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This week's IP news round-up

1 March 2005

Hello, hello and welcome to this week’s Own It intellectual property news round up. Or OIIPNRU as we prefer to call it. We start this week, like most weeks, in China…

On Saturday, 150 million Chinese television viewers enjoyed a free concert to promote the importance of beating piracy. According to the Associated Press, the concert was just one in a series of anti-piracy events that took place in Beijing Saturday to raise public awareness of the issue. Earlier in the day, three truckloads of confiscated books, tapes, DVDs, CDs, and computer discs were dumped on a red carpet and publicly smashed to pieces. A spokesperson for the concert said “If Beijing fails to solve piracy soon, we will not deserve to host the Olympics in 2008.” Yeah, that and the appalling human rights record, fellas.

Still in China and the Chinese government has asked British customs agents to help them stop the country’s trade in illegal cigarettes. Many of the illegally-produced cigarettes, which are thought to number anything up to 190 billion a year, find their way into Europe. According to the Times, the clamp-down co-incides with the world’s first global anti-smoking treaty coming into force. The treaty attempts to ban all tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship and to outlaw smoking in public places.

And finally, a weird story back in Blighty. Marks and Spencer has been ordered to pay £750,000 to a small design company after it was found to have copied the company’s design for an in-store display. Spiralstem had been contracted to design a special display for use in Marks and Spencer’s Marble Arch store. However, the retail giant photographed the display and use the photographs to duplicate the display for us in all of its other stores. With costs, the total bill for Marks and Spencer is expected to top £3 million. That’s a lot of pairs of pants.

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