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Australia: Court Finds Internet Provider Not Responsible for Illegal Downloads

(Feb. 12, 2010) On February 4, 2010, in what is being called a “landmark judgment” that has possible international ramifications, the Federal Court of Australia ruled against a number of major Hollywood film studios in finding that an Internet service provider (ISP) was not liable for the copyright breaches of its customers. The judge noted […]

France: Google Infringes Copyright Law in Scanning Excerpts of Books Without Authorization

(Jan. 5, 2010) On December 18, 2009, the Paris Tribunal de Grande Instance (Court of General Competence) ruled that Google has infringed French copyright law by digitalizing and publishing online excerpts of French books without the authorization of the rights' owners. (TGI Paris, 3eme, 2eme, 18-12-2009, nº 09/00540, Société Editions du Seuil SAS c/ Société […]

European Union: Moves Toward a Common Patent System and a Patent Court

(Dec. 30, 2009) At the European Union level, the debate about a single European patent system has been going on for the last 20 years without any result, mainly because the EU Members, due to political considerations, have been reluctant to make the necessary changes to replace their own patent systems with a common one. […]

United States: Appellate Court Holds Excessive Sampling of George Clinton’s “Atomic Dog” Violated Copyright

(Dec. 14, 2009) A U.S. federal appellate court has upheld a jury verdict awarding copyright infringement damages to owners of the rights to George Clinton's 1982 classic, “Atomic Dog,” against a hip-hop group that used samples of that song in a new composition. The lawsuit was brought by the rights owners of Atomic Dog, which […]

Uganda: Government Proposes Bill to Prohibit Trading in Counterfeit Goods

(Nov. 9, 2009) It was reported on November 6, 2009, that the Ugandan Trade Ministry, at the request of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, had proposed a counterfeit goods bill, which, if passed into law, will ban trading in goods that violate intellectual property rights. (Wambi Michael, Uganda's Counterfeits Bill Threatens Access to Medicine, IPS, Nov. […]

Netherlands: Court Ruling Against File-Sharing Website Mininova

(Sept. 2, 2009) Mininova, a “torrent” site (one whose links allow for the transfer of large files) in the Netherlands that has been accused by an entertainment industry representative of facilitating downloading without copyright holders' consent by providing links to thousands of music tracks and movies, was ordered by the Utrecht district court to stop […]

China; United States; World Trade Organization: Panel Report on Dispute over Trading Rights and Distribution Services Issued

(Aug. 27, 2009) On August 12, 2009, a World Trade Organization (WTO) Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) panel issued a report on the dispute between the United States and the People's Republic of China over trading rights and distribution services involving publications and audio-visual products. As THE NEW YORK TIMES pointed out, “[t]he ruling goes to […]

China: Judicial Interpretation on Well-Known Trademarks

(June 1, 2009) On April 23, 2009, China's Supreme People's Court issued the Interpretation on Several Issues Concerning the Application of Laws in Hearing Civil Cases Involving Protection of Renowned Trademarks [hereinafter Interpretation]. It became effective on May 1, 2009. Among other provisions, the Interpretation attempts to clarify some terminology in the Trademark Law that […]

China: Major Amendment of Patent Law

(Feb. 27, 2009) On December 27, 2008, the Decision of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress on Amending the Patent Law of the People's Republic of China (PRC) was adopted; it enters into effect on October 1, 2009. The Patent Law was first adopted on March 12, 1984 (and in force on April […]

South Africa: Law on Intellectual Property Resulting from Publicly Funded Research

(Feb. 13, 2009) It was reported on January 19, 2009, that a bill seeking to ensure effective use of intellectual property resulting from publicly financed research, the Intellectual Property Rights from Publicly Financed Research (IPR) Act, was signed into law. (Robert Lee, IP Rights Bill Signed into Law in South Africa, TAX-NEWS.COM, Jan. 19, 2009, […]