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‘Monkey Selfie’ Copyright Battle: Settlement Reached

selfie-2700351_640The two year legal battle over the infamous ‘monkey selfie’ between a photographer and an animal rights group has finally reached its conclusion. Last month, a settlement was reached between the two parties, bringing this copyright drama to a quiet end.

By way of background, in 2011 a macaque monkey, named Naruto, took an image of itself in the Indonesian jungle after it picked up an unattended camera owned by photographer, David Slater. Disputes arose over ownership of the image when it was published on Wikipedia, without Mr Slater’s permission, and he asked for it to be taken down. The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) defended Naruto, arguing that he owned the copyright in the image.

However, Mr Slater contended that he had a valid copyright claim based on the fact that he engineered the situation that resulted in the picture. He befriended the group of wild macaques and set up his camera equipment in such a way that a “selfie” picture might come about. (more…)

Brexit through the Lens of IP Law

brexit-1481028_1920According to the Government’s White Paper on exiting the EU, the 65 million people of the UK are now willing the Government to make the negotiations happen (see PM’s Foreword, paragraph 4). I must have missed my reprogramming session as I’m still waiting for reality to snap back to normal….

However, even if we are now all on board the Brexit Bus, next stop the cliff edge followed swiftly by the foot of the cliff, it’s still good to see a well researched article on the impacts of Brexit on the IP sphere. The world has, of course, been awash with Brexit News Bulletins ever since the result came in but the latest addition,  The Legal Consequences of Brexit through the Lens of IP Law, comes with a sterling pedigree, namely Richard Arnold (a judge at the High Court), Lionel Bentley (University of Cambridge), Graeme Dinwoodie (University of Oxford) and Estelle Derclaye (University of Nottingham). (more…)

Common soft IP related mistakes made by SMEs

mistake

Photo by DTL at morguefile.com

IP value and risk

Risk is the chance of something going wrong, and the danger that damage or loss will occur. By its very nature, there are both rewards and risks associated with IP. For anyone involved in IP, then IP related risks are part of working life.

However many ignore the risks associated with IP or only react when the risk has materialised, which is most times too late. Also, many of the IP related risks that companies face are due to their own lack of awareness or proper understanding of IP, and/or their own actions or lack of actions.

Soft IP

There are multiple forms of IP such as patents, trademarks, copyright, etc. etc.

The term ‘soft IP’ is sometimes used to refer to trademarks, copyright, and domain names, in contrast to ‘hard IP’, which is sometimes used to refer to patents.

I accept that use of this phrase is controversial among some IP practitioners, and that the term soft IP may mean slightly different things from one IP practitioner to another

This paper focuses on soft IP and in particular on trademarks, domain names and social media handles, and some of the common mistakes made by SMEs as far as these forms of IP are concerned. (more…)

IP in the UK after the Brexit Referendum

GB+EU flagOn 23 June 2016 the UK public voted in favour of the UK leaving the EU (commonly referred to as ‘Brexit’). If and when the UK formally starts the exit procedure, there will be at least a two-year negotiation period before the exit itself occurs. So, any changes won’t be implemented for some time yet.

Any UK national IP rights will be unaffected by Brexit. Some EU IP rights that have effect in the UK will be affected to different extents. Crucially, no IP rights will be lost as a result of Brexit, although some transitional measures are inevitable.

IPcopy takes a look at the key impact Brexit will have on IP, and what you should be considering now. (more…)

High Court quashes private copying exception

MontyPythonIn October 2014, new legislation came into effect that legalised format shifting (e.g. CD-ripping or e-book conversion etc.) for private non-commercial use. However, a High Court judgement before Mr Justice Green issued last week quashed the Statutory Instrument used to bring in the legislation. This means that ripping music and films you own is illegal, again.

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Spot The Difference…. How do you Deal with Copying?

neon sign copy MGD©In the previous “general introduction to IP” article, we discussed various different intellectual property or “IP” rights. This time, we are examining two of these rights in more detail, the two rights invoked most commonly when encountering instances of copying of products, packaging or promotional materials: Copyright and Design Right. As noted before, these articles are designed as (brief) primers to highlight some particular elements of the subject area.

Subsistence

Copyright will subsist in the tangible expressions of your ideas and creativity. Examples of copyright works are paintings, photographs, sound or film recordings, drawings and written works, such as the scripts appearing on your product packaging or websites. Copyright does not apply to single names or titles. (more…)

London Tech Week 2015 – Free IP clinics: Inventions, branding & design protection advice

LTW PartOfBanner_720x90px (more…)

General Election 2015: What do the parties say about IP? (IP – Hit or miss?)

SONY DSCStill on the fence about the general election? Well, fear not as IPcopy is here to give you a run down on the most important policy area of them all. Yes, it’s time to look at what the parties have got to say about Intellectual Property.

Rather than subject ourselves to having to read the manifestos of the various parties (we’re not masochists you know), IPcopy has located PDF copies of the manifestos for the Conservatives, Labour, the Liberal Democrats, UKIP, Plaid Cymru, the Green Party and the SNP and has performed a word search for any of the following terms: patent, trade mark (or trademark), design (IP related design references only), copyright, intellectual property.

So, here we go…. (more…)

Are You Protecting Your Most Valuable Assets? An Introduction to Intellectual Property

IP imageOver the next couple of weeks, IPcopy will be republishing some general introduction to IP articles that we prepared to present some topics, facts and issues from the area of intellectual property law for people who have had little or no contact with intellectual property. The articles are designed as (brief) primers to highlight some particular elements of the subject area.

Intellectual property (IP) can sometimes be overlooked. Intellectual assets are not tangible and, as such, can be difficult to value. Often, they are not taken into consideration properly when assessing the worth of a business. However, these assets can be the most important to a business, contributing significantly to its goodwill and reputation, and need to be protected properly. (more…)

UKIPO report on 3D printing lacks dimension

3D printExcitement around 3D printing waned somewhat in 2014 from its meteoric rise in late 2013. Nonetheless, lawmakers and policymakers have been keeping an eye on this disruptive technology, leading to a UK Intellectual Property Office-commissioned report entitled A Legal and Empirical Study into the Intellectual Property Implications of 3D Printing, for which the executive summary was recently published.

The report is actually a wrapper for two separate studies. These were jointly carried out by the Centre for Intellectual Property Policy & Management (CIPPM) at Bournemouth University and Econolyst Ltd, a consultancy specialising in 3D printing.

The first study comprised an analysis of how copyright law may be may be affected by the emergence of 3D scanning, and the creation and modification of digital design files. Additionally, it reviewed file-sharing websites including MakerBot’s Thingiverse, Autodesk’s 123D and GrabCad which are dedicated to computer-aided design (CAD) to provide a view on the types of print products available, their price, popularity and usage licences.

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