To explain the murphmonster’s confusion on the Apple Store design patent.

Finally, he reveals what he’s worried about. That apple will place this IP in some tax haven and then charge all stores for using it, thus shifting profits.

Slightly odd thing to worry about given that Apple’s foreign (ie, outside US) tax rate is around 2% anyway. What the hell do they need this IP for to dodge more?

26 thoughts on “To explain the murphmonster’s confusion on the Apple Store design patent.”

  1. My lord, the prejudice and ignorance in that thread, it burns!

    This IP professional’s view is that it’s a clever use of a positional mark, and will almost certainly be fully defensive in nature, to avoid resellers and others from pretending to be apple stores when they are not. I reckon the court could easily have gone the other way, but they didn’t. Now apple can block in the EU what they have suffered in the east. Seems fair enough. As Timmy says, they have enough IP to do any funny transfer pricing and so on without this.

    And his ignorance of trademarks leads him to make Apple’s point for them – their store layout is, as he admits, distinctive. He says you have no doubt your in one. That’s what makes passing off so easy, and why the mark is justified!

    But I make my living from IP, so I guess that disqualifies me from comment. Would he apply the same standard to himself in respect of tax and accountancy!

  2. And Tim, it’s not a design patent. It’s a trademark. A “design patent”is the US term for a registered design / industrial design.

  3. abacab (Great name and comments by the way!)

    I thought some of last week’s threads were impressive – this one takes the biscuit. He contradicts himself, offers the time honored evidence in the forms of either: ‘civil society and all decent people agree with me’, ‘you’re wrong’ and now adds ‘you’re wasting my time’, asserts he has won an argument when any unbiased observer can see he has been torn to pieces, and then ‘defeats’ said critics by barring follow-up comments. What a leading ‘economic thinker’….

    Oddly he expresses no similar concerns about a potential state monopoly in any area of the economy – one wonders why that is? Still, even in the event all hostile comments are barred, he’ll still have a willing queue of the power hungry quite willing to arrogate him an intelligence and authority on matters of which he is entirely ignorant: Law, science, politics, history, taxation, finance, economics, etc, etc

  4. I still think that shit like this justifies the anti-IP crusaders in the sense of the “gone too far” argument. It’s a bloody shop with bloody wooden tables in it. If we accept the argument that Apple customers are so thick that they have no idea what they’re buying and will buy anything if they think it’s an Apple product just by the general environment, you’re basically agreeing with the whole Proggie justification for infinite regulation- that customers are too stupid to choose for themselves.

    I appreciate that Apple customers generally are that thick- they’d buy a lump of turd if it was called an iTurd and sprayed whatever colour the latest “design language” is- but that’s no reason to let a few retards ruin things for everyone else.

  5. Top notch trolling here:

    John Adams says:

    July 15 2014 at 4:05 pm

    Keep up the good work Richard. You have really got the supporters of tax abuse rattled. Their thinly didguised concern over the difference between patents and trade marks is merely a smoke screen to hide their support for what all tax abuse helps guarantee – namely third world poverty abroad and austerity at home.

  6. @Van Patten – thanks 🙂


    Seems like a completely sensible extension of the concept of a positional mark to me.

    Real or fake?

    Not an apple logo in sight in that photo. In any case, a reseller has the right to use the figurative mark to advertise the fact that he has the products for sale. Cunning placing of advertising like that plus copying the layout will result in a significant risk of confusion by the average end-consumer, which is the legal test.

  7. Could Ritchie get a trademark on his standard post ?

    Advocate strident position
    Be shown to be an ignorant buffoon
    Bluster and deny
    Ban everyone

  8. bloke (not) in spain

    @mr abacab

    If anyone wants to access the link, add the .jpg in the address bar.

    Just to clarify. The image shows what the interior of a fake Apple Store looks like? Some of more discerning people here have never seen a real one.

  9. You guys are just jealous of Ritchie’s status as the UK’s leading tax expert.

    -Sent from my iTurd.

  10. abacab –

    Your latest riposte is simply one of the funniest exchanges I have seen – finally he got one thing right:

    ‘This is not an academic journal’

    How true – even funnier is his response to the contention where apparently anyone questioning his bizarre interpretation of this is ‘protecting the slippery ladders of their organizations’ – interesting to know I work for a company deemed a tax evader by the sinister ‘civil society’. To paraphrase Louis XIV:

    ‘L’etat, c’est tout; La verite, c’est moi’

  11. My elder son had an Apple logo on his Hewlett Packard laptop; just for fun. It got passed down to my younger son: if some bureaucrat from Apple wants to argue about it I shall try to find a local boxing club who have a qualified referee.

  12. A little off topic but a funny story. There is this underground market in Zhuhai right by the border with Macau. It has plenty of stores selling apple, Samsung etc. When I was there last year (i think) there was an advert in a store selling apple goods saying “iPhone5: For those with more money than sense”. 😀

  13. Story behind this move by Apple is to ward off Far Eastern knock-offs (like Goophone) essentially. Most of these copies are physically identical, some even with the Apple logo on them (often inverted). That in itself is not covered by the store trademark, but some of these enterprising types are starting to set up Apple style stores selling near identical products to Apple themselves.

  14. I’ve spotted a further conversation from Murphy’s blog which shows his debating skills. Between him and Andrew Jackson (not me). Again I paraphrase

    RM “See, see, unregistered IP has no value, it can’t be transferred across border, see, this proves my point, they only register IP for tax purposes, see, see that proves I’m right and you’re wrong.”

    “Actually unregistered IP in the form for example of ‘Know How’ does have value and can be transferred across borders. HMRC have tax rules covering it”

    RM “You are a Troll”

  15. copyright is an unregistered IP right that can definitely be parked in an Irish holding. Bet JK Rowling does something like that 🙂

    Might poke him with that one later.

    Also, he seems to think that patents and trademarks are very difficult to attribute to a state. Given that they are territorial in nature (individual states for patents, individual states or regions for trademaks), I guess the only conclusion I can reasonably reach is that I must be a troll.

  16. That’s very true abacab. hadn’t thought of that.

    You don’t register Copyright (at least not in the UK). It just “is” after you’ve written something. And you can of course sell those rights.

    The MurphMonster’s argument is so full of holes it’s beginning to resemble the last moments of the Bismark.

  17. Andrew: it does baffle me how Murphy still maintains that you can’t shift know-how, when I (for I am “Andrew Jackson” – an obvious pseudonym if ever i saw one 😉 – or rather he is me) tell him that I’ve seen it done.

    OK, strictly you don’t shift the know-how so much as shifting the right to use it; but if a patent is the same as a trademark for the purposes of his argument then there really is no difference here either 🙂

  18. I also can’t fathom the use of the Marxoid term “monopolist” to describe apple, who have how much market share exactly? Yes, they can monopolize their IP, sure, but they are not monopolists in any real sense of the word.

  19. Oh, jesus wept. Now he’s claiming that a copyright notice in a published work is a “registration”. Which would also make a TM sign next to a non-registered trademark also a “registration”.

  20. what’s so infuriating is the way that he cannot, just CANNOT admit he’s wrong on an objective point, so words and laws have to change their meaning to accomodate him.

  21. The best bit of his whole thread is that he describes Apple as ‘monopolistic’ and ‘restricting innovation’

    He clearly has no clue (about anything, I suspect) about the ‘device’ market where Samsung sell more phones than Apple.

    He really is a twat.

  22. “He really is a twat.”

    And all he had to do to absolutely “demolish” my argument was redefine some pretty clear legal terms to mean something other than what they do….

    I’m now coming over all Inigo Montoya…..

  23. “That word. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means”.

    I guess it falls under “the spirit of…” 😀

  24. Ha! My last comment didn’t make it through moderation. The gist of it was that all he had to do to demolish my argument was to redefine “registration”to mean “not registered”, and that he is completely, 100% wrong about copyright notices and legal effect, which he is. Can’t wait to have him in a position of influence…

  25. The thing is, from comments he has made on HIS blog, we know that Murphy reads THIS blog.

    So we know he is wrong and is refusing to post comments on his blog that PROVE he is wrong. And he KNOWS we know as we comment to that effect on here.

    So either he really is a totally deluded moron living in a fantasy world who cannot accept the truth when it doesn’t suit him or he is a devious twat knowingly allowing his cadre of idiot supporters to wallow in a cesspool of ignorance of his own making to suit his own ends.

    Or both.

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