IP in the news - 7 November 2014


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Summary: Our regular update on developments in the world of IP, this week featuring Canary Wharf and online copyright infringement.

Building names, Real Estate Developments and Trade Marks

The UKIPO has rejected an application to register CANARY WHARF as a trade mark for various services including property development, car parking and building and landscape design services. Whilst Canary Wharf Group plc argued that CANARY WHARF was a private development similar to a landmark building such as the Shard, the Office decided that it fell within the exception for place names. The hearing officer was influenced by the fact that the applicants were not the freehold owners to the whole estate, and that they were only applying 30 years after the term was first used. This reiterates the importance of filing trade mark applications as soon as possible after choosing the name.

Internet linking, Framing and Copyright

The ECJ ruled in the Bestwater case that framing should be treated in the same way as hyperlinking to another website, so that it followed its decision in the Svensson case in concluding that it is not a copyright infringement to have a hyperlink to another website within a frame on a website. This is despite the fact that with framing it appears to the user that that content is stored on that third party website’s server (this is how YouTube works, for example). However, the ECJ did not specifically comment on what, if any, difference it makes if the content was not originally made available with the copyright owner’s consent.

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