European IP Bulletin, Issue 87

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In Depth


UK Patents County Court Finds Copyright Subsists in Digitally Manipulated Photograph

In Temple Island Collections Ltd v New English Teas Ltd [2012] EWPCC 1 (12 January 2012), Judge Birss QC found that an image belonging to New English Teas infringed the copyright subsisting in a digitally manipulated photograph of a London scene created by Temple Island Collections

Trade Marks

Wella Fails to Prove Distinctiveness of SHAPER Mark

In Wella Corporation v Alberto-Culver Company [2011] EWHC 3558 (Ch), the UK High Court upheld the decision of a UK Intellectual Property Office Hearing Officer who rejected the application by Wella Corporation to invalidate the Alberto-Culver Company mark FUNKY SHAPER based on Wella’s earlier Community trade mark for SHAPER.


CJEU Rules on Copyright Protection of Photographic Portraits

In Case C-145/10 Eva-Maria Painer v Standard Verlags GmbH 1 December 2011, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) held that portrait photographs enjoy the same copyright protection as any other work. The CJEU also found, however, that exceptions exist that allow the media to publish such photographs without consent.

E-Commerce / Domain Names

Nominet Proposes Changes to UK Generic Top Level Domain Name Registration Rules

Nominet, which runs one of the world’s largest internet registries and manages over nine million domain names, has proposed changing the rules of domain name registration for, and domains to ensure that each company is entitled to a unique domain name. The change is intended to also reduce the potential for abuse.

New Generic Top Level Domain Application Process Launched

After more than seven years of planning, the application process for new generic top level domains (gTLDs) has been launched. As of 12 January 2012, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers began accepting applications for new gTLDs. There are currently just 22 gTLDs. For a mere US$185,000, anyone, anywhere in the world, whether a public or private entity, will be able to apply to create and operate a new gTLD, provided they can demonstrate the operational, technical, and financial capability to run a registry.

Privacy and The Cloud: An EU Perspective

By using cloud computing, companies cut costs by outsourcing data storage tasks, which means they no longer have to maintain expensive servers. However, this technological advance represents “one of the biggest challenges to data protection and data security of EU citizens” according to EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding. As a result, reform of the current European legislation on data protection is necessary.

Data Protection

EU Privacy: Proposal for A New Regime

On 25 January 2012, the European Commission published the long-awaited and much-anticipated draft legislation that comprehensively reforms EU data protection law. The new legislation imposes significant changes to the way in which businesses comply with data protection laws in the European Union.


EU Patent Package Receives a Mixed Reaction

The Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament has backed proposals for the new “EU patent package”, consisting of a unitary patent, language regime, and unified patent court. However, the proposals continue to face stiff criticism from academics and practitioners across the European Union, as well
as from the UK Parliamentary Scrutiny Committee.

Advertising and Marketing

“UK’s Safest Broadband”: TalkTalk in Breach of CAP and BCAP Code

TalkTalk’s adverts claiming to offer the “UK’s safest broadband” have been found to be in breach of the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) and Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) Code. Although TalkTalk intended the claim to relate only to connections between the telephone network and router, the fact that its HomeSafe service only provided basic security between the router and computer led the Advertising Standards Authority to find a breach of CAP and BCAP rules relating to misleading advertising, substantiation, and other comparisons.