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…

The relation between freedom of expression and copyright in the EU is one of imprecision and uncertainty. In Funke Medien (Case C-469/17) the German Federal Supreme Court (BGH) asks whether fundamental rights should permit the unauthorized use of military reports in the absence of an applicable copyright exception. In his Opinion, Advocate General (AG) Szpunar…

25 July 2018 marks a new episode in the Heks’nkaas saga. After tumultuous court proceedings at the national level and before the European Court of Justice, Advocate General M. Wathelet delivered his opinion in this controversial copyright dispute that is now pending before the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). His opinion can…

On 4 June 2018, one of the core concepts of copyright – the copyright work – was disputed at the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). The “cheese battle”, which started in 2015 at the Court of First Instance in Gelderland (the Netherlands) between HEKS’NKAAS (applicant) and ‘Witte Wievenkaas’ (defendant), resulted in a…

Whether taste constitutes protectable subject-matter under EU copyright law is one of the questions which the CJEU will have to answer in the near future. Indeed, the Dutch Court of Appeals of Arnhem-Leeuwarden has, in the course of an appeal procedure (only available in Dutch), turned to the CJEU for a preliminary ruling on the…

Have you ever given an idea to a friend, who then weaved that idea into their work? Did you feel that you should be recognised for your idea being included even though what you contributed was rather high level? Two weeks ago, in the UK judgment Nicholas Martin v Julia Kogan [2017] EWHC 2927 (IPEC),…

A full summary of this case has been published on Kluwer IP Law. In this case the Supreme Court of Estonia analyses the legal issues involved in providing internet marketing services via Facebook and Google Adwords platforms. The court emphasises that the information, which was created during the performance of the contract of services, is…

A full summary of this case has been published on Kluwer IP Law. The Polish Supreme Court held that the creative (original) nature of a work protected by copyright may manifest itself in the creative, new and simplified combination of known elements e.g. insurance products. The condition of individuality of such a work will be…

The Spanish Supreme Court has recently ruled on the concept of originality in respect of architectural works, and for the first time has established clear and specific guidelines for applying copyright protection to works of this nature. The situation which gave rise to the proceedings is very common in the architectural sector. An architect (the…