European IP Bulletin, Issue 26

Overview


Copyright

1. Change of Artist Name Does Not Allow Rights Holder of Existing Recordings to Use New Name

The Finnish Supreme Court has ruled against a record company who used an artist’s new name on old recordings in which they owned the rights.

2. Belgium and the Netherlands Scrap Their Restrictions on Licensing Music to Online Users

Belgium and the Netherlands have announced plans to scrap their restrictions on licensing music to online users. Sabam and BUMA, the Belgian and Dutch collecting societies, propose commitments that they shall no longer be party to any agreement containing an ‘economic residency clause’ in the case of online music.

3. Liability for Linking to Infringing Material

In Germany, the Motion Picture Association of America has been granted a temporary injunction against a website operator for linking to eDonkey’s peer-to-peer network. This decision emphasises the fact that liability for disseminating infringing material can rise not only from making available copyrighted works, without consent, but also from linking to them.

4. LexisNexis Copyguard: Trust in Technology to Fight Copyright Theft

LexisNexis has launched a new anti-plagiarism device, called Copyguard, a product developed through a joint project with iParadigms. The device will allow users, in particular corporate organisations, to regularly and rapidly check originality of content, and will contribute to efforts to control the problem of unauthorised use of copyrighted material.

5. Sony Loses Playstation Copyright Case in Australia

The High Court in Australia has ruled that the modifying of Sony PlayStation games console chips so that the consoles can play imported games does not breach copyright law.

Patents

6. NSA “Geo-Locating Patent” Raises Privacy Concerns

A patent secured by the National Security Agency of USA for a technology that can locate physical where-about of any web surfer has raised privacy concerns amidst growing fears as to how the technology will be ultimately used by the top security organisation of USA.

Trademarks

7. Scandinavian Typo Squatting Cases Successful

European brand owners have been reassured by three recent decisions of the WIPO Mediation and Arbitration Center in domain name dispute resolution procedures confirming transfer of domain names registered in the style of mis-spelt brand names. These decisions were made despite the registrant originating from Panama.

8. Agfa Photo Faces Trade Mark Disputes

This case illustrates the problems that arise when a trade mark proprietor assigns the mark separately from the business that underpins it. Insolvent Agfa Photo was unable to sell its manufacturing plant separately from the trade mark, which was in the hands of a private investor.

9. Nothing Immoral About Intertops

Sportwetten GmbH, a German company, appealed a decision of the OHIM with regard to the trade mark Intertops for services as bookmakers and betting services of all kinds. The company complained that the trade mark was contrary to public policy and against accepted principles of morality.


Acknowledgements

McDermott Will & Emery would like to acknowledge the invaluable contribution to the Bulletin made by Professor Michael Blakeney, Angel Adrian, Sofia Casimiro, Claudio Chiarolla, Maria Mercedes Frabboni, Jerry Hsiao, Afe Komolafe, Malcolm Langley, Tina Loverdou, James Mitchiner, Marisella Ouma, Rajesh Sagar, Pekka Valo and Daphne Zografos from the Queen Mary Intellectual Property Research Institute, University of London.