Archive: February 2016

1
Take a Closer Look Next Time you Flag a Black Cab…
2
European Copyright Reform
3
The Protection of Creative Designs: New Evaluation Standards Introduced by the Italian Supreme Court

Take a Closer Look Next Time you Flag a Black Cab…

By Briony Pollard and Serena Totino

Last month, a quintessential London symbol was subject to the scrutiny of the Hon. Mr. Justice Arnold in a case concerning Community and UK trade marks for the iconic shape of the black London taxi cab in Class 12 (the Trade Marks), owned by The London Taxi Corporation Limited (LTC).

LTC claimed that Frazer-Nash Research Limited and Ecotive Limited (FNR) had intended to deceive the public as to the origin of the Metrocab, a new model of the London taxi. LTC argued that a result of FNR adopting the specific shape it had for the Metrocab, was that consumers would think that it emanated from the same source as LTC’s taxis. As such, FNR threatened to infringe the trade marks and to commit passing off by marketing the Metrocab. FNR contended that the trade marks were invalidly registered because they lack distinctive character and give substantial value to the goods.

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European Copyright Reform

By Alessandra Bellani and Alessandra Feller

On December 9 2015 the European Commission presented a proposal for European Copyright reform. The proposed framework, inspired by the European digital single market project, aims to provide European users with wider content and strengthen copyright protection, as well as ensure authors a fair remuneration.

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The Protection of Creative Designs: New Evaluation Standards Introduced by the Italian Supreme Court

By Alessandra Feller and Alessandra Bellani

Through judgment no. 23292 of November 13 2015, the Italian Supreme Court introduced a distinction between objective and subjective standards, which should guide the judges’ assessment in order to decide if an industrial design can seek protection under Italian copyright law (the “IC Law”).

The Supreme Court recalled the principles established under the IC Law providing that:

  • industrial designs are worthy of protection if they have a “quid pluris” that consists of creative and artistic features; and
  • simple creative works are worthy of protection even if they only have an intrinsic artistic value.

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