Grapes of Rath
Originally posted 2010-06-08 15:23:57. Republished by Blog Post Promoter
The Patently Obvious Blog reports that the Federal Circuit, still clinging to antique notions of national sovereignty, quaintly rules that although the U.S. is indeed a signatory to the Paris Convention (of course! Paris!), “the Paris Convention is not ‘self executing’ and thus has no direct effect on U.S. law.” In other words, Congress has to amend the Lanham Act to amend the Lanham Act. Evidently this “sovereignty” fetish applies to important matters like trademarks, not the death penalty and stuff.
Incidentally, the ruling means that a certain Dr. Rath (sounds like a James Bond nemesis, or maybe a very bad advice columnist, doesn’t it?) (and it doesn’t help that in German you pronounce it like “rot”) cannot obtain a trademark registration for his last name in the U.S. despite his holding a foreign registration.
One more reason why they laugh at us in Europe, I guess…
UPDATE: See John Welch here.