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By Virtuoso Legal


IP Top 10 October 2020: Copyright Infringement? Elementary!

Welcome to this month’s edition of the IP Top 10!

In this edition of our IP top 10, we talk about Nintendo enforcing their IP, WhatsApp opposing a trade mark, and much more. Let’s get underway!


Nintendo sues fan for violating copyright

“The Missing Link,” a new Zelda fan-made game utilizing a common "ROM-hacking" technique, has been taken down with its game, images and website removed for violating copyright.

Nintendo has pursued the fan, stating “the company “has reviewed the reported material and does not believe it qualifies as a fair use of Nintendo’s copyright-protected work.”

As in many previous editions, Nintendo is very litigious when it comes to their IP, seeking to restrict how fans remix or reconfigure their games.

If you want to read more about this case, Kotaku has the latest.


TV writer sues Disney's “Muppet Babies” reboot over copyright, alleged fraud

The prolific writer, Jeffrey Scott is now has brought a claim against Disney over their “Muppet Babies“ reboot.

Jeffrey Scott quotes that Disney “has misappropriated elements of the original 'Muppet Babies' production bible he created and says he owns.”

This case is interesting as it may reflect at err on Disney's part to not ringfence the IP from the original "Muppet Babies" project before moving on with their reboot.

For more on this case, AV Club has the latest.


Nokia to be a "well-known" trade mark in India

Most countries around the world have had, or at least heard of the phone maker “Nokia.”

In India however, there was a dispute with the appellate courts as to whether or not "NOKIA" could be evidenced as a "well-known" trade mark in the country.

The issue here was that Nokia had not actually evidenced the reputation surrounding the mark in a formal way. This now allows the telecoms giant to deploy its brand with more confidence in the market place.

The Lakshmikurian and Sridharian attorneys have the latest.


Ferrari wins back previous trade mark

In what has being an interesting battle, Ferrari received the green light to use “Testarossa” one of it’s most famous cars, as a trade mark in 2020.

Previously, Ferrari wasn’t given the go-ahead to renew this on account that the car model in question had not been produced in decades, by the court of justice back in 2017. 

The significance of this decision is that the continuous use of the brand by Ferrari, in relation to Testarossa parts and repairs constituted genuine use - where before a Dusseldorf court had suggested that the mark had not been used for 5 years.

Courthouse News has the latest on this case.


Yahoo sued for copyright infringement over photographs

One of the most popular search engines in the world, Yahoo, have fairly remarkably had a copyright claim issued for the use of photographs on their website.

Photographer, Howard Schatz, filed a complaint against and particularly involved individuals for copyright infringement, over the defendant’s purported publication of his copyrighted photographs.

The defendant stated that the website “have willfully copied, reproduced, displayed and distributed the infringing content for financial benefit.”

This is remarkable insofar as websites of the stature of Yahoo and other news outlets tend to have rigorous rights management procedures in place to avoid such issues...

Law Street Media have the latest on this case.


WhatsApp opposes "WhatsPay" trade mark

WhatsApp has filed an opposition to WhatsPay about it’s proposed “WhatsPay” trade mark and accompanying design.

The opposition stated that the use of the WhatsPay trademark was for “downloadable computer software and for use as an electronic wallet.”

WhatsApp argued that the visual likeness of the marks creates a high chance of customer confusion.

Interesting insofar as WhatsApp's brand, now a world-leading messaging client has not seen many previous high-profile infringers of its brand until this point.

For more on this case, Law Street Media have the latest.


Sony files new “Soho Engine” trade mark

Sony Interactive Entertainment has filed to put in a new trade mark: “Soho Engine.”

Team Soho is a former game development company, but what exactly the trade mark is for from Sony, remains to be seen.

With the popular launch of Sony's Playstation 5, having just passed, will Sony be announcing something new to excite the company's followers in the coming months? 

Keep an eye on Gaming Bolt for the latest on this case.


Netflix win copyright case over “Narcos” SERIES

Several years ago, Netflix had a copyright claim brought against them by a journalist who alleged Narcos infringed her memoir about Pablo Escobar.

The argument brought into question the extent to which a copyright claim could be brought against a recollection of real events.

The courts resulted in the win in Netflix’s favour, stating “the atmosphere, or overall feel, of each of the scenes is very different” to what had appeared in the journalist's account of the events.

For more, Hollywood Reporter has the latest.


Copyright lawsuit over Netflix movie “Enola Holmes”

In another story regarding Netflix, this time about the movie “Enola Holmes,” all involved are facing legal copyright action of the estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle the original Sherlock Holmes author.

While the movie focuses on the younger sister of Sherlock Holmes, Netflix, and all other companies involved in the movie, are named as the defendants in the copyright case.

Whilst many people are aware of the well-storied history of Conan Doyle's litigious investigations - many view that the stories have now entered the public domain after the term of their copyright (death of the author plus 75 years) has drawn to a close. 

Despite this, the estate claims that the series draws from stories that are not now in the public domain, but rather still under copyright. The court will investigate! 

As soon as there’s more on this case, Forbes is the place.

And that's it for our IP Top 10 this month! To speak to any of our team of intellectual property specialists, use the contact form below.

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