Friday, 5 February 2010

cold water on hot air claims

Some of us wish the vuvuzela had never been invented – especially after Christmas, when thousands of children started playing their new toy. But others are happy to claim to be the inventor – in fact a number of different persons and institutions all want a slice of the cake. The first is a soccer fanatic, who created an early version and in fact produced an album of sounds called ’vuvuleza cellular’! The second is the Nazareth Baptist Church, which states that their congregants have used the vuvuleza for about a century in church ceremonies. Thirdly, there are a number of applicants for the trade mark ‘vuvuzela’, some with apparently more merit than others.
Carl van Rooyen of Spoor and Fisher has given a useful analysis of possible rights to both the instrument and the name, and concludes that the word describes a type of allegedly ‘musical’ instrument and is consequently unregistrable because it is generic. The full argument can be read here:

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