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News article27 July 2021European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency

Tous loses its appeal against a bear shaped lamp, and Chris Brown accused of copyright infringement

News

Good morning everyone. Hope you all had an amazing week. Quick announcement: the blog will be taking the month of August off, so no news or blogpost from us. Our Hepline will still be active, so no worries. Hence, this is our last news post until September and our last blogpost will be published on Thursday. Now for this week’s IP news:

 

General Court of the EU rejects Tous’ request against a company for registering a teddy bear shaped lamp

The Chinese company Zhejiang China-Best Import & Export can commercialise, within the EU, a teddy bear shaped lamp that they registered in October 2017.

The General Court dismissed the appeal lodged by the Spanish company Tous against the decision from the EUIPO where they dismissed the cancellation action against the registered design.

According to Tous, the design lacked distinctive character and implies an unauthorised use of a distinctive sign that belong to a third party: the Chinese design is incompatible with Tous previously registered trademarks. The EUOPO initially reject the application for cancellation, which led to Tous appealing to the EU General Court which eventually dismissed the appeal arguing that the Chinese design did have an individual character and there were no risks of confusion between the two.

 

Chris Brown accused of copyright infringement

Chris Brown has been sued for copyright infringement over his track Privacy, by a UK-based music publishing company called Greensleeves Publishing Ltd, over their track Tight Up Skirt.

Tight Up Skirt, performed by Jamaican Dancehall star Red Rat, was released in 1997, first in the UK and later around the world on the album Oh No… It’s Red Rat. 

According to Greensleeves’ claim (https://www.musicbusinessworldwide.com/files/2021/07/Chris-1.pdf) Chris Brown took the core musical feature of the track and used it prominently in Privacy without permission. According to Greensleeves, they are the ones who owns and administers the publishing rights in the United States of Tight Up Skirt. According to the claim, both songs share a similar primary identifying feature.

Phrase A is at the core of this lawsuit: “Hey you girl inna di tight upskirt” and “Hey you girl without a tight up skirt”, respectively begins each chorus to both songs. Greensleves argues that in Tight Up Skirt, Phrase A “is the hook and dominates the chorus sections”.

In Chris Brown’s Privacy, Phrase A “takes on greater significance, due to its prominent position as the first phrase in each chorus section”.

Phrase A in the infringing work is also very distinctive in the song because it contrasts with and musically deviates from a material preceding and following it musically, lyrically, and vocally. Further, the instrumental accompaniment is significantly altered for the first two iterations of Phrase A to specify the full accompaniment including prominent percussion stops, abruptly here, reduced the musical activity to only the similar vocal phrase with a very sparse instrumental accompaniment.

The rhythms in Phrase A are also “identical in both songs with corresponding identical, or similar, lyrics in the following sequence in both songs”, adds Greensleeves’ claim.

In addition, “both the vocal timbre and language dialect change when the above phrase is performed (the dialect evoking distinctive Jamaican pronunciation, inflection and cadence)”.

Listen for yourself: Chris Brown – Privacy (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fq0xEpRDL9Q) Red Rat – Tight Up Skirt (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRkE42T4Vr8)

Greensleeves is now asking for “a preliminary and permanent injunction enjoining defendants and all persons acting in concert with defendants from manufacturing, reproducing, distributing, adapting, displaying, advertising, promoting offering for sale and selling or performing any materials that are substantially similar to the copyrighted work”.

These are all the news for the last week of July. 

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European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency