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The Phonograph as a Witness in Court.

In the High Court of Justice, Chancery Division, on December 18, a motion came before Mr Justice Kay, on behalf of Messrs Jackson and Co., carrying on business in America, asking for the registration of a trade mark for cotton goods—namely, the figure of an owl and the words “ Ko-Ko-Ko.” Messrs Jackson were advised by the Comp-troller-General of the Board of Trade to withdraw their application for the registration of the words “ Ko-Ko-Ko,” being the screech of a species of owl and the war cry of the Chippeway Indians. The question was whether “Ko-Ko-Ko” were fancy words not in common use within the meaning of the Patents, Designs, and Trade Mark Act. Mr John Cutler (for the applicant) said the words were unmeaning in England, and were, therefore, fancy words within the meaning of the Act. He had a phonograph in Court which would reproduce the exact sound.

A phonograph was then placed before His Lordship, who applied his ear to the tubes, and then read as follows;—“In reply to the question just asked by you as to the accent over the 6 in the first syllable ko, we are instructed by Jackson to inform you that the Jacksons hold that the mark ‘Ko-Ko-Ko’ is the first attempt to express in English the screech of a peculiar kind of owl.” His Lordship said it was marvellous how accurately sounds were conveyed by the machine. Afterwards the war cry of a chief of the Chippeway tribe was produced, and the sound was so piercing that the Judge, amid the laughter of the spectators, dropped the tubes. The Court resounded with the actual whoop of the Indian chieL After argument, the motion was dismissed.

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The Phonograph as a Witness in Court., Issue 7915, 24 May 1889

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The Phonograph as a Witness in Court. Issue 7915, 24 May 1889

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