Tag Archives: Intellectual property

Film award ceremonies and festivals: much more than winning an award

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In the United States the Golden Globes award ceremony was held recently, and on 9 February the Oscars ceremony, organised by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, will take place in Los Angeles. Also coming up in February are the award ceremonies for British cinema, the BAFTA awards, and French cinema, the César awards.

Spain is no exception to this “awards season”. In mid-January the José Mª Forqué awards, organised by EGEDA, celebrated their 25th edition. They are followed by the Feroz awards and, of course, by the Goya awards ceremony organised by Spain’s Academy of Cinematographic Arts and Sciences, which will take place on 25 January.

 

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With such a deluge of awards, doubts inevitably arise as to their importance. The reality is that, essentially, there is no “awards season”, and these activities, including awards, festivals, ceremonies and film markets, take place practically throughout the year for the different facets and specialities of the industry.

This concentration of award ceremonies in the opening months of the year is due principally to the fact that these events are promotional tools for the films that are about to be released or for recent releases. It serves as a means of attracting or focusing the attention of audiences, in a world full of distractions. In some cases, a prominent nomination or award can even provide a second commercial opportunity for a film (or perhaps even a new opportunity for smaller projects that have passed through cinemas with little commercial success).

This has become such an important part of the economic process connected with the production, promotion and exploitation of audiovisual projects, that the Institute of Cinematography and Audiovisual Arts (ICAA), subsidiary to Spain’s Ministry of Culture and various Autonomous Communities of Spain, has specific lines of funding in relation to support for both festival attendees and organisers.

Moreover, it is common for such events and, principally, film festivals (Berlin, Cannes, Toronto, San Sebastian), to be accompanied by parallel activities relating to the industry’s development, such as conventions or working sessions. These activities tend to have frenetic agendas, in order to secure sales, seek funding, participate in debates on future legal texts and in meetings of associations from the industry, hold meetings with the authorities, or simply take the opportunity to establish cooperation networks that may lead to future projects.

Thus, despite the aura of glamour that surrounds any film award or competition, it is important to be aware that behind that aura, and beyond the excitement at receiving an award, there is a thriving industry which in Spain generated ticket sales in excess of 500 million euros last year.

 

Author: Mabel Klimt

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Three lawyers from ELZABURU selected to form part of a new council of experts that will advise the Chinese government on IP matters

This new year 2020, China is launching a centre called the Chinese Overseas Intellectual Property Dispute Response Guidance Centre, which aims to bring together professionals from different countries who are experts in intellectual property to provide guidance on matters relating to this field. The centre has been established by the Chinese Patent and Trademark Office (CNIPA), which is the largest Office of its kind in the world, with a workforce of more than 20,000 employees.

 

The 75 experts who now form part of this centre were selected by means of a worldwide public merit-based competition. Of the 35 foreign professionals who will be participating in this initiative, 6 are Spanish, and 3 of them are lawyers from ELZABURU: Manuel DesantesEnrique Armijo Chávarri and Colm Ahern.

The CNIPA’s aim with this initiative is to provide guidance for resolving possible conflicts relating to intellectual property: on the one hand, to safeguard the rights of Chinese entities abroad and, on the other, to gain a better understanding of the intellectual property systems and rules of overseas jurisdictions.

As Manuel Desantes explains in an interview for Confilegal, the biggest problem encountered by Chinese companies seeking to expand internationally is a lack of knowledge of different countries’ legal systems. Therefore, this advice will be essential to dispel doubts and avoid future conflicts. Moreover, thanks to the cooperation of these experts, Chinese entities will be in a better position to defend themselves in the event that any foreign company infringes their intellectual property rights.

Through the creation of new channels for obtaining and distributing information on intellectual property disputes abroad, the centre aims to establish a guidance and coordination mechanism for handling IP disputes involving Chinese companies.

As China is the world’s leading force in intellectual property, it is hoped that this project will serve as an example for other countries with regard to avoiding conflicts and disputes, thereby improving legal certainty and international commercial relations, concludes Desantes.

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Elzaburu once again shows its support for innovation as IP & IT advisors in the 2019 everis Awards

On 28 November 2019, the everis Foundation held its Global everis Awards 2019 ceremony, recognising innovation and technological entrepreneurship, with the participation of the national award winners in 10 European and Latin American countries.

Elzaburu, Spain’s oldest and most prestigious law firm specializing in the protection of intangible assets, participated in the awards organized by the everis Foundation as IP and IT advisors to the six Spanish finalists and the ten international finalists, as part of its continued commitment to innovation.

Navarre native Juan Abascal, representing Spain, was the winning entrepreneur with his WasherCapTM project. It was competing against other projects such as a brain device for recovering hand mobility after a stroke, an intelligent coating to prevent the collapse of buildings during an earthquake, or a system for eliminating pathogens from water without using chemical processes.

Juan Abascal, winner of the everis Spain Award 2019 with a prize of 30,000 euros, additionally received 60,000 euros as the international winner, as well as mentoring by a team of specialists from the everis group.

Participation by the firm Elzaburu.

Elzaburu’s participation in the awards provided, among other advantages,  mentoring of the six Spanish finalists and an evaluation of the merits of these six finalist projects in the Spanish competition from an industrial and intellectual property perspective, to assist the jury in determining the degree of innovation of the product or service, the strength of the barriers to entry into the corresponding commercial sectors, as well as the scope for industrial and intellectual property protection.

Elzaburu also held an IP and IT immersion workshop for the 10 international finalists, conducted by the expert Alba María López, Associate Partner and member of the firm’s Legal & Business Department. Furthermore, vis-a-vis meetings were held with the diplomatic delegations of the finalists’ respective countries, enabling them to explore the possibilities of international expansion.

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Spain in 3rd place among the top ten EU countries regarding detention of counterfeit products at customs in 2018

Innovation and creativity are the drivers of our economy. Therefore, it is important to provide rightholders with the certainty that their inventions will be duly protected. The competitiveness of European companies depends on it.

The enforcement of intellectual and industrial property rights by European customs is a priority for the European Commission and for Member States.

The European Commission published the “Report on the EU customs enforcement of intellectual property rights: Results at the EU border 2018” on 24 September 2019. The report shows that the number of interceptions of counterfeit goods imported to the EU increased in 2018 as a result of the large quantity of small packages in express postal traffic. The figures for detentions of these shipments increased from 57,433 in 2017 to 69,354 in 2018, although the total amount of articles detained (almost 27 million in 2018, with a market value of almost 740 million euros) fell by 15% compared with 2017.

The main categories of items detained were cigarettes (15% of the total amount of items detained), followed by toys (14%), packaging material (9%), labels and stickers (9%), and clothing (8%). Products for daily use, such as body care articles, medicines, toys and electrical household appliances, constituted almost 37% of the total amount of articles detained.

China remained the principal country of provenance of goods infringing intellectual property rights. North Macedonia was the main country of provenance for counterfeit alcoholic beverages. Turkey was the main source for other beverages, perfumes and cosmetics. EU customs detected a high number of fake watches, mobile telephones and accessories, ink and toner cartridges, CDs/DVDs, labels, tags and stickers from Hong Kong (China). India was the main country of provenance for computer equipment, Cambodia for cigarettes, and Bosnia-Herzegovina for packaging material.

The number of cases of detentions in air and sea transport have fallen, while the cases of detentions in courier and postal shipments increased, the latter amounting to 84% of the total number of cases, consisting mainly of consumer goods purchased via e-commerce. Sea transport remains in first place (54.29%) in terms of the means of transport with the highest number of articles detained.

Spain is in third place among the top ten European countries, which jointly account for 90% of all detention cases, with a total de 3,934 cases in 2018 compared with 3,740 cases in 2017 (+ 5%). However, Spain holds the 11th position in the ranking of articles detained, with 1,305,972 articles detained in 2018 in comparison with 1,776,405 articles in 2017 (- 26%), practically level with Belgium in 10th position, with 1,307,944 articles. Spain therefore joins the leading group of the 4 top ten countries in the EU in terms of the number of detention cases and articles detained.

For Spain it will pose a great challenge to maintains its leading position in the EU top ten in relation to customs detention in defence of intellectual and industrial property rights.

Author: Juan José Caselles
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Reform of EU Directives on Copyright

After extensive debate, the Council of the European Union recently approved Directive (EU) 2019/790 on copyright and related rights in the Digital Single Market and Directive (EU) 2019/789 laying down rules on the exercise of copyright and related rights applicable to online transmissions of broadcasting organisations and retransmissions of television and radio programmes.

These directives include amendments to the existing legislation, adapting the rules on copyright to today’s world, taking into account technological advances. The main objective of these reforms is to adapt the necessary legislation to guarantee fair remuneration for rightholders.

The new directives address present-day means of accessing works, such as real-time music broadcasting services, video-on-demand platforms, news aggregators and user-uploaded content platforms.

Directive (EU) 2019/789 of 17 April 2019

Technological advances have led to the creation of new forms of dissemination of works. Broadcasting organisations and operators of retransmission services offer multiple programmes and platforms comprising a large number of works and other protected subject matter.

This directive has sought to preserve the interests of rightholders and providers of online or broadcasting services, with a view to facilitating the clearance of rights for national and cross-border provision of ancillary online services.

Moreover, it specifies the application of the country of origin principle and the requirements that must be met by operators of retransmission services to provide certainty to rightholders and provide them with a fair remuneration.

Thus, when those organisations set the amount of the payment to be made, they must inform the interested parties (through management organisations) of all aspects of the ancillary online service, that is, the features of the online service, the availability of the programmes provided, the audience, and the language versions available.

Where more than one collective management organisation manages the rights affected in the Member State in question, determining which management organisation has the right to grant or refuse authorisation will be up to the Member State. Said collective management organisations must maintain proper records of membership, licences and the use of works, in order to comply with the transparency obligations established in the Directive.

Directive (EU) 2019/790 of 17 April 2019

Directive (EU) 2019/790 is intended to further harmonise the laws of the Member States on copyright and related rights in an effort to ensure that competition in the digital single market is not distorted. It also aims to establish general principles for future-proof legislation, providing the system with legal certainty but without restricting technological development.

In relation to areas such as research, innovation, education and conservation of cultural heritage, the Directive is innovative in its application of exceptions and limitations with the aim of achieving a fair balance between the rights and interests of authors and rightholders, on the one hand, and of users on the other. The exceptions and limitations, as restrictive criteria with respect to copyright, can be applied only in certain special cases, precluding application by analogy.

In keeping with previous Community legislation, the Directive addresses the need for Member States to have a rigorous and well-functioning collective management system, with regard to good governance, transparency and reporting, to ensure the regular and diligent distribution and payment of amounts due to individual rightholders. Management organisations must likewise be governed by the principle of equal treatment and facilitate the exclusion of works for rightholders.

In this case, the Directive includes measures to facilitate the collective licensing of rights. Consequently, the Member States must provide for licensing mechanisms of this kind which permit collective management organisations to conclude licences, on a voluntary basis. Such mechanisms could include extended collective licensing, legal mandates and presumptions of representation.

Conclusions

In conclusion, both directives have included mechanisms for legislation to gradually adapt to advances in technology, which has seen a drastic transformation in recent years.

We will closely follow the transposition of these directives into Spanish legislation, which, according to Community regulations, must be carried out by 7 June 2021.

Authors: Harumi Wakida y Mabel Klimt
Visit our website: http://www.elzaburu.es/

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