In 1709 (or was it 1710?) the Statute of Anne created the first purpose-built copyright law. This blog, founded just 300 short and unextended years later, is dedicated to all things copyright, warts and all. To contact the 1709 Blog, email Eleonora at eleonorarosati[at]gmail.com
Tuesday, 20 January 2015
Use it or Lose it: this year's CIPIL conference
The ideal Cambridge weekend ...?
Organised by 1709 Blog friend Prof Lionel Bently,"Intellectual Property:
Use it or Lose it?" is the title of this year's CIPIL Spring
Conference which will be held, as usual, at the Law Faculty, University of
Cambridge on Saturday 7 March.
Despite the title, the conference does not
only concern trade marks. Copyright is also due to play an important role in
one day conference[chaired
by The Hon Mr Justice Arnold]seeks
to explore the apparently increased place of the obligation of use within
intellectual property law. We begin with a review of recent developments in
case-law and legislation across the three fields (trade marks, patents,
copyright). We conclude by reflecting on the relationship between obligations
to use and property rights, the harms caused by those holding but not using
IPRs, and various ways in which use might be incentivised (including pricing
mechanisms imposing penalties for non-use), and issues of territoriality.
Different fields of intellectual property law operate with different
expectations as to whether an intellectual property right owner will exploit
their intellectual property, and how the law should respond if the rightholder
decides not to do so.
... Going to an IP conference, of course!
mark protection was (in Britain, at least), for some time, premised on the idea
that the trade mark owner was using the mark, and, even when registration came
to be permitted prior to use, provisions were introduced limiting the effects
of marks that had not been used and making possible their revocation. In
passing off, if a trader who has built up goodwill ceases to trade (or ceases
simply to use the sign with which the goodwill has become associated), the
goodwill is presumed gradually to dissipate. Patent law, likewise, was premised
on an expectation that a patentee would exploit the invention, and this was in
many legal systems given effect to by providing that unworked patents might be
revoked or subject to compulsory licences. That said, these provisions have
tended to be subjected to increasing numbers of conditions or limitations.
Meanwhile, recent years have seen a rise in concern over so-called
‘non-practising entities’ (NPES, aka ‘trolls’).
copyright law, the expectations of use have played a lesser role, though legal
systems have frequently provided legal mechanisms for regulating decisions by
copyright owners in works of deceased authors; while contractual regulation
(particularly in civil law systems), has frequently protected authors from
decisions of transferees of copyright not to exploit works. Latterly, however,
the idea that a rightholder must ‘use it or lose it’, has underpinned rules
relating to term extension for sound recordings and, more generally, orphan