Our Selection of #IPNEWS and Articles of the Week
- Apple infringed three Qualcomm patents, jury finds
- A brief introduction of the new Chinese Foreign Investment Law its protection for IPR
- for the full text of the Foreign Investment Law, see: https://www.chinalawtranslate.com/en/%E4%B8%AD%E5%8D%8E%E4%BA%BA%E6%B0%91%E5%85%B1%E5%92%8C%E5%9B%BD%E5%A4%96%E5%95%86%E6%8A%95%E8%B5%84%E6%B3%95/ (the text is translated in English by an unofficial third party)
- Chinese Court Okays Single-Color Trademarks in Latest Louboutin Decision
- Marc Jacobs Asks Court to Dismiss Nirvana LLC's "Egregious" Smiley Face Case
- As Bad Faith Trademark Filings Continue to Target Western Brands, China Proposes a Fix
- Paris Tribunal strikes again and guts Google’s T&C’s…including its copyright clauses for user-generated content
- There is no such thing as too much Peruvian (and other) IP news from Latin America
- Adidas won a trademark opposition in Japan
- Danladi v Tiwalope Savage and another - (Nigerian) “Blurred Line” or “Shape of You”?
- During Mardi Gras and Valentine’s Day the Italian Guardia di Finanza intensifies its activities against trade of counterfeit and unsafe products.
OUR SELECTION OF #IPNEWS AND ARTICLES OF THE WEEK
- The Behind-the-Scenes Battles for the Lucrative Gig of Making Luxury Brands' Accessible Wares
- Disney ranked most intimate brand
- for the official 2019 top ranking, see: https://mblm.com/lab/rankingtool/;
- to read the full Brand Intimacy Study 2019, go check: https://mblm.com/lab/brandintimacystudy/.
- Patent infringement and recovery of profits in Italy: doctrine of equivalence and requirement of negligence
- for the full decision, check out: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1cyktJmbBdtY10HAq6lXbqZ1IQofhTDf/view (only available in Italian).
- An Inside Job: The Counterfeit Bust that Put Hermès' Own Employees Under the Microscope
- for a sample of the original story coverage: http://fashion.telegraph.co.uk/newsfeatures/TMG9338465/Hermes-employees-found-to-be-in-on-counterfeit-ring.html.
- Apple's trade mark opposition goes pear shaped...
- to read the full decision, check out: https://euipo.europa.eu/eSearchCLW/#basic/*///number/T215%2F17.
- MARRY ME is descriptive for online dating (even if you are really just dating)
- Check out the full decision at: http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/document.jsf;jsessionid=52666515227AD8AEC4F29FB04F24565F?text=&docid=210522&pageIndex=0&doclang=FR&mode=lst&dir=&occ=first&part=1&cid=2239301, (in French and German only).
- Netflix and Jerry Media are Being Sued for Allegedly Stealing Influencer's Video for Fyre Fest Documentary
- for a different perspective on this matter and the Influencers’ role in promoting events: https://www.bbc.com/news/46945662.
- Monster Energy’s trademark opposition fails before UKIPO
- For the full decision, check out: https://www.ipo.gov.uk/tchallenge-decision-results/o12619.pdf.
- Swedish trade mark court sees its true colours shining through
Our Selection of #IPNEWS and Articles of the Week
1. Fashion designer accuses Janelle Monáe of plagiarism for Grammy performance: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2019/feb/12/fashion-designer-accuses-janelle-monae-of-plagiarism-for-grammy-performance
2. Don’t Miss the Big Picture: What Companies Get Wrong When It Comes to IP Strategies: https://www.ipwatchdog.com/2019/02/22/dont-miss-big-picture-companies-get-wrong-comes-ip-strategies/id=106604/
3. Pirate sites to be blocked in thousands of British schools: https://www.worldipreview.com/news/pirate-sites-to-be-blocked-in-thousands-of-british-schools-17565
4. Amazon launches Project Zero to fight fakes: https://www.worldipreview.com/news/amazon-launches-project-zero-to-fight-fakes-17582
5. Japan Patent Office Case Examples on Artificial Intelligence Offer Guidance for Other Offices on Treating AI Inventions: https://www.ipwatchdog.com/2019/02/28/jpo-examples-on-artificial-intelligence-offer-guidance-for-other-offices/id=106835/
6. Bolstering your armoury against trade mark squatters in China: https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=38c27c82-f28c-4258-982d-ffe728afab8a
7. Meet The Blockchain Companies Hoping to Disrupt the Publishing Industry: https://blockonomi.com/blockchain-disrupt-publishing-industry/
8. Biker trademark cannot be part of criminal forfeiture, court rules: https://www.worldipreview.com/news/biker-trademark-cannot-be-part-of-criminal-forfeiture-court-rules-17589
9. Industry-led initiative to fight counterfeiting gets new boost: https://ec.europa.eu/growth/content/industry-led-initiative-fight-counterfeiting-gets-new-boost_en
10. Musician claims Spike Lee and Prince copied the song for ‘Girl 6’: https://www.worldipreview.com/news/musician-claims-spike-lee-and-prince-copied-the-song-for-girl-6-17586
11. Fyre Festival attendee takes Netflix to court: https://www.worldipreview.com/news/fyre-festival-attendee-takes-netflix-to-court-17585
12. Tips for Protecting Cannabis Trademarks: https://www.ipwatchdog.com/2019/02/28/tips-protecting-cannabis-trademarks/id=106829/
13. Examining the Truvada #BreakThePatent Debate: Gilead Response: https://www.ipwatchdog.com/2019/03/03/examining-truvada-breakthepatent-debate-gilead-responds/id=106906/
14. Copyright directive a data protection hazard: data commissioner: https://www.worldipreview.com/news/copyright-directive-a-data-protection-hazard-data-commissioner-17590
Our selection of #IPNEWS and articles of the week
Facebook found liable for hosting links to unlicensed content:
The decision issued by the Rome Court of First Instance can be found at (only in Italian): https://sistemaproprietaintellettuale.it/giurisprudenza/procedimenti-giurisdizionali/merito/13969-tribunale-roma-15-02-2019.html
For an overview of the liability of Facebook for its contents have a look at:
A few thoughts on the non-discriminatory prong of FRAND:
- A clear article on the ‘Most-favoured-licensee’ rule can be read at:
Alleged "Kimoji" Developer is Suing Kim Kardashian for "No Less Than $100 Million"
Trademark exhaustion and cosmetics in Milan: further analysis and future perspective
Can the name of a country and a year be a trademark?
Marry Me, not in the EU: dating app’s appeal rejected by EU Court:
See the Court’s judgment for the word mark: http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/document.jsf?docid=210522&text=&dir=&doclang=FR&part=1&occ=first&mode=DOC&pageIndex=0&cid=377443
See the Court’s judgment for the figurative mark: http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/document.jsf?text=&docid=210523&pageIndex=0&doclang=FR&mode=req&dir=&occ=first&part=1&cid=12068884
The EU’s Digital Copyright Directive – where are we now?
The press release of the European Parliament on the agreement reached on the wording of the Directive can be read at: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20190212IPR26152/agreement-reached-on-digital-copyright-rules
The Next Data-Driven Health-tech Revolution
For the use of data to give patients control of their own health and the issues related to their privacy protection: https://singularityhub.com/2018/11/07/using-big-data-to-give-patients-control-of-their-own-health/#sm.0000ly25b0oiieawx522j2j1fku4z
The Italian Guardia di Finanza seized more than 1,700 counterfeit memory cards
More than 1.500.000 counterfeit clothes were seized in Rome, Naples, Brescia and Pescara
Our selection of #IPNEWS and articles of the week
1. Further thoughts on Levola Hengelo v Smilde Foods and the taste of cheese: did the Court create a "validation" test?
2. Drinking wine from a Pringles can: parody or trade mark infringement?
3. 'CHIARA FERRAGNI' not confusingly similar to 'CHIARA', rules EU General Court.
4.Lush Sues Fragrance Subscription Co. Over "Lush Gold" Line
5. Red Sole Diaries: another chapter
6. Blockchain Could Help Put a Halt to the Gray Market, But Do Brands Actually Want That?
7. Thai ‘special investigations’ unit to tackle high-value counterfeits
8. United States of America Joins WIPO’s Marrakesh Treaty as 50th Member
9. Europe-wide initiative to tackle ads on pirate sites launches
10. European Cooperation: Sweden launches new online services for trade marks and designs
11. Marry Me – not in the EU
12. Monaco joins TMView
13. Fashion designer accuses Janelle Monáe of plagiarism for Grammy performance
1. Christian Louboutin wins bid to protect red sole TM
2. Glen sounds too Scottish
- For a previous analysis on geographical spirituous beverages designation: https://info.legal-patent.com/international-intellectual-property/geographical-word-mark-swabian-glen-whisky-anyone-thinking-scotland/;
3. Two recent decisions on selective distribution and infringement of luxury trademarks from the Court of Milan
- For the full decision in the l’Oreal case, see: https://www.dropbox.com/s/d0a35sgnmq4gwmx/milano19112018%20pdf.pdf?dl=0;
- For the full decision in the Landoll case, see: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ewxqvbd73hdsuu6/milano18122018%20pdf.pdf?dl=0;
4. Apple lost a lawsuit against Pear in the EU
- For the General Court’s full decision (available in English and French): http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/document.jsf?text=Pear%2BTechnologies%2BLtd&docid=210325&pageIndex=0&doclang=EN&mode=req&dir=&occ=first&part=1&cid=9699291#ctx1
5. After Receiving Infringement Letters Over 4-Stripe Sneaker, Skechers is Suing adidas
6. Austrian Patent Office implements e-filing for trademarks:
- https://euipo.europa.eu/tunnel-web/secure/webdav/guest/document_library/contentPdfs/about_euipo/alicante_news/alicantenews_January_2019_en.pdf (page. 4 of the EUIPN Updates, January 2019);
7. Musicians file class action copyright suit against Sony Music
8. U.S. State Wants to Adopt "Netflix" Model for Paying for Pharmaceuticals
9. Beware of using photographs of Italian (cultural) beauties!
- For the Italian Code of Cultural Heritage and Landscape (Legislative Decree n. 42/2004), see: https://wipolex.wipo.int/en/legislation/details/2491;
10. Domain infringement biggest problem for TM owners
11. The Italian Guardia di FInanza seized more than 15,000 luxury products in Pisa.
1. The German press publishers’ right before the CJEU – will it survive? The AG’s opinion in VG Media/Google (C‑299/17) and some background from Germany
- The English translation of the German Act on Copyright and Related Rights (UrhG) is available at: http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/englisch_urhg/englisch_urhg.html#p0659
- While the Opinion of the Advocate General can be found at: http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/document.jsf;jsessionid=970DCF131004BF78F22250F0894A02A4?text=&docid=208982&pageIndex=0&doclang=EN&mode=req&dir=&occ=first&part=1&cid=1703696
- Further analysis of the Opinion are available at: http://ipkitten.blogspot.com/2018/12/ag-hogan-advises-cjeu-to-rule-that.html
2. Unwaivable equitable remuneration rights for performers: disruption or balancing of interests?
- The full article “‘We want Artists to be Fully and Fairly Paid for their Work’: Discourses on Fairness in the Neoliberal European Copyright Reform” can be found at: https://www.jipitec.eu/issues/jipitec-9-2-2018/4731
- The Study of the European Parliament on the balance of interests of Publishers, Authors and Performers can be examined here: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/STUD/2017/596810/IPOL_STU(2017)596810_EN.pdf
3. The transpositions of the Trademark Directive are ongoing in:
- The full text of the Directive can be found at: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A32015L2436
4. Is Article 8(3) EUTMR applicable only to identical marks?
- hereby the full text of the General Court Judgment: http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/document_print.jsf?docid=206789&text=&dir=&doclang=EN&part=1&occ=first&mode=lst&pageIndex=0&cid=10192471
5. CHEESE for (cannabis) seeds not a valid trade mark, says EUIPO First Board of Appeal
- The interesting decision of the EUIPO First Board of Appeal:
6. Fresh updates on the Fortnite lawsuits
- The lawsuits filed against Epic Games before the District Court of California are available at: http://patentarcade.com/tag/ribeiro-v-epic-games-inc
7. PMI obtains a pan-EU interim injunction against an IQOS copycat
8. The World’s Top 10 Science and Technology Hotspots
9. Google buys Fossil Group’s smartwatch technology for $40m
10. The Rise of a New Generation of AI Avatars
11. The Italian Guardia di Finanza implemented a raid action against manufacturers of counterfeit “Hogan” shoes
12. The operation “PIRATI” is at a tapping point
1. “Let Me Be Frank”: Kevin Spacey gambles with infringement
2. Netflix facing trademark suit over interactive ‘Black Mirror’ episode
3. Donald Trump, Wedding Crasher, Becomes Copyright Infringement Case
3.1 Media Companies Can’t Just Steal Your Social Media Photos: Judge
4. McDonald's loses Big Mac trademark after legal battle with Irish chain
5. INTA Brief to WTO Revives Plain Packaging Debate
6. Cannabis and Trademarks in Canada: Yes it’s here
6.1 As cannabis patent filings increase, are food and beverage companies positioned to benefit?
7. Rihanna sues father over use of Fenty brand name
8. EU investigating Nike over IP licensing and tax structure
9. Stan Lee: Writer, Creator, And Marketer Of Intellectual Property
10. INTA Adopts Guidelines for Examination of Industrial Designs
11. Time to put a stop to the abuse of orphan drug regulation- the latest scandal
12. Oakley accuses safety glasses maker of design patent infringement
13. Deadline due for implementing EU trademark reforms
13.1.DIRECTIVE (EU) 2015/2436 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 16 December 2015 to approximate the laws of the Member States relating to trade marks
14. EU court dismisses TM appeal based on missed deadline
1. Blockchain: a strategy for the protection of Made in Italy products
2. New Proactiv Ambassador Kendall Jenner Might Not Use the Company's Products. Legally, That Matters
3. Beats secures trade mark victory with EUIPO Fourth Board of Appeal
4. UK Wagamama wins trademark dispute
5. Costco Must Pay Tiffany & Co. $25 Million for Using its Name to Sell Diamond Rings
6. Storage of goods and copyright infringement – a European Court’s decision
- For the full judgment of the Court, 19 December 2018: http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/document.jsf?text=&docid=209343&pageIndex=0&doclang=EN&mode=req&dir=&occ=first&part=1&cid=3047019.
7. Coffee Company Slapped With a $2.8 Million Fine for Infringing Bob Marley Trademarks
8. Extracts from TMView can be used in EUIPO proceedings
9. Securing the Internet of Things
10. Sharp rise in patent applications for self-driving vehicles in Europe, new study finds
11. The Italian Guardia di Finanza carries out the “Made in Facebook” operation in Crotone
1. Let’s Get It On...Trial - Another Copyright Infringement Case for Ed Sheeran
2. 3D printing and IP law: current challenges and future perspectives
- For an analysis of the impact on mass manufactory check out: http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/daveni-book-new-manufacturing-titans/
3. Innovating for the whole world: IP’s role in development
4. Trademark Industry Trends to Watch in 2019
5. BIC files infringement complaints for pocket lighters
6. Vans suing retailer Primark for “Intentional copies” of its trainers
7. Chinese Regime Establishes Supreme Court Body to Resolve Intellectual Property Disputes
8. Legalizing Graffiti: Chilean Chamber of Deputies says YES!
9. Hakuna Matata - can companies really trademark a phrase like that?
10. For the First Time in 21 Years, Copyrighted Works Enter the Public Domain: ‘The drought is over’
11. Japan protects artists with new 70 year Copyright laws
12. A massive amount of counterfeit fireworks has been seized by the Italian Guardia di Finanza:
Un uso consapevole dei social media non può prescindere dal tenere in considerazione la possibilità – peraltro piuttosto frequente – di pregiudicare gli altrui diritti d’autore e di proprietà intellettuale. Tale invito è rivolto tanto al pubblico medio degli utilizzatori delle varie piattaforme digitali che tutti conosciamo quanto, a maggior ragione, a quella più ristretta cerchia di soggetti (i c.d. influencers) che, costruendosi un’immagine ed una reputazione tra il pubblico dei social, sono in grado di sfruttare la notorietà da loro acquisita a fini commerciali e, in tal modo, creare una vera e propria realtà imprenditoriale.
Esaminiamo dunque, in questo breve articolo, gli strumenti giuridici a tutela degli influencers nonché i problemi in cui gli stessi, trovandosi spesso ad usare inconsapevolmente i social media, possono incorrere, con particolare riferimento alla violazione degli altrui diritti su marchi registrati.
Come è noto, la professione di influencer consiste essenzialmente nella creazione di contenuti digitali online, siano essi foto, post, stories o video, attraverso i quali prodotti e servizi di un determinato brand vengono sponsorizzati e pubblicizzati, “indirizzando” le preferenze di un numero considerevole di utenti, che, da semplici followers, diventano potenziali consumatori. L’immagine e la popolarità dell’influencer, insieme al contenuto digitale riconducibile allo stesso influencer, contribuiscono così a diffondere e rafforzare il marchio altrui, anche attraverso processi di product placement.
Ciò avviene, molto spesso, sulla base di un rapporto di natura contrattuale tra impresa e influencer (ad es. contratti di sponsorizzazione). Sarà, quindi, necessario prestare particolare attenzione all’oggetto di tale contratto, soprattutto al fine di individuare i limiti entro i quali la titolarità dei diritti sui contenuti commissionati dal brand sia da attribuirsi al “creatore” ovvero al committente del contenuto. Infatti, qualora non si sia stipulato un apposito accordo che regoli e disciplini la detta titolarità, risulterà applicabile la disciplina del diritto d’autore, in base alla quale l’ideatore dell’opera (di qualsiasi natura si tratti) può vantare diritti di utilizzazione esclusiva sin dal momento in cui l’opera stessa è stata creata.
Foto e video creati dal digital content creator (DCC), in quanto “sequenze di immagini in movimento” e “foto semplici” ai sensi degli artt. 78 ter e 87 Legge n. 633/1941 (c.d. Legge sul Diritto d’Autore) sono, senza dubbio, da considerarsi coperte dalla disciplina del copyright.
Quanto sopra è stato ribadito, anche recentemente, dalla giurisprudenza di merito, la quale ha affermato che il contenuto digitale creato dall’utente di un social network è tutelato dal diritto d’autore; con la conseguenza che esso non può essere arbitrariamente utilizzato, condiviso, modificato o distribuito senza che l’autore abbia dato una preventiva autorizzazione o senza che vi sia una esplicita attribuzione di paternità.
Appare, dunque, quanto mai chiaro perché la predisposizione di specifiche clausole in materia di proprietà intellettuale si renda necessaria per delineare concretamente i diritti di sfruttamento economico dei contenuti creati dall’influencer.
L’influencer, tuttavia, oltre a essere titolare di diritti d’autore sul contenuto di sua creazione – diritti che nascono nel momento stesso in cui è stato prodotto tale contenuto, senza necessità di adempimento alcuno – può avere, altresì, interesse ad acquisire anche la titolarità di diritti per la cui costituzione si rendono invece necessari, al contrario di quanto accade per quelli menzionati precedentemente, ulteriori adempimenti attivi: è il caso, ad esempio, dei diritti di privativa su marchi e nomi a dominio.
Posto che l’influencer, al pari di qualsiasi brand, diviene riconoscibile ai suoi followers, agli utenti dei social network e ai brand attraverso i propri segni distintivi (i.e. nome o pseudonimo), appare strategicamente conveniente registrare il proprio nome o pseudonimo come marchio presso gli Uffici competenti.
La registrazione del proprio nome, infatti, non solo rappresenta un investimento e un vantaggio competitivo irrinunciabile, ma conferisce anche al titolare del segno diritti esclusivi di utilizzo, dando la possibilità di avviare azioni difensive rapide ed economiche avverso chiunque tenti di registrare marchi identici e/o confondibilmente simili ai propri direttamente avanti agli Uffici Marchi competenti (si pensi, ad esempio, alle procedure di opposizione).
Contestualmente alla registrazione del proprio marchio è, poi, opportuno procedere anche alla registrazione del corrispondente nome a dominio nei registri di interesse. Così come il marchio, infatti, anche il nome a dominio rappresenta un punto di riferimento per gli utenti del web.
Avendo, seppur brevemente, accennato agli strumenti giuridici atti a tutelare l’influencer, possiamo adesso passare ad analizzare quali siano, tra le condotte poste in essere dagli influencer, quelle che più frequentemente violano i diritti di proprietà intellettuale altrui.
Senza dubbio, sul punto viene in mente – in primo luogo – l’ipotesi in cui l’influencer pubblicizzi determinati prodotti tramite una fotografia nella quale compaiano, in piena evidenza, anche marchi ulteriori rispetto a quelli oggetto di sponsorizzazione (ossia quelli oggetto di un contratto tra il titolare del marchio sponsorizzato e l’influencer). In una simile evenienza, tenendo a mente che i prodotti da sponsorizzare sono pubblicizzati mediante il loro inserimento in contesti di normale vita quotidiana, ci si rende conto di come la possibilità che si verifichi un rischio di confusione, per il pubblico dei consumatori e per i “seguaci” virtuali dell’influencer, relativamente alla provenienza di determinati beni o servizi assuma una preoccupante concretezza; con la conseguenza, quindi, di poter qualificare come illecito, ex art. 20 del codice della proprietà industriale, un tale uso di segni o marchi fatto, appunto, senza il preventivo consenso del soggetto che ne abbia la titolarità.
In secondo luogo, un’ulteriore ipotesi in cui l’attività degli influencer sui social media può interferire con i diritti di privativa altrui è rappresentata dall’uso – non autorizzato – dei c.d. hashtag, ossia di quelle parole chiave aventi la funzione di attirare la visualizzazione da parte del pubblico dei contenuti sui quali tali hashtag vengano apposti, canalizzando l’attenzione dello stesso pubblico grazie ad un determinato trend topic. A tal proposito bisogna tenere a mente che, ai sensi dell’art. 7 del codice della proprietà industriale, possono costituire oggetto di protezione come marchio registrato “tutti i segni suscettibili di essere rappresentati graficamente […] compresi i nomi di persone, i disegni, le lettere, le cifre…”; ciò porta con sé la conseguenza che, nel caso in cui oggetto di protezione sia una determinata parola, lettera o combinazione di queste, l’uso delle stesse precedute dall’hashtag e nel contesto di un messaggio di natura pubblicitaria potrà costituire violazione dei diritti del titolare del marchio registrato rivendicante protezione sul segno (ossia sulla parola, lettera o combinazione di queste) illecitamente riprodotto come hashtag.
È, infine, necessario evidenziare che uno degli ulteriori rischi cui l’influencer può andare incontro è quello di porre in essere forme di pubblicità occulta. A tal proposito l’Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato si è pronunciata una prima volta nel 2017, invitando gli operatori coinvolti a vario titolo nel fenomeno dell’influencer marketing a conformarsi alle disposizioni del Codice del Consumo, nonché fornendo indicazioni circa la natura pubblicitaria di un contenuto realizzato in esecuzione di un accordo commerciale. Successivamente, nel 2018, la stessa Autorità è intervenuta con una seconda moral suasion, richiamando anche gli influencer con un numero meno elevato di followers, i quali sono anch’essi, comunque, tenuti a rendere riconoscibile l’intento promozionale dei contenuti diffusi tramite social media (inserendo apposite avvertenze come #pubblicità, #sponsorizzato, #advertising, #inserzioneapagamento).
Anche nell’ambito dell’attività di influencer, vale, quindi, senz’altro la pena rivolgersi ad uno studio legale qualificato per difendere i propri diritti di proprietà intellettuale, sia mediante la redazione di contratti ad hoc sia mediante il deposito di una o più domande di marchio avanti agli Uffici competenti.
1. Cloud Service Providers and the active role in communicating online digital contents
2. May #hashtags safely rely on trademark protection?
3. I know what I like and I know when I taste it. Cheese flavour cannot be “copyrighted” (nor registered as a trademark)
For a review of the AG Opinion take a look at: http://ipkitten.blogspot.com/2018/07/the-ag-opinion-in-levola-hengelo-more.html
4. EU court reverses Heineken trademark decision
5. Levi Strauss Fights for Trademark on Pocket TabSamsung convinces EUIPO to invalidate ‘smart’ TM
6. Trademarks: the limits to a MONSTER’s reach in Singapore
7. Whole visible surface or predominant colour? Cadbury's plays spot the series mark
8. Building a Long Term Brand Protection solution - the Lego story [Part 3]
On the “Lego saga”, check out the case “Best-Lock”:
And its related comments:
9. Are Trademark Licensees Protected in A Licensor Bankruptcy?
10. Ex Machina, Ex Auctore? Machines that create and how EU copyright law views them
11. More than one milion of counterfeit contact lens have been seized by the Italian Guardia di Finanza
12. Around 5 quintals of fireworks have been found in a deposit close to Naples
1. Marrakesh Treaty is no paper tiger: EU Commission sues 17 countries for non-compliance
- The summary of the Marrakesh Treaty can be found here: https://www.wipo.int/treaties/en/ip/marrakesh/summary_marrakesh.html
- For a general overview of the topic please visit: http://infojustice.org/archives/40626
2. UK intellectual property minister quits over Brexit deal
3. Digital platforms will be challenged by article 13 of EU Copyright Directive
4. INTA launches brand new IP podcast
5. James Pooley words on how “stupidity” may lead to serious leak of confidential information
6. Counterfeit trade via Instagram, current cases and the state of art
7. A general overview on the EU link tax proposal, pros and cons
8. Italy moves the unitary patent a step closer
- For a clear overview on the topic: https://www.epo.org/news-issues/news/2015/20150910.html
9. Fight Over Amazon: ACTO Countries Cancel Meeting with ICANN CEO
10. The Italian Guardia di Finanza intercepted more than 400 football counterfeit t-shirts
11. The latest update from the counterfeit operation PRINT STOP
1. On the 26th of October the Italian National Competition Authority confirmed SIAE’s abuse of dominant position in the market for collective management of copyright
- Official press release (only available in Italian): http://www.agcm.it/media/dettaglio?id=80110151-3bc1-4273-9e5b-92b2feddf306&parent=Comunicati%20stampa&parentUrl=/media/comunicati-stampa
2. AG Szpunar advises CJEU to rule that copyright cannot subsist in military report in important fundamental rights case:
3. The "markedly different" infringement approach finds application in Actavis v Eli Lilly in Icescape v Ice-World:
- For the full text of the Judgment: https://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/format.cgi?doc=/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2018/2219.html
4. The General Court stated that the “Cooking Chef Gourmet” cannot be a trademark:
- For the full text of the Judgment: http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/document.jsf;jsessionid=778E2C3F934076D3FDC253FF87573883?text=&docid=206582&pageIndex=0&doclang=EN&mode=lst&dir=&occ=first&part=1&cid=2791121
5. Prince's Estate is Seeking Federal Trademark Protection for His Purple Pantone Hue:
- Further deepen the topic at: http://time.com/5055141/prince-inspires-ultra-violet-pantone-color-of-the-year-2018/
6. UK Government response to the call for views regarding illicit IPTV streaming devices:
- The full text of the Intellectual Property Office’s report at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/750177/Gov-Response-call-for-views-Illicit-IPTV.pdf
7. Unwired Planet vs Huawei: the Appeal:
8. Wondering how to plan the IP aspects of your new start-up?
9. On the impact of Blockchain technology on the IP field:
10. The Court of Luxembourg rules against wind turbine company in colour TM appeal:
- Find out the full text of the Judgment at: http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/document.jsf?text=&docid=207025&pageIndex=0&doclang=EN&mode=req&dir=&occ=first&part=1&cid=2741811
11. The Judgment of Lazio Regional Administrative Court let the issue of parallel imports stand out again, sheding new lights on it:
12. AI keeps on inflaming public debate between scholars and practitioners, hereby some articles:
13. Nintendo won a copyright lawsuit against a go-kart operator in Tokyo:
14. Not strictly IP LAW, still intriguing issue: Amazon’s business model is currently under severe scrutiny of both scholars and antitrust institutions:
- Does Amazon comply with EU competition law? Some initial thoughts on the new Commission investigation
- Amazon faces a probe from EU's competition watchdog over sales data
- On the Amazon probe: neutrality everywhere (or the rise of common carrier antitrust)
- [Still on time for this must-read (Author entry)] Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox
15. The Italian Guardia di Finanza strategy to face counterfeit Hallowen products:
16. The operation "Falsicchio": protecting trademark rights of food products:
1. Landlords Beware: Michael Kors Takes on "Revolving Door of Counterfeiters" in New York City
2. Italian Supreme Court holds that an unauthorized derivative work may be both infringing and protectable
- for the full decision: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1NX-qFwobJ8dWtQOIHTDNHZKG4QgnUqK7/view
3. It’s not all about the shape: the strange case of the pink chocolate bar
- for a previous analysis on KitKat’s efforts to have its four-fingered bar’s shape protected as trademark: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/may/17/kitkat-trademark-bar-nestle-cadbury
4. Intellectual property and e-commerce: Alibaba’s perspective
5. eBay is Suing Amazon Over its “Illegal” & “Clandestine” Scheme to Poach Sellers
6. Rihanna, Puma & Fenty Corp. Are Being Sued Over "FU" Garments and Accessories
7. The Evolution of Walmart and its Quest to Become an e-commerce Powerhouse
- for a previous article on this topic: https://www.forbes.com/sites/andriacheng/2018/08/16/walmarts-ecommerce-tactic-against-amazon-is-paying-off/#1a797bbdb74d
8. CJEU weighs on liability of owner of internet connection used to infringe copyright
9. World Food Day! Patentable foods: The "Impossible" and the eggless
10. When AI can be protected by patents?
11. General Court: mere fact that goods are different makes it possible to rule out any likelihood of confusion
12. The Italian Guardia di Finanza seized about 15,000 fake “Made in Italy” products in Torino
13. The Italian Guardia di Finanza seized more than 310,000 products in Salerno
14. Almost 3 million products seized by the Italian Guardia di Finanza in Cagliari
REPORT ON THE EU CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS: RESULTS AT THE EU BORDER, 2017
The enforcement of intellectual property rights (hereinafter, “IPR”) by Customs is recognized as being a commonly investigated issue of the European policy initiatives. In the words of the Commission, “it is important to provide right-owners with the certainty that the fruits of their inventions will be protected. The competitiveness of European businesses depends on it”. In this regard, the past decade has seen a further boost in the European Customs administration, indeed, already known for its high enforcement ratio and effectiveness.
In light of the above, the present Report is an overview of the detentions carried out under Customs procedures in 2017. The topic is examined via statistics on the description, quantities and values of the goods seized, as well as on their provenience, the means of transportation and the type of IPR presumably infringed. In fact, thanks to Regulation (EU) No 608/2013, bulk of data concerning Customs enforcements of IPR are transmitted on a daily basis by the Member States to the Commission. Once elaborated and recapped, these information allowed to shed new lights on the performance and current trends of the enforcement actions.
Within this framework, the enforcement procedure ordinarily takes origin from the right-holder’s application for action. Specifically, the right-holder is entailed to request Customs, on a national or European basis, to act if there is the suspect that his IPR right has been violated. The 2017 “Report on the EU Customs enforcement of Intellectual property rights” shows that 2’776 national and 1’271 Union applications were lodged by right-holders. On the other hand, also the EU Customs have the power to autonomously undertake an action for detention. In such cases, the first step of the procedure consists in identification of the right-holder. Then, a national application has to be submitted within 4 working days to permit the Customs to continue the detention or suspension of the release of the goods. However, the past year has seen these officio procedures playing a rather limited role, adding up to 2% of the total.
As mentioned above, two of the most relevant information concern the number of seizures by the Customs and the number of articles detained. With reference to the first, it can be observed a decrease by 9% in 2017 of the air freights, sea transport and post modes. Appreciably, the latter almost halved. On the contrary, the interceptions in express courier and road transport witnessed a slight increase compared to the 2016 records.
In relation to the quantity of articles detained, each interception may amount to different volume of products, ranging from few to millions of unities. The total number of articles detained shows a decrease in the amount of 24% compared to the previous year: 34 million of articles were detained in 2017 vis-à-vis the 41 million of the precedent year. Interestingly, a decrease of approximately 50% marks out perfumes and cosmetics, clothing accessories, ink cartridges and toners, toys, cigarettes, lighters and packaging materials. Among these categories, the most significant decrease in absolute terms pertains to the cigarettes, with 7 million packages being less detained, representing 70% of the total decrease in articles. With reference to the domestic records, Lithuania excels in terms of number of articles detained, with more than 6 million of units, while Finland surged up of 2’185%, stepping from 18’191 to 415’728 units in the last year.
Following the detention by the Customs, more than two-third of the products have been destroyed following one of the two procedures depicted in Regulation (EU) No 608/2013. First, goods have been destroyed, under the ‘standard procedure’ pursuant to article 23 of Regulation (EU) No 608/2013, after a confirmation from the right-holder and an agreement from the holder of the goods. Second, Article 26 provides the applicant with the possibility of requesting the destruction of goods transported in a small consignment without the need to notify the right-holder of every shipment. Not surprisingly, this procedure led to a significant reduction in the administrative burden for both custom authorities and the right-holders, while, at the same time, it positively affected the counter-action towards counterfeit products transported by post and express couriers. This conclusion is further confirmed by the abovementioned decrease in these two transport modalities (i.e. post transport, as said, halved). In less than 10% of the detentions, goods appeared to be non-infringing original goods, or goods in relation to which the right-holder did not take any action. Similarly, one case of detention out of ten ended up with a legal action before the Court initiated by the right-holder in order to determine the infringement.
A global perspective of the countries of provenance shows that China is still the main source country of detained goods (73%). Moreover, and confirming the last decade trend, together with a group of eastern countries, China leads the rank of the so called “top exporters”: China, Hong Kong, Turkey, Vietnam and India export in Europe more than 90% of the total amount of detained products. Focusing on the value of the detained products, the trade from Hong-Kong is at the top of the rank in relation to the luxury segment. The reason lies on the detentions of high-value luxury goods.
Finally, as already examined in the past decade, approximately nine out of ten detained goods, both in terms of value and in terms of quantity, presumably violated an EU, International or National trademark.
In conclusion, while the numbers are slowly decreasing, illicit importations of counterfeit products are still a huge issue that may irreparably harm many EU business. Numbers show clearly that the system in place work, but it’s still a great burden on IP right holders and Customs authorities in order to keep up with the amount of infringements.
With the approval of the new Copyright Directive, the European Parliament has clearly shown its determination to grant right-holders an effective protection. Indeed, the Directive was passed in Strasbourg with 438 votes in its favor, 226 against and 39 abstentions. Now it is up to the Council to decide whether to keep the Directive in its present state or to modify the articles, and to vote its final version.
The approved text has been partially amended from the previously rejected proposal. In the words of the European Parliament, the amendments put in place are aimed at “[bringing] tangible benefits for EU citizens, researchers, educators, writers, artists, press and cultural heritage institutions and to open up the potential for more creativity and content by clarifying the rules and making them fit for the digital world”. Concurrently, online platforms, like YouTube and Facebook, and news aggregator, such as Google News, will have to enforce a higher online protection standard and adequately remunerate all authors for their creations.
The European position backs up the Commission proposal, aimed at strengthening the online platforms’ liability with regards to the infringements of copyright law. The Directive requires all information society service providers, who store and provide to the public user-generated content, to cooperate with right-holders and implement adequate and proportionate measures, in order to enforce copyright protection. These include the adoption of effective content recognition technologies, violation reporting procedures and clear terms of service, in order to swiftly flag and remove infringing contents.
Furthermore, the new boundaries of liability will impose to online platforms and news aggregators to remunerate who holds rights over the copyrighted material they publish online. Media outlets are now entitled to fair compensation for the digital use and publication of their work on third party websites. The new copyright discipline expressly allows journalists themselves, and not only the publishing houses they work for, to benefit from the remuneration stemming from said obligation. With a specific intent to encourage the growth of start-ups and consequently innovation in a broader sense, the text explicitly excludes from its field of application small and micro online-companies.
Mindful of some of the criticisms raised in July, the new Directive specifically states that the upload of contents on non-profit online encyclopedias, such as Wikipedia, or open source sharing platforms, like GitHub, will be automatically exempt from compliance to the obligations set out by the new European dispositions.
Finally, the Parliament opted to strengthen the contractual position of authors and artists. First, they will be allowed to demand additional remuneration from their licensees, whenever the agreed fees are deemed to be “disproportionately” low compared to the earnings and benefits deriving from the exploitation of their creations. Second, they will be entitled to revoke or put an end to the exclusivity of a license, if it appears that the counterparty is not making use the licensed work.
For European and foreign copyright holders, this decision of the European Parliament is an exceptional victory and a stepping stone towards a full recognition of the work of many creators and businesses, but this is not the end of the journey and we will make sure to keep a close eye upon the work of the European legislator.
The role of IP rights in the fashion business: a US perspective
Louis Vuitton, Prada Targeted by Fake Stores in Chinese Cities
Burberry ends its product destruction policy
- for the official press release: https://www.burberryplc.com/en/news-and-media/press-releases/corporate/2018/burberry-ends-practice-of-destroying-unsaleable-products.html
Anti-counterfeiting pharma packaging market to grow by 12 percent by 2024
YouTube chief warns EU Copyright Directive could ‘undermine’ the creative economy
- A previous article on the matter: http://www.ipprotheinternet.com/ipprotheinternetnews/article.php?article_id=6078
EUIPO Study: Specialised IP Rights Jurisdictions in the Member States
What does a no deal Brexit mean for trade marks and designs?
China’s new e-commerce law positive for IP protection, say lawyers
- For previous coverage on the matter: http://www.thefashionlaw.com/home/china-is-preparing-to-introduce-its-first-ever-e-commerce-law
CJEU back in ‘Hot Water’ – when are infringing goods being ‘offered’?
Emojis and intellectual property law
CJEU dismisses TM appeal over German castle name
Prince’s estate takes on European network over ‘bootleg’ music
More than 3 million dangerous products seized by the Italian Guardia di Finanza in Brescia
More than 26 million products seized by the Italian Guarda di Finanza in Torino, including almost 1.5 million clothing accessories