All the way from New Zealand comes this delicious news item from Stuff, via Rachel Dawson of IPONZ. In short, food giant Cadbury has been told it does not own "Earth", and cannot claim it just to defend it against a takeover from Mars. Says the news item (in relevant part):
"It may not be the war of the worlds, but confectionery makers Cadbury and Effem Foods, which makes Mars bars, have once again tried to take a bite out of each other's trademark intentions.The IPKat observes that use by Cadbury's of the word 'Earth' as part of MOTHER EARTH didn't count as evidence of intention to use EARTH as an independent trade mark. For a contrasting European view (admittedly on a different issue under different law) see the ruling of the European Court of Justice in Case C-353/03 Société des produits Nestlé SA v Mars UK Ltd (use of HAVE A BREAK ... HAVE A KIT KAT can count towards acquired distinctiveness of HAVE A BREAK by itself), noted briefly here by the IPKat.
The pair have previously tangled over who gets to use the colour purple and Effem has now successfully challenged a decision that would have allowed Cadbury to register "Earth" as a trademark. High Court judge Forrie Miller ... said that to secure the trademark Cadbury needed to show it intended to use it. Usually just applying for the trademark showed that intention, but in Cadbury's case, its own evidence displaced the intention by saying it was a purely defensive move.
The judge said Cadbury's application should have been rejected, and he allowed Effem's appeal. However, he upheld the decision that Effem had not established a use, for trademark purposes, of Earth in an Mars bar advertisement".
Merpel says, I was intrigued by the judge's forename (Forrie), so I thought I'd search for it on Google. And this (left) is what I found!
Cadbury's and Mother Earth here
Cadbury's attacked by Friends of the Earth here
How close can MARS get to EARTH? Find out here
Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars here; the Man Who Fell to Earth here
While perusing Stuff (see above), the IPKat found this horror-story about the overexposed socialite Paris Hilton getting into trouble for buying a dwarf cat. According to the article
"Although Paris, 26, is delighted with her new pet, she has been slammed for purchasing the unusual cat because the specialist breed has numerous health problems. The cats are said not to be able to function like normal sized felines, and cannot jump properly because their bow legs are too short. They can also break the bones in their limbs when landing because their legs aren't long enough to absorb the shock".
Above, right: "Vengeance is mine" - a giant cat stalks Ms Hilton
This goes to show, the IPKat says, that measures such as the banning the patenting of pointless and morally dubious inventions are never going to be adequate to stop the expenditure of time, money and technique in creating them. He expects that, now the poor beast has become a fashion accessory, dwarf cats will be coming off the production line pretty quickly to keep up with demand. Merpel adds, it's strange that plant breeders' rights have been around for so long now, but no-one seems to be lobbying for animal breeders' rights. Does that mean that the patent system and trade secrecy are sufficient between them, or have I missed something?
Paris Hilton, without any clothes on, here