Monday 19 September 2011

Some reading matter

Looking for something to read? Here's a short selection of recent material from some IP journals.

Published in Sweet & Maxwell's Intellectual Property Quarterly (IPQ) is "An EU Copyright Code: What and How, if Ever?" by Trevor Cook (Bird & Bird) and Estelle Derclaye (University of Nottingham). According to the IPQ's summary of this collaboration between practice and academe:
"In 2011 we are celebrating 20 years of EU copyright harmonisation. However, in contrast to most other intellectual property rights, which are now both harmonised and unified, copyright harmonisation is unfinished business ad unification has not yet commenced. The new decade may augur changes in this respect. While the Commission hinted at unification in the field of intellectual property (art.118) and some academics think this is the next step forward (Wittem Code 2010), this article takes stock and weighs the pros and cons of future EU legislative action both as to its form and content".

"Media CAT v Adams: the CAT that did not get the cream", by Gary Moss (McDermott Will & Emery) is available online to subscribers of the Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice (JIPLP) and will soon be published in hard copy too.  According to the abstract:
"In February 2011 His Honour Judge Birss, sitting in the Patents County Court (PCC), handed down a judgment in the case of Media CAT Limited v Adams & Others
The judgment is illuminating since it casts some light into the murky world of how some individuals and companies have sought to enforce copyright claims against members of the public in circumstances which could, at their most charitable, be described as suspect. It also highlights certain procedural issues which can arise in such cases and which will be of considerable interest to practitioners, not least in relation to the potential abuses which can arise from unfettered use of the Norwich Pharmacal procedure".

Also available online in JIPLP pending its paper publication is "Copy-right-brain v left-brain: the use of musicologists in Canadian copyright infringement cases" by the Canadian-based team of Emir Aly Crowne and Varoujan Arman.  This article deals with expert evidence:
"Musicologists (experts in music) provide crucial evidence to courts in copyright infringement actions, especially in an age of digital samples and ‘mash-ups’. 
Surprisingly, there are only two reported decisions in Canada in which a musicologist or professor of music was qualified as an expert witness. In this article, we examine those cases and consider the practical application and challenges of retaining a musicologist in copyright infringement cases".

Still with JIPLP but this time already published in print is "Approaching or overtaking: transferring copyright in Germany and in the UK" by Dominik Skauradszun (Oppenländer Rechtsanwälte). According to the abstract,
"British and German law provide diametrically opposed answers to the question of the transferability and thus the marketability of copyright property assets. 
Under the current legal situation in Germany, the non-transferability dogma of copyrights is maintained. The law thus continues to follow the monistic theory. However, in recent years it has been observed in German legal literature that this dogma has been eroded. In fact, there are examples showing that the copyright can be legally transferred. 
This development is interesting because German copyright goes one step further than the situation in the UK. Whereas moral rights cannot be transferred under British copyright law, and a waiver is possible at best, in Germany moral rights can factually be transferred under both the law of succession and employment law".

"Can I quote this headline?" is the eye-catching title of a survey of fair use practice in seven jurisdictions which appears in this month's issue of Managing Intellectual Property (MIP). The countries represented are Canada, China, France, Israel, Japan, UK and US.

For a conveniently high-level view of the battle between Mattel and MGA Entertainment for the hearts and minds of American doll purchasers, you can read the unattributed feature, "Barbie and Bratz: the Feud Continues", in the current issue of WIPO Magazine, available online here.

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