A recent judgment by the CJEU set aside a decision of the General Court annulling an OHIM decision to invalidate a Community trade mark owned by the National Lottery Commission, based on the presumed existence of an earlier copyright. The CJEU remitted the case back to the General Court for a ruling taking into account the right of the parties to a fair trial. After eight years and after passing through the entire gamut of the European Union’s appeal proceedings, the copyright was finally declared non-existent and the trade mark valid.
On 2 October 2007 the applicants, the National Lottery Commission (now the Gambling Commission), obtained Community trade mark registration no. 4800399, repro [...]
Erno Rubik, creator of the famous Rubik’s Cube, brought suit against a Dutch enterprise that trades in gift articles, including the so-called ‘Magic Cube’, which strongly resembles Rubik’s own ‘Rubik’s Cube’. Prior to the Supreme Court proceedings, the Arnhem Court of Appeals ruled that the (combination of) the Rubik’s Cube’s characteristic six colours was considered to meet the ‘own intellectual creation’ threshold needed for copyright protection. However, the Rubik’s Cube as such – abstracted from its colours – did not meet this standard, as the characteristic elements of the Rubik’s Cube merely serve a technical function, precluding it from being protectable by cop [...]
The bizarre saga known as Garcia v. Google has finally come to end with an eleven judge en banc decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Garcia v. Google, Inc., 786 F.3d 733 (9th Cir. 2015)). That holding came in response to a remarkable, if not astonishing holding by a two to one majority of a Ninth Circuit panel. The en banc hearing, and its result, overturning the panel majority, was not at all surprising. The issue, however, was disturbing enough to have generated the filing of thirteen different amici curiae briefs on behalf of more than forty different purported amici.
While the end result was fully anticipated the case itself raises significant issues a [...]
The Court of Turin held that the main idea for a finished work (a TV commercial for the FIAT 500) had been developed in an initial project carried out by the claimant and that this project was the basis for the subsequent authors’ work. Consequently, the commercial was evidentially a development of his original idea. His work was therefore entitled to copyright protection in line with Article 1 of the Italian Copyright Law which protects works ‘whatever their mode or form of expression’ and he was entitled to be named as a co-author of the advertisement.
This ruling, rendered by the IP specialist section of the High Court of First Instance of Paris, breaches the most basic EU and French copyright law, by refusing copyright protection to an obviously original photographic work. This very surprising ruling is unfortunately just another ruling contrary to the elementary rules of copyright law that has been given by the High Court of Paris.
On 21 May 2015, the High Court of First Instance of Paris (Tribunal de Grande Instance) rendered a judgment in which it ruled that a famous photograph of Jimi Hendrix, taken by Gered Mankowitz, is not original and therefore not protected by copyright. The photograph is reproduced hereabove. The 3rd Chamber o [...]
A claim for infringement of copyright and design rights failed. There was no good reason to reject evidence that the fabric in question was created without sight of the claimant’s fabric; the similarities between the designs were not sufficient to infer that there had been subconscious copying.
In Article 2/1, the Berne Convention counts architectural works, together with plans, sketches and three-dimensional works relative to architecture, as copyrightable subject matter.
Turkish law treats architectural creations in two different categories: as “literary works” and “works of fine art”. Accordingly, under Law No 5846 on Artistic and Intellectual Works, the architectural work itself and the plans, sketches and three-dimensional works relative to architecture are classed as two different types of work.
Article 4 of Law No 5846 titled “Works of Fine Art” grants copyright protection to archite [...]
The Italian Supreme Court confirmed that software which derives from a pre-existing computer program is eligible for copyright protection provided it demonstrates a minimal level of originality, even if it reproduces the main structure of the pre-existing program.
The Supreme Court maintains its position in a case concerning a Lancôme perfume, stating that ‘copyright only protects creations in their tangible form, so far as this form is identifiable with sufficient precision to permit its communication; whereas the fragrance of a perfume … is not a form that has this characteristic, and therefore cannot be protected by copyright’.
Article L.112-1 of the French Intellectual Property Code (IPC) protects ‘the rights of authors in all works of the mind, whatever their kind, form of expression, merit or purpose’, without giving a definition of originality.
French case law has defined originality as the expression of the personality of the autho [...]
“The law does not allow for additional protection of the maker of a work against so-called slavish imitation of a style or of elements of style.”
Supreme Court of the Netherlands, 29 March 2013 (Duijsens/Broeren).
Although the legal concept of coat-tail riding is usually associated with trademark law, it is certainly not unfamiliar to copyright law. But whereas in trademark law the mere association with a popular brand is used to sell the non-identical brand of the coat-tail rider, in copyright law it is often the style of an artist or a work , that is used as a means to stay as close to these work(s) without literally imitating them.
Unfortunately for those whose coat-tails are r [...]