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Copyright, Designs and Related Rights


Cases relating to copyright and designs have been a major aspect of the work of 8 New Square for over 50 years. Two internationally respected leading textbooks are authored within Chambers – Laddie, Prescott and Vitoria “The Modern Law of Copyright and Designs” and Russell Clarke and Howe “The Law of Industrial Designs”. In addition to having expertise relating to the many aspects of copyright and related rights law, members of Chambers have had experience of many cases involving issues of jurisdiction and extra-territoriality such as Pearce v Ove Arup (allegation that the Rotterdam Kunsthal infringed design for a town hall),and Peer International v Editora Musical de Cuba (rights to the “Buena Vista Club” back catalogues involving Cuban law issues). Members of chambers were recently instructed in the SAS v  World Programming trial concerning copyright in computer software.

Artistic copyright

Our experience in artistic copyright and design cases covers the entire range of fine and applied arts and design from the fashion (including jewellery design) and textile industries to works of architecture and designs for video games. We have worked for the major high street retailers such as Marks & Spencer, Monsoon and French Connection. Major cases include: Designers Guild v Russell Williams Textiles (textile design - the leading House of Lords case on ‘copying’), Clark v Artprints (paintings by Francis Bacon) Cala Homes v Alfred McAlpine (infringement of architectural drawings for estate homes) and Nova Productions v Mazooma Games (artistic and literary copyright in video games).

Design right

Members of chambers have extensive expertise in this active area of law and are able to handle cases involving UK and Community registered and unregistered design rights. Cases  in which we have acted include: Rolawn v Turfmech Machinery (wide-area turf mowers), Societá Esplosivi v Ordnance Technologies (multiple warhead systems) Landor v Hawa v Azure Designs (expander suitcases), and Lucasfilms v Ainsworth (Star Wars “Stormtrooper” helmets and other props which was heard in the Supreme Court in early 2011).

Literary and dramatic copyright; moral rights

Chambers has a longstanding expertise in literary and publishing cases. Recent high profile cases include: Baigent v Random House Group (the Da Vinci Code case involving allegations of plagiarism by Dan Brown when writing his best-selling novel), HRH Prince of Wales v Associated Newspapers (concerning copyright infringement in the travel journals of the Prince of Wales), Sweeney v Macmillan Publishers (claim that a new edition of “Ulysses” infringed the rights of the James Joyce Estate) and Clark v Associated Newspapers (moral rights asserted by Alan Clark against spoof diaries).

Music, film and television copyright; performers’ rights; recording rights

See Media and Entertainment law

Database rights

All of our barristers have experience of advising on the applicability of the Database Rights Directive over the whole range of industrial and commercial activity and four of us were involved in the lead case in this area: British Horseracing Board v William Hill.