Play those bars again and end up behind… bars (Brands & IP Newsnotes - Issue 2)
28 March 2016
The High Court has handed down a custodial sentence of 28 days for breach of an injunction against copyright infringement, albeit suspended for a period of 18 months. Two points rang out.
First, if your business plays recorded music in public, you should obtain a licence from Phonographic Performance Limited (“PPL”) – a company which licenses the use by businesses of the vast majority of recorded music commercially available in the UK. In this case, the Defendant – Mr John - ran a bar in North London called ‘Socialite’ at which he played popular music. Mr John did not have a licence from PPL and, following ignored requests to obtain such a licence, PPL sued Mr John for copyright infringement and won. In the usual way for an action such as this, the court granted an injunction against Mr John restraining him from further infringements by way of playing such recorded music in public. It also ordered him to pay damages to PPL (compensating PPL for the licence fees that should have been paid by Mr John).
Secondly, if the court has made an order against you, you must comply! This might strike most as a ‘no brainer’, but not Mr John who not only failed to pay all the money that he had been ordered to pay but also continued to play music within the PPL repertoire without permission and in breach of the injunction against him. As such he was in contempt of court. PPL initiated committal proceedings against Mr John; and despite Mr John’s promise to pay, the court gave him a custodial sentence of 28 days, suspended for a period of 18 months on the condition that Mr John would not infringe PPL’s rights again.This article was published in the Brands & IP newsnotes publication - issue 2.
‘Glee’ less than happy after trade mark strife (Brands & IP Newsnotes - Issue 2)28 March 2016
We’re all familiar with the classic trade markdispute. But can you sue for trade markinfringement if the brand using your name is actually more famous than your own? In February, the Court of Appeal said you could.
Trading secrets safely in Europe (Brands & IP Newsnotes - Issue 2)28 March 2016
In December 2015, while most of us were busy wrapping presents and eating mince pies, the representatives of the European Parliament and Council agreed the text of the Trade Secrets Directive.
Stop monkeying around (Brands & IP Newsnotes - Issue 2)28 March 2016
A judge in California has put a stop to all the monkey business surrounding the idea that animals can own copyright, in California at least.
To register or not to register… that is the question (Brands & IP Newsnotes - Issue 2)28 March 2016
Just because you can register your intellectual property, it doesn’t mean that you should. Sometimes attempts to register can have unintended consequences, as YouTube stars, the Fine Brothers, recently found out.
Kylie v Kylie (Brands & IP Newsnotes - Issue 2)28 March 2016
It isn’t often that trade mark oppositions receive mainstream media attention. Kylie Minogue has bucked that trend by filing an opposition to reality TV star Kylie Jenner’s trade mark application for ‘Kylie’ in the US.
But we settled that! (Brands & IP Newsnotes - Issue 2)28 March 2016
Parties will understandably often be relieved to sign on the dotted line of that “full and final” settlement agreement. But two decisions of the High Court earlier this year may give pause for thought. What is the practical effect of such a settlement and is it really what the parties want?
The lesser spotted shape mark (Brands & IP Newsnotes - Issue 2)28 March 2016
A picture says a 1000 words or so the saying goes. So what about a shape? Several recent decisions have underlined the difficulties that can arise in trying to use shapes to protect a brand.