Feeds

Zappa's widow loses trademark case over own name

Website not use in commerce, court rules

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

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.

Application security programs and practises

More from The Register

next story
UK.gov's Open Source switch WON'T get rid of Microsoft, y'know
What do you mean, we've ditched Redmond in favour of IBM?!
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
US Social Security 'wasted $300 million on an IT BOONDOGGLE'
Scrutiny committee bods probe derailed database project
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Australia floats website blocks and ISP liability to stop copyright thieves
Big Content could get the right to order ISPs to stop traffic
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.