MONDAY, 18 FEBRUARY 2008
Humorous posting today of Alex Wade ( 'During my time as a night lawyer for various newspapers the issue of trade marks would occasionally exercise me.' ) on his TimesOnline' Surf nation blog. Alex is a freelance writer who lives and surfes in the far west of Cornwall, is all into surfing ('Surfing is life. The rest is details' ) and clearly troubled by a letter from Dick Ellershaw of Portakabin Ltd to Carve Surfing Magazine. Motive: in the January edition the following was stated: "Howling northwesterlies blasted the beach all weekend and personally I reckon the judges deserve knighthoods for sticking it out in an open Portacabin...'"
A few selected sentences from Mr. Ellershaw:
"I am writing to point out that 'Portakabin' is a registered Trade Mark which may only be used to describe buildings manufactured by this company. In order to protect our rights to the exclusive use of this Mark, we must take active steps to discourage its use as a generic term (....). Ask your staff to use the designation 'Portakabin' only in reference to the buildings of Portakabin Ltd. (...) May I ask that, in any future cases of this kind, you use the term ' portable building' or ' relocatable building', then there can be no possibility of error". Carve editor Chris Power's reply is very accommodating: 'You're absolutely right, next time one of our reporters is down at the beach doing a contest report and sees something that looks like a Portakabin (TM), it really is critically important that he or she checks out whether it actually is a Portakabin (TM) or merely some inferior 'relocatable building.' Gotta get the facts right. And hey, I love that phrase ' relocatable building'. (...) I'll make a note with my Biro (TM) on a bunch of Post-It (TM) notes and stick them on every Apple Mac (TM) in the office, so all the other guys get the message.' Checkmate?
Posted by: Gino Van Roeyen @ 20.40