IP Two Minute Monthly - June 2013

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Here are our summaries for last month which shouldn't take you more than two minutes to read.

KEYWORD ADVERTISING AND TRADE MARKS

Further to the finding last month that Marks & Spencer had infringed Interflora's trade marks by bidding on Google Adwords for INTERFLORA in order that its own adverts appeared when an internet browser entered INTERFLORA as a Google search term, the High Court has now determined the form of the injunction.  Not only will this be EU-wide (one of the marks infringed was a Community Trade Mark), but it will also prevent the use of other flower-related keywords where the word INTERFLORA has not been "negatively matched" (i.e. specifically excluded from the search results).  The Judge said that it did not matter that in the latter example M&S had not actually used the trade mark at all, since the result of the search against INTERFLORA still displayed the M&S ad.

BLOCKING INJUNCTIONS AND COPYRIGHT

The Premier League applied for a blocking injunction against the major internet service providers in order to prevent users from accessing a website where Premier League football matches would be streamed live from the start of next season (we will report on what happened next month).  This follows similar blocking injunctions obtained by media companies in the last two years to prevent access to unlawful music and film sites.

PHARMACEUTICALS AND PATENTS

The European Commission has fined several pharmaceutical companies, including in particular a 93m Euro fine for Danish firm Lundbeck, for making payments to generic drugs companies to delay entering the market with rival drugs. Lundbeck has said they will appeal.  The US Supreme Court had ruled earlier in the month that such agreements may sometimes be anti-competitive, but not always.

MUSIC AND COPYRIGHT

A division of Warner Music is to be sued in the States by a class action accusing it of wrongly claiming millions of dollars in royalties in respect of the “song” Happy Birthday To You, which is the highest grossing song of all time. The lawsuit claims that the copyright expired in 1921.

HUMAN GENES AND PATENTS

The US Supreme Court ruled that human genes cannot be patented.  Manipulating a gene in order to create synthetic DNA, however, is patentable.

MUSIC AND COPYRIGHT

The High Court is currently hearing a dispute over royalties due from the exploitation of singer Eva Cassidy's recordings outside the US.

GEOGRAPHICAL DESCRIPTIONS AND TRADE MARKS

Fragrance company Chanel has failed in its attempt to register the word JERSEY as a trade mark for perfume, after an objection from the Channel Island, Jersey. The examiner ruled that the mark consisted exclusively of a sign or indication of the geographical origin of the category of goods.

PHARMACEUTICALS AND PATENTS

The UK patent for Viagra expired in June, opening up the market to cheaper generic versions of it.

INDIA AND TRADE MARKS

International trade mark applications filed after 8 July can now nominate India as a designated territory, following India’s accession to the Madrid Protocol.

COPYRIGHT AND DAMAGES

A Court has ruled on a preliminary issue in a copyright infringement case that a damages payment of about £5,700 was appropriate for use of a photograph of pop stars Ke$ha and LMFAO without consent to promote a night club.

MUSIC AND TRADE MARKS

Black Eyed Peas singer, Will.i.am is in dispute with Pharrell Williams over the latter’s application to trade mark “I am other”, which Will.i.am considers to be too similar to his own “I am” marks.

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