Wednesday, March 16, 2005

The French domain name and the US chocolate co

This is a story I'd like to know a lot more about. On the surface it seems as if a small business woman in France has been ordered by a court to sign over her internet domain name to a US food company, Kraft. The lady's first name, Milka, happens to be the same as a type of chocolate manufactured by Kraft. According to the report the court said Milka Budimir "made unjustified use of the registered trademark Milka that is owned by Kraft Foods."

Puts me in mind of the Bill Wyman case, where music journalist Bill Wyman, got a letter insisting he "cease and desist" from using his own name on his pop music reports because this infringed on the intellectual property rights of the letter writing lawyer's client, Bill Wyman, of ex Rolling Stones fame.

This name game is just one example of what makes intellectual property watching a bit of a surreal experience. As I say in my Open University course, soon to be released under a creative commons licence, now that the UK-England&Wales version of the licences are getting launched this evening, within the confines of the complex world of intellectual property law, this lawyer – this expert – could be considered, by fellow intellectual property specialists, to be acting reasonably in the interests of his client. It seems strange, however, that someone could be threatened with a lawsuit for using their own name. And worse still not only have to stump up the legal fees to defend such a lawsuit but in the end get ordered by a court to sign over their own name.

BTW, Good luck to Christian Ahlert, William Heath and all those involved in the production and launch of the CC licences (and in the ironing out of the last minute details - crucial to get the detail right, as Jonathan Mitchell and Hector MacQueen have consistently pointed out).

1 comment:

soduku said...

Interesting reflection