Quiet week in Luxembourg
The IPKat is pleased to note that, after all that frenetic activity from the European Court of Justice in recent weeks, this week will be pretty quiet for IP enthusiasts, giving them a chance to catch up on their reading and - more importantly - their thinking before the next batch of Euro-Super-Cases comes flying in their direction. The only IP action this week on the Curia agenda is Case T-460/05 Bang & Olufsen v OHIM, an appeal to the Court of First Instance against OHIM's refusal to register as a Community trade mark an "haut parleur", which even the Kat can translate into a loudspeaker. The IPKat's preliminary verdict: unregistrable. Merpel agrees, but with the reservation that if anyone asked her to guess who made it, she'd opt for Bang & Olufsen because it's very much the B&O style.
The Recasting of Copyright
The IPKat looks forward to studying The Recasting of Copyright & Related Rights for the Knowledge Economy, a 305 page report by IViR (the Institute for Information Law at the University of Amsterdam), which examines the acquis communautaire on copyright and related rights as well as specific "possibles" including
* the extension of the term of protection for sound recordings andPrepared at the request of the European Commission by a team headed by highly-respected scholar Bernt Hugenholtz, this report has an executive summary (at pages 5 to 13) which ends by laying down the gauntlet to the Commission:
* the alignment of the term of protection for co-written musical works.
"In the long run, if the Community is serious about creating an internal market for copyright-based goods and services, it must inevitably confront the problem of territoriality in a fundamental way. This would imply the adoption of a Community Copyright Regulation to replace the existing directives and partially pre-empt the national laws on copyright of the Member States. Besides its obvious deregulatory effect, a regulation of this kind might provide a certain ‘rebalancing’ of rights and limitations, in order to rectify the overprotection resulting from 15 years of ‘upwards’ harmonisation".The IPKat thinks this is right, but wonders whether the Commission has the guts to do the job. Merpel says, it's not so easy. Copyright isn't just an economic tool: its moral rights dimension - if not its weakness as a legal monopoly when compared with patents and trade marks - may argue for more gentle and culture-specific attention.
Right: this handsome copyright notice appears on the Copyright Symbol Webpage