Media & Entertainment
How legal are football broadcasts in pubs?
Karen Murphy v Media Protection Services Limited  EWHC 3091 (Admin) is an English High Court appeal against a decision of the Portsmouth Crown Court which held that the Appellant had committed an offence under Section 297(1) of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. The offence was dishonestly receiving a programme included in a broadcasting service provided from a place in the United Kingdom, with the intent to avoid payment of any charge applicable to the reception of the programme. The High Court upheld the Crown Court’s decision and maintained that the Respondent had the exclusive rights to screen the football matches in question in the UK.
SIAE labels against counterfeit CDs: is Italy facing the end of an era?
In response to the reference for a preliminary ruling made by Karl Josef Wilhelm Schwibbert (C-20/05), the European Court of Justice affirmed that the mandatory requirement in Italian copyright law, whereby a distinctive sign to be affixed to any medium containing a copyright protected work, constitutes a “technical regulation” within the meaning of Article 1 of Directive 98/34. Consequently, not providing the necessary notification to the European Commission would prevent SIAE, the Italian collecting society responsible of the sign, from taking action against individuals who failed to apply it.
No infringement arises from the use of a trade mark within a computer system
In Rx Works Ltd v Hunter  EWHC 3061, the use of the term “vet.local” as an internal name for a folder, or as a local domain name within specialist computer software, did not infringe the trade mark “vet.local”, registered in classes 9, 16, 41 and 42 for computer software, hardware and firmware, because the uses at issue did not and/or were not liable to affect the functions of the mark.
Distinctiveness of wind turbines
In Enercon GmbH v Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (Trade Marks and Designs) (OHIM) (Court of First Instance (Fifth Chamber), 15 November 2007, T-61/06), a manufacturer of wind turbines tried to obtain a trade mark on the three-dimensional shape of a wind turbine. OHIM rejected the application because of a lack of a distinctive character and the manufacturer appealed to the Court of First Instance.
Disguised drugs guilty of trade mark infringement
The English High Court has confirmed that trade mark infringement by importation can be established even if the goods have not been released into free circulation within the Community.
Patents<>Final battle over 3G handsets?
On 21 December 2007, the English High Court handed down a decision in the case Nokia Corporation v Interdigital Technology Corporationwhich concerned an action proposed by Nokia claiming that certain patents of Interdigital were not essential to the 3G telecommunications standard in Europe.
Litigation & Procedure
Monsanto v Cargill: Who picks up the final bill?
With rising expenses being incurred in conducting intellectual property litigation, apportionment of costs in patent litigation is becoming a significant issue. The judgement, by Pumfrey LJ in Monsanto v Cargill  EWHC 3113 (Pat), lays down general principles that the Court should follow in deciding the issue of apportionment of costs amongst winning and losing parties.
Making patent decisions quick, cheap and yet reliable
On 16 November 2007, in the case of DLP Ltd, Re UK Intellectual Property Office Decision,  EWHC 2669 (Pat), the English High Court dismissed an appeal against a decision of the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) on the question of an infringement under the new patent rules. The Court agreed that the Appellant had a right to an appeal, but this was only a right to a review of the decision made and not a right to a re-hearing.
Late Submission of Evidence to OHIM.
A party in opposition proceedings at the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM) submitted evidence after the deadline. The Opposition Division rejected the evidence and the Board of Appeal agreed. However, the Court of First Instance has annulled the Board of Appeal’s decision.
Commercial & Confidential Transactions
Confidential information: a tool in competition
The Commercial Division of the English High Court has upheld the decision of a single judge in restraining the Defendants from using the Claimants’ confidential information to gain an unfair competitive advantage by way of an injunction without notice to the Defendants.
UK House of Lords rules that credit card issuers are jointly liable with foreign suppliers
The House of Lords has, in a landmark decision, held that UK credit card issuers are jointly liable with foreign suppliers in breaches of contract and misrepresentation under Section 75 (1) of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. This liability is in relation to UK consumers who enter into transactions with foreign suppliers.
- Final changes to Patents Act 2004
- Companies Act 2006
- European Media Law—Audiovisual Media Services Directive has come into force
- European Commission—Communication on Creative Content Online in the Single Market
- Technology to avoid disputes between search engines and newspapers—the ACAP project