-trust or competition and an economics “reader”:
(1) Nuno Pires de Carvalho, TRIPS Regime of Antitrust and Undisclosed Information; and
(2) Irina Haracoglou, Competition Law And Patents: a Follow-on Innovation Perspective in the Biopharmaceutical Industry; and
(3) Robert P. Merges (ed), Economics Of Intellectual Property Law.
IPKat’s review here,
and the IP Dragon entices us with news of a new (1 August) anti-monopoly law in China. which, apparently, reserves well-known trade marks and traditional Chinese brands on grounds of national security.
WIPO has established an online simulator for Madrid system trade mark applications.
As it’s name suggests, it steps you through the various stages of making an application to obtain protection abroad. It includes a fee calculator (presumably of the official fees).
Try it out here.
Lid dip, Marty.
The High Court has apparently granted special leave to appeal.
Lid dip, Kim (who also has a link to David Lindsay‘s slides).
It can’t just be the “what is worth copying is worth protecting” rubric that requires reconsideration so maybe House of Commons is on to something with the injunction (presumably to database owners) to be afraid? The transcripts seem to be running about 2 weeks behind.
IPwars on the Full Court decision. IPKat reviews Estelle Derclaye’s new text on sui generis database protection.
World Cup 2006?
According to OHIM’s Board of Appeal, World Cup 2006 and related labels like Germany 2006 are descriptive and lack distinctive character. Accordingly, it ordered their registration as trade marks cancelled. IPKat has more details here.
May be Parliament was on to something when it enacted the Olympic Insignia Protection Act 1987.
Imagine what would happen if someone did something like this to AFL Grand Final or Formula 1 Grand Prix?
It seems DFAT has been considering ACTA since December 2007.
An overview here and here.
Now, DFAT has called for submissions and has flagged these as interesting topics.
Lid dip, Cheng Lim.
Meanwhile, IPKat reports of a UK Intellectual Property Office consultation paper on penalties for copyright infringement.
IPKat also draws attention to some further EU perspective on counterfeiting here (scroll down to 7.2).
On application by Darrell Lea, the Registrar suspended Darrell Lea’s oppositions to the registration of some purple trade mark applications by Cadbury purportedly pursuant to reg. 5.16.
Finkelstein J has now found that the Registrar does not have power to suspend oppositions indefinitely.
Given my involvement in matters purple, let me just refer you to Nicholas Weston’s consideration.
Darrell Lea Chocolate Shops Pty Ltd v Cadbury Limited  ATMO 6 (15 January 2008)
Cadbury UK Ltd v Registrar of Trade Marks  FCA 1126 (1 August 2008)
with apologies to Chief Vitalstatistix:
ARIA’s half year figures for 2008 show that sales of recorded music are still falling – down 4% on the corresponding period last year.
But guess what, the decline in sales of physical copies is almost all set off by the rise in digital sales: 12 million digital tracks up from 8 million for the 6 month period last year.
According to ARIA:
“… figures which demonstrate the beginning of a remarkable transition to a whole new economy that is still only in its infancy.”
Perhaps in a sign of gloom for music industry executives, a lot of these downloads were single tracks rather than albums, but digital albums still increased by 55%.
ARIA press release here; full stats here.
You may have noticed that IPwars has been more than usually missing.
This is mainly because the software for IPwars has become obsolete and I am attempting (so far, rather unsuccessfully) to transition to new software.
Please bear with me while this gets sorted out.
A ‘manner of manufacture’ is something ‘more’ than a mere discovery or principle: it must be some thing or practical means of applying that principle in a field of economic endeavour (qua NRDC at e.g.  and ) and now, apparently, we have an example of a discovery or principle which was not patentable as being too abstract rather than a practical application …
I am not sure if what was discovered (at long last?) was the neutrino atom or the new science of the wonderfully named subtronics or pace claims 2 and 3 “a[ny] practical application of the newly discovered laws of electrical induction …”
IPKat has the run down here; the full application can be found here (enter 2003208113 into the application field but you might have to read and click the disclaimer here) and DC Spann’s decision here.
ACIP inquiry into Patentable Subject Matter still here.