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Things I thought this lunchtime... ... Tesco cheap imitation red… - Sally's Journal
June 24th, 2008
05:12 pm

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Things I thought this lunchtime...

... Tesco cheap imitation red bull tastes just as good, and is only 24p a can. I wish I hadn't learnt this.

... I still can't resist ridiculous special offers like "free rucksack with the Evening Standard." 50p for a rucksack is ludicrous, and probably means indian sweatshops. And besides, who wants to walk around with the branding of evil right wing rags on their back? But 50p for a nice navy blue rucksack!

... I still look young enough to be IDed? Even after a weekend of non-stop partying? Ah yes, that's because I'm just buying a bottle of wine and a can of red bull. That probably doesn't project "mature shopper".

... The signs at Elephant and Castle would be much more amusing if they were "Ministry of Sound" and "Ministry of Health".

(31 comments | Leave a comment)

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[User Picture]
From:antinomy
Date:June 24th, 2008 04:20 pm (UTC)
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cheap imitation red bull tastes just as good

You mean 'just as bad'. HTH, HAND :)
From:cjp39
Date:June 24th, 2008 04:23 pm (UTC)
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Awesome userpic there.
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From:antinomy
Date:June 25th, 2008 01:30 pm (UTC)
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Erm, thank you! Random compliments always appreciated! :)
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From:lnr
Date:June 24th, 2008 04:23 pm (UTC)
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ASDA is now IDing anyone who looks under 25. I know this because I got IDed on Saturday buying a normal sort of shop of things like bread and meat and veg and a couple of tins of pre-mixed G&T. I was still rather surprised.

(Note for anyone who doesn't know me: I am actually 32).

Edited at 2008-06-24 04:30 pm (UTC)
From:yrieithydd
Date:June 24th, 2008 04:23 pm (UTC)
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That reminds me of the time curig bought Gin, Tonic, (wine?) and eggs!
(Deleted comment)
From:yrieithydd
Date:June 25th, 2008 02:23 pm (UTC)
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Was that the (wine?) of my memory or was there wine and port?
(Deleted comment)
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From:simont
Date:June 24th, 2008 04:27 pm (UTC)
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And besides, who wants to walk around with the branding of evil right wing rags on their back?

My current rucksack, when I bought it, had a big manufacturer's brand smack in the middle of it. It wasn't an ideologically offensive brand in the same sense, but I've never been keen on walking around with advertising all over me and in any case it was the only non-black thing on my entire person so I wanted it gone. I got rid of it with a stitch-unpicking tool. Does your branding come off as easily?

(Of course, the downside is that when I eventually need another one I won't be able to remember who made this one, which is a predicament I will cheerfully admit to having brought on myself :-)
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From:cartesiandaemon
Date:June 24th, 2008 04:46 pm (UTC)
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If only you'd kept it. Maybe someone else remembers what you had written so prominently on your back? :)
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From:samholloway
Date:June 24th, 2008 04:32 pm (UTC)
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The Tesco own-brand Red Bull is pretty decent (by which I mean, it does what it's supposed to do - it doesn't taste great, but then neither does normal Red Bull IMHO!) On long nights of DJing I've found it handy to have a bottle.

Does anyone else here recall the vogue for med students drinking Calpol and Red Bull a few years ago? It was after I was a (maths) student but also seemingly before the current times, as I spoke to current meds and they'd never heard of it. (Their preferred tipple is now cocktails based on the alcohol hand-rub gel you have to use when visiting wards in most hospitals.)
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From:liseuse
Date:June 24th, 2008 09:45 pm (UTC)
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I remember that! (Or, more specifically, a friend's brother will remember that, and I remember him talking about it.) The medics at my uni were big fans of red bull and pro-plus. A combination I deeply mistrust.
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From:cartesiandaemon
Date:June 24th, 2008 04:45 pm (UTC)
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First thought: Imitation Iron Bru? What on earth do they call it to indicate that.
Second thought: Oh, right, Red Bull. What a weird mistake. Still, I wonder what they do call it.
Third thought: Maybe they call it "imitation red bull". That ought to be safe from trademark infringement right?? Assuming you can't find anyone to stand up in court and say "I bought some tesco Imitation Red Bull, and when I got it home, I discovered it was imitation Red Bull! WTF?"

I bought the daily mail once. (I know other people read it.) It was a very good price for a Kind Hearts and Coronets DVD. For ages I kept the paper, as Probably The Only Daily Mail I'll Ever Buy (TM), but eventually decided that was (a) stupid and (b) doesn't fit into into my filing system, and threw it out.

I think I've read 1984 more[1] than I hear the full names of government institutions. Thus I can never hear "Ministry of Health", etc, without assuming it's some sort of biowarfare research laboratory.

[1] Well, once, but it left an impression.
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From:geekette8
Date:June 24th, 2008 06:14 pm (UTC)
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Calling it "imitation red bull" would probably be fine in terms of trade descriptions, but it would still be trademark infringement. You can't use their name unless they give you their permission, which I doubt they would in this case!
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From:geekette8
Date:June 24th, 2008 06:14 pm (UTC)
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(er, assuming they've trademarked their name, which I'm sure they have)
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From:cartesiandaemon
Date:June 24th, 2008 08:21 pm (UTC)
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Doh. I really should know law stuff better. I was joking when I suggested they could. But is that right? I had a quick look at Trade Marks Act 1994 and:

(i) "A person infringes a registered trade mark if he uses in the course of trade a sign which is identical with the trade mark in relation to goods or services which are identical with those for which it is registered."

But

(ii) A person infringes a registered trade mark if he uses in the course of trade a sign where because ... the sign is similar to the trade mark and is used in relation to goods or services identical with or similar to those for which the trade mark is registered ... there exists a likelihood of confusion on the part of the public, which includes the likelihood of association with the trade mark.

There's also an exemption for "the use of the trade mark where it is necessary to indicate the intended purpose of a product" such as accessories.

I think it oughtn't to be an infringement, if it really is clear the product is supposed to be like Red Bull but is not produced by Red Bull. Though of course, almost all of the time, you never would try something like that whether it were possible or not.

But I've no idea how the law is interpreted, if the truth could be anything but it being infringement. (And of course, you might fall foul of some other part of law, eg. if the product was patented, or the trademark symbol copyrightable.)
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From:geekette8
Date:June 24th, 2008 08:27 pm (UTC)
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Seems fairly clear to me if you call something "imitation red bull" you are trying to associate your product with the trademark! Not *confusing* as such, I agree, though, but the last part of that last quoted sentence is the bit you'd be infringeing.

Even though you're clear it's not real Red Bull, it's Tescos Own Brand Imitation Red Bull, it's still association with the trademark.

[edited for typo]

Edited at 2008-06-24 08:27 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:cartesiandaemon
Date:June 24th, 2008 08:57 pm (UTC)
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Augh. I think I assumed it would have been "associated with" as in "assuming that red bull had anything to do with it" rather than, "anything to do with each other". This sort of thing is why I see why law can be hard.
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From:atreic
Date:June 25th, 2008 07:53 am (UTC)
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AIUI (which is not very well) it's all about keeping things in their spheres. So if you had a butchers shop called Red Bull, and you could show that nothing your butchers shop did was anything to do with energy drinks or the kudos attached to the name of energy drinks, then that's fine. So you can have a beer trademarked "clarkes" and a shoe-shop trademarked "clarkes" (warning! this is a made up example and may be wrong) and that isn't a problem, because shoes and beer are nothing to do with each other.
From:yrieithydd
Date:June 25th, 2008 02:26 pm (UTC)
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Or indeed a pub called the Red Bull.
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From:cartesiandaemon
Date:June 25th, 2008 02:28 pm (UTC)
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Yes, that's how I understand as well. (There are some nice examples, like how Red Bull Butchers is probably ok, but Fred's SONY sunglasses are probably not, even if Sony never many sunglasses, because they make so many kinds of things someone would assume the sunglasses are Sony's.)

(And IIRC, if you're not providing goods or services, and there's no possibility of looking as if you were officially endorsed, you're not restricted from using trademarks, so apparently Photoshop are just (for good reasons) overzealous about threatening everyone who uses it as a verb. But again, I could not be at all certain.)

However, I was thinking of the other sort of exception, one where you do have a related product, but you're not inviting confusion about who actually produced it. There are several specifically called out, such as using your own name[1], using the trademark to identify the other product as with accessories or spare parts, etc.

I would have no idea if this sort of thing is conceivable (it's certainly normally not worth it), but accept the assurances of the more certain people that it isn't.

[1] Presumably you would still be vulnerable to passing off. And I don't know if you're allowed to change your name to something confusing, I assume not, but don't know why.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:June 25th, 2008 08:26 am (UTC)
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You're thinking of passing off. Trade mark law is specifically intended to be a stricter version of the common law passing-off, where you get greater protection over a more narrowly defined, pre-registered mark.

S.
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From:cartesiandaemon
Date:June 25th, 2008 02:42 pm (UTC)
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Well, yes I was, and that makes sense, but I understood, from no evidence, that the purpose of trademark law was still to protect the mark for the purposes of identifying a product, and granted more specific rights for that purpose? And so not confusing confusion doesn't automatically make it ok, but using it at all doesn't automatically make it not ok??

I'm sure you and geekette are right, although still not convinced it's as obvious as you make it sound.

Airing an advert where you claim your competitor sucks is ok iirc (if you can back it up). Airing an advert where you claim you're similar to your competitor is obviously further towards the line, and using a trademark which incorporates their trademark even more so.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:June 25th, 2008 04:18 pm (UTC)
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Here is where to find the answer: http://www.ipo.gov.uk/tm/t-decisionmaking/t-law.htm
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From:cartesiandaemon
Date:June 26th, 2008 05:09 pm (UTC)
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Thank you. Yeah, I found the link when I was searching before, and now had a serious go at wading through the manuals. And I'm convinced how complicated it is. There were many helpful examples, but I couldn't find any that bore directly on this, even if just to say hadn't come up in court. (I infer you mean, "if the answer is anywhere, the answer is there, so looking is better than talking about it on livejournal", rather than "you're pretty sure the answer is there". If the latter, I'll read more exhaustively, unless you have any more precise directions.)
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From:ptc24
Date:June 24th, 2008 07:12 pm (UTC)
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From a book I once read: "We all know that in most countries the Ministry of Defense is in charge of attacking other people and the Ministry of Employment presides over the dole queue. Cameroon's Ministry of Tourism is in that noble tradition. Its job is to discourage tourists from getting into the country."
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From:cartesiandaemon
Date:June 24th, 2008 08:22 pm (UTC)
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:)
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From:purplepiano
Date:June 24th, 2008 07:23 pm (UTC)
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For the London-ignorant (or sarf-of-the-rivah ignorant) what do the signs at Elephant and Castle actually say?
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From:ilanin
Date:June 24th, 2008 07:44 pm (UTC)
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Since we haven't had a Ministry of Health for decades, I'd guess "Department of Health".
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From:atreic
Date:June 25th, 2008 07:48 am (UTC)
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As Stuart says - you come up from the subway and there's an arrow pointing left saying "Department of Health" and an arrow pointing right to "Ministry of Sound" (which I think is some sort of popular music venue ;-) ) The universe needs more symmetry...
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From:oedipamaas49
Date:June 25th, 2008 05:11 am (UTC)
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oh, Kick. How would I have survived night-shifts without it?

[just be afraid when you migrate to the 1L bottles]
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