Category Archives: Intellectual Property

Borroni and Carugno, ‘The Protection of Choreographies Under Copyright Law: A Comparative Analysis’

ABSTRACT The legal literature on intellectual property has rarely focused on choreographies. Choreographic works are different from other works protected under copyright law, because they consist in a limited number of standardised building blocks (musical notes, dance steps and movements) which are then each time arranged in an original, creative, and reproducible combination. The questions […]

‘When are foreign language terms descriptive and hence should be refused trade mark protection?’

“Recently, the General Court in the HELL coffee case has confirmed that a descriptive foreign language term (German word HELL) can be granted protection under EU trade mark law (Hell Energy v EUIPO, T-323/20). The decision of the General Court to allow trade mark protection for the German word HELL (meaning light) is in contrast […]

‘EU copyright law round up – third trimester of 2021’

“Welcome to the third trimester of 2021 round up of EU copyright law! In this series we update readers every three months on developments in EU copyright law. This includes Court of Justice (CJEU) and General Court judgments, Advocate Generals’ (AG) opinions, and important policy developments. You can read the first and second trimester round […]

Rebecca Tushnet, ‘What’s the Harm of Trademark Infringement?’

ABSTRACT This Article explores the classic harm theories of trademark infringement that don’t involve sales substitution and argues that courts should recognize their empirical weakness. Despite the expansion of infringement liability based on new theories of such harm, questions about what constitutes trademark harm are now being reexamined at the remedy stage. These changes are […]

The Making of EU Copyright: online, 18 October 2021

2021 is a momentous year for EU copyright law: it is the 30th anniversary since the adoption of the first ever copyright directive (the Software Directive 1991/250) and the 20th since the passing of the seminal InfoSoc Directive 2001/29. By 7 June this year, individual Member States should have also completed their own national processes […]

Daryl Lim, ‘Substantial Similarity’s Silent Death’

ABSTRACT Copyright litigation involving hit songs like Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’, Justin Bieber and Usher’s ‘Somebody to Love’, and Led Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway to Heaven’ caused many in the music industry to vex over the line between homage and infringement. When are the two works too similar? To many courts and scholars, substantial similarity is ‘bizarre’, […]

McMahon and Richardson, ‘Patents, healthcare and engaged shareholders: a pathway to encourage socially responsible patent use?’

ABSTRACT This paper focuses on the drivers steering companies’ behaviour over uses of patented health technologies, taking Covid-19 as a case study. Global equitable access to health technologies is vital to bringing the pandemic under control. Reflecting this, global mechanisms for rightsholders to share intellectual property rights, data and know-how over such health technologies have […]

Sunimal Mendis, ‘Wiki (POCC) Authorship: The Case for An Inclusive Copyright’

ABSTRACT Public open collaborative creation (POCC) constitutes an innovative form of collaborative authorship that is emerging within the digital humanities. At present, the use of the POCC (Wiki) model can be observed in many online creation projects the best known examples being Wikipedia and free-open source software (FOSS). This paper presents the POCC model as […]

‘Copyright – Smith v Newman

Chancery Division (Mr Justice Zacaroli), Smith v Dryden and others [2021] EWHC 2277 (11 Aug 2021). This was a claim by Kelly-Marie Smith against Kesi Dryden and others for copyright infringement. The claimant wrote the words and music for a song called Can You Tell Me. She claimed that copyright subsisted in those works and […]

Online Presentation: Caterina Sganga, ‘The past, present and future of EU copyright flexibilities’, 28 October 2021

Copyright flexibilities (a term that encompasses not only exceptions, but all copyright rules such as non-voluntary or extended collective licenses, the principle of exhaustion, free and paying public domain, and the like) are tools through which legislators have traditionally struck the balance between the author’s monopoly – which is necessary to incentivize creativity – and […]