IP News July 2019

Top 3 Stories

A copyright small claims court for the USA? As CASE Act moves forward, creative guilds cheer but public interest groups warn law is ripe for abuse

ECJ rules in Metall auf Metall case that unauthorized use of a music sample—even a two second, unoriginal one—is infringement unless the sample is unrecognizable

Disney’s new remake marks 25 years of the Lion King—and 25 years of IP fights over its origins, as Japanese manga fans point to parallels with “Kimba the White King”


Economic studies suggest income for Canadian authors and musicians has dropped significantly in the last decade, prompting mutterings about an EU-style link tax

The emerging AI industry complains the Copyright Act lacks clarity on whether firms will face infringement if they use batches of photos for training algorithms

CIPP founder Prof Gold explains the appeal of doing cutting-edge masters and doctoral work in IP at McGill Law

United States

Trip Advisor and Netflix are threatening trademark actions against the organizer of a “Straight Pride Parade” in Boston

In the latest twist in the smartphone wars, Apple has acquired Intel’s modem business along with a trove of patents

Famous attractions in Yosemite National Park will revert to their long-held names; an IP dispute between concessionaires had forced the park to rebrand them

A judge found Andy Warhol’s use of 1981 photographs of Prince was fair use, in part because the work “transformed Prince from a vulnerable, uncomfortable person to an iconic, larger-than-life figure,’”

Republicans are renewing a push to block Huawei from buying, selling or licensing U.S. patents; the move is to stop “patent troll tactics and weaponizing the U.S. legal system”

Pfizer is spinning off its off-patent business with generic firm Mylan; the companies hope this will help them confront price pressure from India and the insurance lobby

A jury found Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” infringed on a Christian rap song; Perry’s lawyer warned the plaintiff was “trying to own basic building blocks of music”


WIPO is warning of a spike in scammers who buy phony versions of UK law firms’ names—like Liinklaters for Linklaters—and send fake bills to clients

The ECJ found a newspaper’s publication of military deployments known as “the Afghan papers” may violate the copyright of the German government; free press advocates are concerned

In the never-ending Lego litigation, a U.S. court found a UK firm’s use of similar toy blocks was copyright infringement; now the sides will wrangle over an estoppel argument

France has become the first country to implement the EU’s new directive for a “neighbouring right,” which will let publishers demand royalties from tech companies for links to their content 

The Liverpool football club tried to trademark “Allez allez allez,” notwithstanding its fans had lifted the chant from a Portugese club


WIPO’s Global Innovation Report, which draws on various IP metrics, named Switzerland as number one, followed by Sweden and the U.S.; China boasted it has moved up three places to number 14

Tesla CEO Elon Musk and the brother of Colombian cartel kingpgin Pablo Escobar are in an IP dispute over a brand of flamethrower. Really. 

This content has been updated on August 19, 2019 at 17:19.