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Wednesday, 29 March 2006


SA Supreme Court software copyright case

The South African Supreme Court (SCA) has decided a case on copyright in computer programs, IOL reports. Anton Haput developed the Data Explorer software and claimed that his copyright in this was infringed by the All Media Products Survey software. The SCA held that the writer of AMPS had copied a substantial part of the Data Explorer source code because he found it too difficult to write himself. The court held that substantiality is a qualitative, rather than quantitative question and that the AMPS writer had taken a particularly valuable part of the Data Explorer source code.

A quick glance at the judgment shows that the court also deals with originality, authorship and computer generated works.

The IPKat says this test of substantiality sounds jolly sensible, although qualitative taking is more difficult to assess objectively than quantitative taking. Readers should note that this appears to be a straight source code copying case, rather than a ‘look and feel’ case.

Full text available here

Word IP Day event

The IPKat has been informed about the following event run by Own It, together with Briffa:

It’s World Intellectual Property Day and, to mark this auspicious event, Own It have teamed up with Briffa Law Firm to get a global view on the ins and outs of trading internationally and how to protect and exploit your work across a huge geographical and business landscape. Aspects of intellectual property that will be discussed at this event include export, manufacturing and licensing, protecting your work, getting the best deal and what to do if your work is copied and is being manufactured and sold abroad. This event will have a special emphasis on manufacturing in China and the new markets and opportunities opening up in the Far East. There will be plenty of opportunities to ask questions. Event: It's a mad mad world - protecting and making money from your IP in an international marketDate: Wednesday 26 April 2006Time: 6.00 to 8.00 pmLocation: West Space, Rootstein Hopkins Space, London College of Fashion, John Princes Street, London W1

Book your place here
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1 comment:

David said...

I see that Counsel for Apple Computers has already evoked a 'moron in a hurry' a concept borrowed from 'passing-off' to show there is no confusion between his Clients iTunes and the production of music (Music which once published they sell as computer data transmissions). It is unlikely the Judge will be hoodwinked into treating this contractual dispute into one of 'passing-off'.

Perhaps, in turn Counsel for Apple Corp will evoke the purposive construction of 'Catnic' to argue that 'production' in the contract also means 'distribution' which is the business of iTunes.

Obviously, the purposive construction 'Catnic' derived from Patent Law is well accepted as being applicable for all legal documentation. However, will Counsel for Apple Corp. also have to argue for a generalised doctrine of equivalents so that iTunes is treated similarly to the way HMV or Virgin music stores would have been in 1991 at the time of the contract.

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