Intellectual Property

Slow News Monday: Germans, Dildos, and Intellectual Property

|

Photo

Submitted for your discussion: A story about Germans, dildos, and intellectual property:

BERLIN (Reuters)—German sex shop chain Beate Uhse must pay German football stars Michael Ballack and Oliver Kahn 50,000 euros (34,000 pounds) each for using their names for vibrators without permission, the company said on Monday.

The company had marketed the sex toys, dubbed "Michael B." and "Olli K.", before Germany hosted the World Cup in 2006.

Although the surnames of the two German soccer stars were not used, it was clear they referred to Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack and Bayern Munich goalkeeper Oliver Kahn.

Kahn and national team captain Ballack sued Beate Uhse in court for unauthorised use of their names and won.

"The products have been withdrawn," the spokeswoman said. "We have to pay 50,000 euros to each of them."

Whole three-inch story here.

Reason on IP here. On talking sex toys here. On bad Germans here.

Advertisement

NEXT: Who Liberates the Liberators?

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. “The products have been withdrawn”.

    Somehow I think there will be quite a few people who are not entirely satisfied with that.

  2. German sex shop chain Beate Uhse must pay German football stars Michael Ballack and Oliver Kahn 50,000 euros (34,000 pounds) each…

    How much is that in Krugerrands?

  3. Pedantic note: It is debatable as to whether trademarks are properly considered as “intellectual” property, but one can argue that the establishment of a trademark distinctive in character by its inherent nature and/or commercial use is an intellectual thing. Rights of personality and/or publicity, which is what would seem to be involved here, is not “intellectual” property because it don’t take no intellect to create it. Still, this case is kind of difficult terminology-wise — making this blog entry not nearly as bad as the typical mixing up of trademarks and copyrights that plagues modern journalism.

    Really, though, it would have been nice if this week’s “intellectual property” entry were about the genetically engineered corn patent held invalid for obviousness last week by the US patent court, rather than artificial famous soccer player penii. As always, don’t forget to check out my patent blog, linked at my sig.

  4. Is it any surprise that Euro soccer players were the center of 34,000 pounds of dildo damages?

  5. Well, I’ll be. Who knew Kahn was a German name?

  6. This sounds like a story from Urkobold’s blog.

    Does this mean Urkobold needs to take up the slack in hard (ahem) news stories?

  7. I don’t think Urkobold could cover this story without a noticeable slant.

  8. There is extensive research on BATIN over at Urkobold…

  9. Damn! Once again I’ve forgotten to check out Dave W’s patent blog! Somehow, I suspect Urkobold is behind my forgetfulness, but I can’t seem to remember just how.

  10. There must be a market for Plaster Caster products. I’d bet someone could get the estate of say Jimi Hendrix to license…

    It’d give the term “Jimi Hendrix Experience” a whole new twist!

    Why settle for a poster or a t-shirt?

  11. Once again I’ve forgotten to check out Dave W’s patent blog!

    Well hopefully we will still see each other from time to time at the Crazee Mona blog, Wriggley’s.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.