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Andris Taurins

on 19 January 2016

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Introduction in
Andris Taurins, 2014

What is intellectual property?
Developing IP law
What is intellectual property law?
Legal right?
What for?
Core features
What for?
Patent law protects inventions, which can be described as technical solutions to technical problems. Invention can be a product or process.
Application and examination
What for?
protect original aesthetic and artistic creations such literary, musical, dramatic and artistic works and derivative works such as films, sound recordings, broadcasts
Exists automatically
Trade marks

What for?
Distinctive identification of products or services of one enterprise from another.
help consumers to avoid confusion
Use and/or registration
Industrial designs
What for?
External appearance of a commercially produced article
automatically for unregistered designs
Trade secrets
What for?
Valuable information not known to the public
Reasonable efforts to keep secret
Unfair competition
What for?
false claims against a competitor
imitating a competitor with a view to deceive the customer
protected automatically
One product - many IP rights
Trade marks
Start-up tone
Patents and utility models
Data-processing methods
Operating system
Operation of user interface
User manuals
Start-up tone
Form of overall phone
Arrangement and shape of buttons
Position and shape of screen
Trade secrets
Some technical know-how kept "in-house" and not published

Ask.com v Ask.fm
ask.fm - social network, developed in Latvia
launched in 2010
IAC (owner of Ask.com) accuses Ask.fm in trademark infringement in 2011;
ask.fm TM registered in 2012
IAC opposes
Ask.com v. Ask.fm (II)
IAC claim in court in 2013 re
domain name
trade mark
company name
Also, IAC claims provisional measures
Ask.com v. Ask.fm (III)
Court grants
measures in March, 2014, prohibits
to assign TM and domain name
to use ask.fm in connection with social sites and advertisement in the EU
blocks site ask.fm
download of apps (android, Apple)
Objectives of the lecture
define IP
articulate the aims of IP
give a brief account of the range of IP
appreciate the relationships between (a) national; (b) European and (c) international level of IPR
understand justificiations, development and tensions that arise when the law seeks to protect IP
In Latvia: Patent law (
Patentu likums
LV: Copyright law (
Autortiesību likums
LV: Law on Trademarks and Geographical Indications
LV: Law On Designs (
Dizainparaugu likums
LV: The Commercial Law (
LV: The Competition Law (
Konkurences likums
New IPRs -
Sui generis
Semi-conductor topography
concerns layout of computer circuit boards
Plant breeders' rights
protection of new varieties of plants and seeds
Database rights
if structure of d/b is original, protection under copyright
if not, if sufficient investment,
sui generis
What could possibly unite the disparate areas of protection?
Can you see any common themes?
Novel products of human intellectual endeavour
Intellectual property refers to creations of the mind - CREATIVITY
A property - implies a system of control
IP concerns protection of information - intangibles
IP does not exist in unspecific ideas alone - ideas must be reduced to some tangible embodiment (e.g. confidential information must be sufficiently identifiable)
Moral interests
moral connection between the property and its creator
protection of certain personal interests
unjust for others to benefit from a creator's time, labour and expenditure
think of artists, authors, photographers,designers..
Social interests
Social benefit
TM protect consumers from fake goods and lead to quality
Creativity can be shared and freaaly used once the protection time expires
e.g. patents disclose valuable information
What justifies IP?
Economic interests
cyclical pattern of IP production and protection
"without effective means of enforcing intellectual property rights,
innovation and creativity
are discouraged and investment diminished"

on the enforcement of IPR
Tensions in IP law
Shaping the nature and scope of future direction of IP
Public v private interests
Public interests can be jeopardized if private rights are exercised in a way that the property is not used
therefore TM should be used
IP v Competition
IPR are the exclusive rights conferred upon the creator or the inventor of the property to use and enjoy his creation or invention exclusively.
Competition law on the other hand preserves competition in the market. Its main purpose is to prevent monopolization of the production process and allowing entry to the competitors in the market
need to strike balance between the two
IP v Human rights
rights to health
rights to culture
freedom of expression
History of IP
To minimize effects of disparities between nations:
the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (1883)
the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (1886)
Principles of the international law
National treatment
It essentially means treating foreigners and locals equally
Minimum harmonization of standards (e.g. same rights)
Ask.fm acquired by IAC
Ask.fm lessons
standard of reputation
legal actions effects on national business (Ask.fm turnover ca 10 million EUR in 2013)
value of intellectual property
National territorial effect
Supranational influence
European law influence
Haramonisation of laws
EU-wide IPRs
International agreements, conventions
WIPO administers 26 treaties including the WIPO Convention
TRIPS [ trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights ]
Rock ‘n Roll in Bangladesh: Protecting Intellectual Property Rights in Music
Miles ‘Phiriye Dao Amar Prem’ (Give me back my love)
Mils case (2004)
Bangladeshi rock band Mils song copied by the Hindi movie Murder
they contact lawyers, people well versed re the WTO, and the Ministry of Commerce
claim protection for their work under TRIPS in the Calcutta High Court - "the themes of the two songs had been similar and their melodies identical"
Mils case (2004)
the justice ordered the respondents to remove the song from the soundtrack
the respondents further barred from manufacturing, selling, distributing or marketing any music cassette or disc containing the song.
TRIPS granted Bangladesh, as a member of the WTO, the status of receiving copyright protection in India for its citizens’ works.
International Olympic Committee
v shopping centre Olimpia
shopping centre Olympia opens in 2002
re-brending in 2009, registration of TM

IOC objection (2010)
TM "Olimpia" conflicts with IOC well-known trade marks
THE OLYMPICS (class 35 (retail services))
Decision of board of appeals (2013)
TM Olimpia is not identical with the IOC tms but very similar
semantic meaning of Olimpia might differ from IOC tm
importantly - shopping centre operates from 2002
89 % consumers believe that the TM belong to different undertakings (Olimpia made survey)
it is unlikely that Olimpia might negatively affect reputation of Olympics
Core features of patents
Qualification criteria
novelty and inventive step
length of protection
20 years max
strength of monopoly
absolute monopoly
Core features of copyright
qualification criteria
length of protection
life of the author + 70 years
Core features of trade marks
Qualification criteria
capacity to distinguish goods /services of rightholder from those of another trader (avarage consumer)
no conflict with earlier right
length of protection
10 year period in perpetuity (re-registr.)
loss of right if no use for 5 consecutive years
monopoly over use of TM re goods for which registered
for well-known marks - may prevent use on dissimilar goods

Core features of designs
qualification criteria
novelty and individual character (informed user)
25 years max
unregistered designs 3 years
Reasoning of the court
Ask.com has a reputation in the EU
ask.fm takes unfair advantage of and is detrimental to distinctive character and the repute of Ask.com
IOC succeeded against Olympic Casino
IP is about creativity and balance with respect to other rights
Full transcript