The Pope addresses a joint session of Congress in Washington, while Kit Kat’s shape is fought over in a European court.
Is it me, or has the world got a little stranger over the last few days?
Just take a look at some of the events.
Confectionery companies have been slugging it out in two different court cases. First of all, a week ago the European Court of Justice rejected a request from Nestlé to trademark the shape of its four-fingered KitKat bar in Britain.
The court rules that Nestlé’s attempts to patent the ‘four finger’ design of Kit Kat don’t hold up under EU law. It follows a court challenge by rival Cadbury, which opposed Nestlé’s attempt to patent the design of Kit Kat’s when it filed its request back in 2010.
Then, yesterday, the German Federal Court dismissed a claim that the Lindt teddy breached the trademark of Haribo’s golden bear. The ruling means Lindt can continue to sell its chocolate bears wrapped in a golden foil.
The court said terms such as ‘teddy’, ‘chocolate bear’ or ‘chocolate teddy’ could be applied to the product just as well as ‘gold bear’ and, in a statement, said: “It’s not sufficient that the trademarked word is just one of several obvious names to describe the product form.”..
Switching from sweets to car manufacturers, we find that Volkswagen has admitted putting software in some of its diesel cars to ensure that lower emission figures are found during static testing. Researchers in the USA conducted tests on cars in use, and found much higher figures.
So far, the problem has only been proved to exist in America but hold on to your hats; Europe is going to start looking to see if a similar problem exists there too.
Another German motor manufacturer, BMW, has now been forced to deny being involved in a similar scandal after Auto Bild magazine alleged that the company’s X3 SUV had failed emissions testing. Who knows where that story may go.
Religious leaders have not escaped. The Dalai Lama stunned a BBC reporter by saying that he would welcome a female successor to his role – but only if she is attractive, otherwise she would not be ‘much use’.
The spiritual leader made what many see as shockingly sexist remarks in an interview yesterday, when he was asked if there would be a 15th incarnation of the Dalai Lama, and if it could potentially be a woman this time.
He replied: ”Yes, the female biologically [has] more potential to show affection and compassion.” When questioned if he was making a joke, the Dalai Lama leader assured the interviewer that he was deadly serious and said a female Dalai Lama would have more potential to show affection and compassion for ‘biological’ reasons.
Meanwhile, Pope Francis visited Cuba before going to the US. No slip ups there unless you include his address to Congress in which he called for tolerance towards immigrants, the abolition of capital punishment and the tackling of climate change. He also criticised the arms trade and those who sell ‘deadly weapons’ for ‘money that is drenched in blood’. Although he was given resounding applause, many of the senators and representatives present are opposed to such policies.
The Pope turned down lunch with the lawmakers, instead choosing to help hand out food to Washington DC’s poor.