Reposted from DLA Piper’s Media & Sport Group Bulletin

Editorial Team: Nick FitzpatrickDuncan Calow and Patrick Mitchell

The consultation following up recommendations in the Hargreaves Review outlines Government plans to improve copyright laws.

The consultation, which will run for 14 weeks and conclude on 21 March 2012, is in line with the Government’s “response” to the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property and Growth (“Hargreaves Review”) (for more information on the Hargreaves Review please refer to our May 2011 client alert here).


Continue Reading UK Government publishes consultation on copyright

Undoubtedly today’s widespread Internet protest, which has darkened web sites ranging from Wikipedia to reddit to Flickr, has raised public awareness of the looming legislative and public relations battles associated with the Stop Internet Piracy Act (“SOPA”) and the Protect IP Act (“PIPA”), which are currently under consideration in the House and Senate, respectively. While the debate over the merits of these largely similar bills is still heating up (a vote on PIPA is expected as early as January 24), Congressman Darrell Issa (R) of California has announced plans to introduce competing legislation in the form of the Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act (“OPEN Act”).


Continue Reading The OPEN Act: Another Legislative Option to SOPA and PIPA

As you may have noticed, today some of the most-visited websites on the Internet are blacked out, unavailable, or otherwise focusing on protesting currently-pending legislation in the United States that may impact many businesses and how they operate on the Internet. Specifically, popular sites such as Wikipedia, Craigslist, and BoingBoing are wholly unavailable, and others, such as Google, WordPress, and Amazon, are prominently featuring commentary on the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which are currently pending in the Senate and House, respectively.


Continue Reading Sites on Their SOPA-Boxes: Major Sites Close For Business In Protest Against Pending Legislation

Reposted from DLA Piper’s Media & Sport Group Bulletin

Editorial Team: Nick FitzpatrickDuncan Calow and Patrick Mitchell

Google has filed a motion to dismiss the Authors Guild and the American Society of Media Photographers as plaintiffs in the Google Books copyright infringement claim.

The long running US Google books case emerged out of two separate law suits: one filed by the American Authors Guild (“the Authors Guild”) on behalf of authors and the other by the Association of American Publishers along with five separate publishers (for more details please see the April 2011 and October 2011 editions of Media Intelligence here and here).


Continue Reading Google Books case: Google files motion to dismiss plaintiffs

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND TECHNOLOGY ALERT

By Joshua Briones and Patrick S. Park

A judge ruled last week that PhoneDog.com, a web-based community of cell phone information, has properly pled a trade secret and conversion claim arising out of Phonedog’s allegations that it is entitled to certain Twitter followers that a former employee had built up during his four years at the company, where he worked as a blogger. 
 
The case raises at least two questions.  First, who owns a company Twitter account?  Second, how much is a Twitter follower worth?  


Continue Reading Whose followers are they, and how much are they worth?

Reposted from DLA Piper’s Law à la Mode Edition 4 – Winter 2011

By:  Michael K. Barron, Sarah Phillips and Nadea Taylor (Boston and London)
“AdWords,” the paid, subscription-based Google referencing service which allows users to advertise their companies alongside Google search results, has recently been the subject of much legal scrutiny.  In late September, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) gave a preliminary ruling on questions referred to it by the English High Court in the case between Interflora and Marks & Spencer (“M&S”), regarding the purchase by M&S of the Google AdWord “Interflora” and other similar AdWords. 
In answering the questions referred to it, the ECJ repeated much of the recent jurisprudence in this area, in particular from the Google France case.  Previous cases established that purchasing a third parties’ trademark as an AdWord would only amount to trademark infringement if such use would have an adverse effect on one of the functions of the trademark.  
The ECJ gave the following guidance on how national courts should assess whether the use by a third party of a sign identical with a trademark in relation to identical goods or services has an adverse affect on one of the functions of the trademark:

By: Caroline Olstedt Carlström (Stockholm)

The new digital landscape and its embrace by the corporate world create new challenges for all marketing professionals at a pace that has never before been encountered.  In fact, organisational procedures and legal standards are struggling to keep up.  Few jurisdictions have marketing regulations in place that are up-to-date with the latest digital possibilities.  Social media can be an effective tool for marketing and brand awareness, but it also poses great challenges for marketing professionals navigating new issues. 

On September 15th, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) presented its new 2011 Consolidated ICC Code of Advertising and Marketing Communication Practice (the “Code”). The Code raises the standards for consumer protection globally and also includes new online rules.  It is recognised as the gold standard for self-regulation and now offers best practice guidance across all sectors, technologies and platforms and guides marketing professionals as they deal with many of the most challenging topics, such as Online Behavioural Advertising (OBA), marketing in digital interactive media, privacy protection, environmental claims and marketing to children.  


Continue Reading New Global Rules for Digital Interactive Marketing

Reposted from DLA Piper’s Law à la Mode Edition 4 – Winter 2011

By:  Michael K. Barron, Sarah Phillips and Nadea Taylor (Boston and London)
“AdWords,” the paid, subscription-based Google referencing service which allows users to advertise their companies alongside Google search results, has recently been the subject of much legal scrutiny.  In late September, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) gave a preliminary ruling on questions referred to it by the English High Court in the case between Interflora and Marks & Spencer (“M&S”), regarding the purchase by M&S of the Google AdWord “Interflora” and other similar AdWords. 
In answering the questions referred to it, the ECJ repeated much of the recent jurisprudence in this area, in particular from the Google France case.  Previous cases established that purchasing a third parties’ trademark as an AdWord would only amount to trademark infringement if such use would have an adverse effect on one of the functions of the trademark.  
The ECJ gave the following guidance on how national courts should assess whether the use by a third party of a sign identical with a trademark in relation to identical goods or services has an adverse affect on one of the functions of the trademark:

By: Gina Durham and Erin Wright Lothson (Chicago)

Those involved in the fashion and retail industries are well aware of the challenges associated with combating the global proliferation of commercial-scale counterfeiting and piracy.  With legal rights and remedies often varying on a country-by-country basis, enforcement of intellectual property rights on an international scale can often be fraught with unexpected hurdles and inconsistent outcomes.  The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (“ACTA”) aims to change that.

On October 1, 2011, eight countries signed ACTA, namely Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the U.S.  A signing ceremony was held in Tokyo by the Government of Japan.  Representatives of the E.U., Mexico, and Switzerland attended the ceremony and confirmed their continuing support for ACTA.  Those three sovereignties are in the process of finalizing domestic procedures in preparation to sign, and their signatures are expected by May 1, 2013.  Collectively, these eleven countries represent more than half of the world’s trade.


Continue Reading Global Developments Regarding the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement

By: Job Seese (New York)

Our Spring 2011 issue discussed a pending U.S. legislative bill that would expand copyright protection to fashion designs – something that generally is not available under existing U.S. law.  Known as the Innovative Design Protection and Piracy Prevention Act (IDPPPA), the bill was first introduced in the Senate in August 2010.  However, the bill was never taken up by the full Senate and effectively died at the end of that Congressional session.  Currently, a legislative bill of the same name is pending before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet.  


Continue Reading U.S. Fashion Copyright Protection Still in a State of Limbo

Reprinted from La A La Mode, DLA Piper’s Fashion, Retail and Design E-zine

by Jean-Louis Kerrels and Julie De Bruyn (Brussels)

On June 23, the European Parliament adopted the Consumer Rights Directive.* Among the changes is a 14 day EU-wide right for consumers to change their mind about their online purchases, as well as new information requirements.


Continue Reading NEW CONSUMER RIGHTS DIRECTIVE: 10 COMMANDMENTS FOR ONLINE RETAILERS