Feeds

Zappa's widow loses trademark case over own name

Website not use in commerce, court rules

Security for virtualized datacentres

A German music festival dedicated to the work of unconventional rock musician Frank Zappa can continue to use a version of his name without infringing on the trademark rights of his estate, a court has ruled.

Zappa's widow cannot enforce her rights to the Zappa trademark in Germany because she has not used it in commerce there. The court said that use of the name on a US-hosted website was not sufficient to qualify as use in commerce, according to German newspaper reports.

The Zappanale festival celebrates the music of Zappa and sells merchandise featuring, amongst other things, images of his distinctive beard.

Gail Zappa said that the festival and merchandise breached the EU trademark rights held by her. The Higher Regional Court in Dusseldorf, though, disagreed.

It said that the Zappa name had only been used as part of a domain name of a website based in the US but accessible from the EU. That website had not used the trademark to sell or advertise products for the EU market, though, and so was not used in trade.

Trademark owners must use them to protect them. The court said that though the Zappa.com website had been live for years it sold no merchandise into the EU, according to German news site Der Westen.

Newspaper Der Spiegel said that Gail Zappa had claimed damages of €150,000 over the sale of merchandise and CDs related to the festival.

Copyright © 2010, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Hey, Scots. Microsoft's Bing thinks you'll vote NO to independence
World's top Google-finding website calls it for the UK
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics
You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.