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Showing posts from July, 2014

Birthday Train or Eurostar - German Copyright Law

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On one of the hottest days of the year so far members of the Intellectual Property Bar Associaiton gathered in the Pension Room of Gray's Inn to hear a presentation on German copyright law by Prof Ansgar Ohly.

The title of his talk was Birthday Train or Eurostar which cleverly summed up the subject matter in a nutshell. The  Birthday Train is the name of a case before the German Federal Supreme Court in which the Court relaxed the originality requirement for the subsistence of copyright in works that could be protected by design registration in order to give effect to the Designs Directive (Directive 98/71/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 October 1998 on the legal protection of designs). The case reference is Urteil vom 13. November 2013 - I ZR 143/12 - Geburtstagszugand there is a summary of the case here. The reference to Eurostar was an allusion to that Directive and other European legislation as well as decisions of the Court of Justice of the European U…

Patents - Employees' Compensation: Shanks v Unilever

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S.39 (1) of the Patents Act 1977 provides:
"Notwithstanding anything in any rule of law, an invention made by an employee shall, as between him and his employer, be taken to belong to his employer for the purposes of this Act and all other purposes if -
(a) it was made in the course of the normal duties of the employee or in the course of duties falling outside his normal duties, but specifically assigned to him, and the circumstances in either case were such that an invention might reasonably be expected to result from the carrying out of his duties; or
(b) the invention was made in the course of the duties of the employee and, at the time of making the invention, because of the nature of his duties and the particular responsibilities arising from the nature of his duties he had a special obligation to further the interests of the employer's undertaking."

S.39 (2) provides that any other invention made by an employee shall, as between him and his employer, be taken for tho…