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IP in the News- 4 May 2016

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Summary: Our regular update on developments in the world of IP, this week featuring the EU Commission’s wish to restrict geo-blocking of digital content and to encourage competition through binding undertakings, the reduction in the cost of filing UK registered designs and also a ruling in relation to revealing true identity in court in a dispute over image rights.

GEO-BLOCKING AND COMPETITION

Film company Paramount Pictures has offered binding undertakings to the EU Commission not to enforce or include contractual terms which give absolute territorial exclusivity to broadcasters. This means that in future companies like Sky will be able to contract with potential subscribers based in another EU country who approach Sky, and similarly other broadcasters based outside of the UK and Ireland will be able to respond to approaches for subscriptions from UK consumers in competition with Sky. This is part of the Commission's wish to restrict geo-blocking of digital content and encourage competition.

FEES AND REGISTERED DESIGNS

The cost of filing UK registered designs has been reduced significantly in order to make them more competitive with the Registered Community Design, which offers protection throughout the EU. For example, it will now be possible to file up to 20 designs for a fee of just £90. However, the recent Trunki case made it clear that if the correct representations are not filed, the registration may not provide the protection desired, so do contact us if you would like advice on this area.

IMAGE RIGHTS AND TRADE MARKS

Superheroes can sleep soundly in Mexico following a court ruling that a wrestler known for his silver mask did not need to reveal his true identity in court in a dispute over image rights in a video.

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