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Global Media and Communications Watch The International Legal Blog for the Tech, Media and Telecoms Industry

Category Archives: Copyright

Posted in Copyright, Intellectual Property Photo of Eugene LowPhoto of Charmaine Kwong

Cheaper in-app purchases… tempting but what is at stake?

Mobile applications are becoming indispensable in our daily lives and businesses. There are many ways to monetize a game app – through showing ads, offering free trials, income from in-app purchases etc. Unfortunately, there are people who reap profit from unauthorized in-app purchases. This also gives rise to potential legal issues such as infringement of intellectual property rights, money laundering, fraud and hacking. This article provides an overview of in-app purchases in games and the potential remedial actions. With the global lockdown and travel restrictions in place, we are seeing

Posted in Copyright, Intellectual Property, patents, Technology Photo of Burkhart GoebelPhoto of Miriam GundtPhoto of Celine CrowsonPhoto of Lloyd Parker

Global Intellectual Property Outlook 2020 – Two steps forward and a look back

Our fourth annual Global Intellectual Property Outlook reflects on some of the biggest developments from 2019, and provides valuable insights on upcoming changes in 2020. From key decisions and the latest case law, to how emerging technology, policy and trade will impact your IP portfolio and strategy. The start to 2020 has been an unprecedented time for us all. As citizens, businesses, governments and regulators adjust to the new challenges presented by the global spread of COVID-19, and social distancing and remote working become the new norm, there is no

Posted in Copyright, Intellectual Property

Tom Kabinet: CJEU rules resale of e-books requires permission of copyright holder

The CJEU in its Tom Kabinet judgment has ruled that the supply of e-books qualifies as “an act of communication to the public” under the InfoSoc Directive instead of “a distribution to the public” as is the case with physical books. It follows that copyright  in e-books cannot be exhausted. This means that the resale of e-books requires the authorization of the copyright holders or else violates the author’s or publisher’s copyrights. The same reasoning is expected to apply to all digital formats of copyright protected works covered under the

Posted in Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Copyright, Cybersecurity, Data Protection & Privacy, Intellectual Property, Internet, Policy & Regulation, Technology

A Turning Point for Tech – Global survey on digital regulation

Whilst political uncertainty may have businesses’ attention fixed, the Hogan Lovells Global Survey on Digital Regulation: ‘A Turning Point for Tech’ suggests that tech companies should be looking elsewhere. During yesterday’s launch at Hogan Lovells’ London Office, editor of the survey, Falk Schoening uncovered the 452 digital regulations that had been proposed across 16 jurisdictions in just six months of monitoring. The report aims to provide insight for what is on the horizon for tech companies, giving them a ‘heads up’ on how they should look at their business models

Posted in Copyright, Intellectual Property, patents Photo of Zhen FengPhoto of Eugene Low

Investing in China’s TMT sector: What you need to know

China is a market that represents a paradox for many telecoms, media and technology (“TMT“) companies. On the one hand it offers the promise of almost unlimited growth potential if you get the product right, but on the other it presents huge challenges from the regulatory and compliance perspective in terms of establishing a foothold in the market. The challenges include market access restrictions, data localization requirements, to name but a few. The market access and intellectual property protection issues in particular have been the focal point of the ongoing

Posted in Copyright Photo of Patrick FromlowitzPhoto of Benedikt Lüthge

20-year legal dispute over two seconds of music: CJEU on the never-ending sampling story

German courts have been dealing with the Metall auf Metall [song by the German band Kraftwerk] case for two decades. Recently, the CJEU, too, has had to deal with the case and ruled by judgment of 29 July 2019 (C-476/17) that unless the phonogram producer consents, sampling constitutes an infringement of his rights. However, the CJEU argued, if, by modifying the sample, it can be ruled out that the content is recognizable, there is no infringement of rights. Background The Plaintiffs are members of the band Kraftwerk, which, in 1977,

Posted in Copyright Photo of Fanny Cony

Broadcasting of television programs: French court clarifications on “must carry” and framing

On July 4, 2019, the Cour de Cassation specified the criteria of the “must carry” obligation (diffusion of broadcasted public channels, governed by Article 34-2 of Law No. 86-1067 of September 30, 1986) and the regime of “framing” in the case of neighbouring rights of an audiovisual communication company. Framing is the division of a webpage into several frames to display elements from other Internet pages by means of an “in line linking” which conceals the elements’ original environment. Background Playmédia was sentenced on appeal notably for author rights and

Posted in Copyright Photo of Julia Anne MathesonPhoto of Brendan C. Quinn

Pirates of the Caribbean copyright suit must walk the plank

The Central District of California recently sank a copyright infringement lawsuit against the Walt Disney Company’s Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise, finding that numerous elements of the Plaintiffs’ allegedly similar screenplay were either lifted directly from the eponymous ride at Disney’s theme parks or constituted unprotected scènes-à-faire common to all tales about pirates. Disney’s film Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl was an instant blockbuster when released in the summer of 2003 and spawned a franchise of four more feature films chronicling the adventures of

Posted in Copyright Photo of Penny ThorntonPhoto of Alastair Shaw

DSM Watch: new rules for online transmissions of TV and radio programmes

On 15 April the Agriculture and Fisheries Council formally adopted the Directive on online transmissions of broadcasting organisations and retransmissions of TV and radio programmes (the “Directive”), following the European Parliament’s first-reading adoption on 28 March (which also amended the proposed Regulation to a Directive). Broadly, the Directive aims to facilitate the cross-border transmission, within the EU, of certain radio and TV programmes. Once it has been published in the Official Journal of the EU, Member States will have 24 months to implement. As with the new Copyright Directive, it

Posted in Copyright, Internet, Policy & Regulation Photo of Julia Anne MathesonPhoto of Brendan C. Quinn

N.D. California Straightens Out Competitor’s Use of Infringing Hashtags: #newdevelopments in Using Trademarks as Hashtags

The Northern District of California recently released an order that sheds new light on how courts grapple with the constantly-increasing use of trademarks as hashtags. Align Technology, Inc., provider of the Invisalign teeth-straightening-system, also produces the iTero Element intraoral scanner that allows dentists to obtain three-dimensional scans of a patient’s mouth, teeth, and gums. To complement this product, Align sells single-use protective sleeves that cover the portion of the iTero Element scanner inserted into a patient’s mouth. Strauss Diamond Instruments, Inc. produces a version of the protective sleeve meant to

Posted in Copyright, Intellectual Property Photo of Patrick Fromlowitz

EU: “Der Grüne Punkt” is not a trademark used for packaged goods

“Der Grüne Punkt” is a concept that presumably everyone in Germany is familiar with; recently, the financing symbol for participation in the dual collection and recovery systems was the subject matter of proceedings before the General Court (GC). The General Court’s main task was to examine the question of whether proven use of the trademark on packaging is sufficient to prove that the trademark is, at the same time, also used for the packaged goods themselves. Background In 1996, Duales System Deutschland GmbH registered “Der Grüne Punkt” and the corresponding

Posted in Copyright, Policy & Regulation Photo of Penny ThorntonPhoto of Alastair ShawPhoto of Morten PetersennPhoto of Winston MaxwellPhoto of Benedikt LüthgePhoto of Alberto BellanPhoto of Anne Schmitt

DSM Watch: EU Copyright Directive clears the finish line

On 15th April the Council of the European Union adopted the EU Copyright Directive (the “Directive”), ending a negotiation process which first started with the Commission’s proposal for a new Directive in early 2016. After publication in the Official Journal of the EU, Member States will have two years to implement the Directive. In Council the UK voted to adopt the Directive, but it’s by no means certain that the UK will implement it. If the UK leaves the EU without a deal it will not be bound to do so,

Posted in Copyright, patents, Policy & Regulation Photo of Katharina BerghoferPhoto of Dr. Teresa ChristofPhoto of Daniel KanekoPhoto of Corey LeggettPhoto of Philipp SimonPhoto of Steffen Steininger

Hogan Lovells’ U.S. + Germany Patent Update

Hogan Lovells’ U.S. + German Patent Update reports on recent patent news and cases from Germany and the United States. The most recent update is available in English here. This update covers the following developments across the U.S. and Germany: United States PTAB Has Discretion to Join Parties and New Issues in “Limited Circumstances” – Proppant Express Investments, LLC v. Oren Technologies, LLC (13 March 2019) PTAB Establishes New Precedent and Pilot Program for Motions to Amend – Lectrosonics, Inc. v. Zaxcom, Inc. (25 February 2019, Designated Precedential 7 March

Posted in Copyright, Digital Single Market (EU) Photo of Penny ThorntonPhoto of Alastair ShawPhoto of Morten PetersennPhoto of Winston MaxwellPhoto of Benedikt LüthgePhoto of Alberto BellanPhoto of Anne Schmitt

DSM Watch: EU Copyright Directive clears the finish line

Today the Council of the European Union adopted the EU Copyright Directive (the “Directive”), ending a negotiation process which first started with the Commission’s proposal for a new Directive in early 2016. After publication in the Official Journal of the EU, Member States will have two years to implement the Directive. In Council the UK voted to adopt the Directive, but it’s by no means certain that the UK will implement it.  If the UK leaves the EU without a deal it will not be bound to do so, nor

Posted in Copyright, Policy & Regulation Photo of Sahira KhwajaPhoto of Clare Matheson

Real Estate Horizons: The Power of the Brand

Real Estate Horizons is a snapshot of key legal topics and market trends across the globe. This post higlights the importance of IP rights in this sector. With property developments increasingly focusing on experience and becoming “destinations” or lifestyle brands in their own right, branding has become an essential element of the development process. Therefore, protecting your IP rights is important, helping to protect and even increase the value of your development. There are four main reasons to protect your real estate brand: To prevent copying; To create a branded, experiential

Posted in Copyright, Intellectual Property, Policy & Regulation Photo of Alastair ShawPhoto of Penny ThorntonPhoto of Winston MaxwellPhoto of Morten PetersennPhoto of Alberto BellanPhoto of Anne SchmittPhoto of Benedikt Lüthge

DSM Watch: Navigating Article 13 (now 17) of the Copyright Directive

On 26 March 2019 the EU Parliament voted to pass the draft Copyright Directive (“Directive”) into EU law.  After adoption by the EU Council (representatives of Member State governments) and official publication, the EP’s adopted text will become EU law. Member States will then have until mid-2021 to implement it into their national laws. DSM Watch has already overviewed the whole Directive here, and looked at Article 11 on a new press publishers’ right (re-numbered Article 15 in the adopted text) here. Now we take a deeper dive into the heavily debated

Posted in Copyright, Digital Single Market (EU), Intellectual Property, Policy & Regulation Photo of Benedikt LüthgePhoto of Alastair ShawPhoto of Penny ThorntonPhoto of Winston MaxwellPhoto of Morten PetersennPhoto of Alberto BellanPhoto of Anne Schmitt

DSM Watch: Copyright Directive press publishers’ rights: final edition of Article 11 is now Article 15

Yesterday (26 March 2019) the EU Parliament voted to pass the draft Copyright Directive into EU law.  After adoption by the EU Council (representatives of Member State governments) and official publication, the EP’s adopted text will become EU law. Member States will then have until mid-2021 to implement it into their national laws. DSM Watch has already overviewed the whole Directive here, and looked at Article 13 on liability of user-uploaded content services (re-numbered Article 17 in the adopted text) here. Now we take a deeper dive into the heavily debated

Posted in Copyright, Digital Single Market (EU) Photo of Penny ThorntonPhoto of Alastair ShawPhoto of Winston MaxwellPhoto of Morten PetersennPhoto of Anne SchmittPhoto of Benedikt LüthgePhoto of Alberto Bellan

DSM Watch: EU Copyright Directive passed by European Parliament

Today the EU Parliament voted to pass the draft Copyright Directive into EU law.  After adoption by the EU Council (representatives of Member State governments) and official publication, it will become EU law.   Member States will then have until mid-2021 to implement it into their national laws.   Despite substantial opposition from blocks of MEPs and the large numbers of the general public, the final text does include the controversial press publishers’ right (Article 11) and content sharing service provider liability regime (Article 13).  But that is not the whole story: the

Posted in Copyright, Digital Single Market (EU), Policy & Regulation Photo of Alastair ShawPhoto of Penny ThorntonPhoto of Winston MaxwellPhoto of Morten PetersennPhoto of Alberto BellanPhoto of Anne SchmittPhoto of Benedikt Lüthge

DSM Watch: EU Copyright Directive, the big picture

Agreement on a compromise text for the new Copyright Directive was reached between Member State government representatives, EU Parliament representatives and the EU Commission last week (see our “Breakthrough” post). On 20 February 2019, EU Governments formally voted, by a majority, to approve that compromise text: Italy, Poland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Finland opposed it; Belgium and Slovenia abstained.   However, it is not yet law despite some headlines which one may see in the popular press. But now that the draft text has stabilised, at least for the time being,

Posted in Copyright, Cybersecurity, Digital Single Market (EU) Photo of Burkhart Goebel

Global IP Outlook 2019 – Two steps forward and a look back

2018 posed new opportunities and challenges for IP-rich businesses, with major new legislation introduced in Europe to govern trademark and trade secret protection; significant and transformational case law in the U.S., and the confirmation of new planned IP-specific legislation for several jurisdictions in Asia. We’re here to help you keep abreast of these changes and understand how they impact you. Our third annual Global IP Outlook reflects on some of the major developments in intellectual property law and emerging and growing industries. Regardless of your industry or specialism the Outlook

Posted in Copyright Photo of Penny ThorntonPhoto of Alastair Shaw

EU Copyright Directive: Breakthrough

Last night the Commission, the European Parliament and the Council finally agreed the text of the long-awaited draft Copyright Directive. This followed a breakthrough compromise on the liability of platforms for making available user-uploaded content (Article 13). See our earlier blog of yesterday. The next step will be a vote in the EU Parliament on the agreed text and, assuming it is passed, then it will be published in the Official Journal of the EU. Member States will then have 24 months to implement the new Directive. It remains to

Posted in Copyright, Technology

IP in the mix: European Parliament adopts resolution on DLTs & blockchains

The European Parliament has adopted a non-legislative resolution on distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) and blockchains. In the resolution, which was adopted last month, the Parliament emphasised that the EU has an opportunity to become “the global leader” in the field of DLT and to be a “credible actor” in shaping its development and markets globally. The resolution discusses potential benefits of DLT/blockchain in a range of sectors, including copyright, patent and data protection (alongside financial services, healthcare, transport, supply chain, education and energy).

Posted in Copyright, e-commerce

EU Commission provides guidance on new Geo-Blocking Regulation

In the European Commission’s plan to create a unified Digital Single Market, the measures to promote e-Commerce are well ranked. A reason for that is the increasing impact that the digital world, and especially online shopping, is having on our lives. The Internet per se recognizes no border, and therefore artificial barriers may feel even more misplaced. To tackle those obstacles to cross-border online activity, the European Commission launched a series of legislative proposals (get an overview here), some of which have already been enacted by the European legislator.

Posted in Copyright, Digital Single Market (EU)

DSM Watch: EU copyright “Value Gap” – A video guide

The European Copyright Directive seeks to strike the right balance between the remuneration received by authors and performers, and the profits made by internet platforms when they make their works accessible. This difference is known as the value gap. Our 4 minute video summary covers the following points: What is it? What’s the issue? What about liability? What’s the challenge? Why does it matter? Where do the European Council and Parliament stand on this? Next steps? Watch the summary here