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Disney brings Christmas Cheer

Readers of my blog will know that one of my pet subjects is the extent to which big business responds to infringements. Often I have called out what I see as a disproportionate response to possible infringement by a small company who may have acted innocently. At times action has been taken by big business against a small company who are not infringing but who big business wants to scare off the outer perimeters of…
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Kylie cosmetics

Kylie Minogue v Kylie Jenner

I think it is safe to say we all know who Kylie Minogue is. She is responsible for such undisputed bangers as Love At First Sight and Can’t Get You Out of My Head (and I am not ashamed to admit that). We have also all heard of Kylie Jenner, who is famous for… being famous. What you may not know is that Jenner had been trying to trade mark the name Kylie in the…
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Brexit

Away we go!

On 12 December, the British public voted overwhelmingly to return Boris Johnson’s Conservative government to power. Last week, the Queen’s speech set out the Government’s plans for the next year and beyond, and with a majority of 80 seats in the House of Commons, the now famous ‘oven-ready’ deal has sailed through parliament, which means that Britain will finally leave the European Union on 31 January 2020 and enter into a transition period during which…
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laptop

Author of copyright works – man or machine?

Copyright protection arises automatically in literary, dramatic, artistic and musical works, and is an extremely useful intellectual property right. The author of a copyright work is the person who created it. In relation to computer-generated works the author is the person by whom the arrangements necessary for the creation of the work are undertaken. But what about artificial intelligence? If a piece of artificial intelligence creates a piece of copyright work, does it mean that…
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Contract

No contract no liability?

If someone does work for you, but you have yet to sign a written contract (or even orally agree to a contract), can you still be held liable to pay for the work? In AMP Advisory & Management Partners AG v Force India Formula One Team Limited, the High Court said yes. What happened? The facts of this case are relatively simple: Force India entered into a sponsorship agreement with an Austrian water company, which…
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Radio

TuneIn thoroughly WARNERED!

As you may know, Warner Music and Sony Music had jointly brought a claim against TuneIn for copyright infringement. TuneIn is a service that enables consumers to access more than 100,000 radio stations around the world. Warner and Sony Music claim has been accepted by the courts who found that TuneIn services infringed the claimant’s rights under section 20 of the Copyright, Designs, and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA). The reason the claim was first brought…
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Outdoor signage written on multiple languages

Foreign Language Words as Trade Marks in the UK and EU

Over the last decade a growing number of overseas businesses have been expanding into the UK and EU, and a lot of them are targeting the nationals of their countries that currently reside here. A question therefore arises – can an overseas business register a UK/EU trade mark in their own language using non-Roman alphabet? According to the UKIPO and EUIPO guidelines, the words in foreign non-Roman languages can indeed be registered as a trade…
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Thank you for shopping LOCAL

EUIPO: trade mark licencing brings significant revenue for SMEs

The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has released its recent study looking into SMEs and trade mark licencing. The figures are staggering! The survey has shown that the estimated annual revenues from licensing out EU Trade Marks (EUTM) by all SMEs in the EU is EUR 1.9 billion. This annual revenue is estimated as being EUR 64,924 per firm. Trade marks are brand identifiers, they establish a brands distinctiveness and are a go to…
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election

Electioneering and copyright infringement

In the olden days parties campaigned by knocking on doors, holding rallies and sending endless bits of paper to voters. But, what this latest election has shown us, apart from the fact that people seem pretty keen to get Brexit done, is that social media is the new median to reach voters. Whilst this may seem fine in theory, and certainly friendlier to the planet, it does have some problems. Most notably the ease by…
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A B C Book

C is for Copyright Infringement

No stranger to a good intellectual property dispute, Jay-Z is in the news again – this time for issuing proceedings against children’s author Jessica Chiha, who wrote “A B to Jay-Z”, a book designed to teach children to read using references to hip-hop culture, including artist names and lyrics. This follows two Cease and Desist letters in which Jay-Z asked Ms Chiha (and her company The Little Homie) to top selling the book, as far…
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