A Californian Judge, Gail J Standish, recently dismissed a copyright lawsuit where it was alleged that Taylor Swift had copied lyrics for her popular song "Shake It Off". Taylor Swift is in fact an avid fan of enforcing her own copyright, was facing a $42 million damages claim. Jesse Graham filed the lawsuit claiming that
The Irish High Court has issued a significant decision in Aldi Stores (Ireland) Limited & anor v- Dunnes Stores (No.2)  IEHC 551holding that a plaintiff is entitled as of right to an injunction where a trade mark is infringed in the course of a comparative advertising campaign even where the advertising campaign in question has ended. The defendant has indicated that it will be appealing the finding of liability made by the court. Continue Reading High Court grants injunction prohibiting further trade mark infringement in relation to advertising campaign which has ended.
A French Supreme Court (the Cour de Cassation) has recently overturned a decision of the Paris Court of Appeal which had given a 2013 ruling in a copyright infringement case. The case involves the famous Longchamp "pilage" bag which, according to Longchamp, is the most copied bag in the world. The Cour de Cassation found that the Court of Appeal was in violation of the French Intellectual Property Code (Article L. 122-4) which deems it illegal to reproduce fully or partially a protected work without the authorisation of the right holder. Continue Reading Longchamp – French Supreme Court rules on copyright infringement
A French Supreme Court (the Cour de Cassation) has recently overturned a decision of the Paris Court of Appeal which had given a 2013 ruling in a copyright infringement case. The case involves the famous Longchamp "pilage" bag which, according to Longchamp, is the most copied bag in the world. The Cour de Cassation found that the Court of Appeal was in violation of the French Intellectual Property Code (Article L. 122-4) which deems it illegal to reproduce fully or partially a protected work without the authorisation of the right holder. The supreme courts (Cour de Cassation and Conseil d’État) acts as a cassation jurisdiction, giving them supreme jurisdiction in quashing the judgments of inferior courts where those courts misapplied law. Generally, cassation is not based on outright violations of law, but on differing interpretations of law between the courts.Continue Reading Longchamp reaches the French Supreme Court over copyright infringement
New Balance has kicked off a trademark action against Nike-owned Converse concerning its PF Flyers brand and the Converse trademark on Chuck Taylors. New Balance is requesting that the Federal Court in NY cancel the Converse trademark registration, which was obtained in 2013, so that they may continue selling their version of the shoe. New Balance has set out in court filed papers that the products are different enough and that consumers are unlikely to confuse the two.
Last October saw Converse file a trademark action against 31 companies, notably not including New Balance, who they accused of infringing their trademark by producing knock-offs of their famous Chuck Taylor designed shoe. Should Converse be successful in this action New Balance has indicated their concern as to how such a ruling would be enforced.Continue Reading New Balance trademark action against Converse
The UK Court of Appeal has upheld a decision of the UK Patent Court where Mr Justice Birss gave summary judgment in an action for a declaration of non-infringement (Nampak Plastics Europe Ltd v Alpha UK Ltd 2014 EWHC 2196 (Pat)). The case, involving rivals in the plastic milk bottle business, saw the claimant Nampak Plastics Europe Limited bringing an action against Alpla UK Limited alleging infringement of its patent for a plastic milk container (ECO1). Alpla, denying infringement, produced a modified bottle (ECO2) and brought a claim for a declaration of non-infringement under Section 71 of the 1977 Patents Act and subsequently sought summary judgment from the court, which was granted.Continue Reading UK Court of Appeal not concerned with any spilt milk
In an important decision for unregistered design right holders, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the CJEU) delivered its judgment yesterday in Karen Millen Fashions Ltd v Dunnes Stores (Case C-345/13).
Karen Millen Fashions, a well-known British clothing retailer, claimed infringement of their unregistered design rights in three items of clothing by Dunnes Stores, a large Irish retail chain. The Irish High Court granted relief to Karen Millen in the form of an injunction restraining Dunnes Stores from using the designs and also in damages. Dunnes Stores, although not denying that it had copied the Karen Millen designs, appealed the decision to the Irish Supreme Court on the grounds that the items of clothing did not have individual character within the meaning of Article 6 of Regulation 6/2002 (The Regulations) and further that Karen Millen Fashions Ltd were required, under the Regulations, to prove that the design had individual character.
The Irish Supreme Court in turn referred two questions to the CJEU under the preliminary reference procedure.Continue Reading CJEU rules on unregistered design rights
A US based Irish pottery designer, trading as Kara Irish Pottery, has initiated proceedings in Massachusetts against Belleek Pottery and it US subsidiary claiming infringement of her designs. Kara Irish Pottery, with offices in Derry City and Boston, is claiming that Belleek Pottery has been "palming off" its products as its own despite allegedly using Kara Irish Pottery designs.
In court documents filed in late December, the plaintiff claims that her trademarked designs on her pottery reflect "unique and distinctive element of Celtic art and culture". Continue Reading Irish pottery designs subject of US proceedings
Zatori Results Limited, an online retailer, has initiated High Court proceedings against Shop Direct Ireland Limited, trading as Littlewoods Ireland, seeking a High Court injunction preventing the defendant from selling their version of a Christmas jumper. They are also seeking damages for alleged infringement of its unregistered design rights, with sales of their jumper down 75% compared with sales in 2012.
The jumper in question was initially designed and sold by the Plaintiff in 2012 and became a commercial success, being one of the top selling Christmas jumpers on Amazon. Their design features a snowman, Christmas trees and stars on a navy blue background, similar to the alleged infringing jumper being sold by the Defendant.Continue Reading Festive Battle in the High Court