ILN IP Insider

Greek collecting societies are not entitled to collect equitable remuneration for artists and producers not represented by them by contract or mandate


GEA is the Common Collecting Society of GRAMMO (Collecting Society of Music Producers), ERATO (collecting Society of Performers), and APOLLON (Collecting Society of Musicians). It was formed following a state license, in order to collect, among other things, the equitable remuneration provided by article 49 of Law 2121/93 in favour of producers, performers, and musicians for the public performance of legitimately released sound carriers.

Since its establishment, GEA has claimed to be entitled to collect the above equitable remuneration not only for its members (ie, rights holders represented by it) but also on behalf of producers, performers, and musicians who are not represented by it on the basis of a contract or relevant mandate.

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Spring Cleaning: Decluttering From Recent Intellectual Property Detritus & Dusting Off Old Posts

Our favorite thing about spring [is] spring cleaning. It’s a way to say, “I’m dusting off the winter blues and coming out of hibernation.”… At the office, spring cleaning can take on a whole new meaning. It is a chance to reorganize and refresh your workspace and your workflow. Plus, organizing will actually improve your overall focus and work performance. Don’t believe us? Read on to learn why.

Career Group Companies

Many cultures have the tradition of spring cleaning.  These range from those in Iran observing the Persian New Year festival of Nowruz (and the practice of “khooneh tekouni,” or “shaking the house” to prepare for Nowruz), to the Jewish traditional pre-Passover cleaning (and the ritual bedikat chametz), to the Clean Monday (Kathara Deftera) traditions of the Greek Orthodox Church to the Asian celebrations of Ninyabaat, Songkran, and Xiao Nian. In more Northern countries and frontier cultures, spring cleaning presented the opportunity to wipe away soot and grime of winters indoors in shelters lit and heated by oil-burning lamps or wood-burning fires.   In the last decade, the United Kingdom has taken the tradition outdoors, with The Great British Spring Clean, which is a national campaign run by Keep Britain Tidy. As one participant noted, “It is the UK’s single biggest environmental mass participation event and sees volunteers from across the country make more than one million miles of British outdoor spaces cleaner and greener.”

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Parties to exploratory agreements beware: Contractual restrictions on IPR patent challenges are enforceable!

On February 8, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit determined that certain restrictions on the ability to challenge the validity of patents are enforceable. Without such restrictions, companies that are being targeted by patent owners do not have any restrictions on the various methods of how they can challenge the patents that may later be asserted against them. Keeping all options open on the ability to challenge later asserted patents can be strategically very important within approaches to technology sharing and other discussions. Such patent validity challenges can include the ability to file an Inter Partes Review (IPR) proceeding before Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and/or filing a Declaratory Judgment (DJ) jurisdiction action in an appropriate federal district court, among other options. Prior to the court’s decision, there was speculation about the enforceability of certain contractual restrictions precluding patent validity challenges all together and/or limiting such challenges to only certain forums. The court has now put that speculation to rest, and parties to technology agreements should be careful not to too easily bargain away their full set of strategic legal options to later defend against patents owned by the opposing contracting party.

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Anti-piracy committee and new legal framework according to Law 4821/2021

Anti-piracy committee

Τhe Committee for the Notification of Copyright and Related Rights Infringement on the Internet (known as the “anti-piracy committee”) was first established under Law 4481/2017. Its aim is to deal with cases of online infringement of copyright and related rights through an extrajudicial mechanism.

The anti-piracy committee consists of three members:

  • the president of the Hellenic Copyright Organisation;
  • a representative of the Hellenic Telecommunications and Post Commission (EETT); and
  • a representative of the Hellenic Data Protection Authority.
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Priority for Foreign Filing of Design Patent Applications

Suppose that you have an invention disclosure for a design of an article that you want to protect. When you review the invention disclosure, you notice that the design is ornamental, for example, a pattern, on an article such as a chair. You want to file a patent application to protect the design. Can you file a design patent application?  The answer is YES.

For a design patent, 35 U.S.C. § 171 refers, not to the design of an article, but to the design for an article, and “is inclusive of ornamental designs of all kinds including surface ornamentation as well as configuration of goods.” In re Zahn, 617 F.2d 261, 204 U.S.P.Q. 988 (C.C.P.A. 1980).  The subject matter which is claimed is the design embodied in or applied to an article of manufacture (or portion thereof) and not the article itself. Ex parte Cady, 1916 C.D. 62, 232 O.G. 621 (Comm’r Pat. 1916). Based on this, you draft a design patent application on the pattern described as applied to a chair. Can you file a design patent application as a provisional patent application? The answer is NO because the right of priority as to provisional patent applications provided for by 35 U.S.C. § 119 does not apply to designs. Therefore, you must file your design patent application as a regular examination design patent application.

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Outcome of Hermes Claim Against MetaBirkin NFT May Provide Glimpse of Future for Fashion, Art in Metaverse

Hermes recently sued a digital artist for knocking off its Birkin handbag through the issuance of MetaBirkin non-fungible tokens (“NFT”). For those not aware of the filing or related media attention, the artist created fuzzy images of the Hermes Birkin handbag and minted them as NFTs.

NFTs are digital records of data stored on a blockchain and uniquely identifiable. NFTs are associated with a larger digital file that is itself too large to store in a blockchain. The digital record can then be traded or sold as an asset identifying the NFT owner as the true owner of the original digital file.

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In Canada, there are practising patent agents and trademarks agents who are not lawyers. They are not admitted to any bar of any province or territory in Canada and are not members of any law society. The College of Patent Agents & Trademark Agents (CPATA) is the recently created regulator of patent and trademark agents in Canada in respect of their agency practises. CPATA regulates agents who are and who are not lawyers. The relevant issue is the privilege which applies to agents who are not also lawyers and in this instance specifically to patent agents who are not also lawyers.

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Case study: “copyright-free” in-store music and collective management


Company A (a Greek company) provides music programmes – based on a specific repertoire and intended to function as background music – to retail stores and, more broadly, to commercial or workplaces. Such music is used as a background for the broadcasting of advertising messages that are heard in such commercial spaces on a daily basis. The advertising messages are played at a higher volume than the music.

In order to carry out this activity, company A signed contracts with certain suppliers from which it acquired all of the copyrights and related rights regarding the specific musical repertoire.

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“What’s Mine Is Not Yours To Give Me”—Nor To Take Without Just Compensation: A New Jersey Reaction To Sovereign Immunity, Intellectual Property, & Takings

I have to give it to creative, resilient lawyers (and in fact, I have lauded them in the past here and there).  When the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in Allen v. Cooper, 140 S.Ct. 994 (2020), a decision holding that the sovereign immunity of individual states prevented a copyright holder from recovering damages for infringement, I was a bit disheartened.  Seeing no immediate litigation alternative, I called for “common sense Congressional legislation to make States directly liable for damages for copyright infringement,” because I felt it unfair that, after Allen, copyright owners “would find themselves defenseless from state-sponsored copyright piracy.”  Flynn, Queen Anne’s Revenge, Indeed!: Copyright Conundrums, Sovereign States, and IP Piracy (2020).  Then some creative, resilient lawyers said, “Not so fast,” arguing that the 11th Amendment’s bar on infringement damages actions does nothing to lessen a copyright holder’s claim for just compensation for the taking of property under the 5th and 14th Amendments, and that unlicensed use of another’s intellectual property is a form a taking from the owner a defining strand of the bundle of rights that define copyrights as “property.”

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Damages for Copyright Infringement before You Register Your Copyright

Let’s suppose that you have not registered your copyright in a book with the U.S. Copyright Office and you find someone has infringed your copyright by copying substantial portions of your book.  Let’s also suppose you are able to prove that the alleged infringer has infringed your work and you have notified the alleged infringer regarding the infringement of your copyright. Let’s further suppose that you cannot prove that the infringement caused you lost sales, lost opportunities to license, or diminution in the value of the copyright.

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