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…

The “Arco” lamp is protected by copyright. But Italy is still struggling with the moratorium of the copyright protection of industrial design. With a 56-pages decision of the District Court of Milan published on 12 September 2012 and made available last week, the “Arco” lamp case, started as far back as 2006, has finally come…

“Some said this would be like an Opera House charging the taxi drivers for taking the audience to the venue.” It has been more than three years now since the infamous idea of a new neighbouring right for press publishers appeared in the coalition agreement of the second Merkel government out of thin air. On…

On 30 June 2011, the Lisbon Court of Appeals has issued its decision in case 323/07.8TVLSB.L1-2 (unfortunately there is no English translation of this). The facts of the case are as follows: a company wanted to hire an artist to create a sculpture, and for that purpose it received a few proposals from different artists….

UK:  Lucasfilm Ltd & Ors v Ainsworth & Anor, Supreme Court, 27 july 2011. Helmets and harmours created for the characters of the Imperial Stormtrooper in the film Star Wars are not “sculptures”, and therefore are not copyrightable subject matter within the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. Nevertheless, a claim for infringement of a…

The saga of copyright protection of industrial design works continues. Historically, Italian courts had been very reluctant to recognize copyright protection to industrial design works due to a provision (now abrogated) contained in the Copyright Law that clearly excluded copyrightability of creative works whereas the artistic value of the work was not separable from 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…

In the appeal of a case concerning allegations of infringement of IP rights in live football statistics sites, the Court of Appeal rejected the claimant’s copyright claim, affirming the high standard of subsistence in a database under Article 3(1) which must go beyond ‘mere data’ to involve some ‘creative skill’. Concerning the sui generis right,…

What is and what is not a copyright work is a question even copyright lawyers find difficult to answer when confronted with subject matter on the verge of the required standard of originality. Polish copyright law has quite a long tradition of setting the threshold rather low, which may encourage frivolous lawsuits forcing courts to…