BMG/Sony music merger to be unscrambled?

The IPKat is indebted to Ben Challis (of Music Law Updates fame) for drawing his attention to - you've guessed it - yet another intellectual property case from the European Court of Justice on what's turning out to be "IP Thursday". This time it's the turn of the Court of First Instance in Case T‑464/04, Independent Music Publishers and Labels Association v Commission of the European Communities, supported by Bertelsmann AG, Sony BMG Music Entertainment BV and Sony Corporation of America (SCA).

This ruling, according to Reuters, annuls the European Union's approval of a 2004 merger between Sony Music and BMG in a surprise decision that could force the world's second-biggest music company to be unscrambled. The Commission has said that it must now re-examine the merger that created Sony BMG, a 50-50 joint venture between Japanese electronics giant Sony Corp and German media group Bertelsmann AG; another option is for the Commmission to lodge an appeal against the ruling to the ECJ itself. According to the CFI, the examination into whether there was already collective market dominance in the music industry, and whether that dominance might grow following the Sony BMG deal, was too cursory.

Murder? No, just copyright infringement

Katfriend Deirdre Kilroy (L. K. Shields, Dublin) has sent the IPKat this news item about the British government threatening to sue former ambassador Craig Murray for copyright infringement if he does not remove from his website intelligence material that was censored out of his newly-published memoirs. Murray has posted full texts of all passages the Foreign Office ordered deleted from the book version of Murder in Samarkand, the former Tashkent ambassador's account of alleged British complicity in torture by the despotic Uzbekistan regime.

Order the book here
Read what Craig Murray says about it here

Many thanks Fabrice!

The IPKat gratefully thanks his French friend Fabrice Bircker for her brief explanation of the Court of First Instance's ASETRA/ASTARA case, blogged here yesterday. Says Fabrice:
"The ASETRA case does not imply appreciation of likelihood of confusion between the conflicting trade marks but deals with procedural matters. The question here is to know whether new documents (namely translations of the prior trade marks supporting the opposition) can be produced for the first time before the Board of Appeal.

According to the CFI, this question has to be positively answered by virtue of the principle of "functional continuity" between the Opposition Division and the Board of Appeal (see also LA BARONIE or HIPOVITON CFI Cases, this last is available here (in English) here".
MORE FOR "IP THURSDAY" MORE FOR "IP THURSDAY" Reviewed by Jeremy on Thursday, July 13, 2006 Rating: 5

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