Mimesis Law
22 November 2017

IP Flow Links – Settlement Reached In “Happy Birthday” Copyright Case

Dec. 11, 2015 (Mimesis Law) — Hi folks, your weekly IP news update:

  • A settlement was reached in the copyright case over “Happy Birthday”. Warner/Chappell Inc were due to go on trial next week to decide whether the song is in the public domain (a judge previously ruled that they did not own the rights to the lyrics, just certain musical arrangements) and thus whether Warner/Chappell Inc would have to return licensing fees it collected for the use of the song. No details of the settlement have been released.
  • Unlicensed music streaming site Aurous has shut down and agreed a $3 million settlement in a copyright infringement suit with big labels Atlantic Records, Capitol Records, Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Warner Bros. Records.
  • Vringo announced the settlement of its long running multi-continent patent dispute with ZTE. Vringo will grant ZTE a non-exclusive, non-transferable, worldwide perpetual license of certain patents and patent applications and a lump sum of $21.5 million.
  • George Orwell’s estate alleged copyright infringement of Cafe Press’s use of “1984 is already here” on their merchandise and requested its removal from their website. Cafe Press readily obliged and proceeded to remove all merchandise with such references. This led commentators to accuse the estate of “Big Brother values” which it vehemently denies.
  • The Weeknd is being sued by Cutting Edge Ltd for alleged copyright infringement of the song “The Hills”. The complaint claims the song has identical qualities as a song on the score by Tom Raybould for the film “The Machine”. Cutting Edge Ltd further claims that a producer on The Weeknd’s album allegedly contacted Raybould to inform him that he would be sampling his music.
  • Commentators question whether Apple’s new iPhone Smart Battery Case is ‘inspired’ by the patented designs of long-standing case manufacturer Mophie.
  • Following fallouts with artists such as Adele and Taylor Swift, Spotify is reportedly considering allowing artists to withhold their music from their free service and place it solely behind their Premium subscription wall.
  • As part of Disney’s campaign to crackdown on unlawful use of its trademarks in China, five hotels in Shanghai were fined last week for infringing on Disney’s trademarks.
  • The rejection of K-Swiss’ community trademark (CTM) application for its five-stripe design on the side of shoes has been upheld by the EU General Court.
  • The European Commission revealed the next steps for copyright reform, including a draft content portability regulation for EU citizens. This would bring an end to geoblocking by media companies and allow cross-border access to online content purchased in one’s home country whilst travelling within EU territory.
  • The European Commission also published a public consultation on the legal framework for the enforcement of intellectual property rights.

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