Archives: Copyright

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‘Minute Winner’ loses out in TV format copyright claim

Can copyright subsist in the format of a television show? Until recently, the only judicial decision on this question was back in 1989 in a case concerning the well-known talent show ‘Opportunity Knocks’. In that case, Hughie Green, the show’s author, producer and compere, argued that certain distinctive features repeated in every show, including the … Continue Reading

Brexit – how will my IP rights be affected?

The two year countdown to Brexit has begun. With the clock ticking, there is now a more urgent need for businesses to plan for the impact that Brexit will have on their operations. We have produced an updated briefing for intellectual property owners explaining the likely implications for their EU-wide IP protection, particularly where there … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Resolves Split on Design Copyright Eligibility

On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in Star Athletica LLC v. Varsity Brands Inc., which, in the Court’s words “resolve[s] widespread disagreement over the proper test” for determining when “the design of a useful article is eligible for copyright protection.”  Slip Op. at 1.  Varsity Brands, a cheerleading uniform manufacturer, filed the … Continue Reading

‘Fair dealing’ in a digital world

Our appetite for data has, arguably, never been greater. The advent of mobile technology has only fuelled that appetite by allowing us to consume increasing amounts of data on the move on our smartphones and tablets.  For many of us, our smartphone is our primary source of data.  A recent survey found that 82% of … Continue Reading

EU – When will hyperlinks be unlawful?

Following the uncertainty created by earlier rulings, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has handed down another judgment on when hyperlinking will be unlawful.   The ruling focuses on Article 3(1) of the InfoSoc Directive and, in particular, the meaning of “communication to the public”.  The question before the Court was – when … Continue Reading

Brexit and Intellectual Property Rights

On 19 July, we ran a webinar for clients entitled ‘Brexit: What could happen to my IP rights?’  We considered how IP protection in the UK will be affected by Brexit and discussed how IP filing and management strategies might be adapted now.  The webinar was well attended and client feedback was that it had been … Continue Reading

Brexit – What could happen to my IP rights?

The UK electorate has decided that the UK should leave the European Union (EU).  The referendum does not take immediate effect.  Current EU law and EU-wide rights, for example, the EU trade mark and the registered Community design, will continue to apply until the withdrawal from the EU actually happens.  The process of leaving the … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Clarifies Standards Governing the Attorneys’ Fees Awards In Copyright Litigation

This morning, the Supreme Court issued its most recent ruling in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., unanimously holding that the “objective reasonableness” of an unsuccessful litigant’s position should be accorded “substantial weight” when awarding attorneys’ fees in copyright cases.  The Court, however, also noted that this factor is not dispositive and district courts … Continue Reading

UK: Custodial sentence for online infringement to be increased to 10 years

The UK government has announced its intention to increase the maximum custodial sentence for online copyright infringement from two years to ten years.  This will match the current maximum sentence for copyright infringement in physical goods. Maximum sentence The government first consulted on this proposal in July 2015.  The overwhelming majority of respondents were against … Continue Reading

Europe – When is hyperlinking lawful?

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), Europe’s highest court, has been advised to rule that providing hyperlinks to freely accessible copyright protected content placed on the internet without the author’s consent should not be copyright infringement (GS Media v (1) Sanoma (2) Playboy Enterprises (3) Britt Dekker). The facts of the GS … Continue Reading

Copyright Law: No More Monkey Business

Since at least the 1950s, humans have taken an interest in the claimed artistic abilities of animals.  Give a primate a paintbrush, and you may get a masterpiece in abstract creativity.  Train an elephant to hold a paintbrush in its trunk, and you may even get a self-portrait.  But who owns the copyrights to these works … Continue Reading

The Ninth Circuit “Twists” Things Up for IP Protection in Yoga

In a recent decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that a certain yoga sequence developed by legendary yoga teacher Bikram Choudhury was not eligible for copyright protection.  The Court’s decision was based on the fundamental copyright principle known as the “idea/expression dichotomy,” which states that copyright protection is limited to … Continue Reading

Mandatory Copyright Deposit Provisions: Are they really mandatory?

Not everyone knows that the U.S. Copyright Act contains “mandatory deposit provisions,” which require that copies of most copyrighted works be sent to the Copyright Office.  Those who are aware of these provisions may believe that they only apply to works that are the subject of a federal copyright application.  Although a common misconception, this … Continue Reading

Investing in IP makes good business sense

Profitable companies may be considering how to invest their extra dollars.  “Investing in IP is a good choice,” says Squire Patton Boggs attorney Bryan Sims, who authored a blog titled “Ready For Investment? Three Reasons Why IP Matters.” Bryan gives three reasons why investing in IP makes sense.  First, the IP rights that are generated from innovation … Continue Reading

Broadcast Television Internet Streaming Service Aereo DENIED from Using Compulsory Licensing

This summer we reported on a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that held that Aereo Inc.’s broadcast television Internet streaming service constituted an unauthorized public performance in violation of the U.S. Copyright Act.  As background, prior to that ruling, Aereo’s business allowed subscribers to watch broadcast television programs on the Internet, within seconds after the programs were broadcast over … Continue Reading

Now orphan works can find a home

Quick off the heels to changes to the parody rules (see here), yet more changes to UK copyright law come into force today (29 October) allowing, for the first time, the use of certain copyright works without the consent of the copyright owner. The problem of orphan works For some years now, the EU has been concerned … Continue Reading
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