On 12 September 2019, the CJEU held that according to article 2(a) of Directive 2001/29 (the InfoSoc Directive), Member States’ copyright laws can no longer protect models (in other words works of applied art or designs) on the ground that, beyond their utilitarian purpose, they generate a distinctive and significant visual effect from an aesthetic…

In a recent UK High Court decision Charlotte Tilbury was able to claim artistic copyright in two designs subsisting in its Starlight Palette make-up palette and successfully prove infringement by Aldi and its lookalike palette. In a rare move for infringements of this nature, the court gave summary judgment on the view that Aldi had…

On 2 May 2019, Advocate General Szpunar delivered his opinion in Case C-683/17, Cofemel – Sociedade de Vestuário SA v. G-Star Raw CV (not yet available in English). The case concerned designs for t-shirts and jeans made by G-Star Raw. In essence, the question posed by the Portuguese Supreme Court is whether Member States have…

The Finnish market court (Markkinaoikeus) has sided with the producers of the sci-fi feature film ‘Iron Sky‘ in a copyright case (MAO:302/18) concerning rights in that movie. The market court dismissed the claims by animators and visual effects (VFX) technicians who asserted that the producers of the feature film had used the claimants’ copyright-protected works…

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled on a series of questions referred by the Arnhem-Leeuwarden Appeals Court (Netherlands), relating to the possible copyright protection of the taste of a cheese product. The CJEU confirmed that the concept of a “work” provided for in Directive 2001/29 requires the existence of an external…

As we enter a new year, we would like to take this opportunity to pass on our best wishes for 2019 to all of our readers, as well as reflect on developments in copyright over the past year.  Last year was a busy one in the copyright world, with a number of landmark CJEU decisions,…

Not for the first time recently, have we seen the granting of copyright protection on a project of interior furnishing. Following the Court of Milan’s ruling which recognised copyright protection of Kiko’s concept stores, the Court of Venice was also called to pronounce – in the context of an interim proceedings – on the eligibility…

The Madrid Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal filed by the owners of a figurative mark whose central element is a radiant heart, drawn using thick black lines and coloured in red, this being used by the defendants to market numerous articles and souvenirs sold in many shops in Madrid. The Court upheld the first…

In law, perhaps one of the most famous aphorisms is “I know it when I see it”, which Justice Potter Stewart used to describe his threshold test for obscenity (in Jacobellis v. Ohio,  378 U.S. 184 (1964)). The CJEU, in case C‑310/17, delivered a decision on copyright which in a way confirms this aphorism and…

On 13 November 2018, the CJEU clarified the scope of EU copyright law by excluding works of taste from copyright protection. This marks the end of a three-year long dispute, which arose in 2015 between two cheese producers and was based on the idea that the taste of a food product is copyright protected. In…