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Free wi-fi providers unlikely to be liable for copyright infringement

Maciej Szpunar, an Advocate General of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), has recommended to the Court that providers of free wi-fi should not be held responsible for copyright infringement committed over their networks. The recommendation comes midway through the case of Tobias McFadden -v- Sony Music Entertainment Germany GmbH C-484/14, which…

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ECJ rules that four fingered Kit Kats not distinct enough to be trademarked

The Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) has ruled that Nestlé cannot trademark its four fingered Kit Kat because the shape is not distinctive enough for consumers to associate it with the chocolate bar.  Nestlé had tried to trademark the four finger Kit Kat in 2010 but its rival Cadbury had registered an…

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Rihanna defeats appeal by Topshop in T-shirt ‘passing off’ claim

In Robyn Rihanna Fenty and others –v- Arcadia Group Brands Limited and another ([2015]  EWCA Civ 3), lawyers for Topshop sought unsuccessfully to set aside last year’s finding in the High Court that the clothing store was liable for ‘passing off’ under common law for the unauthorised use of the singer’s image on T-shirts. Topshop had obtained…

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stay of confiscation must be exceptional

In Beazley and Beazley [2013] EWCA 567 the Court of Appeal heard an appeal by the prosecution against a terminating ruling of a Recorder to stay confiscation proceedings. The defendants had been convicted of offences contrary to section 92 Trade Marks Act 1994. such offences are in fact ‘criminal lifestyle’ offences by virtue of their…

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Private Prosecutions: Media Protection services Ltd v Crawford – a case analysis

The Divisional Court, in dismissing MPss appeal by way of case stated (Media Protection services Ltd v Crawford [2012] EWHC 2373(Admin)), decided MPs had acted unlawfully in bringing a private prosecution for reward against the Crawfords in respect of alleged infringement of copyright in a television broadcast of a football match and the district judge…

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Ofcom publish second draft code on internet piracy

The communications regulator Ofcom has published a revised code on online copyright infringement. The draft code maintains the”three strike” policy set out in the earlier 2010 version.  “IsP”s (internet service providers such as BT, Talk Talk and Virgin media) will be required to send letters to customers notifying them where their account is the subject of a suspected…

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Costs of private prosecution should be assessed under civil costs regime

The recent trend whereby media corporations seek to further their commercial disputes in the criminal courts by exercising the right to bring a private prosecution could now be checked in light of the recent decision in Karen Murphy v Media Protection services Ltd [2012] EWHC 529. Karen Murphy, lest it be forgotten, was the pub landlady…

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Pub landlady in ECJ victory over use of foreign TV decoder to watch premiership football

The ECJ has ruled that national legislation that bans the use of overseas decoders is “…not justified either in light of the objective of protecting intellectual property rights or by the objective of encouraging the public to attend football stadiums”. The issue was referred to the ECJ by the High Court.  The ECJ held that the Premier League could not…

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Articles are intended as an introduction to the topic and do not constitute legal advice.