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This week, Burberry check for ferrets, historians try to crack The Da Vinci Code and Barclays fend off an injunction. Plus, the final draft regulations granting moral rights to performers are here.

24 October 2005

Welcome to the very latest Own It intellectual property news round-up.

It seems it’s not just the Vatican and book critics that have been upset by the success of The Da Vinci Code. Historians Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh are suing Da Vinci Code publishers Random House in the High Court for copyright infringement, claiming that much of the substance of the novel is based on their 1982 non-fiction work The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail. Dan Brown defended his use of the historians’ research, claiming that the information had been widely available for some time. Own It suspects the long held judicial view that copyright doesn’t protect ideas but only their expression will see Random House escape any legal sanction. You can read more from the Daily Telegraph. Further allegations that The Da Vinci Code also contains ideas stolen from popular best-seller The Bible remain unconfirmed at the time of writing.

The new draft regulations introducing moral rights for performers are now available for perusal, though they won’t become law until early next year. The regulations will allow musicians the right to be credited for performing on recordings and broadcasts and also gives them the right to object to derogatory treatment of their performance such as sampling. The regulations can be viewed here. You can also find out more about the new laws from this past Own It round-up.

Own It was amused by the recent attempts by footballers’ fashion favourite Burberry to prevent a shop selling ferret clothing from using Burberry in its advertising. The shop sells a variety of clothing styles for ferrets, including a “Burberry check” cape and cap. Unfortunately for owner Simon Bishop, the Burberry check is trademarked and he found himself facing a possible claim for trademark infringement from the fashion house. Check out the full story from the Daily Telegraph.

Finally, this week saw accounting firm Cooper Parry fail to prevent Barclays bank from using the slogan “ Now there’s a thought” in its new advertising campaign. The slogan had previously featured in Cooper Parry marketing costing an estimate £1.5 million. However, the Midlands firm failed to gain an interim injunction to prevent the new ads being aired because it would not be able to cover the cost to Barclays of pulling the new campaign had Barclays later succeeded at trial. There’s more from the BBC.

Have a good week everyone.

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