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As Britain swelters in the sunshine, Own It soldiers on to bring you another hot IP news round-up.

20 June 2005

Welcome to this week's scorching Own It intellectual property news round-up: bringing you the latest IP news, whatever the weather.

Just when it seemed things couldn't get any worse for MG Rover, reports surfaced last week that the bankrupt car manufacturer was involved in a potentially extremely embarrassing IP mix up. The story alleged that the company had accidentally sold the rights to its MG TF sports car when it had agreed a deal earlier this year to share its engine designs with Chinese manufacturer SAIC. If true the news will scupper attempts by Rover's administrators to salvage some cash from the firm by selling the car's IP rights to a third party bidder. Check out the BBC for further details.

Meanwhile, an unwelcome distraction for Sir Bob Geldof from his Live 8 mission presented itself last week with the news that his former band-mates from the Boomtown Rats are to press ahead with legal proceedings against him. The other members of the band, which had a number of hits in the 70s and 80s before Bob became more famous for his charity work and swearing on TV, are claiming unpaid royalties from record sales, merchandising and tours. The action may also include the Rats' record label Universal who released a greatest hits compilation and re-mastered albums by the group earlier this year. More from The Daily Telegraph.

Award for most unlikely to succeed IP claim of the week must go to convicted serial rapist Richard Baker, 40, from Cornwall* who is suing Essex police for breach of copyright by issuing his own photographs to the press in the hunt to arrest him. Though it seems reasonable to presume Baker owns the copyright in the photos, it looks like the police will be able to rely on a textbook public interest defence against the action. Even if Baker succeeds with the claim, his victims will almost certainly sue for any damages he may be awarded. The slightly absurd details are on the BBC website.

Finally, heartening news for classical music lovers last week as the BBC's free downloads of Beethoven's first five symphonies proved more popular than the Crazy Frog. The symphony downloads, part of a week long trial, would each individually have topped the singles charts had they been included in the count. Own It predicts we can expect much more of this kind of free, legal downloading from the BBC in the future. Get the numbers from The Times.

Stay cool until next week.

*If you ever wondered why newspapers (and Own It) always include such seemingly incidental details as this, it's to avoid any confusion with all the other Richard Bakers out there, who would be able to sue us for libel if anyone thought we were referring to them.

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