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…

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…

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…

Regular readers of this blog will be familiar with an earlier decision by the Slovak Supreme Court about unauthorised use of a famous Tank Man picture in the Slovak media. The case has now hit the Slovak Constitutional Court, thus providing it with the first ever opportunity to discuss the interface of copyright and freedom…

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…

Besides tulips, cheese, football and other recreational matters, the Netherlands are famous for its copyright protection of non-original writings. Geschriftenbescherming, as the Dutch call this legal anomaly (and only they know how to pronounce it), is a remnant of an ancient eighteenth-century printer’s right that lives on until this day in the Dutch Copyright Act…