Own-it | Intellectual Property Know-How for Creative Businesses

Canned music

Canned music

Published: 01.12.08 at 09:30

There was something of an IP flap over much-delayed new Guns N' Roses album "Chinese Democracy" last week between the band and the makers of soft drink Dr Pepper. The source of the trouble was a promotion first put in motion earlier in the year when Dr Pepper promised a free can for every American if the tardy rockers released the album before the end of this year. "Chinese Democracy" duly hit the stores last month but Dr Pepper made a mess of the giveaway, which was never formally authorised by the band. Lead singer Axl Rose is now suing Dr Pepper claiming the company's failure to arrange the promotion properly has had a negative effect on the band's trade mark and reputation. The Independent has further details on the story.

Rather more conventional was the news from the European Court of Justice (ECJ), which was asked by the UK Court of Appeal to clarify the position under trade mark law when similar trade marks are used for unrelated goods or services. The case was brought by chip makers Intel, who wanted to prevent marketing company CPM from registering Intelmark as a trade mark in the UK. The question asked of the ECJ was whether some likely detriment to the earlier mark has to be demonstrated to show infringement. The ECJ ruled yes, it is not enough for the new mark to benefit from the earlier mark's reputation – some damage to the older mark has to be likely to take place too.The Financial Times has further coverage on the case, which has been seen as a blow for owners of famous brands.

Last but not least, we are grateful as ever to the IP Kat and contributor Martin Kretschmer for this exhaustive report on the progress of the proposed extension of the copyright term for sound recordings at the European Union level. According to the report, it looks as though the pro-extension lobby is winning the argument with MEPs. The idea of extending the term from its current 50-year duration to bring into line with the USA's 95 year period of protection was roundly dismissed by the Gower Report on IP in 2006 but smart campaigning by the music industry (check out this report from the BBC last week) has kept the idea alive. We'll let you know how things progress. Until next time ...

Photo credit: Afroswede


Please note that this article provides general information only but is not to be regarded as legal advice. You must take advice from a specialist lawyer in relation to your specific circumstances. Further, you should seek additional legal advice when dealing with parties based in other parts of the world or works originating from other parts of the world as the legal position may vary.


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