Marie-Louise's picks – December 2008
Here are my picks of the intellectual property news that broke in the blogosphere and internet over the past month and most captured my interest. I also give my pick of the upcoming IP events to pencil into your diary for the month ahead.
Please join the discussion by adding your comments.
Continued pressure on ISPs to take an IP policing role
There were a few stories that hit the news in November that concern the role of internet service providers that piqued my interest. It doesn’t look like the pressure on ISPs to take on an IP policing role will subside any time soon!
In Australia, major film and television studios have commenced copyright infringement proceedings against ISP iiNet over BitTorrent piracy (TorrentFreak, LawFont, Recording Industry vs The People, Techdirt, IPRoo, ZDNet Australia, LawFont, Ars Technica, ZDNet Australia). The Danish High Court upheld a ruling that ISP Tele2 should block The Pirate Bay (Techdirt, TorrentFreak, Innovationpartners). France has continued its push for a 3 strikes law despite the European Commission’s clear stance against such measures (Techdirt, Ars Technica, IPKat, Ars Technica, Techdirt).
Linking as trade mark infringement?
Judge John Darrah of the Northern District of Illinois refused to dismiss Jones Day’s trade mark claims that BlockShopper infringed their trade marks by referring to Jones Day in a headline and deep-linking to the Jones Day website: Jones Day v Blockshopper.com (EFF, Techdirt, Law360, Out-Law, Technology & Marketing Law Blog). This took my interest because Jones Day’s suggested stretching of trade mark law would greatly restrict speech and the flow of information on the internet. It would certainly add a level of complication for news aggregator services like our very own Global Week in Review.
Lego brick shape not registrable as a Community trade mark
The European Court of First Instance rejected Lego’s appeal against the OHIM’s Board of Appeals decision that the Lego brick shape is not registrable as a Community trade mark (Class 46, IPKat, Out-Law, Law360). I think this story grabbed my attention largely because I love Lego – I did as a child and now I relive the fun of Lego construction with my children. I am a little saddened to think its protection is diminished and the market may be crowded by imitators. Having said that, such an iconic brand may be hard to compete with!
European Patent Office rejects WARF’s stem cell application
EPO Enlarged Board of Appeal rejects Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) stem cell application due to human embryo destruction, the ruling based on European Patent Convention and EU Biotechnology Directive (IAM) (IPKat) (EPO). This matter interests me because it is a great example of the challenge for lawmakers to keep pace and make difficult decisions where scientific discovery takes us to new frontiers where what fits with public order or morality is not clear cut.
Event – The evolving IP marketplace
The US Federal Trade Commission will hold a series of public hearings beginning 5 December to explore the evolving market for IP. The Commission seeks the views of legal, academic and business communities. The 5 December hearing will be held in the FTC Conference Center in Washington; it will also be webcast (Federal Trade Commission).