Monday miscellany

No resurrection: this man's Spanish
copyright never died in the first place
Antonio Castán (Katfriend and, when not befriending cats and other quadrupeds, an IP lawyer with the Spanish law firm of ELZABURU) has informed the IPKat of an astonishing development in Spain. What is this? Well, it seems that the Madrid Court of Appeal, in a decision of 20 May 2013, has confirmed that the copyright of the famous British author G. K. Chesterton remains in force in Spain despite the fact, since he died in 1936, more 70 years have elapsed since his death and copyright has already expired in his country of origin. The judgment upheld an action filed by The Royal Literary Fund (the current holder of the rights) against a Spanish publisher which had published an extensive collection of novels and essays by the author of Father Brown stories without consent. The Court has ordered the publishing company to remove all copies of the works from the market and to pay compensation calculated on the basis of the royalty that should have been paid, depending on the kind of edition involved. The Court reached this decision by applying the transitional provisions that were in effect in Spain for deceased authors before the entry into force of the current Spanish Copyright Act 1987, which maintain the 80-year term of protection post mortem auctoris which had been provided for those authors under the old 1879 Act.  Says Antonio, this decision emphasises that this term of protection, in accordance with the Berne Convention, is fully applicable to foreign authors "even if they have not registered their works with the Copyright Registry and their rights have already expired in their own country". In that regard, the Court makes reference to CJEU case-law established in the Phil Collins and Land Hessen cases, which prohibit a discriminatory interpretation of copyright laws in favour of national authors over foreign authors. Since Chesterton died in 1936, in Spain -- unlike the rest of the world --  his rights will remain in force until 2016.  If you want to read the decision in the original Spanish, it is being hosted on the 1709 Blog here.

Does anyone know?  The IPKat's friends in the Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) are as interested in evidence-based policy as anyone else.  They have accordingly emailed him to ask if he knows whether there has been any work completed, or if any papers have been produced, that has linked or correlated any reduction in the amount of intellectual property infringement to an increase in the volume of sales of the same product [Putting it plainly, says Merpel, is there any published evidence that sales of legitimate IP products rise where there is (more) enforcement of IP rights against infringers]. If you know of any published research, please email Julian Heathcote Hobbins at or post your answers below.

The best way to feel after
registering a trade mark
"Hello, I apologize for emailing you out of the blue" ,writes Rae Alton who explains:
"I'm inviting a small group of authoritative bloggers to access the raw data of a research study, which has already gotten press from The Huffington Post [Is this a social media version of a positive peer review, wonders Merpel]. The study shows a strong correlation between trademark registrations and economic health [this Kat would be surprised if it didn't: dead and dying businesses don't generally engage much in registering trade marks, while profitable ones are encouraged to strengthen their market position and their brand image by doing just that.  Still, it's good to see one's intuitive hunches supported by the fruits of someone else's efforts ...]. By taking the research public, it is my hope that people from different, relevant backgrounds will explore the data (compiled by Virginia Tech statistician Dr. Quinton Nottingham) and its implications from a fresh perspective. I also think the findings are really, really cool. .... You can access the research here ... Feel free to pass this along to whomever you think would be interested".
The readers of this weblog might just be interested ...

It was not until he received this link that this Kat had ever heard the name Sam [beware: unusual surname] Penix, co-owner of the Everyman Espresso coffee shop in New York's East Side. Sam appears to be the latest in a long line of traders who have fallen foul of the I ♥ NY trade mark, receiving a missive to the effect that his use of that mark was not entirely welcomed by its owner:
“Everyman Espresso’s unauthorized and confusingly similar use of the I ♥ NY® logo” violated federal trademark law and implied “a misleading designation of source, origin, endorsement, sponsorship or approval by the New York State Department of Economic Development of your merchandise.”
Sam, whose knuckles appear on the illustration above, has apparently removed the offending trade mark from his trading premises, replacing it with the word "Censored".  Merpel wonders why he did not seek to make more extensive brand use of his distinctive and unusual surname, which dates back to antiquity in medieval times in Cornwall, England, if Wikipedia can be trusted.

Monday miscellany Monday miscellany Reviewed by Jeremy on Monday, June 03, 2013 Rating: 5

1 comment:

  1. The FAST website states that "Reducing software piracy could create hundreds of thousands of new jobs, billions in information technology (IT) spending and economic growth, and new tax revenues to support local services." so it's, let's say, interesting, that they are now asking if there's any evidence for this.

    One piece of anecdotal evidence is of course that the Arctic Monkeys had the best-selling debut album of all time, despite (as I understand it) much or indeed all of the thing being previously available free of charge and entirely legally over the internet.


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