UK Consultation: a Belgian judge comes to the rescue

Claws out for
the IPO ...
Earlier today, the IPKat raged against an ineffective and frankly silly attempt by his friends at the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (IPO) to alert readers to the possibility of furnishing it with advice and guidance which would assist the UK government in deciding whether it should make representations to the Court of Justice of the European Union regarding questions referred to it by the Hof van beroep te Brussel - Belgium.  The IPKat has since received the following epistle from Belgium:
Dear Kats,

Please find attached the decision of April 8, 2013.

The questions referred [in what is now Case C-201/13 Deckmyn en Vrijheidsfonds] for a preliminary ruling are :

1. Is the concept of ‘parody’ an independent concept in European Union law?

2. If so, must a parody satisfy the following conditions or conform to the following characteristics:
– the display of an original character of its own (originality);
– and such that the parody cannot reasonably be ascribed to the author of the original work;
– be designed to provoke humour or to mock, regardless of whether any criticism thereby expressed applies to the original work or to something or someone else;
– mention the source of the parodied work?
3. Must a work satisfy any other conditions or conform to other characteristics in order to be capable of being labelled as a parody?

Kind regards,

Els Herregodts, judge, Court of Appeal, Brussels, and IPKat reader
Thanks so much, Els, we appreciate your email and the helpful information it contains -- and wonder why the UK IPO can't simply paste the questions referred to the Court of Justice into the circular announcing the reference.

The deadline for receiving comments on this case has now been extended from mid-day tomorrow to Wednesday, 12 June -- the date of the IPKat's 10th Birthday seminar.
UK Consultation: a Belgian judge comes to the rescue UK Consultation: a Belgian judge comes to the rescue Reviewed by Jeremy on Thursday, June 06, 2013 Rating: 5


  1. These questions have been on the IPO website since 16:04 today.

  2. I guess the ECJ will apply Justice Stewart’s “I know it when I see it” test!


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