IP in the News - 27 August 2014


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Summary: Our regular update on developments in the world of IP, this week featuring Batman, trade marks, EU competition law and Lord Neuberger on privacy.

Fictional Names and Trade Marks

A US Court has rejected a trade mark infringement case brought by a software company which claimed that its Clean Slate trade mark, the name of its software used to remove files from computer hard drives, had been infringed by references to fictional software of the same name in the Batman film The Dark Knight Rises. Whilst Catwoman wanted the fictional software to wipe clean computer records of her criminal past, there was no likelihood of confusion between Warner Bros and the real software company.

Exhaustion of Rights and Competition Law

The ECJ has ruled that the current trade mark laws which limit the exhaustion of rights doctrine to within the EU and EEA, so that trade mark owners can prevent the importation into the EU and EEA of goods put on the market elsewhere with their consent, do not conflict with competition laws (the Honda Giken case).

The Internet, Social Media and Privacy

Lord Neuberger, president of the Supreme Court, has suggested that the UK needs to “reconsider” its privacy laws in light of the rapid development of the internet and social media, and said that in many cases the right to privacy is not a separate right but an aspect of freedom of expression.


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