intellectual property

Protection of catchphrases from films and TV shows

Catchphrases are intriguing not only as a phenomenon of social communication. They can also develop an economic dimension if they have marketing appeal. Consumers eagerly purchase T-shirts and gadgets decorated with amusing sayings, as a medium for expressing their own personality and preferences. What counts in this situation is to be the first to register the phrase.

Dissemination of a person’s image as a detail in a larger whole: Theory and practice

Dissemination of people’s images is an essential ingredient of the media, both traditional and new. In an audiovisual work, the absence of human images strips the scene of human characters, and without them the media impact is lost. Under the applicable regulations, as a rule there is a duty to obtain the permission of the person whose image is presented, but consent is not required when the image of an individual constitutes only a detail of a larger whole such as a gathering, landscape, or public event. This distinction seems understandable and even intuitive, but how should it be applied in practice? The answer is not so obvious, and requires more extensive analysis.

Using the image of a public figure in memes: Where is the boundary?

Internet users don’t need to be told what a meme is. But for the sake of order, according to Merriam-Webster, a meme in this sense is defined as “an amusing or interesting item (such as a captioned picture or video) or genre of items that is spread widely online especially through social media.” Memes have found a home in virtual reality, not only in sites especially devoted to memes but also in social media and news sites, where memes are often used to illustrate comments on current political events.

Negative PR against a management board member or finance director: Does it concern the company?

Can a statement concerning an individual employed by or affiliated with a company infringe not only the reputation of the individual, but also the reputation of the company? What sort of connection with the company, and what sort of comment, can have such results? What can be the practical consequences for example in litigation? The analysis below is devoted to companies, but the remarks are universal and may generally apply to any legal person (such as a cooperative, foundation, local government entity, and so on).

When does a journalist infringe a company’s reputation?

The press enjoy the constitutional freedom of expression and fulfil citizens’ right to objective societal information, oversight and criticism. Where is the boundary the media must not cross before colliding with the personal rights of others? Can journalists report news derived from third parties, and are they required to report only true information?

Type of trademark and evaluation of its genuine use

The Court of Justice has finally resolved the case of an EU trademark displaying an X on the side of a sports shoe. The German company Deichmann SE sought revocation of the registration, claiming there was no genuine use of the mark.