Question the Trade Mark Judges
Last week, on 11 March 2020, the Institute of Brand and Innovation Law at University College London (UCL) and the European Association of Trade Mark Owners (MARQUES) organised the tenth traditional seminar Question the Trade Mark Judges where some of the most eminent trade mark judges discussed current issues in this field. There was a lot of talk about Brexit and some more procedural questions the judges are faced with in their everyday work. Intellectual Property Institute’s associate Tilen Zonta, currently studying Intellectual Property Law at Queen Mary University of London, attended the event.
An important issue that interests basically every owner of an EU trade mark conducting business in the UK is the status of his or her rights post-Brexit (learn more about this here). More specifically, the panelists were asked about the possible divergence between EU law and British law. Justice Richard Arnold explained that there will be a certain degree of continuity as the EU law has or will be largely transposed into the national legal system. After Brexit, the legislator will be free to change that and the Supreme Court will be able to depart from CJEU’s precedents. According to the Judge’s opinion this is likely to happen in cases such as Mitsubishi (C-129/17) and L’Oréal v. Bellure (C-487/07) that have been largely criticised. Emma Himsworth QC added that the UK is not completely free to go its own legislative way as it is still bound by various international obligations (such as those from the Paris Convention).
The debate then focused on bad faith in trade mark registrations. Emma Himsworth QC explained that British courts use cross-examination to prove bad faith, whereas the UKIPO, similarly to continental systems, looks into specific documents for evidence. Ian Forrester added that from his experience and the understanding of the SkyKick decision (C-371/18) bad faith is hard to prove and will normally be established only under exceptional circumstances.
Lastly, the judges discussed the importance of mediation in trade mark disputes. The panelists agreed that this alternative dispute resolution mechanism can be very useful but once the case reaches the court it is usually too late.
The Internet Archive will file an appeal against an unfair decision that ignores the value of the libraries’ work
The Internet Archive is a non-profit organization that maintains the Open Library, a digital library index, and is dedicated to preserving knowledge. As many of the works in the Internet Archive are under copyright, the Archive uses a system of controlled digital lending based on digital rights management to prevent unauthorized downloading or copying of copyrighted books. In March 2020, due to the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the Internet Archive established the National Emergency Library, eliminating the waiting lists used in the Open Library and expanding access to books for all readers. In June 2020, the Emergency National Library faced a lawsuit from four book publishers and was ultimately closed.
The 43rd session of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (hereinafter SCCR) made substantial progress on the issues advocated by the A2K Coalition (Access to Knowledge Coalition), which IPI is a member of. This year’s session was the most productive on the issues of exceptions and limitations. James Love (Knowledge Ecology International), a long-time observer at WIPO, described the outcome and the impact of the public interest community as the strongest since the conclusion of the Marrakech Treaty, which brought global copyright exceptions for the benefit of the blind and visually impaired.
Today, March 17, 2023, a symposium on law in the information society is taking place in the golden lecture hall of the Faculty of Law in Ljubljana. Dr. Maja Bogataj Jančič will present copyright aspects of artificial intelligence at the symposium.
The third day of the 43rd session of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights is intended for discussion on the topic of exceptions and limitations to copyright, especially in connection with the right to research.