Reposted from Sports, Media and Entertainment Online

By Keitaro Uzawa and Ann Cheung

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan (“METI“) recently revised the Interpretative Guidelines on Electronic Commerce and Information Property Trading (“Guidelines“), which apply to all online business operations in Japan and clarify how the Civil Code, which governs Japanese commercial contracts, and other relevant laws, such as the Act on Special Provisions to the Civil Code Concerning Electronic Consumer Contracts and Electronic Acceptance Notice (Act No. 95 of 2001) (“Electronic Contract Act“) and the Act on Specified Commercial Transactions (Act No. 57 of 1976), are applied to various legal issues relating to electronic commerce and information property trading.


Continue Reading

Reposted from Data Protection, Privacy and Security Alert

By Michael Malloy and Pavel Arievich

There has been an important development in Russian Data Protection Law. On July 22, 2014 a new law amending the law on data protection and law on information was signed off by the Russian President and thus was officially adopted. The law, will come into force on September 1. 2016.


Continue Reading

By Carissa Bower

For centuries, the idea that strong intellectual property protection spurs innovation and encourages creativity has been the lynchpin of IP laws, not to mention the mantra of IP lawyers. In The Knockoff Economy, the authors challenge that belief as they explore industries which receive weak, if any, IP protection, yet still manage to innovate and thrive. Authors Kal Raustiala and Christopher Sprigman cover a wide variety of industries including fashion, fonts, cocktails, magic, football, and the financial services industry. Several trends which have allowed creativity to flourish outside the IP framework emerge over the course of the book, including the unique nature of certain industries, trends and fads, social norms, open-source methods, and first-mover advantages. The authors do not argue for a broad change in IP laws, but instead provide a window into how creativity and innovation differ in every industry.

The book begins with the fashion industry, where, the authors argue, copying actually speeds up the creative process. The fashion cycle rewards innovation, and success requires constant reinvention as first-adopters seek out newer designs once a prior design has become mainstream. This same trend can be seen in the culinary world where copying can be an indicator of success. The authors provide the example of the molten chocolate cake which started out in a high-end restaurant and can now be found on the menu of thousands of family restaurants around the world. While the rest of the world is finding ways to prevent copying, the authors show us several industries where imitation truly is the sincerest form of flattery.


Continue Reading

By Kathryn Purcell-Hennessy (Brisbane, Australia)

Introduction

Internet use in Australia is widespread, with the Australian Bureau of Statistics reporting that in 2010-11 (the latest figures available), more than 50% of Australians aged between 15 and 34 created online content and downloaded videos, movies or music. More than 68% of Australians in those age brackets listened to music or watched videos or movies online and over 75% used the Internet for social media and online gaming in the same period. The Internet hosts increasing volumes of user-generated content, and encourages use of copyright materials in emerging ways, which may infringe copyright.


Continue Reading

Media outlets have been buzzing over the purported denial of Beyonce and Jay-Z’s BLUE IVY CARTER trademark.  On October 16, 2012, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) granted a federal registration to Veronica Morales, a Boston-based wedding planner, for the trademark BLUE IVY (U.S. Registration No. 4224833) covering event planning services. Morales, who claims use of the BLUE IVY trademark since 2009, obtained her federal registration before Beyonce and Jay-Z despite filing her federal application one month later.  A number of reporters incorrectly state that Morales’ BLUE IVY registration has derailed any opportunity for Beyonce and Jay-Z to secure rights to, let alone a federal registration for, their BLUE IVY CARTER trademark. Of course, such an assertion demonstrates a clear misunderstanding of the highly specialized and nuanced area of trademark law.


Continue Reading