Monday, 4 February 2008

Ex Africa Semper Aliquid Novi

According to an AFP report, in a bustling suburb of Teshie on the coast road from downtown Accra in Ghana there is a business that makes coffins, not just any coffins but “elaborately decorated burial caskets in the shape of an aeroplane, lion, cucumber, tomato, lobster, shoe, snake, a world war two gun, a white MERECEDES BENZ, or a COKE bottle”. “The idea is that you order a coffin to reflect what the person has done in their life," explains manager Emmanuel Doku. "It was all started by a man called Ataa Owuo. When his grandmother died he realised that the old lady had never travelled before…”

"So he made an aeroplane coffin to take her to heaven."

Read the full article here.

So, did Emmanuel get a licence from The Coca-Cola Company or from Daimler Chrysler, the owners of their respective intellectual property rights? Did he need to? Should those companies care and … what would your coffin be? Feel free to comment here.

Did you know? The Ghanaian Trade Marks Act which came into force on 1 January 2004 introduced service mark protection and protection for well known marks. Passing off is also a recognised action in Ghana for the protection of goodwill.

For more information on replicas and whether they may infringe (or not) intellectual property rights see Illanah's posting on IPKAT here and Jeremy's posting here which includes expert opinion from a number of commentators as well as commentary on the relatively recent ECJ decision (Adam Opel V Autec) and developments in the US. For information on how to build a coffin click here

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