Intellectual Property and the role Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) can play

We are currently living in an era where Intellectual Property Rights are more recognized and appreciated. No longer do we have people go on Facebook to simply lament about others stealing their inventions, designs or other creations of the mind. Rather than scream and lash at someone copying that tune, artwork, special name or logo, laws have been created as a way to protect certain rights known as Intellectual Property Rights. Every nation of the world has laws in relation to specified rights of intellectual property and with these laws come protections civil in nature and criminal, in certain cases. However, here I dwell on the civil. It is quite pleasing how you can actually make an infringer pay for using or stealing your Intellectual property.

There have been a number of cases where the courts have ordered quite rewarding settlements for IP rights breach. However, beneath the nicely sounding settlements are things you should know.

An interesting case is the Bratz Doll (MGA Entertainment) v Barbie (Mattel) case which in fact dragged from 2004 to 2011 where after several decisions, reversal by another court, rereversal, counterclaims and a whopping 8 years of legal battle, the court awarded $85 million dollars to MGA for trade secret infringement. However, at that time, the parties had spent over 100 million dollars in legal fees and it seemed the lawyers were the ones benefiting from the dispute.
While this is not always the case, enforcing an IP right can be quite expensive, tedious and rigorous bringing bad publicity with it. Fortunately, there is an alternative to resolving IP disputes through lengthy legal battles and this alternative is known as Alternative Dispute Resolution. ADR is a means of settling disputes outside courtroom through means like negotiation, conciliation, mediation or arbitration. ADR is quite beneficial as it saves time, money and preserves relationships.

It should be noted that ADR is not new to IP cases. There have been situations where a pretty loud IP case would suddenly go quiet and a massive settlement would be later reported to have been paid to one party by the other.

An example is the Apple v Samsung patent case where after more than fifty lawsuits in ten countries, four trials, jury decisions and seven years, the parties decided to settle privately with an out of court settlement. This was however after a lot of money had been pumped into legal fees and the endless battle.

With ADR becoming more popular in settling legal disputes, it is obvious there is a need for larger publicity of its benefits especially in its neutrality and confidentiality. Patent cases in particular are best settled out of court and ADR has provided an easy and reliable means. Notably, there is a WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Centre in Geneva, Switzerland and Singapore and hopefully ADR has a method of solving IP cases in Nigeria would soon be largely accepted.

 

By Precious Akinkuolie

 

SUMMMARY OF RELATED RIGHTS

“What is copyright?” “What are related rights?”

The exclusive right vested in a work to control certain activities in his work. Economic rights; based on the principle of sweat of the ground (posited to encourage creativity). Moral right: Right of an author to be acknowledged for his work or prevent the abusive use of his work in such a way that’s injures or brings disrepute to his name.

Related right has many synonyms “Copyright related right”  “connected rights”  “Related rights” it’s my right as a neighbor of copyright. Originality and fixation is necessary for copyright to be present in a work.

Related rights are not copyright but they are closely associated with it; they are derived from a work protected by copyright. According to WIPO course material, the purpose of related rights is to protect the legal interests of certain persons and legal entities who contribute to making works available to the public. One obvious example is the singer or musician that performs a composer’s work to the public. The overall purpose of these related rights is to protect those people or organizations that add substantial creative, technical or organizational skill in the process of bringing a work to the public.
Neighboring rights doesn’t meet these requirements but it’s related
Rights which are protected as neighbouring right includes: Performance right, phonograms, broadcasting rights.

  1. Performing rights: Performances are some sort of adaptation. They are derivative work from an original. Performers include actors, singers, dancers and other persons who act, sing, deliver, play in or otherwise perform literary or artistic works. For example, the choreographers.
  1. Phonograms: Recorded versions of lyrics, songs. The phonogram producers, or more accurately producers of sound recordings as recording material moves on from vinyl phonograph records into the realm of CDs and digital recording media. Theirs is a more commercial kind of protection, in a sense, as the making of a quality sound recording has more to do with the protection of an investment, than with the artistic concerns involved in the making, writing or performance of a song. Nevertheless, even here, in the whole process of selecting the instrumental backing, repertoires, arranging the music and so on, there are some creative elements as well as the more obvious and important economic element. We should bear in mind that these producers are among the most immediate victims of piracy, as they don’t get the money that is diverted to the pirate producers, but then of course their loss, their financial loss, is passed down the line to the performers and authors. This is why producers of sound recordings have also been granted specific rights.
  2. Broadcasting rights are vested in TV stations radio stations to air contents that are not originally created by them. Same as the cinema, performers now have a right to control what happened. Neighboring rights confers these rights. Performers Can control fixation of life performance. Broadcast of such a fixation to the public, they have a right to search and seizure the most prominent of these rights is the performance r                                                                                                                                                                    FAQ
    Question: who is an owner and author?
    Answer:  An owner is the one in whom copyright is vested an author is one who creates work. When author is not the owner at all he’s vested with the moral right. Owner has economic rights. When someone wants to seek the use of a work you ask the author not owner except where the use is to be for economic gains as he has economic rights.Question: in a situation where consent is not obtained is neighboring with still valid?
    Answer: where the author doesn’t create a fuss, it’s still valid if not it isn’t.Question: What is the subject matter of neighboring rights?
    Answer:  Broadcasting, phonograms, performance. Weird enough, sports falls under the ambit of performance rights not broadcasting rights
    Moral rights are inalienable they cannot be transferred. Only economic rights can be.
    Thus, an action cannot be brought in both moral n economic rights.

Troy Family Dental vs Troy Dental Care – Trademark Infringement Battle

On Tuesday, the 1st of May 2018, Troy Family Dental filed a trademark claim against William J. Waters D.M.D. Troy Dental is a local clinic providing dental care to patients in Troy, Illinois while William J. Waters D.M.D is a practIsing dentist doing business under the name, Troy Dental Care located in the same city of Troy, Illinois.

According to the plaintiff, by doing business under a similar name to their already trademarked name, Waters D.M.D has caused them loss and has also committed a civil offence by infringing on their right to their trademarked name. Troy Family Dental also contends that although the names are not totally identical, they bear some semblance to each other and it is very possible that patients of Troy Family Dental or intending patients of Troy Family Dental who are not very familiar with the name of the clinic or with the staff to accidentally visit Troy Dental Care thinking that they are still patronising the same dentists.

In this civil case, the plaintiff that they only have an exclusive right to use the name and did not give the defendant any permission to use a name very similar to theirs. The plaintiff is requesting a trial by jury and a court order to stop the defendant from using the name ‘Troy Dental Care’ as well as a sum of money as damages.

 

What are your thoughts on this? Are the names that identical? Is Troy Family Dental justified for suing Waters?

 

Joshua Solomon

 

Intellectual Property Law Symposium

The symposium held on Friday, the 13th of July, 2018. It was an insightful event which started with an interview session with our guest speakers.

After the interview we proceeded for the educational and inspiring symposium on Intellectual Property Law.We had  with us very important personalities including our guest speakers, Sandra Oyewole and John Onyido Esq, and some distinguished lecturers, in the persons of Dr Akintayo the NBA chairman and Oyo State Chapter and Professor Oluyemisi Bamgbose former dean of the faculty who recently got nominated as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.

John Onyido Esq spoke first on the value and importance of IP at the University level, and why it is important for IP to be incorporated into our curriculum.  The paper was titled ‘Teaching Intellectual Property Law as a Pedagogical Imperative at the faculty of Law of the University of Ibadan’. Click this link to download this enlightening paper JohnOnyido.Teaching Intellectual Property Law as a Subject in the Faculty of Law of the University of Ibadan.Final

The law chorale gave a lovely rendition to spice up the event.

We had an interactive seesion with Mrs Sandra Oyewole on ‘Opportunities in Intellectual Property and the need for it to be embraced by emerging lawyers’. Click this link to download the presentation UI Symposium on IP by Mrs. Oyewole.

John Onyido Esq presented gifts to the IP club on behalf of SPA Ajibade &Co.

We appreciate our Lecturers, Guest Speakers and Staff Advisers for the roles played in making this event a success.



YouTube Copyright Match Tool : Newly Launched To Protect Content Creators

The popular YouTube is an American video-sharing website headquartered in San Bruno, California. The service was created by three former PayPal employees— Chad Hurley, Steve Chen , and Jawed Karim in February 2005 of which Google bought the site for US $1.65 billionin November 2006 with YouTube now operating as one of Google’s subsidiaries .
The website and video sharing service allows users to upload, view, rate, share, add to favorites, report, comment on videos, and subscribe to other users. It can be accessed on PCs, laptops, tablets and via mobile phones with content ranging from video clips like TV show clips, movie trailers, music videos, documentary films to audio recordings, live streams, and other content such as video blogging, and educational videos.

With 1.8 billion users, YouTube has become a powerful marketing platform for small businesses. These small business owners engage with their customers by creating videos about the products and services they offer, alongside tutorials and more.

However, in a bid to encourage content creators to do what they do best which is creating content, YouTube has released a new tool that it hope will help cut down on the problem of video theft and duplication.

The new system is called Copyright Match, and is different from the existing Content ID system, but it uses a similar matching technology

According to YouTube, the tool has been on testing for almost a year now and is now ready to be opened up to a larger portion of its community.

The reason for “Copyright Match” is because YouTube has faced lots of criticism for failing to do enough to prevent copyright infringement on the platform.

It should be noted that Copyright Match is only “intended to find full re-uploads”. Albeit innovative, it offers no protection against clips being stolen by other users.
In a blog post by Youtube it stated

“Today we are excited to announce the new Copyright Match tool, which is designed to find re-uploads of your content on other
channels. Here’s how it works: after you upload a video, YouTube will scan other videos uploaded to YouTube to see if any of them are the same or very similar. When there is a match, it will appear in the “matches” tab in the tool and you can decide what to do next”. To know more about the tool click the blog post.

There are 5 important things to note about this tool.

1. It protect the first person to upload the video to YouTube. The time of upload determines who should be shown matches

2. This tool is intended to find full re-uploads. If you find a clip of your content that you’d like removed, you have to report it via the copyright
webform only

3. Once the tool has found a match, the owner can choose to either do nothing, get in touch with the other creator, or request that YouTube remove the video

4. When a request for removal is given, it can be with or without a 7-day delay to allow the uploader to correct the issue themselves.

5. Takedown requests are usual reviewed to make sure they comply with YouTube’s copyright policies

Finally, the Copyright Match Tool differs from the Content ID. It does use similar matching technology used by Content ID, but is a unique tool designed especially for YouTube creators who have problems with unauthorized re-uploads

 

 

By Precious Akinkuolie

Photocredit: https://www.phoneworld.com.pk

IPTLC INAUGURATION

IPTLC Inauguration




29th June was a remarkable day in the history of faculty of law, university of Ibadan as the Intellectual Property and Technology Law Club, University of Ibadan was officially inaugurated.



We had in attendance the founder OAU  Intellectual Property Club who admonished the members of the club to be committed to the aims of the club.

We had enlightning sessions from Mrs Tolu Olaloye, from Jackson, Etti & Edu Law Firm, who  spoke on the topic, The relevance of IP as a tool for economic growth: the role of IP clubs and Senator Ihenyen Lead Partner, Infusion Lawyers spoke on the topic, Intellectual Property: the new oil in Nigeria?



IIt was indeed an insightul session having Mrs Tolu Olaloye Esq an ex-uite , Senator Ihenyen Esq, Dr. Akintayo  Chairman,NBA Oyo State, Miss Adure Esq, Mrs Akinpelu and other distinguished ladies and gentlemen.



And then the inauguration with great words of advice from our speakers and faculty officer


The program ended with smiles on the face of the audience and the speakers. Kudos to the planning committee for a job well done. We are appreciate our staff advisers Mrs Jadesola Sodipe and Dr. S.O Akintola for their moral support and advice.

Click on this link to download Relevance of IP as a tool for economic growth role of IP Clubs as presented by Tolu Olaloye.

IPTLC Inauguration

Intellectual Property and Technology Law Club Inauguration Ceremony.

Topics for Discussion includes:

1.  Intellectual Property: The New Oil in Nigeria? by Senator Ihenyen Esq. (Lead Partner, Infusion Lawyers)

2. The Relevance of Intellectual Property as a Tool for Economic Growth: the Role of Intellectual Property Clubs by Tolu Olaloye Esq. Senior Associate, Jackson Etti & Edu.

To  attend kindly fill the registration form below or send us a mail with your details (name, phone number and occupation) at admin@iptlc.org.ng

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2018 FIFA WORLD CUP and the Law

It’s no longer news that the 2018 FIFA WORLD  CUP is scheduled to take place in Russia from 14 June to 15 July 2018. With just a few days to the world cup, sports enthusiast like me can’t wait for the first round of matches, the Brands and advertising company can’t wait to jump on world cup trends and the sports lawyer is also ready to ensure his clients does not infringe on FIFA Intellectual property rights.

Intellectual Property rights refer to the rights given to people over their creative work. They enjoy the monopoly over this work for a certain duration. such works include “Literary artistic and scientific works; performances of performing artists, phonograms, and broadcasts; inventions in all fields of human endeavor; scientific discoveries; industrial designs; trademarks, service marks, and commercial names and designations; protection against unfair competition; and “all other rights resulting from intellectual activity in the industrial, scientific, literary or artistic fields.” (Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization, Signed at Stockholm on July 14, 1967; Article 2, § viii)

FIFA’s intellectual property primarily consists of trademarks such as FIFA, WORLD CUP 2018, RUSSIA 2018; designs (both registered and unregistered) and copyright as subsisting in works such as the Official Poster, Emblem, Mascot and Look artworks. FIFA has developed and protected an assortment of logos, words, titles, symbols and other trademarks which it will use.

A trademark usually shortened as ™  is a distinctive attribute that differentiates goods and service from others.  Such attributes include words, designs, letters, numerals or packaging, slogans, devices, symbols, etc. The FIFA corporate trademark, Zabivaka (name of the official mascot for the world cup event), 2018 FIFA WORLD CUP RUSSIA, WORLD CUP and other intellectual property owned by FIFA are protected, Hence it will be illegal to infringe on it. Copyright protects literary and artistic work e.g The match schedule.F or the FIFA 2018 world cup, an official poster will be created for the event alongside the official host city posters which have been created.  See some of the pictures below

Companies who intend to use such work for print and social media without association with FIFA  should obtain a license. Some prohibited acts include:

  1. The use of the trademark in proximity to a company logo.
  2. The use of FIFA intellectual property for commercial advertisements.
  3. Attaching FIFA intellectual property for a political or social advert.
  4. Trademarks used for merchandise e.g face cap, T-shirt etc
  5. Trademarks cannot be used for pages with commercial background without a license.
  6. Retweet of content for FIFA or FIFA  rights holders for commercial use is prohibited

To know more about FIFA intellectual property policy, kindly visit FIFA official website.

 

Photo credit

Fifa.com

Underconsideration.com