Greetings! Seems like the cheese themes just keep coming – along with some music news this week. There is also some excellent news also for student inventors at Purdue.
- You probably know that sparkling wine must come from a specific region in France in order to be called “champagne.” You may also recall our discussion on Martha Stewart and Emeril Lagasse’s knives that were marketed as Soligen knives, in spite of the fact that they were made in China, rather than the German city. The latest term to join this list is Gruyere cheese. In spite of opposition from the United States, New Zealand, and Australia—all of whom deemed the term generic—Gruyere can now only be classified as such if it is produced in France. Will this now lead to an influx of “Gruyere-style” cheeses into the market, or will this flavor of cheese become known by a new name?
- In the case of Metallica v. Metallica Manufacturing, the manufacturers have it. The Metallica Manufacturing shop in Burnaby, Canada, has been embroiled in litigation against the popular metal band for years. The band’s efforts to get the shop to change its name began when owner Bill Lawson sought to register the name with the Canadian IP Office. Eventually, the CIPO found that there was no likelihood of confusion between the band and the manufacturer. The owner is relieved but says he’s not in the mood for bragging: he simply wants to be left alone to run his business in peace.
- In other music-related news, the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand is finding it difficult to collect on music piracy convictions. In spite of numerous efforts, only 12 people have thus far faced charges in front of the Copyright Tribunal. Its latest success netted a repayment of $616.57 in a scheme where infringers may be fined up to $15,000 each after receiving a series of notices. Contrast this with the U.S., where a jury once found woman guilty of infringement to the tune of nearly $2 million. The Association has said that it does believe the system to be successful, with the majority of infringers ceasing such activity after they receive a notice.
- Purdue University recently announced a change to a university policy that will impact IP rights. Now, students who invent new biomedical devices or engineering breakthroughs will own the rights to their creations. The intent of the new policy is to “foster a culture of entrepreneurship” in the academic environment. The policy is geared toward inventions that are made in the classroom, where all students have equal access to the same resources. Students who are paid to create an invention, or receive grants or corporate funding, are exempt from the new policy and will still have to share their rights with whichever body funded the project.