Nails, Scales, and Sales: Midweek Trivia

As social media expand they bring lawyer stuff with them to bedevil the previously innocent denizens of the world, rather as missionaries were carried along with waves of colonialism to people who were just fine without them. The latest site for the social-medium-IP-dance is nail polish, of all things. Ciaté, a British cosmetics company, was in the process of trade marking their latest nail polish, Caviar Manicure — a product that has you sprinkle coloured beads onto your glue-spread nails. Bloggers began to write about this caviar manicure process; and some of them got a shirty email from Ciaté, instructing them that they

. . . should not use the trade marks caviar manicure and/or caviar nails unless they are used in relation to products or to a method of using products that are produced by Ciate

and asking them to confirm that the offending mentions had been removed.

Predictably, the bloggers were upset and went to war over this C&D. Equally predictably, Ciaté has backed off and tried to explain its actions, claiming that what it sent was not a cease and desist letter but simply a request. Seems that part of their worry might have been about trying to prevent “caviare manicure” from becoming a generic term and thus pipping their application for a trade mark. BuzzFeed has the full story.

Which reference to caviar leads me to notice in today’s feeds that the fate of the wild sturgeon, mother of the greatest caviar, is improving, thanks to a law and its global spread. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species that in 1998 placed all wild sturgeons (Acipenser) on the endangered list has had a positive impact. A story in the New York Times today says that this, coupled with improved US labelling requirements, have moved consumers to farmed fish roe, taking the pressure of the ancient, and once plentiful, sturgeon.

Which reference to nail polish leads me to notice in today’s feeds an item announcing “Nokia launches nail polish to match the pink Lumia 900.” Evidently, in its quest for sales the Finnish manufacturer is inviting potential customers in selected locations to come in to get a manicure and a polish in Lumia pink while playing with the new phone. There’s a YouTube video, if you’re interested. Cunning marketing ploy or desperation move by an endangered company?


  1. At least it’s less permanent / tacky than offering a tatoo of the company’s logo :)