University of the Arts London Own It - Creative London Intellectual Property Advice Service Creative London

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This week's IP news round-up

25 July 2005

We kick off this week with a copyright dispute with what must be the longest gap between the alleged infringement and court action of any case Own It can think of. The case concerns Nikolai Borg, a German designer commissioned by Volkswagen in the 1930s to come up with a snappy logo for the peopleís car. Mr Borg claims he designed the famous VW logo but didnít take action when his design was used without acknowledgement because of the minor distraction of World War Two. Now, with one eye on posterity, heís seeking to stake his claim to one of the most famous trademarks in the world. Own It wishes the old boy luck, but given the apparent lack of any evidence bar the testimony of equally ancient colleagues, we donít fancy his chances too much. Get more from The Daily Telegraph.

A clash of the technology titans last week saw Microsoft commence proceedings against Google over the latterís poaching of one of Microsoftís key software developers in China. Dr Kai-Fu Lee recently defected to begin work as head of R&D in China for Google and Microsoft are not happy. Bill Gatesí firm are alleging breach of confidence and claiming the move raises all kinds of intellectual property issues. One particular concern for Microsoft is the close connection between the work Dr Lee was doing for them and what he will be doing for Google. More on that story from The Times

A little IP dispute thatís been bubbling under for a couple of months came to the boil last week when Sony won summary judgement against Nuplayer, a grey market importer of the Sony PSP portable entertainment console. Nuplayer had been selling the whizzy new toys ahead of their official UK release, much to Sonyís irritation. In the end Sony won on the basis that Nuplayer were infringing a number of Sony trademarks by proffering the consoles for sale and that Nuplayerís offer to obliterate the marks did not constitute a valid defence. Take a look at for a good summary of this one.

Until next week.

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