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Kate Gorey is a Solicitor in the IP & Technology Groups at A&L Goodbody. Kate has experience in both contentious and non-contentious aspects of intellectual property, information technology and data protection matters.

An Advocate General of the CJEU has expressed his opinion that operators of a free Wi-Fi service, who offer that service to the public, will be protected by the mere conduit defence under the E-Commerce Directive and will therefore not be liable for copyright infringement committed by users of that network. Advocate General Szpunar has published his opinion in response to a series of questions posed to the CJEU in Case C-484/14 Tobias McFadden v Sony Music Entertainment Germany GmbH. The case came about following an illegal download of a musical work in 2010, which prompted Sony to bring an action for damages and injunctive relief against Mr. McFadden – the operator of a business selling and renting lighting and sound systems near Munich which offered the free Wi-Fi network accessible to the public (over which the music work was unlawfully downloaded).

Continue Reading Potential light at the end of the wifi tunnel

Digital Rights Ireland (DRI) intend to serve legal proceedings on the Government in the coming days, claiming that the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) has acted in breach of EU law by failing to ensure that the Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) exercises her role independently. The High Court is to be asked to make a referral to the EU’s highest court for a ruling on whether the DPC is truly independent under EU law.

The US Court of Appeals (the Court) recently gave judgment on whether a type of yoga would fall within the remit of copyright in the case of Bikram Yoga College of India v. Evolution Yoga, LLC, 2015 WL 5845415.  The case concerned Bikram yoga – a popular style of yoga developed by Bikram Choudry (the plaintiff in the present case) over 20 years ago which consists of 26 postures and 2 breathing exercise, designed to systematically work every part of the body, and is performed in a hot room.

Continue Reading Can copyright stretch to cover yoga?!

Towards the end of 2013, the European Commission (EC) published proposals to reform trade secrets law across Europe, in order to make it easier for the holders of trade secrets holders to protect these and enforce their rights.

The reforms are set out in a new EU Directive (the Directive) which will harmonise the law on trade secrets, and how it is enforced, across the EU.

The Directive is the result of a study by the EC into how each member state currently protects trade secrets, which found inconsistencies in the enforcement of laws across the EU.  The aim the Directive is to create a new minimum level of protection for trade secrets across the EU, and in particular to prohibit the “unlawful acquisition, disclosure and use of trade secrets”.

The Directive clarifies the definition of a trade secret, and in doing so, follows the definition of “undisclosed information” in the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement) – there are three necessary elements to a trade secret:

Continue Reading Protection of Trade Secrets Reformed

Nestle tasted sweet victory this month following a nine year legal battle against Cadbury’s attempt to trademark the colour purple for a range of its chocolate based goods.

In 2004, confectionary giant Cadbury applied to register a trade mark for the colour purple – more specifically, Pantone 2685C "applied to the whole visible surface, or being the predominant colour applied to the whole visible surface, of the packaging of the goods" for a variety of chocolate–based products in Class 30. Nestle subsequently opposed the application on the ground that it was so broad it would prevent other companies from using a portion of the spectrum as the basis of their packaging.

Continue Reading The Colour Purple Is No Longer A Grey Area….

The Irish Government has proposed new legislation to widen the scope of the "bolar" exemption available under patent law, the effect of which will be to bring Ireland into line with the position prevailing in other EU member states.  This followed a Regulatory Impact Analysis on the review of the Research Exemption Provision in respect of section 42(g) of the Patents Act 1992 (the Act) in April 2013.

Continue Reading Government Proposals to amend the Patents Act 1992

A singer/songwriter is suing RTÉ and comedian Andy Quirke for alleged trade mark infringement over their use of the name, ‘Damo’ in a TV show.

According to the Irish Patents Office, Dubliner Damien O’Regan registered the name ‘Damo’ in relation to entertainment services, music and lyrics he provides. Mr O’Regan told the High Court that the use of the name Damo is a clear breach of his trade mark and said he had not given his consent for its use by Mr Quirke.

Continue Reading What’s in a name? Singer sues RTÉ for use of his name

The ILTG Global Technology Leaders Summit 2013 takes place in Mountain View this week, 14 and 15 May 2013. The event is a two day gathering which will emphasise the significant economic, political and commercial trends affecting global technology industries. A particular highlight of the event will be the Annual Silicon Valley Awards Gala which will recognise and award the top Irish Technology start-ups. The esteemed list of 20 Finalist fast Pitch companies can be viewed here. The event marks a great signal for the positive impact Ireland has on Silicon Valley business and is an unrivalled opportunity to showcase Irish start-ups on the West Coast. The event will be attended by A&L Goodbody’s Palo Alto based partners, John Whelan (IP & Technology) and Paul Fahy (Tax).