The Spanish Supreme Court has recently ruled on the concept of originality in respect of architectural works, and for the first time has established clear and specific guidelines for applying copyright protection to works of this nature. The situation which gave rise to the proceedings is very common in the architectural sector. An architect (the…

A full summary of this case has been published on Kluwer IP Law The Supreme Court provided guidance on how to assess whether a work should be considered to be an adaptation, within the meaning of Section 4, paragraph 1 of the Swedish Copyright Act, or a new and independent work within the meaning of…

Can a scooter enjoy, contemporaneously, protection as a three-dimensional trademark (hereinafter 3D mark) and under copyright law?  Apparently it can, at least according to the Court of Turin, which recently said so, with its decision no. 1900/2017 dated March 17, 2017. The case was started when Piaggio, maker of the scooter Vespa, asserted rights arising…

On 22 November 2016, the Court of Appeal of Amsterdam decided the case Pearson v. Bär Software (the judgment is only available in Dutch). The judgment seems remarkable in light of the CJEU’s earlier ruling in the Ryanair case. How do they compare? The Pearson case The Pearson v. Bär Software case considered a collection…

It could be called the Dutch case of the summer of 2016: the question of whether beer manufacturer Bavaria’s slogan “Zo. Nu eerst een Bavaria” (translated: “So. Now first a Bavaria”) is a work entitled to copyright protection. In summary proceedings, the District Court of The Hague decided that the slogan is a work. The…

In this case the court took the position that the non-transfer of economic copyright in a draft building plan did not constitute a breach of the contract of services for designing a construction project if this condition had not been explicitly agreed between the parties. It followed that the transfer of economic copyright must be…

The European Commission keeps sending us surprises. After December’s Communication on Modernizing Copyright, which contained a mixed bag of copyright goodies, we had expected just about anything but the announcement that followed on March 23rd. The European Commission has launched a public open consultation on ‘the possible extension’ of neighbouring rights to publishers. As we…

The Polish Supreme Court held that the use of elements of a work of authorship, which are widely known and available (in the public domain), in another work in which those elements were combined in a different way, constitutes an expression of individual creative thought, and cannot therefore be regarded as an infringement of copyright…

The relationship between copyright and public art has always been difficult. From the initial reluctance to include architectural works as copyrightable subject matter because of their functional dimension, to the attempt at copyrighting works that, like the Egyptian pyramids, have never been protected (see here), passing on through the cases of “duplitectural marvels”. Moving beyond…

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…