Des Browne v Next plc

#1
M'learned friends instructed. Writs issued. Great minds struggle with legal concepts. Other things on right now of course but these things matter. A lot.

MoD battles Next over duvet cover emblem

"The Ministry of Defence has launched a legal battle against a high street shopping chain because a duvet cover features the RAF's insignia.

The MoD's legal team has lodged a claim in the chancery division of the High Court against Next's use of the RAF's red, white, and blue roundel.

They are upset that the fashion store is using the image on a range of bedroom furnishings and decoration aimed at seven-year-old boys.

The offending material includes a £35 cotton and polyester duvet cover, rugs, curtains and wall stickers.

The patriotic bedset design also includes Union Jacks with images of a car, a guitar and a scooter.

Defence Secretary Des Browne is the claimant and a writ has been issued, although it is not thought to have been served yet.

The incident began last September when the MoD first accused Leicester-based Next, the UK's third-biggest clothes retailer, of copyright infringement.

Five years ago, during a row with Arcadia, which owns Topshop, Burton and Dorothy Perkins, the Patent Office have the MoD sole rights to use the roundel on all non-clothing items.

The RAF is also thought to be keen to preserve a symbol which dates back to the First World War aircraft of its precursor, the Royal Flying Corps.

However, Next argues that the symbol is also the emblem of the 1960s 'Mod' movement, revived by Paul Weller's band The Jam in 1978 and forever associated with the Franc Roddam film Quadrophenia.

The band Oasis and shirts by the firm Ben Sherman also use the roundel image as part of their branding."



http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/2113801/MoD-battles-Next-over-duvet-cover-emblem.html
 
#2
Oh dear...

Result -

Next win.

MoD has to pay substantial sum to the firm which has the branding rights, which have been rendered almost worthless as a result of Next's victory to compensate them for lack of earmings.

MoD fail to learn lesson and pursue Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend and Paul Weller for damages...
 
#3
Guitar makers better watch out, too!

Linky
 
#6
The MoD did finally copyright the logo, and only a short time ago in design terms.

All NeXt have to do , is prove public domain on that device and the MoD will be spending millions to lose.

Then after NeXt , they can try to unsuccessfully sue model kit manufacturers, Warbird operators, assorted film makers and an entire generation of scooterists.

Why didn't they just negotiate a royalty from NeXt for the RAF Benevolent Fund? I'm sure NeXt would have been happy to bung a few quid in that pot, for the kudos and associated good publicity?
 
#7
PartTimePongo said:
Why didn't they just negotiate a royalty from NeXt for the RAF Benevolent Fund? I'm sure NeXt would have been happy to bung a few quid in that pot, for the kudos and associated good publicity?
FFS PTP, - you can't go round making pragmatic suggestions like that. You'll do thousands of starving lawyers out of work!!
 
#8
Rudolph_Hucker said:
PartTimePongo said:
Why didn't they just negotiate a royalty from NeXt for the RAF Benevolent Fund? I'm sure NeXt would have been happy to bung a few quid in that pot, for the kudos and associated good publicity?
FFS PTP, - you can't go round making pragmatic suggestions like that. You'll do thousands of starving lawyers out of work!!

And that's far to logical for the MoD!
 
#9
And irony of ironies,

A big A4 envelope from Cancer Research UK just dropped through my letterbox, and in the bottom right hand corner of the envelope, is a very large 'disputed device'. In the red bit, is a message "Help us target treatments to cancer when it's spread'

So I do hope they got permission first.........
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#10
"News Flash!

The MOD has indeed just lost yet another very expensive (to the tax-payer) legal battle!

After the fiasco of RSI injuries, and millions of pounds paid out in other litigations, each one LOST by the MOD, as well as hundreds of thousands, if not millions in out-of-court settlements, the MOD has decided to try and recoup some of this money for the treasury by litigating against commercial outifts (and outfitters) over abuse of copyright.

Apart from the latest 'RAF' roundel round, they intend to go after companies mentioning the following 'brand names' or using the following logos: (you have been warned):

The Union Jack
The Flag of St George
Ipods (in association with Apple)
The word 'Ship'
The Ensign
The term 'MOD' (for those of you growing up in the 70's, you will receive a summons shortly, but you can keep the Vespas).
Pictures of HM The Queen - (owned by Post Office Counters Plc)
Pictures of the UK taken from space.
The words 'Gun', 'Rifle', 'Missile' or any mention of the name 'Biggles'.
Sopwith can henceforth only be used by Yorkshiremen, but certainly not on nationaly branded products.
Photographs of the MI5 building are subject to strict copyright rules, but permission to use on postcards to sell to London tourists can be purchased at your local Post Office.

For permission to use (which may or may not be granted with or without a fee), please send your request in writing to:

The Liar-in-Chief (CEO)
No. 10 Downing Street (Copyright)
C/O EU Administrators (that's pre-bankruptcy, not 'Admin')
London
UK PLC (PFI, subject to finance)
 
#11
Apart from PTP's very sensible suggestion I question whether a symbol of the national air force should be patented as a commercial trade mark.

It belongs to us all. Its part of our Common Weal.

P.S Does anyone know if there is a limit to how thick Des Browne can get?
 
#12
I've just picked up a tube map and, b*gg*r me, it's got a roundel on the front too!!

Does Des know???
 
#16
More taxpayers' money flushed down the toilet. Thank you Des. Very responsible and prudent of you.

I think you should henceforth focus entirely on propagandising an awful situation - and issuing periodic crocodile tears. At least you're getting quite competent at this, having had some time in the job and an easy ride from the media.

On the litigation front, lawyers will soon be homing in on you, hanging off your every word and placing orders in advance for the latest swish new Mercedeseses - given your bizarre eagerness to fill their coffers with mine and others' hard earned cash.
 
#17
PartTimePongo said:
The MoD did finally copyright the logo, and only a short time ago in design terms.

All NeXt have to do , is prove public domain on that device and the MoD will be spending millions to lose.

Then after NeXt , they can try to unsuccessfully sue model kit manufacturers, Warbird operators, assorted film makers and an entire generation of scooterists.

Why didn't they just negotiate a royalty from NeXt for the RAF Benevolent Fund? I'm sure NeXt would have been happy to bung a few quid in that pot, for the kudos and associated good publicity?
Already happing with model kit makers the likes of Boeing are trying to get model making companies to pay them monies for producing a kit of one of their A/C the argument against it is that the A/C's in question were procured/designed using public funds so no copyright infringment many boxes now have "fully liecenced product from Boeing on it.

And if some tw@t in a moth ridden M-65 Parka get fined for having a target patch great! Just don't assume all scooterists are mods :wink:

Remember ride it like you stole it off a mod w@nker :twisted:
 
#18
Rudolph_Hucker said:
PartTimePongo said:
Why didn't they just negotiate a royalty from NeXt for the RAF Benevolent Fund? I'm sure NeXt would have been happy to bung a few quid in that pot, for the kudos and associated good publicity?
FFS PTP, - you can't go round making pragmatic suggestions like that. You'll do thousands of starving lawyers out of work!!
R_H you nearly made my day with the mental picture that accompanied that line.
 
#19
PartTimePongo said:
The MoD did finally copyright the logo, and only a short time ago in design terms.

All NeXt have to do , is prove public domain on that device and the MoD will be spending millions to lose.

Then after NeXt , they can try to unsuccessfully sue model kit manufacturers, Warbird operators, assorted film makers and an entire generation of scooterists.

Why didn't they just negotiate a royalty from NeXt for the RAF Benevolent Fund? I'm sure NeXt would have been happy to bung a few quid in that pot, for the kudos and associated good publicity?
Isn't there at least one other Air force (BE or NL) using the self-same roundels?
 
#20
Wouldn't it have been cheaper to bomb a next store as a warning?

(What am I thinking - they'd end up blowing up Top Shop by mistake.) :p
 

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