IP In The News – 15 April 2015


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Summary: Our regular update on developments in the world of IP, this week featuring a case on jurisdiction, a trade mark case by Adidas against Mark Jacobs, an ECJ ruling on copyright protection and the internet, and the withdrawal of proceedings against the makers of the film Ted.

Trade marks and Jurisdiction

In a trade mark dispute (the Actial case) which was more about seeking a Court order requiring the defendants to allow delivery of a branded product, the UK High Court refused jurisdiction saying that the case should have been brought where the harmful event occurred (neither party was domiciled in the UK). In this case, that was where the goods were to be packaged (Italy and the Netherlands), not where the goods were ultimately to be shipped and sold (the UK). As we discussed at our International Preferred Firms conference last month, we have found that jurisdictional disputes are becoming increasingly common in IP disputes.

Fashion and trade marks

Adidas have commenced trade mark infringement proceedings in the US against fashion retailer Mark Jacobs for selling tops which feature three parallel red lines on each sleeve, similar to clothing produced by Adidas featuring their three stripe trade marks.

Live sports and copyright

The ECJ has ruled that EU member states are permitted to introduce wider copyright protection to cover live streamed broadcasts of sporting events over the internet beyond the scope of EU Directive 2001/29. That Directive limits copyright protection for acts of “making available to the public” to situations where the public can choose their own time and place to access the work (e.g. an interactive service), which isn’t the case with a live stream (the C More Entertainment case).

 Ideas and copyright

The makers of the film Ted, about the foul-mouthed teddy bear, are no longer being sued in the US by the makers of a series of short episodes called Charlie The Abusive Teddy Bear, who had claimed that Ted was copied from their shorts. They now accept that Ted was created independently by Seth MacFarlane.


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