The Italian Supreme Court confirmed that software which derives from a pre-existing computer program is eligible for copyright protection provided it demonstrates a minimal level of originality, even if it reproduces the main structure of the pre-existing program. A full summary of this case has been published on Kluwer IP Law

The Supreme Court maintains its position in a case concerning a Lancôme perfume, stating that ‘copyright only protects creations in their tangible form, so far as this form is identifiable with sufficient precision to permit its communication; whereas the fragrance of a perfume … is not a form that has this characteristic, and therefore cannot…

“The law does not allow for additional protection of the maker of a work against so-called slavish imitation of a style or of elements of style.” Supreme Court of the Netherlands, 29 March 2013 (Duijsens/Broeren).    Although the legal concept of coat-tail riding is usually associated with trademark law, it is certainly not unfamiliar to copyright law….

Besides tulips, cheese, football and other recreational matters, the Netherlands are famous for its copyright protection of non-original writings. Geschriftenbescherming, as the Dutch call this legal anomaly (and only they know how to pronounce it), is a remnant of an ancient eighteenth-century printer’s right that lives on until this day in the Dutch Copyright Act…

The usefulness of a computer program is not sufficient to characterise the originality of the program. There is nothing more subjective, and often arbitrary and unfair, than the notion on which copyright protection is based: originality. Under French law, the Intellectual Property Code protects “the rights of authors in all works of the mind, whatever…

“What seems to lack in the decision of the Court, at the end of the day, is a clear test of what constitutes a structural element in the ’embryonic stage’. Last 19 October 2012, the Italian Supreme Court published a decision on a case of plagiarism related to a literary work which told the true…

On 26 January 2012, the Belgian Supreme Court decided to quash an appeal decision deeming that “when requiring that a work must show the stamp of the author’s personality in order to benefit from copyright protection, the judges of appeal do not validate their decision in law”. According to the Supreme Court, a literary or…

By Mireille van Eechoud, Institute for Information Law (IViR) Of the many questions addressed by the Court in its Painer judgment (Case C-145/10) the most impact will probably be on the construction of an EU wide originality criterion for copyright works. Infopaq, BSA and Murphy went before, seemingly extending the originality standard implicit in the…

The Advocate General’s Opinion in Case C-145/10, Painer v Standard VerlagsGmbH et al., parts of which have already been discussed in an earlier blog post (here), also deals with the copyrightability of portrait photos. In this case, German and Austrian newspaper publishers had published portrait photos of Natascha Kampusch, and a photo-fit based on one…

By Luke McDongagh, PhD Candidate, QMIPRI The Irish Times has recently reported that the Joyce estate has, after many years of refusal, finally granted the English singer Kate Bush permission to use the famous Molly Bloom soliloquy from James Joyce’s seminal novel Ulysses as the lyrical basis for a song. The soliloquy, spoken at the…