IP Snapshot May 2011

Bringing you regular news of key developments in intellectual property law.


R (on the application of British Telecommunications plc and another) v The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills [2011] EWHC 1021 (Admin), 20 April 2011

The High Court has passed down judgment in relation to a judicial review brought by two of the UK's largest Internet Service Providers, relating to the legality and proportionality of the Digital Economy Act. The Court ruled that the Act was legal and proportionate. The decision paves the way for the Government to press ahead with its plans to prevent and punish illicit peer-to-peer downloading of content which breaches copyright laws. The Court also ruled that the Government's costs order, which sought to establish that ISPs should bear 25% of all of the costs associated with the scheme, was unlawful.

For the full text of the decision, click here

Archive Media Publishing Limited v Mechanical Copyright Protection Society, CT 116/10, 3 May 2011

The Copyright Tribunal have held that the Mechanical Copyright Protection Society is entitled to vary the terms of its DVD licence scheme depending on the size and financial standing of the licensee. In appropriate circumstances it would be fair for the MCPS to discriminate between licensees, and in particular not to extend the same credit terms to all licensees.

In this particular case, the Tribunal held that MCPS had not unfairly discriminated against AMP in requiring 'pay as you go' terms. A small company represents an inherently different and greater financial risk than a large company, even with satisfactory bank references. The decision in BPI v MCPS [1993] EMLR 86 was relied on.

For the full text of the decision, click here


Virgin Enterprises Ltd v Casey [2011] EWHC 1036 (Ch), 20 April 2011

The High Court upheld the hearing officer's decision which rejected an opposition filed by Virgin Enterprises Limited under sections 5(2)(b) and 5(3) of the Trade Marks Act 1994 against an application for CARBON VIRGIN in class 35. Norris J confirmed that appeals of this nature took the form of a review rather than a rehearing. While there was a visual and phonetic similarity between the marks, the word "Virgin" had a subtly different meaning within each mark, resulting in different concepts being created in the mind of the average consumer.

For the full text of the decision, click here

A & E Television Networks LLC and another v Discovery...

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