European Court of Justice (ECJ) rules that ‘The Pirate Bay’ infringes copyrights
With its decision on June, 14th the ECJ might have paved the road for proceeding against online sharing platforms. Up to now taking legal action in order to restrict the offer of copyright-protected works was rather complicated and did not guarantee sustainable success. The reason for that is, amongst others, that the files on these sites aren’t placed online by the platform’s operators but by the users. So the rightholders had to take action against the sharing platform’s complicated infrastructures as well as each user separately. However, the ECJ decided recently, that the operators of such a platform play an essential role in making the works available and therefore may constitute an infringement of copyright. Read more
Although Spinners are a great success in schoolyards all around the world, their creator, Catherine Hettinger, a 62-year old American citizen, does not benefit from this creation.
While Catherine Hettinger created the play item in the 1990s, she only filed a patent in 1997 in Los Angeles, thereby gaining rights on her creation. In 2005, these rights had to be renewed, but as the creator could not pay for the renewal, she lost any entitlements on them.
EU Parliament makes sure that you can watch your favourite shows during your holidays
The access to subscribed online paid services such as Netflix, Sky, Amazon Prime or Spotify abroad has been mostly restricted so far. But this is going to change in a few months, since the EU Parliament has now approved a new regulation that enables EU citizens who are subscribed to an online paid service in their home country to use the same service with the same content in any other EU country. Read more
Article 4 of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen proclaims, « freedom consist in being able to do anything that does not harm others ». Bearing this in mind, while American judges seem to seek a fair balance between private and public interest, French ones maintain a strict interpretation of the protection of the author’s rights on his work.
This strict interpretation of the French Copyright Act led to a recent verdict that Jeff Koons’ company was infringing, while Koons’ defence was built on the exceptions of freedom of expression and parody. Read more
Qiaodan Sports, a Chinese sportswear company, recently lost three of its registered trademark in a lawsuit against American famous basketball star Michael Jordan. The three revoked trademarks are demonstrated as “乔丹”, literally using Jordan’s Chinese name in Chinese characters, covering a wide range of products such as sports clothing, beverages and even Christmas tree decorations. However this ruling is widely considered only a partial victory for Michael Jordan, since his revocation requests for other disputed trademarks designed as “qiaodan”, Jordan’s Chinese name in Pinyin, were declined by the Supreme Court of People’s Republic of China.
The reason behind the ruling is that registering “乔丹” as a trademark without the acknowledgement and approval of Michael Jordan constitutes malicious preemptive registration due to the infringement of Jordan’s right to his personal name. The significance lies in the recognition of the connection between Michael Jordan and his non-legal Chinese name written in Chinese characters. According to the ruling, the existing evidence is sufficient to prove that “乔丹” has a high visibility in China: the relevant public usually uses it to refer to Michael Jordan, and there is a stable connection between “乔丹” and “NBA star Michael Jordan”. However, the court did not find such a connection between “qiaodan” and Michael Jordan.
The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is coming into effect on May 25th, 2018. The Regulation will supersede the Directive 95/46/EC. It aims to unify the EU data protection legislations and strengthen EU’s data protection to meet the new privacy challenges brought by the development of digital technologies. GDPR will have significant impact on China’s enterprises that target the European market. Take the Alibaba Group for example. Alibaba collects a huge amount of electronic data in the EU market through AliExpress, and transfers this data to other Alibaba Group related businesses in Alibaba’s e-commerce ecosystem in order to complete transactions or to conduct marketing research. If such practices crosses the red line set by GDPR, Alibaba will face big challenges in terms of law, economics and business brand.
GDPR sets strict standards for the protection of data subjects in the Union:
Extraterritorial Effect of GDPR
On the basis of the conflict between United Vansen International Sports Co. Ltd and soccer club ADO The Hague, we will take a closer look at the Dutch so-called survey procedure at the Enterprise Division of the Amsterdam Court of Appeal and the court’s ruling in this case.
On Thursday the 15th of December 2016, ADO The Hague (ADO) stood against United Vansen (UVS) in front of the Enterprise Division of the Amsterdam Court of Appeal. UVS is the company of major shareholder Hui Wang. The Enterprise Division of the Amsterdam Court of Appeal solves (legal) disputes within Dutch Companies.
The core of the dispute between the two parties is that according to the management of ADO, UVS did not fulfill its payment obligations and also has been pursuing mismanagement and has put ADO’s continuity in danger.
In short – First geographical indication for a manufactured product: the consequences of the Laguiole case
Since the new consumers law was adopted on March 17th, 2014, and its application decree, n°2015-595, was published on June 2nd, 2015, it is possible to protect manufactured products with a geographical indication, title which was until now only available to agricultural and wine products.
Intellectual Property intensive industries in the European Union are well alive and have a growing importance for the economy. This is the general conclusion of a report written by the EUIPO (European Union Intellectual Property Office), along with the EPO (European Patent Office), and published in October 2016. This report, based on research and surveys completed over a period stretching from 2011 to 2013, follows a previous one based on the 2008-2010 period.
This research is an answer to the need to keep “innovation” as a focus of European growth, as was clearly stated in “Europe 2020”, the EU’s economic growth strategy from 2010 to 2020. Indeed, the main purpose of Intellectual Property is to encourage, and protect, innovation, and therefore keeping track of the importance of IP-intensive industries can give us an idea of the state and liveliness of innovation in the European Union.
Gucci vs Guess
In its judgement issued on 11th October 2016, the General Court dismissed two appeals brought by the Italian luxury brand Gucci. This case is interesting because it gives us an example of the scope of protection that a registration of letter signs provides.