Feeds

Wooster sues Jeeves

What, ho!

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes

The estate of author PG Wodehouse, creator of the character Jeeves the gentleman whose lesser-known gentleman employer was Bertie Wooster, is unhappy the use of the Jeeves' name by Ask Jeeves, an apparently unrelated American imposter who has become frightfully rich. London-based AP Watt, the oldest-established literary agency in the world which also looks after the literary estates of Robert Graves and Somerset Maugham, has "begun legal proceedings against the American company for breach of copyright", according to the Sunday Telegraph. However, that's not what a spokeswoman tells The Register: the parties are just engaged in "amicable discussions" and are confident of a mutually agreeable outcome, she said. This is just as well, as the legal ice looks decidedly thin. Wodehouse died in 1975, so his work has copyright protection until 2045, but there is no copyright in ideas or names. Trademarks would give some protection, but only an illustration could be trademarked, as there is no US or British trademark protection for the names of characters. Since the Wodehouse estate appears to have no registered trademarks, imposters like Jeeves the London drycleaner and Ask Jeeves the search engine and a host of other imitators can probably co-exist legally. The secretive Wodehouse trust is keeping tight-lipped, but the odds must be that it hopes to get a settlement lest Jeeves has to remove his gloves and seek satisfaction. The odds of a passing-off action for an unregistered trademark must be pretty minimal. However, Ask Jeeves needs to be aware that in 1919, in My Man Jeeves, Wodehouse wrote about "excellent browsing" so there may be some hitherto precedents that Ask Jeeves needs to consider. ®

A new approach to endpoint data protection

More from The Register

next story
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?