Saturday, January 15, 2005

They don’t even own the name!

So much for the EU’s controversial GPS satellite system.

According to AFP, an information technology firm based in Barbados has secured a victory in a legal battle in Germany regarding the rights to the name Galileo, which the EU has adopted.

The court of appeal in Munich ruled that EADS Astrium GmbH, a German unit of the eponymous European company that builds the system, was not allowed to use the name Galileo for its products. Instead, the court ruled in favour of Barbados-based IT firm Galileo International Technologies, whose claim to the name was older, the judges said.

"In concrete terms, that means EADS will have to find a new name for its satellite navigation system," which is being developed as a rival to the United States' GPS navigation system, court spokeswoman Sybille Fey told AFP. The Munich court also ruled EADS Astrium could not appeal the ruling.

However, legal experts said it was unlikely that the EU would change the name of such a high profile project such as the Galileo project. An out-of-court settlement could be reached.

In other words, the commission lawyers did not even check ownership of the rights to the name before the EU started using it. Now they expect to be able to drop a bung – of our money – to the injured company in the hope that they can keep the title for their star project.

What sad creatures they are. Still, at least Wallström will get a Blog out of it. Not.

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