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NEWS

20
05
20

Wycon S.p.A. contro Kiko S.p.A. – Cass. Civ. 30 aprile 2020 n. 8433

Con sentenza del 30 aprile 2020 la Corte di Cassazione si è pronunciata sul caso Kiko-Wycon, fissando alcuni importanti punti relativi alla tutelabilità del layout di ambienti interni, con particolare riferimento, nel caso di specie, ai punti vendita della catena di negozi appartenenti alla Kiko S.p.A.

 

Protagoniste della presente controversia, sorta nel 2013, sono la Kiko S.p.A. (Kiko) e la Wycon S.p.A. (Wycon), entrambe società operanti nel settore della cosmesi. In particolare, la prima aveva lamentato dinnanzi al Tribunale di Milano la violazione dei diritti esclusivi relativi all’arredamento e all’allestimento (trade dress) dei propri negozi, da parte di Wycon.

 

La decisione di primo grado, così come quella di appello, avevano riconosciuto l’applicabilità della tutela autorale ex art. 2 n. 5 l.a. al design interno dei negozi Kiko, nonché la sussistenza di una fattispecie di concorrenza parassitaria ex art. 2598 comma 3 c.c., con conseguenti pronunce inibitorie e risarcitorie.

 

La recente decisione della Suprema Corte ha il merito di aver confermato e chiarito alcuni aspetti della legge sul diritto d’autore con specifico riferimento alle opere dell’architettura, servendosi a tal fine anche della recente giurisprudenza europea.

 

Tra i punti di maggiore interesse può anzitutto segnalarsi la riconducibilità stessa della fattispecie concreta all’art. 2 n. 10 l.a., inerente alla tutela delle opere dell’architettura. In particolare, la ricorrente ha sostenuto che il progetto di allestimento interno dei negozi non rientrasse nelle opere di natura architettonica, mancando il requisito dell’incorporazione del progetto nell’ambito di uno spazio specificamente individuato e con elementi strutturali fissi. Tuttalpiù, il caso avrebbe potuto essere ricondotto all’ art. 2 n. 10 l.a., che tutela invece le opere del design industriale.

 

A tale proposito, la Corte ha sancito che un progetto o un’opera di arredamento di interni è proteggibile ai sensi dell’art. 5 n. 2 l.a. “a prescindere dal requisito dell’inscindibile incorporazione degli elementi d’arredo con l’immobile”, in virtù dell’ampliamento del concetto di architettura a cui si è assistito negli anni, sposando dunque l’orientamento dottrinale prevalente. Si tratta di un aspetto rilevante, considerando che la pretesa applicabilità da parte della ricorrente (tuttalpiù) dell’art. 2 n. 10 l.a. avrebbe implicato la necessaria sussistenza di un requisito ulteriore ai fini della proteggibilità, ossia quello del “valore artistico”, espressamente previsto per le opere del design.

 

Wycon tuttavia, non solo ha criticato l’inquadramento del caso di specie nell’ambito dell’art. 2 n. 10 l.a., ma ha ritenuto di doversi escludere in toto l’applicabilità stessa del diritto d’autore, sostenendo che il design d’interni potesse essere semmai tutelabile quale marchio tridimensionale, come peraltro riconosciuto anche dalla Corte di Giustizia nel caso Apple (CGUE 10 Luglio 2014, Causa C421/13), richiamato dalla Corte di Cassazione. In effetti, Kiko aveva tentato di registrare il layout dei propri negozi come marchio tridimensionale, vedendo tuttavia rifiutata la propria domanda da parte dell’EUIPO “per carenza della capacità distintiva originaria o acquisita”.

 

La Corte di Cassazione ha affrontato tale tema facendo applicazione della recente giurisprudenza europea, in particolare relativa al caso Cofemel (12 Settembre 2019, Causa C-683/17). La citata decisione si era occupata della tutelabilità ai sensi del diritto d’autore delle opere del design industriale (si trattava, in particolare, di capi d’abbigliamento). La Corte aveva anzitutto confermato la cumulabilità della protezione garantita dalla disciplina sui disegni e modelli e quella derivante dal diritto d’autore, escludendo peraltro che tale ultima protezione potesse dipendere dalla sussistenza o meno di un particolare pregio estetico del prodotto. I giudici Europei avevano anzi richiamato il concetto di “opera” elaborato dalla stessa giurisprudenza europea, riferendosi a tal fine alle sentenze Infopaq e Levola Hengelo (rispettivamente: CGUE 16 Luglio 2009, Causa C-5/08 e CGUE 13 Novembre 2018, Causa C-310/17) affermando dunque che ciò che rileva ai fini dell’applicazione del diritto d’autore è la presenza di due requisiti: il carattere creativo e la precisa identificabilità dell’opera. Laddove tali requisiti siano soddisfatti dovrà ritenersi integrata la nozione di “opera” e, in quanto tale, essa sarà proteggibile tramite applicazione della legge sul diritto d’autore.

 

Vero è, come afferma la Corte di Cassazione nel presente caso, che le opere dell’architettura, così come quelle del design, si distinguono dalle opere di altra natura (quali quelle artistiche o letterarie), trattandosi di cosiddetta “arte applicata”, caratterizzata quindi da aspetti di funzionalità oltre che di mera elaborazione intellettuale, la cui “eccessiva” tutelabilità potrebbe determinare conseguenze lesive per la concorrenza, ma è altrettanto vero che «quando il legislatore ha voluto riservare la tutela autorale soltanto ad una fascia elevata di creatività, in correlazione alla specifica destinazione dell’opera dell’ingegno al mercato, lo ha indicato espressamente, come ad es. ha fatto per le opere del disegno industriale, per le quali l’art. 2 n.10 l.a. richiede sia il ‘carattere creativo’ sia il ‘valore artistico’».

 

Ora, tornando al caso di specie, i requisiti dell’originalità e della precisa identificabilità necessitano di un accertamento di fatto, che non può dunque essere operato dalla Corte di Cassazione. Tuttavia, i due precedenti gradi di giudizio ne hanno confermato la sussistenza. Da un lato, perché l’apporto creativo che caratterizza il progetto realizzato dallo Studio Iosa Ghini, commissionato da Kiko, risulta idoneo ad integrare il requisito previsto dalla normativa autorale, in quanto frutto non di mere scelte funzionali; dall’altro perché, seppur manchi, secondo la ricorrente, “un progetto di arredo definito in tutti i suoi connotati espressivi” (e il diritto d’autore, in effetti, tuteli le specifiche forme espressive e non le idee) i giudici di merito hanno ravvisato nel progetto di un concept-store generale una forma espressiva ben identificabile, destinata ad essere replicabile e adattabile alle diverse esigenze degli stores Kiko.

 

Sintesi delle valutazioni svolte si ritrova nel principio di diritto espresso dalla Corte di Cassazione, secondo cui: «in tema di diritto d'autore, un progetto o un'opera di arredamento di interni, nel quale ricorra una progettazione unitaria, con l'adozione di uno schema in sé definito e visivamente apprezzabile, che riveli una chiara "chiave stilistica", di componenti organizzate e coordinate per rendere l'ambiente funzionale ed armonico, ovvero l'impronta personale dell'autore, è proteggibile quale opera dell'architettura, ai sensi dell'art.5 n. 2 La. («i disegni e le opere dell'architettura»), non rilevando il requisito dell'inscindibile incorporazione degli elementi di arredo con l'immobile o il fatto che gli elementi singoli di arredo che lo costituiscano siano o meno semplici ovvero comuni e già utilizzati nel settore dell'arredamento di interni, purché si tratti di un risultato di combinazione originale, non imposto dalla volontà di dare soluzione ad un problema tecnico-funzionale da parte dell'autore».

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11
05
20

OUR SELECTION OF #IPNEWS AND ARTICLES OF THE WEEK

  1. The US Supreme Court makes history during the COVID-19 pandemic by streaming oral arguments for first time as the Justices work remotely. What is the case about? A dispute between the USPTO and Booking.com over a bid by the online reservation company to trademark the name. What is the case about? A dispute between the USPTO and Booking.com over a bid by the online reservation company to trademark the name.

 

  1. Italian Supreme Court applies CJEU Cofemel decision to makeup store layout.

 

  1. AI Programs Are Creating Fashion Designs and Raising Questions About Who (or What) is an Inventor.

 

  1. Patent exceptions in times of Covid-19: an Italian perspective.

 

  1. Chanel, What Goes Around Comes Around are Still Fighting Over the Sale of Chanel Bags, Including Potentially Authentic Ones.

 

  1. Trademark applications will drop during the coronavirus crisis, but globalisation offers hope of a speedy recovery.

 

  1. INTA Bulletin, Taking Action on Fake COVID-19 Products and Other Counterfeits.

 

  1. The Bad Spaniel Gets a Treat: VIP Products LLC v Jack Daniels Properties Inc.

 

  1. Congress Asks Amazon’s Bezos to Testify on Use of Third-Party Seller Data.
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04
05
20

OUR SELECTION OF #IPNEWS AND ARTICLES OF THE WEEK

  1. The non-systematic relevance of earlier IP rights: from Gömböc to Brompton Bicycle
  1. ‘Welcome’ ruling by CJEU in Royalty Pharma SPC case
  1. A Number of Amazon’s International Sites Are on the U.S. Trade Rep’s Annual IP “Black List”
  1. Canon and Toyota found COVID-19 IP partnership
  1. Trade marks and mobile apps: the PlanetArt v Photobox saga draws to a close (in PlanetArt's favour)
  1. USPTO: no room for artificial inventors
  1. The Hague Patents Court conducts first virtual hearing in patent case
  1. Fendi is the Latest Fashion Brand to be Sued for Allegedly Failing to License its Photos
  1. Spotify accused of stealing ad software trade secrets
  1. SkyKicked: High Court confirms trade mark infringement
MORE

29
04
20

NEWS AND ARTICLES OF THE WEEK

 

  1. COVID-19: further extension of deadlines
  1. Climate crisis drives shift towards sustainable fashion
  1. World IP Day and ‘The Sound of the Future’
  1. Can – and Should – Brands Sue Retailers, Resellers Over Price-Gouged Products During COVID-19?
  1. Twenty-fourth Plenary session: EDPB doubles down on COVID-19 guidance in newly adopted letters
  1. As FaceTime Photoshoots Find Favor in Fashion, What Does That Mean for Authorship and Ownership?
  1. American Antitrust Institute Materials on Competition Issues in the Healthcare Supply Chain
  1. Is COVID-19 a Nietzschean moment for trademarks and brands?
  1.  Jay-Z takes action against 'deepfakes' of him rapping Hamlet and Billy Joel
  1. A New Fight is Brewing Between Nike and Puma, and it Centers on Nike’s “Footware” Trademark
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20
04
20

OUR SELECTION OF #IPNEWS AND ARTICLES OF THE WEEK

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15
04
20

OUR SELECTION OF #IPNEWS AND ARTICLES OF THE WEEK

  1. The Moral Dimension of U.S. Patents: https://www.ipwatchdog.com/2020/04/09/the-moral-dimension-of-us-patents/id=120519/;
  2. ICBII Announces the Approval of its latest patent on Blood-Brain Barrier Permeable Technology accelerating the company's progress towards treating Neuro-Degenerative Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Diseases.: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/icbii-announces-approval-latest-patent-090000634.html?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cxLmlwbmV3c2ZsYXNoLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAM36kz28lpxTrCoHSpadk0RHfTyr0ZzEjzv8KWK81zMqW5Fw16IjqJYc-j8KVxs5xKg71Mn79MHSE2y5eu27YoHZ40dsCDDQRHEBnkWBCKQSKkKPN3kWEQY09ZYtX1qLQUs8u3Z04w_9oBDri-VVPat3hnXIsCj7MbwFRFJI1X5L;
  3. Libraries, archives and museums working together on copyright: the Dutch example: https://pro.europeana.eu/post/libraries-archives-and-museums-working-together-on-copyright-the-dutch-example;
  4. Online Enforcement of IP: https://www.bananaip.com/ip-news-center/online-enforcement-of-ip/;
  5. Trademark Office Deadlines and Coronavirus-Related Delays (Update #3): https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/trademark-office-deadlines-and-75585/;
  6. Tom Brady is trying to trademark ‘Tompa Bay’ and ‘Tampa Brady’: https://www.cltampa.com/arts-entertainment/sports/article/21128211/tom-brady-is-trying-to-trademark-tompa-bay-and-tampa-brady;
  7. Chinese government subsidies fuel surge in patents but experts warn it’s quantity over quality: https://www.scmp.com/tech/enterprises/article/3079878/chinese-government-subsidies-fuel-surge-patents-experts-warn-its;
  8. International Trademark Association to Hold 2020 Annual Meeting in November in US: http://www.ag-ip-news.com/news.aspx?id=53225&lang=en;
  9. United States: The Growing Importance Of International Arbitration For Intellectual Property Disputes: https://www.mondaq.com/unitedstates/arbitration-dispute-resolution/906374/the-growing-importance-of-international-arbitration-for-intellectual-property-disputes;
  10. Michael Jordan wins trademark case in China's top court: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-38246196.
MORE

08
04
20

OUR SELECTION OF #IPNEWS AND ARTICLES OF THE WEEK

  1. Apple wins Patents for a Future Optical Keyboard and their AR 'Measure' App:

 

  1. UN intellectual property agency admits possible wider access to patented drugs and medical supplies:

 

  1. Forget Sussex Royal, Harry and Meghan’s Foundation Has a New Name: Archewell:

https://www.thefashionlaw.com/forget-sussex-royal-harry-and-meghans-foundation-has-a-new-name-achewell/

 

  1. Zara Responds to $3 Million Amiri Lawsuit: “Your Jeans are Generic, Functional”:

 

  1. USPTO Extends Trademark And Patent Deadlines Due to Coronavirus Pandemic:

 

  1. Samsung patents a quad-curved screen that leaves little room for buttons and ports:

 

  1. COVID-19: The Invisible Enemy Revisited:

 

  1. Will pharma commit to delivering affordable therapeutics against COVID-19?:

 

  1. McGregor knocked back in clothing trademark scrap:

 

  1. We need to relax intellectual property rules to fight this virus:

 

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06
04
20

CJUE rules Amazon is not liable for storage of counterfeit goods.

By Serena Bertinetto.

 

On 2 April 2020, the Fifth Chamber of the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) delivered a highly-anticipated preliminary ruling in a case initiated by Coty Germany GmbH (“Coty”) against several Amazon group companies (“Amazon”) in 2014.

 

The request for a preliminary ruling was made by the Bundesgerichtshof (i.e., the German Federal Court of Justice). The German Court requested the CJUE to determine whether, pursuant to EU law, a company can be held liable for trademark infringement, for storing goods on behalf of a third-party seller for the express purpose of offering them on the market, if such goods are infringing intellectual property rights.

 

The case arises from an investigation made by Coty back in 2014.

 

Coty, a well-known distributor of perfumes and cosmetics, holds a license for the EU registered trademark “DAVIDOFF”. In 2014, one of Coty’s investigators made a test purchase for a Davidoff Hot Water fragrance on Amazon’s third-party marketplace (the “Amazon Marketplace”).

 

The Amazon Marketplace provides, inter alia, the so called “Fulfilment by Amazon” scheme: under such scheme, goods for sale are stored by Amazon in its warehouses; subsequently, the goods are dispatched by Amazon itself or by different external service providers.

 

After receiving a counterfeit product from Amazon as a result of its test purchase, Coty decided to file a trademark infringement lawsuit against Amazon.

 

The case was then referred to the CJEU in order to ascertain whether, pursuant to Article 9(2)(b) of Regulation No 207/2009 and Article 9(3)(b) of Regulation 2017/1001, a company that, on behalf of a third-party seller, stores goods infringing trademark rights (if unaware of such violation) is itself using the mark.

 

The CJEU concluded that “in order for the storage of goods bearing signs identical, or similar to trade marks to be classified as ‘using’ those signs, it is also necessary […] for the economic operator providing the storage itself [i.e., in this case, Amazon] to pursue the aim referred to by those provisions, which is offering the goods or putting them on the market”. Should this condition miss from the equation, the mere storage of counterfeit goods cannot be defined as “use of a trademark (see the CJEU’s judgment, points 45-46).

 

It appears, indeed, that the core of the CJUE’s logic revolves around the idea that “the fact of creating the technical conditions necessary for the use of a sign and being paid for that service does not mean that the party offering the service itself uses the sign” (see the CJEU’s judgment, point 43, also quoting other CJEU precedents on this issue).

 

At last, while not all relevant stakeholders may agree with the CJUE’s conclusions, this decision appears to have finally clarified some aspects of online marketplaces’ scope of civil liability when dealing with counterfeit goods.

 

We will have to wait to see if and how this approach will evolve, especially in those cases where Amazon (as well as other online marketplaces) play a more active role in the distribution of goods and products.

 

Check out a copy of the full decision at: https://bit.ly/2JAXYnp.

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30
03
20

OUR SELECTION OF #IPNEWS AND ARTICLES OF THE WEEK

  1. US court rules that unlicensed reproduction of NBA players' tattoos in their videogame avatars is not a copyright infringement

 

  1. Do Your ‘Home Work’: Keeping Trade Secrets Safe While Working Remotely

 

  1. A Print, a “Pajama Dressing” Brand, and a Copyright Lesson in the Age of Instagram

 

  1. Innovators Rush to Solve Coronavirus Pandemic While Countries Contemplate Compulsory Licensing

 

  1. A Cosmic Copyright Conundrum: ‘Star Trek,’ Space Force, SCOTUS and Blackbeard’s Shipwreck

 

  1. What is the Status of Your Fashion-Centric Contracts in the U.S. in the Light of Extensive COVID-19 Delays?

 

  1. Sanofi Decision Presents Opportunities to Clear the Patent Thicket for Generic Pharmaceuticals

 

  1. German Decision Puts Unified Patent Court Agreement in Jeopardy

 

  1. “Panic buying is good for counterfeiters” – warning to food industry over heightened threat

 

  1. Olympics Postponed, But Will Retain 'Tokyo 2020' Name

 

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23
03
20

OUR SELECTION OF #IPNEWS AND ARTICLES OF THE WEEK

  1. IP offices implement measures in wake of coronavirus crisis.

 

  1. What’s in a Name? Thaddeus O’Neil Lands a Win in its Longstanding Fight with Surf Brand O’Neill.

 

  1. What’s in a name? Enforcing trademark rights and the ‘own name’ defence.

 

  1. No, Seriously, Don't Try To 'Trademark' Coronavirus.

 

  1. How TikTok Used Blockchain to Defeat Copyright Infringement.

 

  1. Research finds embarrassment is a key deterrent against purchasing fake goods.
  1. Levandowski [former head of Uber’s self-driving unit] agrees plea deal over Google self-driving car secrets theft.

 

  1. Led Zeppelin didn’t steal ‘Stairway To Heaven’ riff says appeals court.

Now it’s your turn to judge:

 

  1. The Counterfeit Problem and How Retailers Can Fight Back in 2020.

 

  1. Website offering anti covid-19 drugs obscured.

Huge seizure of harmful and unsafe masks by the Italian Guardia di Finanza in Catania.

More than 1,500 litres of hand sanitizer seized.

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17
03
20

OUR SELECTION OF #IPNEWS AND ARTICLES OF THE WEEK

1. Statement of the EDPB Chair on the processing of personal data in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak

2. EPO and EUIPO extend deadlines in response to COVID-19 pandemic

 

3. Italian Patents and Trademarks Office (UIBM). Terms suspension until April 3rd

 

4. Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/395 of 6 March 2020 entering a name in the register of traditional specialities guaranteed ‘Amatriciana Tradizionale’ (TSG)

 

5. How the biggest names in luxury fashion are funding the fight against the coronavirus pandemic

 

6. Broadcom blames Netflix for harming cable TV industry in patent suit

 

7. Are Steve Madden’s New Star-Emblazoned Sneakers Going to Get the Brand Sued by Golden Goose?

 

 

8.  Nintendo wins PTAB dispute over Switch infringement

 

9. Class 9 applications skyrocket due to expansion – and domination – of the tech industry

 

10. Italian Guardia di Finanza seized 36 sales offers on Amazon and E-bay e-commerce portals for products related to epidemic prevention, masks and gel disinfectants

               

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09
03
20

OUR SELECTION OF #IPNEWS AND ARTICLES OF THE WEEK

  1. Reflections on IP exclusivity in the wake of the Corona virus outbreak
  1. Check, contain, postpone – IP offices implement measures in wake of coronavirus crisis
  1. A growing number of brands are placing increased emphasis on slightly less traditional trademarks, such as color
  1. Researchers find that dark web remains problematic channel for brand fraud and counterfeit goods
  1. Why the Italian government’s draft bill on ambush marketing does not go far enough
  1. RCDs in focus – New research from the EUIPO shows that Registered Community Design (RCD) filings increased by 32% between 2010 and 2019, with an average annual growth rate of 3.5%.
  1. 10 Years After Tiffany v. eBay, A New Bill Aiming to Hold Online Platforms Liable for Counterfeits is Introduced in the US
  1. Most TikTok influencers at risk of brand infringement; urged to consider trademark protection
  1. The draft Common Practice documents of the EUIPO project CP11 “New Types of Trade Mark – Examination of formal requirements and grounds for refusal and invalidity” have been made available in English for comments.
  1. EU officials arrest 165 in counterfeit drug operation
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05
03
20

The Italian Government's measures to protect the 2026 Milano Cortina Olympic Games and the ATP Turin Finals’ intangible assets.

For the upcoming Olympic Winter Games which will be hosted in Italy in 2026, the Italian Government has recently issued a draft proposal relating to the measures necessary for “the organization and management of the XXV Olympic Winter Games and the XIV Paralympic Winter Games 'Milano Cortina 2026' and for the organization and management of the 'ATP Turin 2021-2025 Finals'".

 

Considering the crucial role of distinctive signs for the organization and promotion of the Olympic Games, the Italian Government sets out several provisions dedicated to their protection.

 

In particular, Article 9 defines as Olympic properties the Olympic symbol, the flag, the motto, the emblems, the anthem, the identifying expressions of the Games, the designations, and the flames. The use of said Olympic properties will be expressly reserved to the International Olympic Committee (the “IOC”), the other organizing Olympic bodies, and to the entities that may be authorized to such purpose by the IOC itself.

 

In addition, Article 9 introduces an absolute impediment to the registration as trademark of:

  • the Olympic symbol;
  • any sign that includes words or references to the Olympic symbol, the Olympic Games or the relating events, which may create a link between the organization of the Olympic Games.

 

The impediment also refers to the words “Olympic” and “Olympics” in any language and form, as well as the combination of “Milano Cortina” and the year 2026.

 

The impediment will cease to have effect only as of 31 December 2026.

 

Article 10 provides that the same rules and impediments will apply in connection with the 2026 Paralympic Games and the symbol “Agitos”, which has represented the Paralympic Games since the Games of Athens in 2003.

 

Finally, additional provisions are aimed specifically at hindering the practice of ambush marketing in connection with high-profile sports events.

 

In this regard, Article 18 expressly prohibits ambush marketing in connection with national as well as international sports or trade fair events. The provision bars all ads that might generate confusion in the consumer on the identity of the events’ official sponsors, or an improper link between the company and the sports event. In particular, the draft currently identifies as ambush marketing:

  1. the creation of an indirect link between a trademark, or any other distinctive sign, and a national or international sports or trade fair event in order to mislead the consumer on the identity of the official sponsors;
  2. falsely stating that a company is an official sponsor of a national or international sports or trade fair event;
  3. promoting a trademark, or any other distinctive sign, in any manner that might generate a misconception on the company’s role as official sponsor of a national or international sports or trade fair event;
  4. selling and advertising of products or services unlawfully distinguished by a trademark or a logo that is connected to a national or international sports or trade fair event.

 

These latter provisions will also apply in connection with the ATP Finals, which will be hosted in Turin, Italy, from 2021 to 2025.

 

It looks like this draft proposal will be adopted in the form of a law decree for the urgent nature of the interests at stake; therefore the provisions described above will likely come into force in the near future, providing an effective protection to the distinctive signs associated with the Olympic Games, their image and commercial exploitation.

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03
03
20

OUR SELECTION OF #IPNEWS AND ARTICLES OF THE WEEK

  1. The Impact of Overturning eBay v. MercExchange - https://www.ipwatchdog.com/2020/03/02/impact-overturning-ebay-v-mercexchange/id=119455/;
  2. Musician Creates Algorithm To End Music Copyright Lawsuits - https://screenrant.com/music-copyright-lawsuit-algorithm/;
  3. The Fragile Nature of Trade Secrets: Clues from the Courts on How to Keep Them - https://www.ipwatchdog.com/2020/03/01/fragile-nature-trade-secrets-clues-courts-keep/id=119391/;
  4. UK: Counterfeit Goods And Piracy In The United Kingdom - http://www.mondaq.com/uk/Intellectual-Property/899758/Counterfeit-Goods-And-Piracy-In-The-United-Kingdom;
  5. Charter Challenges Copyright Registrations of Music Recordings - https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/charter-challenges-copyright-registration-music-recordings-1282216;
  6. China theft of technology is biggest law enforcement threat to US, FBI says - https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/06/china-technology-theft-fbi-biggest-threat;
  7. France: Bad Faith Registration Cannot Be Proved Retrospectively - https://www.mondaq.com/france/Intellectual-Property/899284/Bad-Faith-Registration-Cannot-Be-Proved-Retrospectively;
  8. Comedian changes name to Hugo Boss to protest brand's treatment of small businesses -https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/02/uk/joe-lycett-hugo-boss-protest-intl-scli-gbr/index.html;
  9. Heat Biologics (HTBX) Stock Soars On Coronavirus Patent Application - https://alphastocknews.com/heat-biologics-htbx-stock-soars-on-coronavirus-patent-application/2682/;
  10. Christian Louboutin Scores a Win in the Battle Over Its Red Sole Design in China - https://footwearnews.com/2020/business/legal-news/christian-louboutin-red-sole-trademark-case-china-1202936418/;
  11.  
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24
02
20

2019 EU COMMISSION REPORT ON IPR PROTECTION FRAMEWORK IN THIRD COUNTRIES SUMMARY

During the past weeks, the European Commission has released its biannual report on the state of IPR protection in third countries. The scope of this document is to provide European businesses and stakeholders with a general view of the legal and administrative IP framework in countries outside of the Union, to strengthen the co-operation with said countries and to promote innovation in IP protection and enforcement systems.

 

Today, it has been fully acknowledged the key role of IPRs in economic growth and, conversely, the severely negative effects of weak IP protection and enforcement measures. According to a 2019 joint study between the EUIPO and EPO, it has been confirmed that IPR-intensive industries generated, between 2014 and 2016, 38.9% of all European jobs and contributed to 45% of the EU GDP.

 

IP infringement and sale of counterfeit goods are still critical issues: it has been estimated that, between 2013 and 2016, the share of counterfeit and pirated goods in world trade increased by up to 10.4% and in the EU market by up to 42.3%. Moreover, the plague of counterfeit goods does not just affect business revenues but the job market as well: it is estimated that, between 2012 and 2016, IPR infringement was the direct cause of loss of 335.053 jobs within the clothing industry. In addition, the Commission has confirmed the rise of the “small consignments” trend: in addition to complex trading routes and the exploitation of several, strategic transit points, infringers increasingly avoid detection and minimise potential sanctions/fines by shipping massive quantities of small parcels.

 

The European report currently presented has been drafted based on the public consultation of many different entities, including right-holders, consumer groups, universities, EU Delegations and EU Member States. In addition, the Commission has collected data from available reports provided by governmental bodies, relevant IPR agencies and organizations (i.e. OECD) and many other sources.

Furthermore, in accordance with the structure established during the past years, the report gathers specific countries under three “priority groups”, based on their influence within the global market and the severe level of inadequacy of their IPR protection and enforcement framework.

The Commission has highlighted that most of the countries from the three priority groups share the following issues:

  • Forced technology transfer practices and vague/arbitrary criteria for the concession of compulsory licensees;
  • Lack of authority of the Customs agencies to initiate ex officio actions;
  • Counterfeit goods are not destroyed and/or the procedure is too long/expensive;
  • Considerable backlog of the IP Offices in patents, trademarks, etc. registrations and related procedures;

 

Despite its consistent efforts to reform its IPR administrative bodies, to update its IP legislation and even the creation of specialized IP Courts in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, Priority 1 continues to feature only China, in consideration of its worldwide role as the main source of counterfeit/pirated goods: according to a 2018 European Commission’s report and a 2019 EUIPO-OECD report, China and Hong Kong have been identified as the source of counterfeit goods in 80% of the EU customs seizures. Chinese patent applications keep being prioritized and granted, at the expense of foreign/European companies seeking protection, and Chinese companies persevere in using patented foreign technologies, without paying adequate royalties or facing effective sanctions. Furthermore, stakeholders frequently complain about being systematically required to disclose trade secrets/proprietary technologies, in order to get access to the Chinese market, with little and/or un-effective IP administrative protection.

 

The Commission has reported that the most common issues among the countries from Priority 2 and 3 are the following:

  • Restrictive or vague patentability criteria and enforcement difficulties;
  • Vague/broad criteria for compulsory licence concession;
  • Lack of efficient practices, dedicate training, resources and dissuasive sanction in IPR enforcement;
  • Lack of an effective protection system for undisclosed test and other data, generated to obtain marketing approval for pharmaceutical products;

Priority 2 includes India, Indonesia, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine. In the past two years, India turned out to be the country to improve the most from this group: in 2018 and 2019, it acceded to the WIPO Copyright Treaty, the WIPO Performances/Phonograms Treaty, the Nice Agreement on TM International Classification of Goods and Services and introduced beneficial changes for patent protection.

On a different note, the report highlights some concerning developments in Russia and Turkey: Russia currently faces a wave of organised crime groups, mainly targeting Western countries with counterfeit medicines; in 2017, the Turkish Industrial Property Code adopted the international exhaustion principle, thus liberalizing parallel imports.

 

Priority 3 includes Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Malaysia, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and Thailand. In the past two years, Nigeria has gone to great lengths to protect and enforce IPRs: in 2017, the country acceded to 4 major international IP agreements (i.e. WIPO Copyright Treaty) and it has obtained remarkable results in the war against counterfeit medicines in West Africa (from 2001 to 2006, the share of counterfeit drugs dropped from 41% to 16%). Nigeria, however, still holds a prominent role in the global trade as a transit point for counterfeit electronic and electrical goods coming from China.

In conclusion, the report clearly shows that, over-all, the goal is still far ahead for these countries, but at the same time, through their efforts and consistent exchanges with the EU Commission, the latest results confirm a steady growth and a strong will to pursue a fair and proficient relationship with the European stakeholders.

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17
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OUR SELECTION OF #IPNEWS AND ARTICLES OF THE WEEK

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  1. INTA calls off Singapore meeting, relocates to US

 

  1. Space Force, Star Trek, and Strange New Worlds of Trademark Infringement

 

  1. Brooks Sports and Brooks Brothers Peacefully Co-Existed for 4 Decades. Now They're at War

 

  1. Motorola Solutions secures $765m verdict in trade secrets suit

 

  1. From Resale Watches to Versace Prints: 4 (More) Lawsuits that Stand to Impact the Fashion Industry

 

  1. United States: Supreme Court Set To Hear Copyright Arguments In "Google v. Oracle"

 

  1. What is the (Copyright) Law When it Comes to Street Style Photography?

 

  1. Five Royal Trademark Lessons from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex

 

  1. Disney’s Pixar is being sued by a San Francisco tattoo artist who says her designs for a unicorn-emblazoned van in the upcoming animated movie ‘Onward’ were stolen
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10
02
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OUR SELECTION OF #IPNEWS AND ARTICLES OF THE WEEK

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  1. INTA CEO responds to fears over coronavirus impact on 2020 Annual Meeting

 

  1. AG’s preliminary findings point to no Brompton bike infringement

 

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For a different perspective on the matter:

 

  1. RETRO READ: How Difficult is it to Claim a Color as Your Trademark?

 

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  1. Huawei sues Verizon over comms patent infringements

 

  1. Keep calm and shake mayonnaise

 

  1. H&M triumphs in Adidas stripe dispute after 23 years

 

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03
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OUR SELECTION OF #IPNEWS AND ARTICLES OF THE WEEK

1. San Francisco artist sues Disney for copying her ‘tremendously cool’ painted van in Pixar film

2. Impact of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU – EUTMs and RCDs: updated information

 

3. Brand owners breathe a sky of relief following SkyKick judgment

 

4. Pharma patent agreements ‘contrary’ to EU competition law

 

5. Italian “Garante della Privacy” has imposed on Tim S.p.A. a fine of 27.802.946 euros

 

6. Following a Flurry of Trademark Squabbles, Helly Hansen and Off-White to Settle Stripes Suit

 

7. Massive spike in Super Bowl counterfeit seizures

 

8.  GuestPost: Natural persons have a monopoly on inventiveness - fact or legal fiction?

 

9. Tate Modern’s Angry Neighbors Are Not Giving Up Their Fight Against Museum Visitors Peeping Into Their Apartments

 

10. Italian Guardia di Finanza’s Lapis Operation

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OUR SELECTION OF #IPNEWS AND ARTICLES OF THE WEEK

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22
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OUR SELECTION OF #IPNEWS AND ARTICLES OF THE WEEK

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  • http://ipkitten.blogspot.com/2020/01/taking-measure-of-prior-art-t-194315.html;
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