For the half-year to 30 June 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Alberto Bellan, Darren Meale and Nadia Zegze.

Two of our regular Kats are currently on blogging sabbaticals. They are David Brophy and Catherine Lee.

Friday, 30 May 2008

Friday fustigations

The IPKat's 'Forthcoming Events' feature, in the left-hand side-bar of his front page, is well worth keeping an eye on: there's always something fascinating in the pipeline. So don't forget to check it out!

strong>Are you a non-UK solo IP practitioner? If so, the SOLO IP weblog would like to hear from you. The UK-based solo IP practitioners are networking very well with each other now, but after their most successful and exciting foray into foreign parts, when they attended the INTA Meeting in Berlin earlier this month, they discovered how many solo IP practitioners there were from other countries--and how much they all had in common.

Right: every solo practitioner is a bit of a one-man band (illustration here from Freaker's Ball)

Please feel free to share your experiences and your thoughts with SOLO IP, particularly if you'd like to post the occasional article. If SOLO IP's for you, contact Barbara Cookson or Shireen Smith.


Last year the IPKat backed the call by his fellow bloggers at SpicyIP to support its petition to the Prime Minister of India, requesting the creation of an electronic database covering full patent information and thereby increasing transparency at the Indian Patent Office. The Indian government has responded positively to this request and hopes to have the database fully functional during the year 2009 (it's partially operational already: you can check it out here). The IPKat and Merpel congratulate Shamnad Basheer and his colleagues at SpicyIP for all their campaigning, which shows how the power of the weblog may be brought to bear; they also congratulate the Indian government for their constructive response.


The increasingly enjoyable WIPO Magazine carries an item that surprised the IPKat, supplied to WIPO by the Kat's friends Franck Soutoul and Jean-Philippe Bresson (INLEX, Paris), contributors to the IP Talk legal newsletter, via a recommendation from Jack McVooty. Apparently

"A publishing company had brought an infringement case against some magazines which had reproduced photographs for which the plaintiff had earlier acquired copyright ownership from paparazzi photographers. On December 5, 2007, the Paris Court of Appeal denied the claim and ruled that copyright protection does not apply to paparazzi pictures.

Right: after years of disappointment, Cyril had to concede that he just didn't have the instincts of a perfect paparazzo ...

Article L. 112-2 of the French Intellectual Property Code includes photographs amongst artistic works liable to enjoy copyright protection as long as they are original. The judge looked at whether the pictures in this case should be considered original artistic works. He found the work of the paparazzi to be passive and focused only on material aspects. The lack of any artistry in the composition of the photograph, the angle of the camera or the choice of the moment was also brought to bear in the consideration of originality. Some economic considerations also weighed in the balance.

To consider Paparazzi photographers as technical persons rather than artistic creators from a copyright perspective makes good sense. This decision does not however definitively exclude paparazzi pictures from copyright protection in France. The reasoning of the Court leaves the door open for French copyright protection to be given to photographs which demonstrate an artistic effect".

Brought up in the common law tradition the IPKat finds it difficult to persuade himself that the sweat of the paparazzis' brows would not entitle them to copyright, however much he may dislike their professional conduct. Merpel says, but just think what a few decisions like this could do for the market for invasive photos.

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