Few readers of this weblog could have missed the fact that the IPKat's friends on the Art & Artifice art-and-law weblog held an event last week in which Michael Edenborough QC sought to explain to a persistently unaccepting world that Colin Birss's judgment in the Red Bus case (Temple Island Collections Ltd v New English Teas  EWPCC 1) was actually correct. Art & Artifice carries a report on the event here, but the Kats have their own version, kindly penned by Rouse's Mary Smillie. Mary writes:
Michael Edenborough QC started the evening by setting out why there was infringement, discussed the prejudice of an earlier case in which the Red Bus image had been copied, and analysed the ‘substantial part’ that had been taken. The fact that the image had been ‘photoshopped’ and constructed from four photographs was significant; three were of different aspects of the Houses of Parliament and the fourth was a picture of a red Routemaster bus while it was stationary on the Strand: these factors contributed to the finding of infringement.
David Stone (Simmons & Simmons) then set out the alternative view, and pointed out the substantial parts of the image which had not been copied, and the different angles from which the ‘photographs’ have been taken.
Finally Rachel Buker (Art & Artifice blogger and Intellectual Property Attorney at Ironmark Law Group, PLLC) gave her view that infringement would not have been foun,d had the Red Bus case been heard in the USA. She referred to the case of Kerr v New Yorker Magazine, Inc, where it had been held that there was no copyright infringement by New Yorker Magazine which had published on its front page the image of a man with a Mohican haircut which outlined the skyline of New York. The idea had been taken from an earlier representation by Kerr of the New York skyline on a Mohican’s haircut in a pen and ink drawing. This decision was based on the conclusion that there cannot be copyright in an idea.
In the discussion that followed about how far an image would need to be removed from the original Red Bus photograph in order to not infringe, perhaps if the image had instead been one of the 50 gold London buses (in honour of the Queen’s jubilee). Richard Davis (who opposed Michael Edenborough QC in Red Bus) commented that, in his view, for His Honour Judge Birss QC, an image of a green elephant in front of the Taj Mahal with the sky whitened out would not be far enough removed to escape infringement.
Although the Court of Appeal gave permission for an appeal, the parties settled and so there was no grand finale to this controversial copyright case.
About a third of the 100 attendees were taken on a tour of the Simmons & Simmons art collection which was created with the intention of supporting young artists early in their careers and to develop a showcase for those artists beyond the galleries".